Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Racing Plans 2013

I've got my racing schedule for the year. Woo-hoo!

April 28: Ravenswood Run 5K.
This is in my neighborhood and benefits the community food/health program that runs out of my church.I have volunteered in different years and now run it two years in a row. I'm excited to support it again and take some time off last year's PR!

June 23: Chicago Women's Half Marathon
I ran this last year and had a great time. It was my first half marathon and convinced me that this is my sweet spot in terms of distance. (I had run this event before when it was the Fleet Feet Women's 5/10k Festival.) This one is also meaningful to me because it's connected to the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women campaign, an effort directed at educating women about the risks of heart disease, which is (still!) frequently thought to affect mostly men and has different (and more subtle) symptons in women. Heart disease runs through both sides of my family so this is a health issue "close to my heart", so to speak.

October 13: Chicago Marathon
A week later, and registration is still closed due to the technical problems with Active.com. But somehow I managed to get in during the three hours they were open last Tuesday.
     Seriously, it makes no sense for me to do this, this year or anytime in the near future. I won't be able to train to the extent that I would really like to be able to. And yet...
     Though it's not an official charity of the marathon, I will be raising funds for Chicago Lights, the non-profit arm of the church I work for that does amazing work in fighting poverty, specifically in the areas of education and literacy, and hunger and homelessness. I'll have more information about them as the year goes on.

So those are the ones I'm training for. I'll also run a couple for fun, probably the Elvis Is Alive 5K in August, the Run Against Traffick 5K in September, and then something in November/December, just so that my running season doesn't end with the marathon.

I gave serious, serious thought to getting a coach this year. For so many reasons. And I probably will in the future. But this year the money picture is just a bit too tight...

The other issue is that I can safely say that over the past four years, I've managed to keep to my training plan about, oh, one week in the month. If that. Between work and kids my schedule is not truly my own. And I think I would be frustrated to be paying for a coach and then unable to take her advice. Once they're old enough that I can leave the house in the morning and come back before breakfast, well, then it's a different story. By then we'll also only be paying one daycare fee and the money issue will be resolved. So, maybe in 2015... Which would be when I'd likely be itching to do another marathon again...

Happy running!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Resolution #2: No More Book Buying Binges

Now, buying books in itself is not the primary cause of the credit card debt I'm trying to pay down. But it does feel like it's a pretty big symptom.

So this year, with my share of our tax refund, I've budgeted out amounts for my main leisure expenses, and I am not going to spend anything beyond my allotment.

And what's interesting about this to me is that I'm only six weeks in and it has been SO hard.

But so illuminating.

And so freeing.

I've realized that, until now, I've continued to buy books as if I could read them the same week I bought them. That is, the way I used to read when I was in my twenties. You know, without children. And underemployed. Getting interested in something and reading all I could about that topic (I read more nonfiction than fiction), and then following a tangent from that book, to another, to another. Amazon is terrible for this. Amazon Prime (free two-day shipping) is even worse.

And then I would just feel horrible as the books piled up. I want to read these! Why can't I? And by the time I might get to a book I'd be off on another topic anyway.

This year my self-imposed limit has forced me to "shop my bookcase." That, combined with tracking my reading on Goodreads and being unwilling to have more than ten books at a time on my "currently reading" shelf, means I have been finally reading some of these books, and finishing them. And some of my husband's books as well. And I am loving it. I am enjoying what I read, with no worries about what I think I have to read next, no guilt about not getting to something I've just bought, and no time pressure. And yet I've actually been reading more books than usual, probably because I've been more discriminating about what magazines I read.

I have a couple of outs planned in... twice a year I get an "extra" paycheck and I figure I might use some of those for an Amazon splurge. And my birthday is coming up and my parents are usually pretty good for books or CDs. (My book budget is actually for all media and art supplies.) And I've always relied on the library as well so I might just get more deliberate about that.

So this is one resolution I've been really glad I made.

Bits and Pieces

I've hurt my shoulder, and am in the process of finding out what is wrong and what treatment should be. Constant pain aside, what really bugs me is that I can't swim, I can't row, and even running seems to aggravate it a bit. So I've been using the recumbant bike at the gym. I won't bother counting the ways in which I do NOT love the recumbant bike.

Signup for the Chicago Marathon is next Tuesday...

I've realized I no longer know what to do with myself when given a sizable chunk of time alone. I had planned to take a couple of days off around my birthday at the end of the month, but seriously there's no point to it, I'll just make myself miserable. So I'll take a couple of days off spread out across the month instead. Motherhood has warped me, apparently.

February is a sucky month and I'm glad it's over soon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2013 Resolution #1: 100 Hours of Art

Just like it sounds. Spend 100 hours making art this year.*

Doesn't sound like a lot, does it? Especially since I spend on average 3-4 hours a week working out.

Except since the beginning of January I have spent a whopping total of 3 hours and 15 minutes at it. And that includes time spent sorting and cleaning supplies.

Luckily for the numbers, the more I do, the more I want to do. I just need to figure out how.

*I'm not quite sure how I hit on this method of motivating myself but it does seem to be working. You get what you measure and all that.

I do know some of the initial motivation came from Hit The Ground Running and her 2009 goal to run consistently - thanks!