Ever pack 3 days into one?

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I’m pretty sure I did that on Thursday and again today.

Today I had 8 things on my To DO list – some fun, some chores, some money making blog work. I did 5 so that’s not too bad when you consider I also spent time with the boyfriend.

Anyway – my whole money saving goal was a) blown out of the water this week and b) a life saver when I needed cash and had to shut down my bank accounts on a Friday night! (possibly to be explained later, but everything is OK now).

So yeah, I’m at $3  in coins right now, but it will all be replenished if not next week, then by 4/15 for sure (and then some, there’s another teaser that I cannot explain just yet either!)

Exercise mid week went MUCH better! You saw the routine that I posted – I did that VERY diligently for the first hour & a half of Biggest Loser and that ended up being more than 30 minutes of course (damn commercials!) I did the same routine again while watching TV Wednesday night though not quite as long. Still, my abs HURT after two nights of all that!

I’ve begun the last step in my volunteering journey. Going out in a blaze a glory as a co-parent liaison for the varsity football program at the high school. We met Thursday with the coach and outgoing liaison and I have another meeting tomorrow morning because we have to launch right into planning for the first spirit wear website setup and sales and the budget for next year. That’s my main role – finances – which is right up my alley of course.

Speaking of football – so remember that 16 had a bum knee last summer? Well, let’s be honest – not just last summer – pretty much since he was 11 or so only it was never bad enough, long enough for him to complain and request a doctor visit. Last winter/spring he finally did and went through an MRI and then physical therapy and a regimen of icing/ibuprofren and continued stretches to try and get the knee cap to get back on track without surgery. A year of that which included the two months of complete rest with the concussion and there is still no change.

Tuesday, he has arthroscopic surgery. Two small incisions and they will look around to see if the MRI missed anything and also check to see if there is anything physically keeping the knee cap from resting in the right groove. If so, they will clean that up. They may also perform a lateral pressure release which…I cannot entirely remember! Anyway, just 45 minutes supposedly though he will be under anesthesia and he will end up with a pretty painful and swollen knee for a few weeks. BUT – once that heals, the ortho is saying he will be good to go and play football one last year. And that’s the whole goal isn’t it? As I said when we were there for a visit in early Feb – “Doc, bottom line, he has one more year to play football. Senior year. He can start if he’s healthy.  This is what he has been dreaming about for his whole life – to play varsity football for the Falcons. What can we do to have him ready to play flag football with the team in May, get back to weight training and be full speed in the summer?”

Check in time is 6:30am – umm..say what? Is there a bed for me to sleep on? 🙂

Oh! I’ve picked up a writing gig to hone my skills and earn a wee bit of cash (for the play money fund most likely) $8 per purchased blog post. You search through the client list and find keywords and craft a 300 or so word post. If the client likes it and buys it – $8! I sold one this week and have 6 in the queue. 3 have been reviewed and are scheduled to be bought 3/21 – they get pulled every Thursday. It’s a fun challenge! You can either pick keywords that you know like the back of your hand such as the two I wrote last night on sports blogging and excel 2010, or you can try something totally different and take some time to research it a bit. I’m really loving it so far. I wont make Big Money with this company, but I will learn a TON. It is almost like landing an internship in copy writing/content writing. You have to cater to different companies across a vast spectrum of topics and style types. One company my LOVE your stuff and one might reject it. What I’ve learned from chatting in the forum with other writers is that once you find clients who like you and build up a rapport, you can almost count on them giving your posts 5 stars and moving them up in line to be purchased next.

First though, I need to have more than an hour at the end of every day to focus on it. In fact, I was supposed to block out some time today to do that, but it fell off the list. And now it is late….heck..really it is TOO LATE because we Spring Forward tonight! Yipes! That’s good though – it means I can run after work again instead of just on the weekends. Speaking of which, since I have a coffee meeting for football tomorrow I wont be joining Renee for the 3+ hour marathon. So instead, I joined her today out at Lake Hodges for a mere 90 minutes and 7 miles. Running out there the day after rain? AMAZING!

Lake Hodges

 

 

30 Minute, No Gym Bodyweight Workout from Greatist

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Find more bodyweight exercises at Greatist.com

I can absolutely CAN fit this in twice a week, right? Odd how I can create a new money saving habit, a new kitchen cleaning habit, and can push myself to run greater & greater distances on the weekends (even every day of a 3-day version), yet I am failing HARD at the mid-week full body workouts at home.

Ah well – March is a new month – let’s do this!

