New Year, New Challenge

Two timely posts in a row! I’m definitely on a roll. :0)

So as I alluded to in last week’s post, I’ve decided on my 2013 challenge. Now, I know that it’s cliche — new year, new challenge — but since I’m no longer gainfully employed by corporate America and spend my days tending to the two most precious children known to man (totally biased, I know), I need to find some way to retain just a bit of myself. It’s very easy to get caught up in taking care of the girls, so it’s really important that I have a hobby or two just for me.

Most of you who know me well know that I have an affinity for exercise (no, really?). I work out everyday — four days of running, one day of cross-training and three days of weight training — oh, and seven days of chasing after the littlest Henshalls. I have found that regular exercise is a great way to relieve stress, maintain focus on myself and stay in shape. Since I run so much, I figured that I might as well strive for something, so every once in a while, I sign myself up for a local race of some kind. For a while, I was favoring the 5k and ran several of them the year after Clara was born. And before I had the girls, I even ran a 10k in Dublin in June of 2006 — they call it the Flora Mini-Marathon, although it’s only a 10k. But, it was a blast and I was the first American to cross the finish line that day. And in an effort to prove that a c-section would not sideline my longest running passion (pun totally intended), I completed my first 15k this past September — The Run Around the Block on Block Island — less than seven months after Elyse was born. So, naturally, I must press on and run my first half-marathon on Mother’s Day of this year. Currently, my long run is 10 miles, so I figured another 3.1 miles is totally doable. After all, I still have 15 weeks to train.

So, training began this past week. After researching several half-marathon training options, I came up with the following plan (based on one I found online at www.pbfingers.com), which maintains my baseline run of seven miles a day while incorporating my cross-training and weight training. I decided to add one mile a week to my long run (on a rotating schedule), and will actually complete a couple of 13 mile runs before race day. I put together this pretty little schedule, which hangs on my bulletin board, to keep myself honest and on track.

Half marathon schedule copy

Template courtesy of http://www.pbfingers.com.

In addition to changing my fitness regime a bit, I’ve also been working on cleaning up my diet. I’ve found myself eating way too much sugar and not enough protein, so after doing a bit of research and a bunch of shopping, I’ve come up with some delicious ways to complement the increase in mileage each week. More to come on this next week!

Also, as promised, DTT is going to undergo a makeover. After blogging for more than a year and seeing that I actually get traffic each week (many thanks to all of you!), I’ve decided to revamp the site’s visual esthetics and will be unveiling its new look next week. So exciting!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with Elyse’s 11-month photo. SONY DSCI’m absolutely floored by the fact that she’ll be a year old one month from today. Truth be told, now that she’s approaching the one-year mark, I’m starting to get a bit frustrated/concerned with her lack of development in certain areas. I know that she was born about a month early, but I never figured that she wouldn’t be walking, nevermind crawling, by now. She can sit up and loves to stretch, stretch, stretch for things out in front of her, but she has yet to actually get up on her knees and take off. Thankfully, she’s finally cutting her first teeth. Recently, I realized that I have a really bad habit of comparing Elyse to Clara (well, at this age Clara was blah, blah, blah … ) that I must put to an end. As I’m learning, they are two completely different beings. Elyse does things in her own time; when she’s ready. Case in point: It took her six weeks to eat baby cereal. For six straight weeks, anytime we tried to feed her cereal, she’d just spit it right back out at us. Then one day, she swallowed it, liked it and hasn’t looked back. In fact, you should see how excited she gets when you put her in her high chair. She starts waving her arms around and says, “Mmmm.” It’s adorable. At least she seems to be on track verbally. She said her first word (MAMA!) in December and quickly followed it up with her second (dada) and third (hi) words. Smarty pants.

Well, that’s all of this week folks. It’s bedtime — time to feed Elyse one final time and relax on the couch for an hour or so before the day is through. As usual I’m happy to report that, “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one” — Dr. Suess.

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