Wining Wife®

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Triathlon Training, Here I Come!

Triathalon reference material

triathlon reference material

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around, thinking about how best to lose the pregnancy weight, and the pre-pregnancy weight that was hanging out after my bout with tendonitis.

I cannot remember what it was that made me say, “Hey, this would be cool; I’m going to do a triathlon this year.” It was something! Swim ~ Bike ~ Run – what a way to get back into shape!

So, I went in search of some triathlon reference material. I already had several books on running, but recently found the book Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals at a used bookstore. The great thing about this book is that it has workout plans. Before I can even think about starting to train for a triathlon with Wining Husband (yes, I rope him into every adventure I undertake…we walked across fire on our wedding night, after all), we need to get into good cardio shape. This book takes readers from not running at all to triathlon. It may not be this year, but we are definitely going to do a triathlon. (And hey, I have my designs on doing a half-marathon at some point as well).

So while we’ll focus on the walking to running part at first, I’m looking forward to swimming again. I’ll need to get ahold of a swimsuit and eventually a bike as well. Since I have no delusions that we’re just doing this to finish, neither of those items will probably be particularly expensive – just enough so that they are safe and get the job done.

I’m really excited. Our first workout is tomorrow night.

Have you trained for a triathlon? What was your experience with it?

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Do You Incorporate Interval Training into Your Workouts?

Do you use intervals when you work out?

Do you use intervals when you work out?

Whenever I’ve begun a running regimine, something I’m taking a break from due to an injury and pregnancy due (doctor’s orders…), I use interval training as a great way to get back in shape and increase my stamina. What I wasn’t expecting was to read the article “Interval Training Makes You Efficient At Work” at Business Insider. Evidently intervals aren’t just good for your body – whether you’re starting out or you’ve been running for a while, but they’re also good for your mind.

You can bet that when I begin running again I’ll start out interval training, especially as I build up to 5k races again once baby is here (did I mention I want a jogging stroller?) Intervals consist of 30-60 seconds of running combined with an equal amount of walking.

The gist of the article by Tony Schwartz is that we can apply the same sort of strategy to our workday. Work hard in shorter bursts followed by short bursts of relaxation. Before you laugh and say that it sounds like a good way to justify playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook between meetings, it appears that the research supports this hunch just as it shows that interval training is much more effective in sports training.

What do you think? Do you use intervals when working out? Do you use intervals when working? I have been known to “Speed Date” my tasks when I feel overwhelmed by my to-do list. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 5 minutes (and how many small tasks can be knocked off your to-do list in 5-minutes or less!).  I know that once baby comes, I’ll be out there pounding the pavement again!

 

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New Years Resolutions: January – Health

It’s that time again – time to reflect on the year past and make plans for the upcoming year. Last year, 2012, had a lot of really good things and a lot of not so good things (as many years do). Most notably, Wining Husband and I got married and walked across fire together. We started our New Years off right with one of my best friends from grad school by doing a Polar Bear swim. Here we are:

Anyway, it got me thinking – well that, and this neat idea I saw somewhere on Pinterest where you write about happy moments and put them in a jar, then read them aloud on New Years Eve – that I should make some sort of resolutions. But instead of making a year’s resolutions, I thought I’d do things on a monthly basis – Happiness Project style. So, this month will be health. I want to run 13 races this year. I’ve signed up for my first one. I also want to cut back portion sizes – we eat pretty healthfully, but we eat large portions. I’m also intending to do yoga a couple times a week, and it would be nice to get outside and active more…so I’m going to make a rule that I need to walk somewhere each day. Since I’m doing races, I’ll need to train – so that means running every other day.

What are your resolutions? How are you going about making them happen?

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Thanksgiving 2012

Ah the list of things I am thankful for – it’s that time of year again. I like to make sure I give credit where credit is due, and let’s face it, making gratitude lists don’t happen enough – this practice should happen on a regular basis. It’s good, though, that we do have a holiday during which it is common practice to express gratitude.

I begin my expression in a spiritual way, for I am a spiritual woman. I thank you, God, for