Another running thresh hold crossed

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Acacia

 

The acacia blooms are popping out all around. We saw an osprey with a fish in it’s talons flying around looking for a good spot to consume brunch. A hummingbird stalked us along one fence line. The ducks were doing interval flight drills from the center sand pit to the water and back – in unison of course. In other words, spring was springing out everywhere and yet it was just cool enough to be perfect running weather even with the sunshine.

Meanwhile we set out to make it another personal record Sunday. Audrey was there for the frist out and back (and out a little ways again to pop over her target distance) and Renee was on her last run of a very very long week of running so she stayed back with us most of the way and had fun taking pictures:

Heading out for the first loop.

Heading out for the first loop.

 

The low angle action shot - Audrey made me laugh as you can see - something about wishing she had shaved her legs :)

The low angle action shot – Audrey made me laugh as you can see – something about wishing she had shaved her legs 🙂

After sticking with it for 6.3 miles (!!) today, Audrey tapped out and went on her way. I dipped into my energy beans and went back out with Renee who had a 3 hour 15 run on her schedule. Don’t know what I was *planning* on doing, but all I know is that her sticking around with me and then Eve meeting us out during the last hour and using her fresh legs to pull us along, I ended up staying out the whole damn time. Which, for me was a grand total of 13.75 miles. Yup, blew away last week’s PR of 11.3 miles out of the water. And crossed that half marathon distance thresh hold. A line I didn’t think I would cross this year let along in March!

And – I even managed to keep on smiling even as I chugged up that last hill to the car.

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Consumer Report – graze and Happify

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Fun money update: $62.78 as of last weekend

Workout update: Oh, well..not doing so well mid-week still. Only did a 20 minute weight & ab workout one night. But..I ran 4 miles of hills on Saturday and then I ran ELEVEN miles on Sunday!! Yet another PR 🙂 It was double the fun because my friend Audrey who is just getting started running joined us for the first out and back and got her OWN PR by running more than 5 miles. Renee went 16 – I hooked back up with her on the second out and we ran back together (sort of…if she slowed down enough to let me be within shouting distance!)

Anyway………..it’s time for another round of Consumer Reports!

Two new companies crossed my radar in the last month.

The first was the result of a facebook recommendation – graze – a healthy snack company that ships out perfectly proportioned snack packs each week for just $5. This was the first box I received:

graze

Those apple cinnamon flapjacks in the top right corner? AMAZING! Everything else was really good too. And, like I said, the perfect serving size for my morning snack at my desk. When you go on the site, you can immediately start pre-rating the selections meaning they will control whether they send you items or not. Since I am a skosh picky (cough)….I immediately went through the list and marked all the items with banana or coconut as “never send”. I thought it was pretty awesome that since there is a little bit of a Russian roulette game going on when they choose your next box (you CAN go in ahead of time and control things too, but yeah…I’m rarely ever going to remember to do that weekly!) it is nice that I can eliminate some.

Week two has a nice mixture as well – all different flavors and types. Today I ate the “bonnie wee oatbakes with red onion chutney” and they were surprisingly yummy together!

The bottom line is – check out their site – they are in a trial launch in the U.S. right now. I got in via an invite and I’ve already given out the one invite they allowed me. But I think if they keep getting positive feedback from those of us already enrolled and then get tons of others submitting their emails for future sign up invites, then they will commit to the US 100% a lot faster.

And honestly – what was I bringing in or eating for my morning snack before? Something that easily cost between $1-2 per day and POSSIBLY was as healthy and fulfilling but most likely NOT.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Next up is a website called Happify. This one literally showed up in my in box last week. Despite the message that I put in my contact page here stating that I *do not* take guest posts because this is just a truly truly 100% personal diary type blog – I still get emails at least once a week.

Now, I am not rude – I don’t just delete them and leave them hanging like that.

OK – who am I kidding? I tried that tactic at first and it didn’t work because they FOLLOW UP dammit 🙂

I learned to kindly turn them down, wish them good luck and ask them to read the contact page note and send them on their way.

So when a Happify founder emailed me, I did read the message but when I saw it wasn’t a guest post request I was ABOUT to hit delete. I mean, me? On a site called Happify? Someone who makes merciless fun of people who constantly spout out puppies hearts and rainbows?

But…I had a moment of weakness/curiosity and checked it out, because – on the OTHER hand – I have been also trying to apply the Silver Lining rule to my mindset this year. There’s just so much in life every day that is out of your control, but you CAN control your reactions to those things. It turns out – this site is pretty damn in line with my way of thinking.

