Saturday, October 25, 2014

On The Road Again

Well, after a break of maybe four years (and my license expired), I drove the car again. Got a call from The Dude saying Buddy's bike had broken down on their way to soccer practice and could I drive down to where they were with a screwdriver. After trying to think of all the different ways they could possibly manage without my doing it, I got the Goo dressed, found my keys, grabbed the tool kit, screwdrivers, and diaper bag and headed to the garage.

I don't think I have ever been more freaked out in my life.

And then I just did one thing at a time. Turned on the light in the garage. Got Goo in the car seat. Put the other stuff in the front seat. Sat down. Adjusted the seat and the rearview mirror. Put on my seat belt. Checked the emergency brake. Turned on the car (keeping it in park) and tried out the pedals to remind myself which was which. Opened the garage door. Put the car in reverse and backed out into the alley. Closed the garage door. Drove the 3/4 mile to where the boys were waiting for me on the side of the road.

And then after they fixed the bike, I loaded up the car with tools and toddler again and drove back home. They continued to soccer.

And you know what?

It felt good.

It really does come back to you. Just like "riding a bike" (something else I don't want to do in Chicago but with more reason, I think).

I can't wait to get re-licensed and be officially (ahem, legally) on the road again.

Bravely,
Annie

Friday, October 24, 2014

Still Slugging Away

As you may remember, I was given a gift certificate for a month-long small group class at my gym, and I chose to use it in May for boxing. And promptly fell in love with with the sport, so much so that I quickly signed up to take the class again in June.

I knew I would not be able to take the class in July, so I asked the instructor for suggestions for training on my own for that month. I also went ahead and found an instruction book for women from Gleason's Gym (yes, that Gleason's Gym).

During July I mostly trained at my gym in their open studio room, following a routine similar to what we'd done in class (minus the heavy and double-end bags and partner work). So, shadow-boxing, drills, jumping rope, and boxing-specific strength training, with some cardio work before and afterwards just to make it feel like a full workout.

August came and we knew we would be moving and that life would be too busy (and funds too tight) to take another class. I also knew I would be losing my gym membership once we moved. I knew if I were going to continue with boxing I would need to find a way to do it truly on my own. 

Of course I asked myself whether it made sense to continue at all. Do I need to be doing this? What for? Especially knowing that it may be a long time before I can work with a trainer again and longer still before I would be able to spar. And then one night I had a dream... and when I woke up the answer was clear. Yes. Pursue this.

And with renewed dedication, I found ways to motivate myself for those times when it's hard to continue on my own, and worked on finding a way to fit this into my life. I spent September practicing routines and habits so everything wouldn't be new once we moved. 

So where am I now? Five to six days a week I get up early, make my tea, put away the dishes from the day before, say my prayers, and then head downstairs to the basement. I work on strength-training for both running and boxing for about 10 minutes, switching up my exercises each day. Then I start my drills and shadow-boxing. I started at about 45 minutes over the course of the week, am now at 75 minutes, and am working up to 90 minutes per week. How much I do in any given day depends on what's going on in my day overall and what other workout I have planned. I don't jump rope right now - the ceiling in the basement isn't high enough and I don't have time to go outside and then back in again, every minute in the morning matters. That's fine, I have confidence I can pick up jumping rope again easily enough. I would love to have a heavy bag or speed bag in the basement - maybe as a Christmas present?

And then I stretch a bit, go upstairs and get myself and the kids ready for the day, and get my run in after dropping The Goo off at daycare.

I do plan to find someone I can work with on an intermittent basis, and eventually I'd like to find a gym I can work at regularly. I've looked into the Park District gyms and there are none near me that offer boxing but perhaps that will change. And next year I plan to attend the Chicago Golden Gloves tournament so that I can connect with the women's boxing community in Chicago - there is a Masters level at the Golden Gloves so there have to be other women my age out there doing this!

Life is good.

Contentedly,
Annie

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Running Updates

You may remember that I was just a wee bit worried about how I was going to continue my running as our commute got longer (moved further west) and also more complicated (kids in two different locations).

I'm very happy to report that it's been okay. I have primary commuting responsibility for the Goo, and he's still in the same location, so my runs into work haven't been impacted at all. Those days when I want to run home first I have to be more mindful of time - a lot more mindful, as it takes longer to get him there in the first place, and longer to get myself to work once I'm back home. So those runs have been made shorter, or sometimes scheduled for my lunch break instead. That's fine for now, as I'm currently training for a 15K and don't need to put in a lot of mileage. Once I start training for my next half I'll probably start run commuting into work twice a week (right now I just do once a week, for my long run). But I've done that before, and enjoyed it, so I'll be fine with doing that again.

(One unexpected benefit from running during the workday is that I've started heading north, into Lincoln Park, and exploring that area more. Which includes the amazing boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo! So that's been a real treat.)

All this needing to be super mindful of how I spend my time has led me to decide that I am not going to run a marathon in 2015 either. I want to wait until I can really train properly for it, which will involve getting weekday runs in before the kids need me in the morning (so Goo needs to get a bit older) and also doing my long long runs on the weekends instead of on the way to work (I've learned I can manage up to 14 miles as my commute but more than that takes too much time and too much effort from my workday). So here's to 2016!

And here's to keeping my runs in! Next week I'll update about the whole boxing business.

Gratefully,
Annie

Friday, October 10, 2014

Back Again

Let's see, what have I been up to in the last SIX weeks?

Ran a half marathon. Yes, I owe a race report. Looking back at the year, I owe several. They will all get done, I promise.

Got my oldest started in kindergarten. He loves it. We love it too, but not the new double commute (one kid at school and one kid at daycare, in nearly opposite directions). Hunting for EASY and FAST dinner recipes these days because bedtime has gotten ridiculously late these days (and then the Goo gets horribly cranky to boot).

No need to recommend slow-cooker recipes to us as we would just have to prep them the night before, and that, my friends, ain't happening. 

Daycare issues have pretty much gotten worked out. New interim director, new slate of teachers in the toddler room (good ones, too). Thank God, because we really didn't want to pull the Goo. And just in time, because the Goo has morphed into a full-out MONSTER, what with all the changes going on (and just being almost three years old and all). And he's a SMART monster, which makes it extra challenging. Thankfully when he's not being monstrous he's wickedly cute and funny and charming and helpful. Right up until he's a monster again. We need his teachers to be good excellent more than ever these days.

We closed on our house right after school started and moved in at the end of September. LOVE IT. Until we can't find the salt / cold medicine / fall pants / you name it that is somewhere in this space. Or haven't left enough time (again) for the morning commute. Or want to, say, actually work at a desk instead of out of a backpack. Our bedroom needed to be painted and we couldn't get it done before moving in (a sick Goo took all my scheduled painting days off for himself). So that's had a cascading effect - those boxes are in one room, which means the stuff for that room is in another room, and so on. But I got the bedroom painted this week so this weekend we should be able to start moving boxes back into the right rooms, and maybe even unpacking some of them. Though we also need a fair bit of storage containers / shelving since we are missing storage space on the first floor and in the bathrooms. Plenty in the bedrooms and basement, but we can't always be heading back into the basement to get towels or toothpaste.

But life is good here and we are blessed.

Thankfully,
Annie