  1. God – because God is good, and I’m glad he is always looking out.
  2. My wonderful husband and son. Both of you are always there right when I need a smile – and in totally different ways. You guys keep me going, even when the chips are down. Wining Husband, you’re the most positive, optimistic person I’ve ever met, and I love you for that…and your laugh…definitely thankful for that. It’s freaking contagious. Tiger boy, your smile lights up a room. Literally. I think it has the power to bring the power back on in a black out. You two are both incredibly special to me, and I don’t know what I’d do without either one of you. Therefore, I intend to enjoy every moment I can with you.
  3. Friends and family far and near – I have a LOT of friends, while the number of close friends living far away from me far outweighs the number of friends living close by, that doesn’t make anyone any less special or important in my life. You guys have been a great and powerful force in my life, and I am so, so thankful for each and every one of you for reasons as diverse as the people you are.
  4. My beautiful home. Sure it’s not the cleanest or most organized place at the moment (um…Tom the Turkey kind of took over this week). But that doesn’t matter. I love the cherry floors, the warm walls, and most importantly the memories housed between the “four walls.” It’s definitely a great place to be and work.
  5. My 3 kitties. They make trouble. They can be nuts, but they also are always ready to curl up on your lap the moment you’re starting to feel a bit lonely in the world. It sounds goofy, but Stripes, Lady, and LuLu are great companions.
  6. My career – it’s been a rough year. Last year I was given advice never to go into business with friends. I know why now. That being said, I feel stronger and better than ever when it comes to knowing what I want out of my career. I love writing, I find joy in it, and I’m thankful to have projects to work on that are exciting and fun.
  7. Food – it nourishes the body. Like anything, in excess, it can make one sick, but in moderation, it can be amazing. We had an absolutely decadent Thanksgiving this year. That being said, none of us “stuffed” ourselves, and I’m happy to have the next little while off from cooking duty. Food is tasty, nutritious, and fun to share with loved ones.
  8. Wine – Tonight we started with d’Arenburg’s Hermit Crab with appetizers and our parsnip-apple soup, then moved on to Chateau Ste. Michelle‘s 2008 Ethos Chardonnay with the pasta and then the salad. The main course featured Antigal Uno 2009 Malbec. We plan on opening a port with dessert. Wine can enhance dishes like nothing else. It’s best when enjoyed in moderation, of course.
  9. Movies and old TV shows – there’s no better way to wind down at the end of  a long day (or a cooking marathon) than sitting down with family and enjoying a movie or a fun TV show. Except…
  10. Books – I love books. I love reading books, I love writing, I love editing books. I guess you can say I’m a bibliophile.
  11. Life and relative health – It’s good to be alive. I mean, it means I get to enjoy my family, friends, food, home, wine, etc. Additionally, even though I’m still dealing with quite a few issues from a reaction I had to a medication in March, it’s nice that we’re finally getting to the bottom of what works in terms of healing. I’m thankful for that.
  12. Health insurance. See 10
  13. My camera – it makes it so I can take lots and lots and lots of pictures of our life as it happens.
  14. My computers/technology – as much of a headache as these are, it’s nice to know that they allow me to communicate with others and run my business.
  15. The Internet – it’s great to be able to research foods that are local, in season, and organic. Plus, see number 13.
  16. The vast amount of knowledge available. Sometimes it can be small or overwhelming, but it’s always out there.
  17. Autumn – it’s my favorite season of the year.
  18. All of my clients. You guys rock. Seriously.
  19. Electricity. Without it, there wouldn’t be the lifestyle that we have today. It might look like the TV show Revolution it might look like S.M. Sterling’s Sci-Fi vision. Who knows, I’m just happy it exists.
  20. Sleep – I love sleep. Who doesn’t?
  21. Running – I love to run. It’s been too long since I’ve done a 5K. I’m looking forward to the next one – AND – to training for a 10K.
  22. The couch I currently sit on – because oh my goodness it’s comfortable.
  23. My readers – you guys are pretty cool for reading what I have to say.
  24. Shoes – and for that matter clothes – because, well, I have a bit of a problem lol…and even though I try to not be materialistic, I’m still pretty fabulous when it comes to these things…
  25. President Obama – Because things are getting better, economy wise. I can feel the hill climbing.

I could list so much more. So, so much more. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.

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Running after a Break

My ribbon and I!

My ribbon and I!

When you start running again after a long break, it’s important to ease back into it. Otherwise, you could end up with muscle cramps – or worse – a knee or ankle injury. Instead, you’ve got to start out slow and build up slowly and steadily over a period of several weeks.

As you may be able to guess, I jumped right in. My calves and ankles were very unhappy with me – both because of jumping right in and because of lingering effects of a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic medication. It reminded me of how important it is to build up. But I’m determined! I love running as a sport, and I’m looking forward to beating my old times.

It was excellent to get a ribbon after having a long break, but after my run today, I’m aware that I’ll need to build slowly in order to avoid a running injury. I tend to like the Cool Runnings Couch to 5K programs – but Runners’ World and Spark People also have good 5k training programs to get you re-started on a routine.  It’s really helpful to have a variety of programs to work with so that you can start exactly where you’re at when your feet hit the pavement.

If it’s been a while since you’ve run, what do you do to get yourself started again? Is there a program that you follow or do you do hit the pavement and let your body dictate the training program?