Check out the Science page – I love that they use Science! This is another site that is in the launch phase. I have no doubt that blogging in the category of motivation is what got me an email invite. So far, everything is free and I am not entirely sure what they are up to, but in the meantime, there is no harm to me to participate. In fact, this little site is adding to my life on a daily basis in nice little ways. Plus it asks me to do something I think I do pretty well – cheer on others. It’s always helped my own mental outlook to make sure that I pick up/cheer on/compliment people around me.

If you are at ALL curious about joining Happify – drop me a comment/email because I do  have 4 invites to this site and I think many of you would enjoy it.

That does it for this segment of Consumer Reports!

Now, I get to log off an contemplate how I *really* feel about the fact that the last person I interviewed for the temp job I have in my office started off this morning by saying “Oh, I knew it was you right away because you look JUST LIKE the photo of you on the internet I found after I Googled you!”

(!!!!)

At home workouts for the week

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Catching up from last week, I put $7.25 into the change fund so that is up over $44 as we rolled into Feb.

If I can keep up a $40/mo total I will be plenty happy at Christmas!

FWIW, what I do is get $20 cash every Sunday just to have something on hand for small things, usually snacks at work 🙂 When the following Saturday rolls around I empty out what is left into the change fund. Last week was a little lower because I had to give 16 money for school supplies he needed to get for the start of the the 2nd semester and I instructed him to shop after school for what he needed so he got $10 towards that.

Meanwhile, on the working out at home front – I have done three workouts in the last 6 nights.

The first night it was:

  • 90 squats (6 sets of 15 each)
  • 45 rows with 10lb hand weights (3 sets of 15 each)
  • 45 push ups (3 sets of 15 each)
  • 45 sit ups (3 sets of 15 each)

It was a rotation situation, but then I also added extra squats at the beginning and end because I really want to get my hill running legs built up.

The second night I worked on my arms using some bands and the 10lb weights:

  • 30 triceps pulls
  • 30 biceps pulls
  • 30 lat pulls
  • 30 shoulder presses

Finished up with hip flexor steps with ankle bands (40 steps) and then 90 seconds of bicycles for the abs.

 Tonight was totally without equipment of any kind:

  • 90 lunges (3 sets of 30) 
  • 60 cross over toe touches – eg: while standing you lift up one leg in front of you off the floor about 6 inches, then bend over and touch the lifted toe with the opposite hand. 20 sets of 3, 10 on each leg each set.
  • 90 mountain climbers (3 sets of 30)
  • 45 leg roll ups (from flat on your back keeping your legs straight roll up so that only your shoulders and head remain on the ground) 3 sets of 15
  • I warmed up with 20 squats and 100 jumping jacks, then did some more hip flexor steps before stretching

Each night’s workout was 30 mins long (no longer than 35 though) and I was sweating and growling through the last few of each set every night. I was damn sore after that first night for sure!

I took the first and third workout almost totally from the videos on this site:

http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/ironstrength-workout

The other one was from exercises we’ve done while cross training with coach Tanja over the years. I bought some resistance bands and hand weights so that I could duplicate a lot of what she showed us in the gym on my own time.

So far, so good! I’m trying to stay really disciplined keeping to a daily schedule of both work, chores, working out, and rest/reading/tv time. The workout tonight was MANDATORY no matter how tired I was and I am really glad I stuck to my plan.

Monday night was all drama because my car died on the way home from work and it HAD to get fixed because Tuesday night 16 and I had tickets to see The Who in concert. I bought those tickets in August for his birthday so we have been waiting a LONG time for this event and I couldn’t believe the car failed me so close to that! I guess that was still better than having it die ON Tuesday…anyway…it was thankfully a quick and not horribly expensive fix so we got to the concert without issue last night and it was FABULOUS as we expected but then that meant two nights of missing my routine so I to re-establish it tonight.

The aggressive work plan is already paying off  – I started out Feb having to enter 30 leases into the new system with just 19 work days in the month in addition to my regular work load. Less than a week later and I’ve knocked out 10 of those so now I have 15 days to convert 20 leases and I am a lot closer to a very manageable 1 lease per day rate.  The key has been working at home! Saturday I knocked off a LOT in just 4 hours and then because of the car situation I had to work from home on Tuesday and I got three leases entered all before 5pm! I know some people have a harder time working from home what with the various parts of the house calling out for attention (wash me! sweep me! dust me! pet me! OK, that’s the cats but still..) but I haven’t found that to be a problem for me.

IOW – I can ignore cleaning like a champ!

