Monthly Archives: August 2013

OBX Marathon Training: Week 9

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This post is a couple days late because I’ve been putting it off. I’m still upset about and recovering from what happened this week during my long run.

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Here is the weekly breakdown:

Monday: Rest.

Tuesday: 4 miles in 38:07 (9:31 pace). It was sooooo dark and foggy this morning that I was actually a little scared. I could barely see in front of me even using a flashlight. I had to run super slow to make sure I didn’t trip and fall. I couldn’t wait to be done!

Happy to be home after my run!

Happy to be home after my run!

Wednesday: 5 miles in 45:18 (9:03 pace). On the plan this day was 6 miles with the middle 4 miles at tempo pace (8:00 – 8:15/mile). I was planning to go in the morning like usual but then the baby was up all night and I could not drag myself out of bed when my alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. I was really frustrated because this has been happening a lot lately, and when I miss my runs I get really cranky. I had to go into work for a couple hours and was dragging the whole time, so I decided to leave a little early to get my run in. I went to the gym because it was so hot outside, and left Kevin with his babysitter a little longer. I felt very guilty about this, but he was napping anyway and I know that running makes me a better mom and wife- I needed it! Since I am not used to afternoon running my stomach didn’t feel great and I needed to stop and go to the bathroom halfway through. My body wasn’t feeling the tempo miles but I did manage to do 2 miles @ 8:13 pace with recovery in between. I cut it short to 5 miles also. Even though I had to modify it I was just happy to make it work after my setbacks and get a run in at all.

Thursday: Rest.

Friday: 8 miles in 1:18:23 (9:48 pace). Oh I had so many excuses before this run when my alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. It’s too early. It’s too dark. I’m tired. Maybe I’ll cut it short to 6 miles. Maybe I’ll do 4 before work and 4 after (would never happen!). But I got up and got ready and walked out the door anyway. It ended up being amazing. Yes, it was early and dark and I was tired, but there was something so peaceful about running when the rest of the world was still asleep. I did have to run slowly because it was difficult to see at times, but that was probably for the better anyway because I had my long run the next day. The miles flew by and before I knew it I was back home after 8 miles, all before the sunrise! NO EXCUSES!

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I took this picture to show how DARK it was outside! This was at the end of my run!

I took this picture to show how DARK it was outside! This was at the end of my run!

Saturday: 4 miles in 37:24 (9:20 pace). I had an 18 miler planned for this day. I chose to do it Saturday morning instead of Sunday because I had family coming into town and didn’t want to leave them for a few hours on Sunday morning. I was up early and decided to run 6 miles before meeting up with Amanda to do 12 more with her. I was in the zone and feeling amazing- it was the perfect temperature, I felt strong and excited for my long run. And then I tripped on an uneven sidewalk 😦 Yes, again. I landed hard on the end of the sidewalk/beginning of the street right into a patch of gravel. I limped over to a convenience store and washed out my bloody knees, hand, and road rashed shoulder in the bathroom. It was so painful and everything was throbbing, especially my left knee, which is the one that I hurt last time. I told myself I would run until the 4 mile mark (another 1/2 mile) to see how I felt but it was horrible. I had Amanda come pick me up to take me back to my car and made her go ahead without me, while I went home and got all cleaned up. I spent the rest of the day resting and icing my injuries.

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I spared you the pictures with all the blood… you’re welcome.

Sunday: Rest and Recover.

Week 9 Total:

  • Run: 21 miles
  • X-Train & Strength Training: none

I am super disappointed to have this setback this week. I felt like my training was going so well and I was feeling so strong, and I’m mad at myself for my stupid mistake that seems to keep happening. I can count 4 falls in the last 2 years! I think it’s partially due to having a lot of inner ear infections growing up that caused me to have balance and equilibrium issues. Either that or just plain clumsiness. But the good news is that since my training plan is 20 weeks long, I still have 11 weeks of training ahead of me. My goal for week 10 is to rest as much as I need to in order to let myself fully recover and not rush back into training too quickly. I want to let my body use all it’s energy toward healing and not stress it out more by running. I plan to take it easy and not run for a little bit because last time I pushed myself too fast after falling and ended up injuring my knee more, and had to take a whole month off to recover. I fell hardest on the same knee as last time, so I’m definitely worried about that. I’m writing this on Tuesday and I have a hard time walking up down stairs because it hurts to bend my knee, let alone running!

