Thursday, January 6, 2011

Can you imagine?

Talk about a frustrating finish, in my opinion the race organizers should have done a better job in transitioning the vehicles off the route in the last few meters of the race, check it out for yourself

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 - Simplify my Life

This year is going to be a very different year for me, for instead of trying to see how much I can cram into my life, it is going to be one that involves a concept of whole life living, in other words being in balance with the body and the soul. The major catalyst of this change has been my health, in the last two years I seem to have caught every cold/flu bug out there and exerienced more asthma issues then I have in my whole life of having it. At the time I did not think I was over-taxing my body or that the demands I was placing on it were unreasonable for I attributed most of my illnesses to the children being in daycare, air quality issues within the house, allergies, etc. and not my self-imposed schedule per se. I realize now that all of these variables have contributed to my state of health and that under different circumstances that my schedule might not be unrealistic but put everything together it obviously is too much for my body to handle, at least right now. Also, one demand that I totally underestimated was the energy, mental and physical that is required to care for a child with severe special needs and the indirect stress it has on everything. So this next year is going to be clearing my slate as much as possible with extra-curricular responsibilities and expectations and focusing on activities that will allow me to rebuild my health, body and mind, which will ultimately allow me to be a better mom, wife and friend. So here is to getting down to basics and rebuilding from there....

1. No Courses - believe it or not this is a hard one, for I have always taken 2-3 courses a year outside of work for I actually love to learn and further my knowledge and really look forward to them. My husband thinks I am nuts for wanting to take them but hey what can I say we are so different. I should also mention that I am in the midst of pursuing my CEBS certification and have finished 2 out of 8 courses so far, so to take a year off is a sacrifice but in the spirit of simplifying my life I am committed to taking the year off in trying to find a better balance going forward.

2. No Run4Rett Event - I have been at the helm of a fairly large fundraising event for ORSA for the last 3 years and although the experience has been an incredible journey with respect to what we have been able to accomplish as a team and within the community, it is time to step down and take the immense amount of time usually dedicated to this event and instead use it to focus on my family.

3. Declutter, Declutter and more Decluttering - We moved into a bigger home almost 3 years ago around the same time I took on the first Run4Rett and although we have managed over the last 3 years to make some changes (don't know how we did this), I don't feel I have really had time to organize the house to my/our liking. It is almost like we just found a home for things just to get things unpacked and now I would like to go through every inch of my house and purge what we don't need and organize the rest so everything has its place going forward. I don't want to become a minimalist but I do want to be more conscious about what we have and what we bring into the house. I would like to complete this activity by end of April, so from there on in, we would be in a state of maintenance.

4. Running Goals -
a) Run a 10k PB < 57:41 minutes (I did this in 2008 when I was about 8-10 pounds lighter)
b) Run a 10 mile PB < 1:27:22 - TBD
c) Run a 1/2 M PB < 1:55 (Chilly Half - 1:56; Mississauga - 1:54; Lake Placid - 1:52)
d) Run a Full M PB < 4:15 (Chicago - 4:00)

5. Push Ups - to be able to do three sets of 60 full push-ups. Yesterday, I was able to do three sets of 10 which was a decent start. It is my plan to add a couple more each time every 2-3 days and eventually work up to the full 60.

6. To be able to say I eat Clean - I have struggled with my weight since having two children but this time I am 100% committed to making it happen. In fact I actually gained 8-10 pounds since starting marathon training after my second child. It is not that I haven't been committed in the past but I truly haven't put food, meal planning, etc. a priority. By removing a lot of activities from my normal schedule I am now truly positioning myself for success. Without saying, the by-product of this will mean developing a stronger immune system and thus experiencing fewer bouts of sickness, increased energy levels, being able to run faster and achieve my running goals, and the ability to fit back into my old clothes or new clothes in a smaller size than what I am wearing now. At this point I think it is realistic that I should and could be able to lose 12-15 pounds by the end of the year.

7. Budget - my husband and I have created a budget for 2011 and this year I actually would like to track our spending and ultimately adhere to the variable expenditure limits we have set. Initially this will mean weekly review sessions to see what we have bought and then conduct monthly reconciliation sessions. We have also given each other a monthly allowance to stick to for our personal spending, this one might be tough. Despite not tracking our expenditures in the past, we have always spent within our means and don't have any crazy debt issues. So what I am hoping to get out of this exercise is to understand where we are spending our money, change some spending habits so that we are truly buying what we need and minimizing waste, as well as to challenge ourselves to look for more creative ways to spend time as a family or as a couple without having to spend a lot of money.

8. Learning to play - this one is by far the most difficult goal that I am laying down for 2011. I have cleared my plate for 2011 to not only reclaim my health but also to really embrace my family. Part of this goal involves literally learning how to get down at my daughter's level and partake in the activities they really enjoy doing without worrying about the household chores, errands to run, etc. and instead be able to really stay in the moment with them. How will I know that I am successful? Since this is no intangible and personal, it will be based on what I am sure will be an ever ending journey of feeling comfortable while playing with them and not be mentally making lists in my mind of what needs to be done around the house.

9. Yoga - to re-establish a yoga practice. I actually taught yoga for 5 years and really, really enjoyed it but had to give it up when London was born for this was the time where we had to spend a considerable amount of effort in trying to get a diagnosis for Reilly. It was also impossible to try to maintain a personal yoga practice while looking after the two girls at home given their respective needs so I just shelved it as part of my past. So now I am mentally and physically yearning to develop a personal practice again. Without question it will take a bit of time to establish exactly what this will mean or look like but initially the goal is to establish a place within the house that I can claim as my meditation spot and to incorporate a couple of yoga sessions a week into my everyday routine.