 

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Commentary: Talking to Chairs and the War on Women

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood (Photo credit: filmhirek)

 

So…the Republican national convention…and Clint Eastwood, talking to an empty chair…happened. I’m concerned. I’m concerned for a lot of reasons, the biggest reason is that the Republican party seems totally out of touch with what we need as a nation. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Democratic party gets it either, but at least they try. As a woman, as a woman who has recently had a slew of health issues that have cost us, as a family, a lot of money to try to diagnose, I believe that our healthcare, as in every other nation, should be guaranteed to citizens of the United States. Australia, a land where English criminals were exiled to, even has healthcare for its citizens; you can buy extra healthcare options, but basic care is guaranteed.

 

It seems strange to me to not want to subsidize birth control when you’re a republican. I mean, we need to be concerned about population – for a multitude of reasons: economically, socially, job-wise, health-wise, food-supply wise, sustainability wise. It makes no sense to me that a political party that opposes abortion and welfare also opposes birth control. What should we do with the people who have unplanned pregnancies because they can’t afford the costs of condoms or birth control pills? It’s not enough to say they shouldn’t be having sex. Millions of married couples can’t afford basic contraception. They rely upon unreliable methods (early withdrawal) as birth control methods. Then what happens? Then we have a nation consisting of welfare recipients, which costs more over the long-run than providing free and low-cost birth control options. We could ward off abortions if we provided reliable access and education when it comes to birth control.

 

I’m a member of a different party, and it’s not really relevant to this post. What I do find concerning is the level of hypocrisy I’ve seen in the news reports. I mean, if we want to save money, and cut welfare costs, why not offer free and low-cost birth control options? Otherwise, we wind up paying higher taxes, all of us, in order to support children who wouldn’t be here if their parents have better planned for them.

 

Also, domestic violence is a real issue. I’m over women being victim-blamed for being single parents. So we’re supposed to allow unhealthy men to rape us and beat us? I don’t think so. I would make the decisions I have made that led me to raising a son alone until just a year ago a thousand times. It is so much better my son and I be safe than my son witness his mother being the victim of a crime. Why is it so bad to help women who are unfortunate victims of this heinous crime get back on their feet? Why force a woman who has already been a victim of a terrible, violating crime, rape, to have a child? I’m not a fan of abortion, however, I don’t think that women who have been victims of these crimes should be further traumatized by unwanted pregnancies.

 

I think there is a distinction between “unwanted” and “unplanned” pregnancies. Often those who have not planned on having children will go ahead and have those children.

 

I realize that I’m quite opinionated here. Also, what happened to decorum and maintaining a reputation? It used to be, and I’m not that old, that people actually cared about what people said about them.  Nowadays, it seems like people have lost that sense of maintaining a solid reputation. How can we expect that of our citizens?

 

I’m stepping off my soapbox now. What did you think? Please post your comments in the comments section (and please, be civil to one another. Many of us are all citizens of the same country.)

 

 

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Relaxation After a Long Week

Relax

Relax (Photo credit: Orethorn)

 

When you’ve had a long week, nothing feels better than to relax. So often, our lives are hectic and we don’t allow ourselves time to just veg out in front of the television with a baseball game (or tv show, or movie) on. Instead, we begin filling our heads with the “shoulds” of life. “I should clean the kitchen,” “I should call this person,” “I should organize my penguin collection.” Whatever the “shoulds” of your life are, I want you to take a moment and give yourself permission to do nothing. Grab your favorite beverage and snack, put your feet up, and just be.

 

Why is it so hard to relax, especially when a week was particularly busy? Is it because we become so wound up with our own busy-ness that we forget how terrible stress is to our bodies? If we don’t listen to our bodies’ needs to relax, well then, we will become sick, overly fatigued, and cranky.

Why do we feel we *should* always be doing something? By being still, by taking that valuable moment to relax and have a glass of wine or a glass of water, by having a set winding down from the week routine, we can help care for ourselves. Wining Husband and I like to go to Creekside Cellars as part of our end-of-week routine, but I also enjoy watching silly TV shows in the quiet of the day as a way to relax before shooting into another activity (Project Runway is my guilty pleasure).

What do you do to relax after a long week? Post your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

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Life: Don’t go to bed angry

By remembering that Wining Husband is my best friend, it helps to resolve differences when they crop up. He and I promised one another to avoid going to bed angry when we got married.

In the vows my husband and I said to each other when we got married, we had our marriage deputy (my father-in-law) give a speech about what makes a good marriage. Including in the quote in our vows was a bit about not going to bed angry. We never go to bed angry – and believe me, like all married couples, we have our disagreements.

