Happy Birthday to Us!

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We had a lovely birthday. Yes, that’s a royal “we,” since Bertrand and I share a birthday. It works out pretty well, since neither of us can forget. Last year, he got to pick the event (going out to dinner), and I got to pick the venue (the only sushi joint in Freetown).  This year; we both agreed we needed to do something relatively peaceful.

I started out the day with a quick run. It’s addictive. I was going to stop and take pictures of the sun rising over the Patomac, but I was in the middle of a “run” cycle of C25K, and didn’t want to cheat (not cheating my reps/ runs is kind of a “thing” for me).

Then brunch! Liberty Tavern is one of my favorite brunch joints here in Arlington. It can be hard to find an upscale place where the food is good AND the atmosphere is toddler friendly. My parents drove down (no, I didn’t get ANY pictures), and we had a lovely brunch, followed by a quiet afternoon at home.

What a great way to ring our next year together!

Dairy of a Fat CrossFitter – Still Running

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Pre-cool-down selfie with Grace. She slept the whole time!

I got up yesterday morning thinking I’d catch the metro to go for a run* downtown with Jasmine, only to discover that it doesn’t open until 7. WUT. Washington DC, it’s like I don’t even know you anymore. Yesterday, I had a blast running with Jasmine. I expected her to fall back asleep in the stroller, but yesterday, she got really into the workout! She insisted on getting out and running and walking with me (such that she could), and then at the end, stretched with me too. SO MUCH FUN.

It’s true. My favorite running buddy is a two-year-old.

Today, Jasmine didn’t want to get up. The noise we made discussing the relative merits of sleeping vs. going out woke Grace up. Since Grace didn’t seem inclined to go back to sleep right away, I went ahead and brought her with me. Just kidding. She was out like a light the second we got outside.

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Sweet sweet Grace. Easier to run with than Jasmine, but not as much fun to stretch with afterwards.

I run outside on the weekends with Jasmine (and now Grace) to get used to running with a loaded down stroller. Turns out, I love running outside, and running outside is way easier for me than running on the treadmill (MapMyRun says I run slower). This is a good thing. At this point, it’s better for me if I train hard on the treadmill, where it’s easy to pace myself, and then relax on my longer outdoor runs, I think.

This morning, I was surprised at how much I was looking forward to the run, and then how damn happy I was while I was running. I can’t believe it’s taken me my entire adult life to figure out how much I need this. Certainly, it’s cheaper than therapy. Watching the sunrise over the Washington Monument was beautiful, and something I could get used to doing on a regular basis.

The best part is that when I got back this morning with Grace, Jasmine bounded out of bed and asked me if it was time to go run! She was bitterly disappointed that I’d already gone, since she hadn’t wanted to get out of bed. She made me promise to take her next weekend, no matter what, even if she didn’t want to wake up (that’s a pretty advanced sense of time and self-awareness, for a two-year-old).

And that, of course, is why I do this. The personal benefits are great. But encouraging activity and a love of the outdoors in my kids? Worth it at any price.

* And by “run,” I mean, continuing c25k and doing a kind of walk/ jog/ shuffle/ lean on the stroller because I am going to die.

5k training

Yeah!  5k!  Holy shit, it’s less than a month away and I AM SO NOT READY.

I’ve been complaining for months now (seriously, since before we left Freetown) that the tires in the Bob are flat.  The damn thing still pushes pretty easily, but not so easily that I want to run with it.  Sure, I could take care of it myself, but it’s far easier to bitch about a problem for months until my husband gets so tired of the complaining that he takes care of it himself.

My husband took the tires apart on Tuesday night, only to discover that one of the tubes is completely destroyed.  I mean completely.  As in, the tube has actually been shredded into multiple pieces and was just sitting there in the tire.

Anyway, we’ve ordered new tubes and a repair kit and some spares, but that’s why I’m still not training outside with the stroller.

That, and I’m a lazy-ass.

Diary of a Fat CrossFitter – Progress is Progress

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Our skill work last night was hand-stand push-ups (HSPU), which are exactly as awful as they sound. Do a hand-stand. Then lower your head to the ground. Then push back up. The good news is, there are lots of scaling options for HSPUs. The bad news is that I had to scale all the way back to holding a pike position (like a pushup, but with your bottom in the air and you looking at your feet) for 20 seconds. No pike pushups, even.
But that’s better than I could have done three months ago, when I started.

Sometimes I look at the progress I’m making and ask myself why I didn’t start this earlier. Last night’s warm-up was a 400m run, not only did I run the whole way, I could have run for longer. I remember when I couldn’t even run 100m (seriously … I had to walk at the halfway point of a 200m warm-up run). I’m still slow as molasses, and still the slowest in my class by, oh say, a third, but I can run further and longer than I’ve ever been able to as an adults. And that’s some awesome sauce, right there.

Next up, mobility. Turns out that I have some awesome mobility in some spots, and terrible mobility in other spots (mobility is code for flexibility). I’m thinking about attending my gym box’s twice-weekly yoga class. Or following a class online.

Any yogis out there want to weigh in on a great series of yoga DVDs or YouTube videos?

PS edited this post because WHOA formatting. Sorry about that, y’all.

What I’m Reading, because I’m too fried to do anything else

I’ve been doing more reading than writing these days. I feel like I can do three out of four things: study, spend time with the kids, exercise, and blog. Sleeping has, of course, been out of the question for the last several months since Jamsine was born.

Humans of New York

I normally go into my conversations with a set of proven questions to ask, that I find will elicit a wide variety of anecdotes from people’s lives: happiest moment, saddest moment, things like that. But with people fleeing war, it is absolutely impossible to discuss anything beyond the present moment. Their circumstances are so overpowering, there is absolutely zero room in their minds for any other thoughts. The conversation immediately stalls, because any topic of conversation beyond their present despair seems grossly inappropriate. You realize that without physical security, no other layers of the human experience can exist. “All day they do is cry for home,” she told me. (Dohuk, Iraq)

Humans of New York is on a World Tour with the UN. The stories are beautiful and heartbreaking.

To keep or to purge, that is the question

4. Do I love this item more than the clutter it might create? “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” is often quoted when simplifying the items in one’s home but in our case, we had too many useful or beautiful items.

Five questions to ask yourself when purging. Something to think about as our next pack out draws nearer, and I’ll be once again faced with how to ship and store our family scrapbooks.

Grawburg’s 10 Commandments for FM’s

I had the pleasure of meeting Chris the other day; we’ll be serving together in Jerusalem. This is excellent advice for life (but specifically FMs, GSOs, and fellow ICASS service providers) that sums up tp, “Don’t be an asshole.”

TEN RANDOM THINGS I’VE NOTICED ABOUT THE STATES

Kelly’s got a great list up that summarizes the culture shock that I always feel when visiting the States from abroad. Two highlights (but really, read the whole thing):

2.) Dress is casual. Very casual. I have always dressed like an American wherever I live, but I like that here I can go to the grocery store in shorts and t-shirt and not look out of place. Yep, these are my t-shirt wearing, flip-flopping peeps, right here.

6.) The food is both awful and wonderful. At our temporary apartment we were greeted with a basket of junk food on the kitchen counter, and they were giving away cupcakes and sugary iced coffee in the lobby at happy hour for some reason. But on the other hand, there is great produce at the grocery store, lots of healthy, tasty, not-schnitzel food in restaurants, and the salads don’t have potatoes in them. You can have a chicken Caesar salad or noodle bowl for dinner or you can scarf free cupcakes. Your choice.