The Flu is a Beast

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted… I feel like I’ve been crazy busy, but I’m trying to get back to it. In January, I got the flu. I’ve since recovered, but it was a 3-week ordeal, probably prolonged by some bad choices (I’ll get to those!)

I recall the day it started. It was Thursday, January 25th. About 10am, I started feeling a little tired and had some chills. Shake it off, girl! I tried, but… By, midday, I knew I had a bad cold. By, mid-afternoon, I wanted to crawl under a rock. I had to pick up my son (almost 5) at 4:30, though, I live through his karate class. And, I did. Barely. I sat and drank water for the whole hour while trying desperately not to cough.

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After I got him home, I somehow managed to feed him and then proceeded to lie down on the sofa and fall asleep. When my husband got home, my son (who adorably did check on me a few times), had dumped out what seemed like all of his toys on the floor. Great. I couldn’t move and we found that I had a temperature of 104. Yikes!! Hubby got me some Tylenol and got me in bed.

Honestly, I pretty much *lost the next 4 days*. I slept most of the time and when I was awake, I couldn’t focus. Everything felt foggy. So, I kept taking my Tylenol and trying to keep my temperature around 100-101. I finally gave up and asked my husband to take me to urgent care, Tuesday night (the 30th). I got Tamiflu and a Z-Pack (antibiotics). The doctor said lots of people were coming back with pneumonia, so recommended treating both. Good idea, doc! By, the next afternoon, I was on the mend. Yay!

The following week, I did something super ridiculous. I tried to go running, despite being rundown and tired. I thought I could force the rest of this illness out of me. Yeah… Not so much. I pretty much ended up walking and coughing. I did this 3 times. 3 times! What was I thinking?!? The 3rd time, I pulled a muscle on my right side from all the coughing and decided to stop being crazy.

I took another week off and finally, finally, finally returned to the world of the living. I’ve been running and exercising since then and am back to normal. But, wow, what a journey. I guess my ultimate message here is take it easy if you get the flu. It’s horrible and it is literally killing people.

I’m so glad to be over it. I remember thinking to myself at one point after the 3rd week that I had forgotten what it felt like to feel normal. Ugh. I was also overdue to get some new running shoes. I did that today and am looking forward to reporting back on how I like them. Whohoo!

Stay healthy!


Carving Out Time for Yourself

I am a room parent for my son’s preschool class and, during orientation this year, we introduced ourselves and gave a “guilty pleasure.” For example, many people mentioned TV shows that they watch. But, why do things like this have to be a guilty pleasure?

I think it’s absolutely necessary for parents to do something for themselves and to make time for themselves. I make time for myself by exercising most mornings and I feel all the better for it. I get up before everyone one else in the house so I can have my personal time and still go about my normal parental and work activities. On weekends, I sometimes drive to a nice trail:

Dr. Deborah Gilboa, writing on, gave three good reasons to do things for yourself as a parent:

  • Lower your stress level. When you take time for yourself, you relax. When you relax, your blood pressure goes down, you smile more, you sleep better, and you have a more positive outlook – that’s good for you and your family
  • Help your family value you more by valuing yourself. When you pursue an interest, hobby, or activity that makes you happy, it can lead your child to show you more respect (because you are respecting yourself)
  • Children repeat parents’ patterns. If you value your passions or interests by making some time for them, your kids will grow up to do the same (hopefully). They learn by example, so if you are “calm and collected” thanks to your “you time,” they will remember that

Various articles suggest that time to yourself or with your spouse isn’t as selfish as it may sound. It can actually make for a stronger marriage, stronger family, and well-adjusted children. If you never leave your child with a sitter or grandparent, they won’t learn that it’s OK when you leave them. It’s also about identity – you are more than just “Mom” or “Dad.”

Sounds great, but how? Here are a few ideas:

  1. At-home movie night. Get your child/children in bed and queue up a new movie or an old favorite. Then, enjoy some snacks and maybe a drink
  2. Date-night kid swap. Set up a system with friends (or through the FC Parent Club) so that you can save costs on a night out. For example, once a month you take their kids for a night and on another night, they take your kids. The kids get a playdate and you get your adult time
  3. Take a walk. a 15-minute walk can make you feel better and allow you to collect your thoughts without all of the interruptions of home life
  4. Go to the gym, especially if your gym has childcare. While your spouse may be able to watch the kids for a bit, a gym with childcare lets you get in  a workout without additional guilt – No one is on the hook for additional single parent time

Time for yourself doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It may sound difficult, but I really do recommend finding something. Anything. Regain some sanity and be a more patient parent. Lofty goals, I know. I have decidedly benefited from my alone time. My son is now 3 1/2 and he excitedly asks every morning if I went biking or running. I don’t know if he’s “proud” or me or not, but he know’s it’s my thing.

