At My House Survey

I thoroughly enjoy reading all of the surveys that float around the blog world. I rarely participate, so I figured I would give it a go this time around. Here are a few answers to questions at my house!

Household Chore I Actually Enjoy

I’m not so sure I can say I truly enjoy it, but I actually don’t mind mowing the grass. When I was younger, it was always the highest paying chore at my parent’s house. I always volunteered to do it for this reason. Ever since then, it really doesn’t bother me to do it. Pulling weeds on the other hand – pure torcher!

Puppy mow grass

 

My Biggest House Disaster

Currently, its the playroom. Grant doesn’t use it yet, and it has been our staging room ever since we moved in to the house. It still has boxes in it, but only a few more are left! We are almost to the point where it is actually clean! Woot woot!

I Hate To Shop For

Pants – of any kind, especially after having a baby! My butt is actually smaller now than before. Figures! If my thighs fit into the pants, then my waist doesn’t. When jeans fit perfect at the store, they stretch out an hour into wearing them, then the butt is all saggy. Needless to say, ever since having Grant, I wear a ton of dresses. I don’t have the pants issue with dresses :)

Before Company Arrives, I Hide

Laundry! We are so so bad about getting laundry done in a timely fashion. I tend to put it in the washer and then wait at least a day to switch it to the dryer. Then, depending on the day, the clean laundry may sit in a basket for 3-4 days until I actually put it away. Needless to say, between Marcus, Grant, & I, we ALWAYS have laundry around. I usually wear 3 outfits per day – at minimum – so laundry always needs to be hidden.

Laundry meme

My Most Recent Music Download

Andy Grammer’s album Magazines or Novels. His song “Honey I’m Good” kept coming up on my Apple Radio and I can’t get enough it! It is such a fun, poppy album – I highly recommend buy the whole album!

I Have a Style Crush On

Is it too cliche if I say Kate Middleton? She has such classic style and I really love it. I’m probably one of the least trendy people ever, so her simple, preppy style is right up my alley.

The Last Thing I Bought Online

How uncool will it be when I say diapers…?

Pampers Swaddlers

My Favorite Family Ritual

Walks! Marcus and I have the best conversations on walks. Whether it is after work or on a Saturday morning, walking it the best way to either start the day or wind down!

Winnie Grant walk

How Did I Ever Live Without

These two. I really and truly can not imagine my life without either one of these guys. Life truly does get better and better each and every day.

Marcus and Grant 5 months

 

Your turn! What’s At Your House?!

My Not-So-Top Secret Running Weapon

Back in December, I ran the race of my life. I am still looking back at it in awe, knowing so much could have gone wrong that day, but wow – everything went exactly right. The course was flat, the weather was perfect, and fueling during the race was just right.

Of course, other than race day, there is an aspect that is utmost importance – training. When I set out to run a marathon 9 months after having a baby, I knew training could be tough. Lack of sleep and limited time were the two big ones. I found myself having a great sleeping baby, so I was very lucky in that part of the plan. As for the other part – limited time – well that one worked too. Not only was I able to find time to run, but Grant did a lot of the running with me – whether he remembers it or not.

Grant and Emily stroller

I pushed the jogging stroller for about 30% of my runs, with a lot of the pushing being done at the tail end of my long runs. I didn’t think of it at the time, but those miles really simulated the end of a race. The time when you really need to dig down and push harder – mentally and physically. Waking up early and swinging back by the house to get Grant in the stroller was the best thing that could have happened to my training. I didn’t do any speed work, hill workouts or anything. My plan looked loosely like this:

Basic Marathon Plan

My biggest emphasis each week was to get in my long run. That is always the most important part of a training plan. I ended up missing two long runs in the 18 week training plan I made for myself – a 15 miler and a 20 miler. The reason I was able to get in those runs was because I could actually take Grant with me in that stroller. It was such a life saver. My friends knew a Bob Revolution would be the best gift ever when they surprised Marcus and I with it last year.

Bob Stroller Baby BaumI have always heard how much stronger most runners become after having children. I doubted for a while, but was pretty happy to see it come to fruition for me. So yea – my secret training weapon – definitely the jogging stroller. These three wheels made me stronger than I would ever have imagined. Major kudos to those pushing double and triple strollers – whoa!