Thought for the week… I will get past this brick wall!


Day in the Life with an 11 Month Old

My amazing summer as a Stay at Home Mom is coming to an end and Kevin is now 11 months old. Here is a 24 hour snapshot of what life is like for us these days. I took these pictures on Monday, August 19th.

7:20 a.m. For the first time in FOREVER I wake up naturally and not to an alarm or baby noises. I didn’t have to run this morning and I was up with the baby for a little while in the middle of the night, so I took the opportunity to sleep in. It felt amazing. My boobs feel like they’re going to explode since I am usually up much earlier, so I pump… knowing that he will probably wake up as soon as I’m done. Kevin also leaves for work around this time.

7:40 a.m. I finish pumping and of course the baby wakes up. That’s okay though. I go to get him and am greeted by smiles. I love this part of my day! I change his diaper and we head downstairs.

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7:50 a.m. Baby has a bottle of the milk I just pumped.

8:00 a.m. I make myself oatmeal for breakfast, feed the cat, and drink coffee while Kevin plays.

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8:40 a.m. After I finish eating we go into the kitchen so I can make the baby breakfast. He has a waffle, egg, and applesauce (that I let him try to eat with a spoon- he’s gotten better but it’s still a work in progress). While Kevin eats I unload the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen a bit.

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9:20 a.m. Kevin finishes eating so we go upstairs for a diaper change, then I nurse him before his morning nap.

9:58 a.m. Baby’s asleep, so I go into productive mode. I finish cleaning up, plan meals for the week and make a grocery list (Kevin stops at the store on Mondays after work), start writing a blog post, and eat a snack of hard boiled eggs. Whew!

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11:25 a.m. Kevin wakes up after sleeping for an hour and a half, which is pretty typical. I change his diaper and then let him play in his nursery while I go through some of his clothes and switch out the ones that don’t fit anymore. I also try some of the next size up to see if they fit and they do. He’s getting so big!

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11:55 a.m. We head back downstairs, and I make us some lunch while he plays in his play area.

12:20 p.m. He eats. He has half of a hummus sandwich and some yogurt. While he eats I make my own lunch- a big salad. We listen to music and dance while we eat- one of Kevin’s favorite things!

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12:50 p.m. While eating my salad Kevin keeps trying to take pieces of spinach out of my bowl, so I give him one. He eats it immediately but isn’t quite sure how he feels about it…

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1:00 p.m. A little more playtime, followed by some snuggle time when he starts to get sleepy.

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1:40 p.m. I take him upstairs to change him and nurse him before nap #2.

2:15 p.m. I put him down and I decide to go lay down too. I only had a few days of summer left and I knew these opportunities won’t come again for a while!

2:35 p.m. And he’s awake? After only 20 minutes? That’s weird, usually his naps are anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but lately they’ve been on the longer side. I change a poopy diaper then try to get him back down but he is WIDE awake and I know it won’t happen.

2:50 p.m. I give up on getting him to nap and put him in the exersaucer in our room so I can get myself dressed and ready to run errands.

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3:30 p.m. We head out to run errands- we stop at the gas station, the pediatrician to pick up physical forms for daycare, and then to a few stores for 1st birthday party supplies. I was hoping he might nap in the stroller but nope- he was awake and happily munching on his cheerios. Doesn’t he look SO grown up in this picture?

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5:30 p.m. We get home from our errands and I nurse him for a few minutes and change his diaper. He always plays with his ear when he nurses- it’s really cute :).

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5:45 p.m. Dinner time! He has a black bean burger, roasted red peppers, and avocado. He loves all three of these things and eats all but a few bites of each.

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6:00 p.m. While he eats I make dinner for myself. Kevin (my husband) went to happy hour and dinner with a friend so I kept it simple with grilled cheese and roasted red pepper soup. It was delicious comfort food!