So, it was nice to take this mental break tonight and log an entry, but now I must shut it down and gear up for another three day push of tasks. Including getting new tires for the troublesome car on Saturday. Because, oh yeah, there’s chord showing through on the tread of the front tires. Nothing like crossing your fingers every trip out that nothing happens until then!

 

Riding in the sunset for a while

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Photo by @KCAlfredphoto 

Torrey Pines golf course at sunset.

I thought this photo was perfect – I was going to look for something that depicted “swamped” or “rat race” but really, in keeping with my NO Whining & NO Gasbags motto for 2013, I must say that while I will need to maintain a more intense level of focus and sticking to tasks for the next couple of months, it’s for GOOD reasons.

  1. My co-worker (staff member in my department) is having a baby in early April
  2. We have a new software program that will, over the long term, make her tasks a lot easier
  3. Technology will allow me to do a lot of work from home so that I can still make dinner, work out, and snuggle with cats here and there.

February and March will fly by. I’ve got to get all our leases into the new system before the end of this month so that we can spend next month tweaking with reporting and auto loads to the AP system for a more streamlined rent payment process (that will benefit two departments). I have to interview temp employees and hopefully have one chosen and working with us in March. On top of the usual tasks in these months of performance evaluations and budget planning for the next fiscal year. Wee?

Plus I need to keep posting on the pergola site once a week. Plus I’d like to run now and then. Plus, oh yeah, don’t I have kids and a boyfriend and stuff?

What that means is likely just weekly check in posts with the money & exercise habit progress reports and not much else. It means no Facebook except on the weekend maybe. I’ll post on twitter, but I wont be reading 100% of my timeline. I’ve currently got four books in my Kindle that I will use as complete down time breaks. I’ll take off all work of any kind on Sundays. But yes, I will be working at night and on Saturdays for the next month for sure, and possibly into March.

The payoff will be sanity while Tracy is on leave and beyond.

And it really isn’t that bad. 16 isn’t playing sports so there isn’t a pull there. His grades are not AWESOME, but they are also not HORRID this year and that is without me monitoring anything. We just had some wonderful, solid time together – all of us – while I was recovering from surgery.

Speaking of which – oh my goodness is it ever freaking awesome to be done with all THAT! Back to normal and feeling great. Phew!

Part of the responsibility of being a manager is having to cover vacancies and I am up for it. I actually really enjoy it as long as I have the space to focus on it. And it’s only for 4-6 weeks and as I check off each lease and task from the list, the load will ease.

I do have a 5k trail race on schedule for this Sunday so I will probably share pics from that – a new trail out in Mission Gorge that I am really excited to check out. Then a 6k trail even in late March at Black Mountain. SO not to worry – I’ll be getting some sanity restoring outdoor running time in 🙂

How could I not with that beautiful scenery above displaying just how wonderful it is to live in this beautiful part of the world?

 

Overcoming mental obstacles

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Motivation and fear are interesting things aren’t they?

The one pushes hard up against the other – who will win?

Well, it seems funny to speak of ‘fear’ when it came to my rather basic accomplishment I managed to achieve yesterday 🙂

For so many, making a video is easy. Second nature even. Hell, I didn’t even really make a video, but simply put together a slide show that I made INTO a video to publish on You Tube.  That’s why I had to post the video just before this – I am damn proud of that!!

I know that any sort of internet marketing experiment that I undertake is going to require multi-media content. Pictures and writing are one thing – video was totally foreign to me. So I’ve been really apprehensive about it – trying my best to find existing videos that will fill the bill (and don’t break some copy write rules!). But really, for a simple informative post like I had in my mind, I knew I had to create it.

Now, there is no sound – that will come with my second foray into the medium. After I was done I thought about at least having some boring music playing in the background, but since I had already spent three hours on the task, I was kind of done.

But, now after months of talking about it – I have done it! So, now the next one wont be so intimidating.

I’m motivated though – without making any huge effort at very much in the last few weeks obviously, two more books sold. Traffic to the site has plummeted in the winter months, yet whatever I am putting out there is breaking through often enough to keep me going. If we can keep this viable and get it even close to thriving, then I know we can do this for other people too someday.

Also, my day job is kicking into HIGH gear for the next 6 months. Yeah, that long…my co worker will go on maternity leave no later than end of March/early April and she will most likely not be back until July or August. Yep, mid-year end audit time!

Good thing I got all those evictions done when I did eh?

Oh yes, let’s see…my money habit update: Put $16.20 in the kitty today so that total after four weeks is $37.75

I’ll start the workout habit after the next trail run 5k one week from today.