 

Grant: 11 Months

Oh baby boy – we are approaching your first birthday! Month 10 to 11 flew by, and I have a feeling that is going to be the trend for just about the rest of time. Spending time with you and your dad is the most fun part of my day, hands down. You are incredibly happy all the time and tend to just go with the flow. Whether you are playing in a box or trying to pull all of the toilet paper off the roll, you are smiling ear to ear.

Grant 11 months

Your smile is getting pretty full these days, as you got 2 more teeth this past month! You are up to 6 big ole’ chompers and I have a feeling a couple more are on their way soon! You use those teeth to eat all sorts of food – you haven’t met many foods you don’t like at this point. Grant – you eat just like mommy and daddy – a lot! I can only imagine what your plate is going to look like the years to come.

Grant 11 months

You are still eating breastmilk every 3-4 hours as well, so you are growing like a weed! You are in 12-18 month clothes very comfortably and I think you will be for a while. You love pulling off your socks as much as you possibly can. I guess you know you slip around with them on. You are starting to stand a bit more unassisted, which mean there is only one thing on the horizon – walking! Feel free to start whenever you feel like it. Just so you know, I am a-ok with you crawling for a bit longer. You are like lightning when you crawl, so I can only imagine what walking (and running) is going to look like once you start. Our lives will be changed forever!

Grant zoo 11 months

I’m not sure what you weigh at this point since we haven’t been to the doctors in a couple of months, but I am thinking its probably around the 22-23 pound mark. It is quite the workout carrying you around!

Grant 11 months

 

In the past month, you have had a few firsts, including your first New Years Eve, which you spent at Mimi and Papaw’s, sound asleep while daddy and I had fun with our friends. You also experienced your first Gasparilla festivities, which you will come to know as one of your favorite days of the year. Pirates and beads fill the streets in Tampa – I know you are going to absolutely love it in a couple of years! We went to an activity called Gymboree as well. There were other kids, music, and lots of play time. You had so much fun interacting with all of the other babies. Our trips to the zoo & the aquarium are the last big firsts you had in January, and I think we know what we will be doing on weekends! You love the fishies and the giraffes, and everything in between!

Grant aquarium 11 months

You love opening and closing doors and drawers, looking out windows, trying to pet Winnie, talking like a crazy man when its time to go to sleep, and bath time! I am pretty sure you find fun in nearly everything you do, including watching the garbage man as he treks down the street. You are less enthusiastic about getting your diaper change and you always try to wiggle away. Sitting still is less than ideal in the Grant Baum handbook, and I think you want to delete that chapter all together. Maybe one day we will figure it out….maybe?

Grant bath 11 months

Last year at this time, Daddy and I were preparing for your arrival. Now, we are planning your first birthday. I am in shock you are officially going from an infant to a toddler in just a few short weeks, but I am excited as well. I know we have so much to look forward to with you by our side. I love you baby boy!

Rediscovering My Inner Morning Runner

I’ve always been a morning person. It’s an amazing time of day where it’s quite, the phone never rings, and I can really feel productive. I’m able to get out for a run before the rest of the house even wakes up. Lately, if mornings start much before 6:15, I’m just not having it. I’ve lost my early morning wake-up mojo, and I really want to find it.

Lucky for me, the office where I work has a gym with a shower, so I tend to run at lunch a lot. It’s a great perk, but I wouldn’t mind spending my lunch break doing other things – running errands, visiting Grant, etc. I’m not sure if it’s just the cold weather or my very relaxed exercise schedule, but I’ve snoozed my alarm every time I’ve tried to wake up early the past few weeks. It’s getting a bit ridiculous.

I’ve been thinking of a few ways to get back into my early morning routine, and would love some help from the other early risers out there. Here are a few things I am going to implement to get up early again. Please, share your ideas with me to help get back on track!

1. Put my alarm away from my bed
If the alarm is blaring over on my dresser instead of on my nightstand, I have to actually get out from under the covers to go get it. Once I’m up, hopefully I will just get moving!