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6:30 p.m. We go into the living room to play for a bit until daddy gets home.

7:05 p.m. Daddy’s home! He immediately takes him up for a bath. It’s a little later than we usually start his bedtime routine but Kevin really loves giving him his bath and hadn’t seen him yet today so we let it go. After his bath he gets his lotion massage and I nurse him. While I do that Kevin puts the cloth diapers in the wash.

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7:45 p.m. I put baby down in his crib and he’s out. I go downstairs and have some of the s’mores pizza Kevin brought home from his happy hour. It’s sooooo good! Kevin’s dad also comes over to watch Monday Night Football.

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8:30 p.m. Baby is awake and crying. Unfortunately this is something that has been happening lately. For about a month now he’s been waking up once, twice, sometimes three times a night. He wakes up, cries, and stands in his crib. I don’t know if it’s separation anxiety or developmental milestones that he’s coming up on that is making him unable to stay asleep, but it’s getting bad. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to 2 hours or more to get him back to sleep. Thankfully on this night I just rocked him a bit and he fell back asleep.

8:50 p.m. I put the baby back in his crib and head downstairs to work on some projects for his first birthday party. We are doing a water/ocean theme since Kevin LOVES water, so I make some little “Octopop” party favors which are lollipops that look like an octopus. I also finally put his monthly photos in a frame I got last year at my baby shower. It only took 11 months! I’m going to display this at the party too.

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9:40 p.m. I go upstairs way later than I wanted to (typical). I get ready for bed and pump. I’m still pumping before bed until his first birthday so I can have enough milk for his 2 bottles he gets while at daycare.

10:15 p.m. Sleep!

2:10 a.m. And baby’s up again, crying, and standing in his crib. I go in and repeatedly lay him back down but he just gets more mad. I try to rock him and it doesn’t work. Eventually I get Kevin and have him try. He’s asleep within 5 minutes.

2:45 a.m. We all go back to sleep.

5:00 a.m. My alarm goes off and I am so tired. But I know this is my only chance to run today because I have to work, so I pump, get ready and head out the door.

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5:30 a.m. RUN!

6:08 a.m. And I’m back after a good 4 miles and am so glad I went! I stretch for a few minutes and then hop in the shower and get ready for the day.

6:33 a.m. Baby’s awake! I get him changed and dressed and then nurse him. Kevin is downstairs making me breakfast, and packing up my lunch, Baby Kevin’s breakfast, lunch, and bottles (best husband ever) for the babysitter. I quickly eat and drink my coffee and make sure everything’s packed in the diaper bag. It’s pretty crazy and hectic since I forgot to prep all of this the night before!

7:30 a.m. We leave the house so I can drop the baby at his babysitter’s and head into work. WHEW!

24 Hour Totals

  • # of feedings: 6 + 3 meals of solids & 1 snack. He is still very much into nursing these days!
  • # of diaper changes: 8
  • # of outfit changes: 2
  • # of hours of sleep for mom: ~6.5 (<- not enough AT ALL!)
  • # of hours of sleep for baby: ~12 hours (2 hours daytime + 10 hours nighttime)
  • # of hours spent nursing: ~ 2 hours
  • # of hours spent pumping: About 40 minutes total
  • # of formula ounces eaten: He hardly ever needs formula anymore 🙂
  • # of breast milk ounces eaten: 6 ounce bottle on the first morning and the rest directly from me

Previous “Day in the Life” posts:

OBX Marathon Training: Week 8

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Week 8 is complete! It was a cooler week temperature-wise and I was feeling speedy 🙂

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Here is the weekly breakdown:

Monday: Rest. I almost always take Mondays off after my long run on Sunday.

Tuesday: 5 miles in 45:05 (9:01 pace). I have to say I am really liking these progression runs! They give me a goal to work towards, keeps things interesting, and push me! I think I’m finally learning how to be patient when running and not go out too fast. It’s definitely paying off. Splits were 9:44, 9:11, 8:59, 8:47, and 8:24.

