All About Anderson – 15 months

I completely missed Anderson’s one year update and here we are at 15 months.

AJ 15 months

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Anderson is just under 25 lbs and is 26.5 inches tall. His chunky legs are slimming down thanks to all of the running around he does. He is constantly on the go. Running, dancing and his favorite, climbing. I’ve never seen a toddler climb so much. I cannot turn my back for a second because he ends up in places like this.

AJ Climbing

Other than climbing his favorite things are balls, crackers, anything he can push or ride and books (though he doesn’t like to read them as much as flip through and then throw them).

Halloween was fun because he was totally into trick-or-treating. He squealed as he walked down the street in his lion costume to get candy for his little pail. He dumped out and put the candy back in for a good half hour when we got home. He’s going to be all over it next year.

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He is so much fun and so sweet, though has seemingly inherited a quick temper. His tantrums are my favorite. I have to try hard to not laugh. He used to throw himself back on the floor hitting his head. He learned that hurts so now he will fall to his butt, slowly lower himself down to the floor, then cry and kick. I have got to get it on video.

All of a sudden he can communicate his wants, needs and displeasure when something doesn’t go his way. He signs milk, more, please, eat, and sometimes, all done. He has started talking too. The things I can hear clearly are: momma, dada, Ella, ba (ball), more, do (dog), hi, buh bye, ow, ot (hot), boo (book) and bubble. It seems like he’s getting more verbal every day.

He loves to play especially pretending to have tea with Ella, ‘wrestling’ with daddy, playing peek-a-boo and sweeping. I have to hide the brooms otherwise he’s walking around the house with one all the time. Just trying to earn his keep I suppose. He also really likes to try to do things himself such as putting on his socks or shoes, brushing his hair and putting his jacket on.

We moved Anderson to the HandySitt at the big table which he was really excited about. He now gets his own plate and silverware. He seems to be a natural with a spoon though it gets a bit messy still.

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When it’s meal time, I can tell him to go to his big boy chair and he will run to the chair and start to climb up as I bring his food over. He’s good at following simple directions like that, as well as throw this away (loves that), get your socks, etc.

Sometimes he eats a ton, but lately, thanks to teething (he still only has two teeth), he’s been wanting to nurse more than usual. His gums are white where his top two teeth are trying to break through. His favorite food is peanut butter. I waited until about a month ago to introduce it and he loves it. Like mother like son.

Anderson is a lover. He will walk up randomly to Ella and give her kisses and hugs. His favorite time to do that is during her dance class. She’s happy to indulge him. He also LOVES to kiss and hug Lucky. He’ll be stingy with Josh and me, but Lucky and Ella, never. He does love to cuddle. I think his favorite spot is with me, of course, since I give him nice warm milk. He’s definitely a momma’s boy. We’re in the throws of separation anxiety which means when I even say I’m going to leave, tears start.

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When Josh gets home though, he’ll yell Dada and run to him with open arms. Josh face lights up. It’s so cute.

This is getting a bit long, but I feel like I have so much to share about my sweet boy. My cuddling, giggling, loves his family boy. My loves to give kisses boy. He’s growing so fast and while I love watching him develop, I’m not ready for him to be a toddler.

Four Things

As I wait for photos of Anderson to upload for his 15 month post, it’s time for a little Q&A courtesy of Kimberly. Here we go.

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

Mommy

Lobster

Captain

JDub…though this is slowly dying. It has been more than six years now since I was a Walker.

Four jobs that I’ve had:

Retail

Nanny

Marketing Manager

Consultant

Four movies I’ve seen more than once:

“Office Space”

“Love Actually”

“Grease”

“Zombieland”

Four books I’d recommend:

Gone Girl

Pride and Prejudice

One Hundred Years of Solitude

An American Tragedy

Four places I have lived:

Omaha, NE

Lawrence, KS

Denver, CO

Maple Grove, MN

Four places I have been:

London

Paris

Rome

Belize

Four things I don’t eat:

Pickled Herring – Josh has been trying to get me to eat it for years. I don’t really even like regular fish, let alone pickled.