2. Set out my clothes the night before
If everything is ready for me, maybe I can just slip them on and head out. Better yet, maybe I should sleep in my clothes??? :)

3. Get to bed a little earlier
30 minutes earlier to bed could be exactly what I need. Ideally, I love getting in bed at 9:30 and drifting to sleep shortly thereafter. Lately, it’s been more like 10:30, so I feel like that may have a lot to do with wanting the extra sleep. Early to bed, early to rise, right?!

4. Meet a friend
I would never back out on a friend for an early morning run for sleep. If tibia scheduled, I’ll be there. I’ve been doing my weekend long run with a friend lately, and it’s been amazing!! The miles fly by and we have a great time chatting. Anyone up for an early morning weekday run???

5. Make lunch plans
As I mentioned before, I exercise at lunch frequently. If I make plans to do something else in that time frame, I have no choice but to get up and get my workout done before the sun comes up.

Anyone else working on waking up earlier?? Please share your tips with me!

Clearwater Distance Classic – half marathon recap

I received an email last week with a race confirmation – a race I had no idea I was actually signed up for! I have ran a few of the Florida Road Races events in the past, and had never had the chance to run the Clearwater Distance Classic. I picked up my race packet last week, and showed up Sunday for the race!

First off, we were given long sleeve cotton tshirts! How awesome is that! I love long sleeve tees, especially cotton ones! I know many people would disagree, but I was thrilled about this for sure!

Ok, back to Sunday morning. It took me about 30 minutes to drive over to the race from my house, so I gave myself plenty of time to find parking, get to the start line, etc. The race started right in the water in Coachman Park, so the wind made it pretty chilly. I found a wind free spot in the corner of a building, and stood with a few other runners while we waited until it got closer to the start.

Clearwater Distance Classic

The race name was changed this year to the Clearwater Distance Classic because it has a lot of different distances to choose from:
5k walk
5mile run
1/2 marathon
Marathon
50k

Since there were so many distances, the walkers were given a chance a start 30 minutes before the runners, to get a head start on the heat and for safety purposes. They all left at 6:35, then the gun went off for the runners at 7:05.

Clearwater Distance Classic

The first mile took us straight up and over the Clearwater causeway. Then, we all headed down Clearwater beach. I forget how extremely pretty it is over there. During the day, it’s probably my least favorite beach to go to. In the morning before everyone else is awake, it’s the perfect place to be. The race stayed right on the main road, so there were no turns or anything. Luckily, it does wind around a bit so it’s not just a straight shot into nothingness. We headed up and over another bridge to Sand Key, so that was another test for the legs!

Clearwater Distance Classic

Around mile 5, I think, we headed into Sand Key park, did a quick loop, and then were out back on the main drag. We turned around right around mile 7 and then headed back the way we came (minus the park loop).

Clearwater Distance Classic

It was fun to be able to see the other runners on the way back. The weather was perfect and cool, so lost people were in great spirits. It’s amazing how cool temperatures can really affect the looks on people’s faces!

Clearwater Distance Classic

Toward the end of the race, the bridge we ran up during the first mile reappeared, so we had to get back over it to the finish. I took my tiny steps and got up the hill, little by little. I was able to pass 2 other women on the ascent, and then it was time to head down. I completely opened up my stride and let my momentum take me. I absolutely hauled ass that last mile.

Clearwater Distance Classic

When we came down the bridge, we exited a bit differently than we had come on the bridge in the beginning. There was a twirly sidewalk that circled around, dropping us off at the bottom. I passed another couple of people on the sidewalk, and then the finish was right around the corner. I am guessing it was about 3/10 or so of a mile to the finish, so I went as fast as my legs would take me!

I crossed the finish line in 1:42:05, which equates to a 7:48 pace. I honestly blew myself out of the water with that one. After not running more than 5 miles since my marathon back in December, I wasn’t expecting much. It is pretty amazing what the body is capable of!

Clearwater Halfathon

The Florida Road Race Series is growing to be my absolute favorite in Tampa Bay. The race crew is fantastic and really thinks of everything! Thanks again for another fantastic race. I’m already looking forward to their next half marathon on March 22nd!