Wednesday: 25 minute walk. It was a beautiful cool day so I went for a walk with Kevin in the Ergo carrier. He still loves being in there even though he doesn’t look very happy in this picture 🙂

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Thursday: 7 miles in 1:02:53 (8:58 pace). On the plan today was tempo intervals! I was supposed to do a warm up, 6 x 4 minutes in Zone 3 (10K pace, which is 8:00/mile), with 3 minutes recovery between each one, then a cool down. I am happy to report that I did exactly that and it felt great! After last week’s failed attempt at intervals outside in humidity and hills, I decided to warm up and cool down by running to and from the gym (1.15 miles each way). Then I focused on my intervals on the treadmill. I wouldn’t say it was easy to maintain that pace for 4 minutes, especially in the last few intervals, but it didn’t feel bad either. I actually kind of loved this run!

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The treadmill portion of my run

Friday: Rest. I was supposed to do an easy 3 miles this day but I was up with the baby again for a few hours during the night. I opted to sleep in a little longer instead.

Saturday: 3 miles in 26:48 (8:57 pace). I did my 3 miles this day since I didn’t do it the day before. It felt amazing outside! Running at an 8:30 pace felt easy for the first time in months thanks to cooler temperatures. I had to slow myself down on purpose since I had a 10 miler the next day that I wanted to race hard. I wanted to keep going though!

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Sunday: 10 miles in 1:21:13 (8:07 pace). I ran the Hartwood 10 Miler and it was one of my strongest races ever! Read my recap here.


Week 8 Total:

  • Run: 25 miles
  • X-Train & Strength Training: 25 minute walk

All of my runs were at a pretty fast pace for me this week (average paces were 9:01, 8:58, 8:57, and 8:07). That’s because the temperature outside dropped pretty dramatically, which I am super thankful for. I am finally able to see the results of all the hard work I’ve put in this summer. Running at my pre-pregnancy paces is finally starting to feel easier and I am so excited about that!

My goal for week 9 is to keep training while easing myself back into working. I have to go into work 3 days this week before starting back full time next week so I’ll get to do a little trial of how it’s going to be to run in the mornings, take baby to daycare, and get myself to work on time. I am excited for my long run, which will be 18 miles (a distance I haven’t seen since January 2012!) and I’m doing 12 of those miles with Amanda!

My thought for the week- so fitting after the awesome race I had. One of the things I love most about running is being able to see myself improve and get stronger. It’s not about other people for me, it’s about becoming the best version of myself that I can be.


Hartwood 10 Miler [2013]

This morning I ran a small, local 10 mile race called the Hartwood 10 Miler. I decided I wanted to do it in place of my long run this weekend, really race it and push myself. All summer it has been hard to tell if I am making progress with my training since it’s been so hot and humid. I knew this race would be a great opportunity to see what I could do because it was cool and rainy- perfect running conditions in my opinion. I am ecstatic to report that I PRed by almost 8 MINUTES and had an amazing, perfect race. Read on for details!


I woke up to my alarm at 5 a.m. feeling rested and ready to run. My in-laws were visiting and my mother-in-law took over baby duty for the night since he has been waking up a LOT lately, and it was very much needed since we had slept a total of 10 hours the previous 2 nights (ugh!). I woke up to the sound of rain outside my window. I wasn’t very worried because I’d rather run in the rain over heat and humidity any day. I pumped, got myself dressed, drank coffee, ate a Luna Bar, and headed out the door at 6:15. Kevin was coming to meet me later once the baby had woken up and had breakfast. I didn’t want to wake my whole family just to have them come stand in the rain for a while.

I drove about 20 minutes to the start of the race, which was at Curtis Memorial Park in Hartwood, Virginia. On my way in I passed mile markers 7-10, and I could see that the course was going to be beautiful and consist of a lot of rolling hills. Once at the park I met my friend Amanda (the one I am training for the OBX Marathon with) and we chatted, used the bathroom and got our timing chips. It was raining lightly and I was kind of chilly in my shorts and tank top, but I knew I would be feeling good once I started moving. Pretty soon after that it was time to start, so we lined up with about 200 other people and were off at exactly 7:15 a.m.