Twinkies – Also cannot wrap my head around why any would want to eat these.

Tripe – I will never forget when Josh accidentally ordered it in Rome.

Coffee – I love the smell but I do not like the bitterness, not even the girlie Starbucks drinks.

Four of my favorite foods:

Cheese - Love love love cheese. Currently we have about six different types in our fridge.

Peanut butter – I eat it every day. When we travel and I don’t have any, I actually kind of miss it.

Indian – All kinds of dishes. Spicy, sweet, give them all to me with a side of naan so that I can get every last drop of sauce.

Chocolate – There is little self control when good chocolate, let’s be honest any chocolate, is around.

Four TV shows that I watch:

I don’t actually watch much now that we don’t have cable.

The Good Wife - recently started binge watching on Prime

Sons of Anarchy -  also watching with Josh on Prime

Parenthood - I’m a few weeks behind, but catching up.

The Today Show - That is unless the kids are up. Once the kids are up, the TV is turned off.

Four things I am looking forward to this year:

Quick vacation to Florida – Josh has training so we’re going to fly down to meet him. Not so much looking forward to flying with the kids myself, but excited to see the kids’ faces when we walk into Disney World. Oh and escape the cold for a few days.

Thanksgiving -By far my favorite holiday. What’s better than good food and family? This year we’re headed to Indiana to spend it with my mom, stepdad and siblings. Bonus, I might even get in a run with Kim!

Christmas – Again, food, family and tradition. We’ve been working on introducing our own little family traditions. Ella is starting to really get things like this. I’m so excited to do all things Christmas with the kids.

Spring – Yes it’s only been a week since we had our first snowfall, but unlike in Colorado, it’s going to be here until Spring. The day the last snow melts will be quite exciting.

Four things I’m always saying:

“Anderson, sit down, you’re going to fall.”

“Did you leave your listening ears on your pillow?”

“Good morning I love you” (kids and husband)

“I’m just going to run ….”

I’m supposed to tag people, but eh, share your fours!

Missing in Action

That’s me, as of late. I’m been so sporadic about posting. It’s a bit ridiculous. You see, finding time during the day is tough. When the kids are up I’m all about them. When they’re napping I’m all about work and cleaning up the messes we make. I have a few posts lined up, including a 15 month Anderson update and a life lately post. Can you believe we’ve almost been in Minnesota six months? I sure can’t.

Updates to come. :-)

New Routine with a Plan

Sadly I started this post two weeks ago. I really need to figure out how to blog in a timely manner.

I always struggle after a long training cycle with continuing a routine. Without a specific race to train for, I kind of just dilly dally my way through exercising a few times a week. Some of this is obviously training fatigue and recovery after a goal race. Some of it is just not knowing how to keep myself busy without getting bored. However, since we just joined a new gym I think it’s going to be different this time around.

We joined our local Lifetime Fitness. Beautiful gym, lots of nice amenities like a salon and spa, healthy little cafe, pool and free childcare. It also costs a small fortune. The cost plus, an nice incentive from our insurance company to go at least 12 times/month for a discount on the membership, have been enough to get me there as much as possible. I’ve tried some new classes, swam and hit the salon for a new do and massage.

Over the past two weeks my routine has looked something like this:

Monday – Cardio and some form of strength or Barre class

Tuesday – Run 3-5 miles (plus weights if I have time)

Wednesday – Swim for one hour

Thursday – Run 3-5 miles

Friday – Off

Saturday – Longish (9-10 miles) run with group

Sunday – Class or other cross-training

So far I’ve tried barre, cycle/sculpt and 50/50 cardio weights classes. There a several more classes I want to try including a variety of yoga classes. The kids really like the childcare area which is a nice bonus. One day a week Ella is also doing a Preschool Adventure Camp for 3.5 hours in the morning. This makes me feel a little less guilty about taking time for myself during the day.