Mixing Up the Exercise Routine

For a really long time, I ran. That’s it. Different distances, sometimes different routes, but still just running. Then, I decided to add a little variation to my exercise routine. Currently, I’m exercising 6 days a week (mostly) as follows:

  • Run 4+ miles – 3-4 days a week
  • Indoor cycling – 1-2 days a week
  • Weight work – 1 day a week

While I sometimes get frustrated with my lack of calorie burn on weight day, it’s really important that I do it so I don’t lose muscle mass. To give myself a little boost, I’ve started riding my bike to the gym on weight day. It’s not far, so I don’t get a big boost, but it’s better than nothing.

When I can’t stick to the routine, I modify. Lately, I’ve had to switch over to outdoor cycling (something I haven’t done in a really long time) on a few of my run days. I injured and then re-injured my right knee so I’m trying to keep it healthy so I can complete a half marathon in October. I’m a little worried that this will mess with my training more than I’d like, but I also like not having knee pain, so… 🙂

I do get to see more when I ride my bike. I certainly appreciate the views. Here’s a picture from this morning’s bike ride:

Boats in the morning sun

I also get to pull out my bike gear that’s been gathering dust. Who am I kidding? My bike was gathering dust, too! Nice to have it down from the rack and back in action – even if I’m riding a mountain bike on the road. Whatevs! What do you do to modify and try to deal with injuries? I’d love some suggestions.

Stay healthy!

A Bump in the Night

Maybe more of a bang?


I have had leg/foot issues for a while now. Usually, as a result of too much walking in shoes with no arch support, I end up with leg or foot cramps in the middle of the night. They are annoying and painful, but I’ve gotten better about a) wearing the right shoes; and b) stretching before I go to sleep.

I’ve also found that I can’t sit still very well… Usually after about 1.5 hours, my butt starts to hurt and I get fidgety. I went to a seminar yesterday and sat for the better part of 4 hours on a very uncomfortable chair. So, last night, I paid for that. It wasn’t as simple as a foot/leg cramp, though…

My 3-yr-old woke up around 2am or so, and I got up to check on him. I felt a little tingling in my right foot, but didn’t think too much about it at that precise moment. Then, BANG! I was on the floor. My foot had fallen asleep and I literally could not stand on it and/or my leg. I got up, my whole right leg wobbled. I tried to catch myself, but ended up falling on my knee. My poor husband didn’t know who to check on first. I told him to check on the kid. 🙂

At first blush, I was worried about the knee. I crashed on that baby pretty hard. But, it was the ankle. It hurt a bit last night after my majestic swan dive. This morning, a little sketchy, but mostly ok. I did get in a run and only felt a little discomfort twice. Mostly, it feels stiff and a little tender in spots.

Has this happened to anyone else? Let me know in the comments.

I’m guessing it was some kind of pinched nerve issue after all of the sitting… I really am not sure, though. I do know that I was lucky and the damage could have been much worse. Probably the saddest thing was me in the middle of the night worrying about my training routine. I’ll be wrapping my ankle for a bit and doing road/paved running instead of trail running for a few weeks. I feel like I have less chance of making things worse on a nice, paved run. Any suggestions on the best way to wrap an ankle? I’ve got a good supply of KT tape, but am open to other ideas. That being said, if it doesn’t feel good, I’ll back off. I’m glad it’s Friday…

I’m also glad I got to run this morning because I may or may not have eaten a lot of gelato last night. Hahaha! This stuff is addictive:



Stay healthy! (But, still enjoy some ice cream!)

Getting My Motivation Back


From Sunday's Hike

From Sunday’s Hike

I had a really good weekend and I feel like I’m motivated to work out again. On Saturday, I took my knee out for a 2-mile test run. My knee did just fine – what I noticed, to my chagrin, is that 3 weeks on the treadmill made me soft. I need to get used to the feel of the pavement again. Ah, well… A challenge I am more than happy to accept.