I have only done two other 10 mile races, Broad Street and the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. Both of those are HUGE and very crowded races. One of the reasons I was excited for this one was because it was small. While large races can be really fun and exciting, I love the feel of small, local races and this one definitely reconfirmed that for me. It was great- it started right on time, it was an awesome course, not crowded at all, and I was surrounded by super friendly and encouraging people (runners and volunteers). I loved it.

My goal was obviously to PR, which I knew wouldn’t be too hard unless something bad happened. My 10 mile PR was 1:28:57, so I just had to run faster than an 8:54 pace. I was shooting for between 10K and half marathon pace, which would be between 8:00 and 8:20 per mile. The weather conditions were perfect for this, and it felt pretty effortless to run at that pace. I made sure to start a little slow and work my way up to faster, thanks to all the progression runs I’ve been doing for teaching me patience!

  • Mile 1 – 8:27
  • Mile 2 – 8:13
  • Mile 3 – 8:13
  • Mile 4 – 8:06
  • Mile 5 – 7:57
  • Mile 6 – 8:01

The course was definitely rolling, but I actually liked it that way. I’ve always been good with hills because of where I live, and they were gentle enough that they didn’t kill my legs. The downhills felt great too, and the hills kept the big looped course really interesting. I couldn’t believe how effortless it felt to run at a low 8, high 7 minute mile pace. There were times I looked down at my Garmin and saw low 7s, which is way faster than even my 5K pace. I realized how much all my hard work this summer has paid off. I was finally seeing the results I had been looking for!

When I signed up for the race the course description read that miles 6-9 were very hilly. This is the section that I had driven in on so I knew they would be, and it definitely was a challenge running those bigger hills on tired legs. They just kept coming and coming, and I tried my best to power up them, coast down the other side letting gravity help me, and make up time by pushing on the flat sections. A man came up behind me and told me I had been a great pacer for him so far in the race and that he could barely keep up with me. That was a nice little confidence boost :). Then he passed me, haha!

  • Mile 7 – 8:14
  • Mile 8 – 8:15
  • Mile 9 – 8:04

During the hilly section in mile 9 I got another little confidence boost when I passed another man and he said, “Way to come back from those hills- great job!” The runners were all SO NICE. They were all saying things like, “Nice pace!”, “Keep it up” and “Looking strong” as they passed by one another. It was so awesome- I’m not sure I’ve ever done a race where everyone was so encouraging. It was definitely a community feel rather than competitive.

At mile 9 I got the best surprise when I heard cheers coming from a car driving next to me (one lane of the road was open to traffic). It was Kevin, my mother-in-law, and the baby! They were coming to meet me at the finish and happened to see me along the route. Kevin pulled over and jumped out to take some pictures, then continued to drive along side of me for a few minutes when I entered the park.


I’ve been working hard at finishing my runs strong, and this race was no exception. I gunned it to the finish, making my last mile the fastest of them all.

  • Mile 10 – 7:43
  • Finish Time – 1:21:13 / 8:07 average pace

I was ecstatic when I was done. I had just PRed by almost 8 minutes, and I felt AMAZING the entire time. Plus my family was there to see it all. I was super proud of myself and so happy.



I am so lucky to have a family that supports my running so much. I could never get out the door to run as much as I do without Kevin’s help and encouragement. He is the best husband I could have ever asked for!


After about 20 minutes Amanda came through the finish line, right on target with her goal of 1:40. This was huge for her, because she had done a 15K (9.3 miles) previously, and she had finished the 10 miler faster than her 15K time even though it was a longer distance. This was also her first 10 miler. She is awesome!



My OBX Marathon running buddy!

All of the finishers received this glass, which I thought was really nice. Who doesn’t need more drinking glasses? We always do!


This race was just what I needed to boost my confidence for the remainder of my marathon training. It showed me that all of my hard work this summer is paying off, and that I am faster than I give myself credit for. Now my head is swirling with possibilities. I plugged my new PR into the McMillan Running Calculator and it estimated that I could run a 3:47:59 marathon based off my time today. Could I really do that? My first thought was no way, but I just honestly don’t know. I guess time will tell!