To me, not going to bed angry means that you don’t take a grudge with your spouse. Even if you don’t resolve the argument, you remember that you love this imperfect person next to you. You remember that you’ve promised this person a future. You remember all the wonderful things that sharing a life with this individual means for you. Sure, you might not see eye-to-eye, but at the same time, who wants to always agree with their spouse? It would be like being married to yourself, and if you’re like me, that would be booooooorrrrring!

Instead, it’s good that we challenge one another. What else will make us grow? I promised my husband to be his student and his teacher. Sure, we might not agree all the time, but we can definitely learn from one another. It’s hard to admit when I’m wrong, but when I realize that I am, I quickly apologize and we move on. Vice-versa is true of Wining Husband. If you’re going to bed angry, you’re holding onto resentment. Your spouse is only human. Many things that we argue about really don’t matter in the long run of things. I mean, I honestly cannot remember what little thing it was that sparked the last argument we have. What I do remember is my husband holding my hand the entire time I was in the ER having medical tests done. What does matter is having mutual respect and honesty in a relationship. Those are paramount to having a good life together.

Success in Life through Personality Engineering

Commitment doesn’t just mean commitment to your spouse when it’s working. It means looking at the person you’re arguing with, remembering that the person is fallible, and has his or her own flaws and strengths, and remembering that you love that person. It means choosing to take a deep breath and find a way to resolve differences rather than shout out angry words. It means saying “I need to take a break and have some space in the other room for a few minutes” when you feel flooded with emotion. It means that you look at the other person and you want no harm at all to ever come to that person – least of all from you. That’s why it’s so important that when you climb into bed next to your spouse, that you do not harbor feelings of anger. Anger breeds discontent and resentment which are killers for a marriage. In my book, Success in Life Through Personality Engineering (Co-authored with Murali Chemuturi), I talk about healthy relationships and sustaining a marriage. It is vital to keep resentment out of relationships, because it can lead to contempt. By resolving conflicts quickly – or agreeing to discuss an argument later, and going to bed together as a couple – contempt can be kept out of relationships.

 

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Life: Staying Healthy

Health Tips...Drink Responsibly....Eat Fruits ...

Health Tips…Drink Responsibly….Eat Fruits Liberally… (Photo credit: Sunciti _ Sundaram’s Images + Messages)

 

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to stay healthy. When you’re in the moment, it may seem like exercise, eating right, and being generally active are things no one has time for. After all, with longer work hours, more obligations, and fewer resources, it feels like we have less time than ever for the things that matter most. The thing is, no one can enjoy any of those things without their health. Here are a few general tips I’ve learned over the years.

 

  • Do something active for at least an hour every day. It doesn’t matter if you take a long walk, hike somewhere, stroll through a mall, play basketball or tag with your kids, or go to a gym. Move your body!
  • Take Doctor Michelle May’s advice: Eat what you love, eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re full, and really enjoy your meals. If you’re eating standing up or while walking from one place to another, your brain won’t register that you’re taking in nutrients. You’ll be hungry again soon!
  • Listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, go talk to your doctor. Know how your body reacts to different foods.
  • Don’t drink too much! Alcoholic beverages are meant to be enjoyed slowly, not gulped down! Know your limits. Don’t drink to get drunk. (Also, remember that alcohol has calories in it!)
  • Do the things you love on a regular basis. If you like to write, write. If you like to read, read.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no.” If you overbook yourself, you’ll feel stressed, and stress is a killer.

 

What are some things you do to keep healthy? Feel free to share your tips here in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

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Life With Pets

Ms. Lady Meowerson, the peskiest and most awesome cat there is!

Pets make the world go round. It’s such a great thing to have pets. We have three cats. Lady – the kitty pictured to the right, Stripes – Lady’s brother and a total glutton,  and LuLu – a tiny runt of a kitty who is also much older than she looks. We want to get a couple of dogs in the future, after we purchase a house. I look forward to taking dogs for a run in the mornings with Wining Husband.

Pets make great companions. Lady enjoys hanging out with me – here she is on the windowsill of my office – while I write and edit. Sometimes she wants to hang out a bit *too* much, but it’s nice to have feline companionship. People are funny about their pets. We talk to them in funny voices, we purchase clothing and toys for them as we would children, and we adopt the into our families. Some people refer to their pets as their “fur babies.”

Pets make life richer. They help us to feel less stress and they help us to have empathy, and they help kids to learn how to have responsibility. People with pets tend to live longer and experience less depression. I know on days when I’m blue, Lady likes to curl up with me.

While the Wining Kitties don’t actually drink wine, it’s fun to watch them scurry about the house and chase toys, tails, and each other. What kinds of pets do you have? How have they added to your life? Leave your answers in the comments.

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