I also took a bar method class. I took it because we were offered a special class through the parents’ club I belong to. This is one of those classes that have you do some ballet moves and use the bars, as well as other exercises. It was tough, especially getting my form right for some of the exercises. I finally got the hang of it, and signed up for a few classes with some of my mom friends. 🙂 I felt the burn! There were several times my legs were shaking. It was a very successful workout and I think having people I know in class will be a good motivator for me.

So, after all my good-girl exercise on Saturday, we had friends over for dinner and I stayed up late and drank 3-4 glasses of wine. It was fun. Totally worth blowing all that hard work every now and then…

After staying up past midnight (and my poor 3-yr-old refused to sleep until about 11:45), this was a rest day. What do you do on a rest day when you are feeling tired? You make a doughnut run, of course. 🙂 

Mmmm... Doughnuts

Mmmm… Doughnuts

Yes, we had doughnuts from one of my favorite places for breakfast… And, I got a latte with Dillano’s coffee. Mmmmmm… Yummy in my tummy!

I got to work off my doughnut even on my off day. We went on a short 3-mile roundtrip hike. Uphill was a little tough with the stroller, but hey, it’s an off-road stroller and it all went well. This gorgeous place is only 15 minutes from where we live. And, the best part of this particular part of my day is that I think I found a good place for my first, soon-to-be-scheduled trail run. 

Sunday's View From the Top

Sunday’s View From the Top

Sunday's View From the Top

Wildflowers Along the Trail

I really started getting excited once I realized how perfect it would be and then I saw people running – Yes, the excitement is building. I am really looking forward to it. How, if everyone could just clear my weekend schedules a bit… 😉
Stay healthy!

Exercise and Recovery

Last Saturday, I hurt my right knee during my first body sculpting class at the gym. At first I thought it was just muscle soreness, but quickly realized I had done something not-so-good. It’s not horrible, but I don’t want to risk hurting it more, so I took it easy this week. I did 2 cycling classes and 2 short (3-mile) runs on the treadmill. I also now remember just how boring treadmill running can be. 😉

My knee is still sore, but doing better… I think I made the right choice. Especially, if you want to add the soreness in my left foot. Since mid-March, the ball of my foot has been really bothering me. I decided to power through that and completed a half marathon on March 20. But, now! Now, my foot seems angry at me, so I’m also nursing that injury.

I know both injuries would get better faster if I weren’t still exercising, but that would kill me. Maybe not literally, but I do think it would demoralize me too much. So, a slightly slower recovery so I can continue doing mild exercise feels like the best solution.

I’ve also started wrapping my knee with my KT Tape, which has been really helpful. I have a knee brace, but it felt super bulky and uncomfortable. I checked out the tutorial on how to wrap my knee with the KT Tape and managed to do a pretty decent job. My knee felt good – It’s a good alternative if a knee brace isn’t 100% needed and if you just can’t stand all that bulk.

So, I’ve learned:

  • Treadmill running is boring. Wait, I already knew that… But, I reconfirmed. Oh, I already mentioned that? That’s because it’s boring
  • Sunday’s cycling class is a LOT more intense than Wednesday’s cycling class. Maybe because it is at 8am instead of 6am? I don’t know, but today’s class was TOUGH. I felt good about it after, but it was challenging

I would have done body sculpting again (but careful on the knee), but my son’s birthday party was yesterday and that meant no time for a morning workout. We had 20 kids running around like crazy. And, the cake turned out super awesome.

No pictures of my boring workout week, but checkout this cake! 🙂

My son's birthday cake!

My son’s birthday cake!

Journaling & Running

Running Journal

Running Journal

Ok, so I am maybe (definitely) not the best at keeping a journal or log… But, for some reason, I thought I’d give this a try. I run 5 days a week and while I can see that on my calendar, I kind of want the ability to look back at my training in a different way. My husband asked me why I didn’t get an app for that! I don’t really know other than it feels like this is more tangible. I think I’ll actually look at this. When I put something into a digital format, I tend to forget it unless I’m looking for a trending pattern of some kind.

Got the journal today – on a running day! First entry is complete. I hope I stick with it because I do want to evaluate my fitness level and all that jazz at different times.

Anyone else keeping a running journal? If so, how do you feel about it? Is it useful? What do you like or dislike?