Off to enjoy some post-PR endorphins 🙂

Back to School Resolutions

As sad as I am for summer to be over because I don’t want to leave my little boy, there is something great about beginning a new school year. Even though I am a teacher now and no longer a student, I’ve always loved the idea of having a ‘fresh start’ and setting new goals.


It is no secret that I REALLY struggled last school year. It was by far the most challenging in my 5 years of teaching. I started the year 37 weeks pregnant and in a brand new position teaching 5th grade- two very stressful things! I made it through the first week of school and then unexpectedly had my baby two weeks early. I went on maternity leave for 8 weeks then came back and struggled to catch my kids up since they had basically been with a babysitter the whole time I was gone. Between work stress, breastfeeding and pumping issues, and a few less than supportive colleagues, I had a very hard year. I could not wait for it to be over and counted down the days until June 19th.

I have had an amazing, refreshing, and revitalizing summer. It was perfect. All year I felt like a zombie, and now I feel like me again- physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m ready to start fresh and hopefully have a better year than last. I’m already off to a good start by not being pregnant on the first day of school this year :).


First day of school last year

I am determined to make it a better year, so I decided to set some goals for myself, to help me stay focused and remember what is important.

  1. Disconnect from work when I’m not at work. As a teacher it’s really hard to not take work home with you. I did that so much last year and it really took away from my family time. I regret it because I missed some of my baby’s first year because I was caught up in worrying about work at home. I won’t be doing that this year. I am going to try my best to disconnect once I leave. I’m going back to teaching reading as a reading specialist this year and that should help, because I won’t have my own classroom anymore. I am so happy to be back in a position that I LOVE!
  2. Make the most of my time with my Kevins. As a working mom I am away from my baby and husband for at least 9 hours a day during the week. When I get home we only have a few hours before we have to put the baby to bed. I really want to focus on making the most of those hours with my boys and enjoying them to the fullest. It doesn’t always have to be about the quantity of time that you have, but the quality of it and the way you spend that time.
  3. Remember my priorities. First comes family, then work, then running. In my perfect world, it would be family, running, then work, but I have to put my work higher because it pays the bills and provides us with health insurance 🙂 Also, I do take my job as a teacher very seriously. It takes a lot to teach little minds and it is important to me. But family ALWAYS comes first. Above all else. Sometimes that requires making sacrifices in other areas of my life, like work and running, and that is okay. It’s so worth it.
  4. Make the weeks easier by prepping for them on Sunday. This is an important one to me. Last year I rushed around like a crazy person every morning and evening trying to get things prepped, cleaned up, and ready. This year I plan to use my Sundays to get food prepped (eggs hard boiled, veggies chopped and ready to put into a salad, meals planned out, lunches made, laundry done, house cleaned, etc.) This will allow me to really make the most of the time I have at home in the evenings, and it will make the mornings less stressful.
  5. Sleep. With waking up early to run while training for this marathon it’s going to be super important for me to make the effort to go to bed earlier. My commute to work means I have to be out the door and running around 5 a.m. I know myself and I know I don’t function well on little sleep. I don’t work as hard and I get cranky and frustrated easily at work and at home. I can’t let that happen this year. Sleep needs to be a priority.
  6. Don’t forget to take care of myself. This one goes along with sleep, but it’s more than just that. As a mother and a teacher and a wife I felt like last school year I was constantly worrying about everyone else, and I really neglected myself in a lot of ways. I didn’t eat well, I didn’t hydrate enough, I didn’t exercise very much, I didn’t sleep… by the time summer hit I looked like I had aged about 10 years, no joke. After a summer of R&R and trying to take care of myself again, I’m feeling (and looking) much better. I can’t let that slip this year when I’m busy caring for others. I can’t do a good job in those roles if I don’t take care of myself first.

Many of my goals overlap with one another and they all have one common theme: to reduce stress and increase happiness. I am hopeful that I will have a much better school year and I will be able to enjoy each day rather than dread it. Here’s to new beginnings!