We have just a few more weeks until Thanksgiving and one of several turkey trots in the Indianapolis area. I’m planning on doing a bit of speed work between now and then. We’ll see if a I sneak one more PR in this year.

Twin Cities Training – Lessons Learned

With a successful race under my belt, I always like to look back at my training.

I used the same plan (Less is More) that I did for Nike.Obviously I really like my training plan. It works for my body and I think it’s the primary reason I’ve gotten so much faster. Speed work does the trick! Not to mention, I came through training and the marathon healthy!

I don’t want to go into the ins and outs of specific training plan related things, but rather lessons learned this cycle.

1. Hills during training rock. For the first three months of training, I had some great hill workouts. Our temporary apartment was in a valley of hills which meant I ran up hill both ways during my runs. Once I got more involved with the running group and moved to Maple Grove, I did my long runs with the group at Elm Creek. The trail itself is paved with rolling hills. I really think the rolling hills combined with running in Minnetonka while in our apartment, made a huge difference in my ability to handle the hills during the race.

2. Talking during those long training runs really helps with respiratory fitness. Another benefit of training with the group, I got better at running and talking. To make sure we weren’t running too fast and frankly to keep the runs interesting, we chatted the entire time. As training continued, we found ourselves running 9 min/miles or under while talking. This meant when it came to race day and I wasn’t talking, I was hitting paces I wasn’t sure I would be able to for 90% of the marathon.

3. Caffeine and Alcohol do not agree with my stomach when I’m running for more than 90 minutes. As my runs got longer, I was having serious GI issues. I could not get through runs without stopping multiple times. First I tried cutting out booze for a few days before a run. Still having issues, so I cut out caffeine. I still had issues but not as bad. Once I cut all booze and caffeine for five days before my long runs, the problems stopped. Just to be extra safe, I didn’t have either for the two weeks prior to the marathon.

4. Gels should maintain your energy, not give you a boost. As my endurance increased, I found my need for fuel decreased. By the end of training I was able to run 10 miles without any gels or sports drinks. This wasn’t a goal of mine, but I do think it was beneficial as it helped me learn not to use gels for an energy boost but energy continuance. I never waited until I was tiring to take a gel. I took them at the same time during my runs whether I felt like I needed it or not.

Again, I stuck with what I knew gels wise. GU brand gels are the only ones I can stomach. I took the Salted Caramel, Chocolate Outrage, Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chocolate. As you can tell, I like it to taste somewhat like dessert.

5. You don’t have to hit the wall. For the first time ever, I didn’t hit the wall during the race. I never hit it during my long training runs either. I think this is for two reasons, I kept myself well hydrated and I figured out how to fuel my body. Pre-run, two pieces of peanut butter and jelly toast with water. During run, a gel every 7-8 miles (or every hour). After run, chocolate milk then whatever I’d normally eat.

6. Rethink that pre-race pasta dinner. Fearful of my stomach issues rearing their head on race day, I altered my strategy. While I ate a lot of carbs that week before the race, I didn’t go overboard. I needed to make sure I got in protein as well. I decided to have my big spaghetti dinner on Friday night, rather than the night before. I had leftovers for lunch on Saturday and then had a simple dinner of pork tenderloin, sweet potato and salad on Saturday night. On marathon day I didn’t feel overly bloated or full and no GI issues!

7. Cross-training makes me stronger. I have always sucked at cross-training when I’m training for a marathon. This time was different. I swam, did spin classes, walked a ton, did some weight lifting classes. I think all of these made me a much stronger runner.

8. Fall marathons are awesome! I’ve now run a spring, summer and two fall marathons. Fall marathons are hands down my favorite. The weather is great, the leaves are pretty and humidity is non-existent. Already looking for one to run next fall. I’m going to enter the lottery for Chicago, but want to have a backup considering I’ll likely not get into Chicago.