Alright, so maybe I don't hate the treadmill quite that much.  Turns out I prefer doing my interval workouts on the 'mill because it is so much easier to pace myself for the right distances.  I think that the variety of intervals makes the time on the treadmill go by a bit faster. 

Since Kyle is also training for the 10K in September, he went out on a run last night after Eva went to bed and I went downstairs to churn out 3 x 800m with 400m jogs and 1 mile warm-up/cool down.  Even though I had full intent on getting back into some speedwork a couple of months ago, last night was my first bout of speed work since I became pregnant with Eva.  Nothing like a race looming in the future to give me focus. 

The workout went well and I was amused to find that the speed I was running during my "resting" intervals is the same speed I labored with maintaining way back in the winter when I was coming back to running post-pregnancy and training for the half marathon. 

I finally feel like I'm "back."  And I must say it feels good!

3 Miler and a Race on the Horizon

I am not going to complain about the heat, but I will state a fact about the heat.  Because it is unsafe to perform strenuous exercise in the temperatures that we have been experiencing in my area over the past couple of weeks, I have not been out to run as often as I would have had it not been consistently over 100 degrees with over 50% humidity every day.  There.  I hate winter, so I embrace the summer, heat index and all.

Regardless, I have been on a couple of 3 milers after Eva has gone to bed and I did a miserable 3.25 miles on the treadmill on Sunday.  I WILL complain about the treadmill because I hate running on it.  I like having one though because of the convenience.  I was planning to do a 4 miler Sunday but we were going to take Eva to get her pictures taken at JC Penney that afternoon and I was running out of time to finish my run and get showered and dressed, so I cut it short.  For your viewing pleasure here are a couple of pix of Eva from her photo shoot on Sunday.

That pink dress was mine when I was Eva's age and my Mom gave it to me at my baby shower last year with a portrait of me wearing it when I was around 6 months old.  I really like how the pictures turned out.  I know I am her mom but come on--how cute is she?

But I digress.  Yesterday, Kyle and I signed up for a 10K to be held in September and I am pretty psyched about it.  I have yet to run that distance in a race and I know I could finish it strong at my current fitness level.  So training for me is fun because I am just focusing on keeping in shape and trying to get a little faster.  Because of this, and because I am not having to run nearly as many miles per week as I was supposed to be when training for the half I did in April, I am enjoying the structure that my training plan is giving me for my workouts. 

I went on a 3 miler last night around 8 and even though it was still pretty warm and sticky out, I had a really, really good easy run.  I didn't take any music to listen to but I kind of just zoned out and gave some thought to some things that I have been wanting to mull over (nothing earth shattering or exciting, just stuff that's pertinent to things going on and things that need to be done).   Before I knew it, I was back home and drenched in sweat, feeling pretty good that I got out there. 

A Running Post!

Ha, I bet you thought I was going to start only posting about coupons and breastfeeding but alas, I surprise you with a post about running!

I have been running, even in this heat and I have been enjoying it so much!  I love my BOB jogging stroller like "Whoa" because sometimes I want to get out there when it's just Eva and I at home.  I love that I can bring her with me and she holds my water and sunscreen for me.  Well, the mesh pockets in her stroller hold them for me, but she's usually got her chubby little fingers all over both of them for most of the run, so its like she is helping. 

I went for a run on my own after she went to bed a couple of nights ago.  It was already 8:30 and I wanted to get home before dark, so I just did a quick 3 miler and averaged 10:27/miles which I find pretty respectable considering the humidity.  I chose to run my quick 3 mile out and back route and right around the 1.5 mile turn around point, I noticed an old van driving by.  The only reason I noticed it is because it had obviously had some repairs done as the fender on one side was a different color than the rest of the van.  Also, it had no windows in the back part of it and I always think "rape van" when I see a van with no windows. 

Anyway, I continued running along and about 7 minutes later, I saw the same van, pulling out from a side street and turning down the street that I was soon going to run on.  I run in residential neighborhoods as well as down the main streets of the older part of our small Kansas City suburb.  There is usually plenty of cars driving by and houses all along my route, so I am seldom concerned about running alone.  And really, there is nothing strange about someone driving down the main road, going into a residential neighborhood, and then coming back out of that neighborhood about 7 minutes later.  That's what one would do if they were picking someone up or dropping someone off at home. 

Nonetheless, seeing this particular van again raised my hackles and caused me to be extra vigilant to my surroundings as I eventually turned down the street that would lead me back to my house.  Of course, it was getting dark as the sun was setting but there was still plenty of daylight left to get me home.  I picked up my pace just a little bit anyway and kept my head "on a swivel" making sure that I made eye contact with any pedestrian I encountered and studied each vehicle driving down the street. 

I never saw the van again but the experience got me thinking about the things I do to try to keep myself safe when I am out running.  I have always made sure that Kyle knows all my routes and approximately how long I expect to be gone.  If I am listening to music, I make sure that the volume is low enough that I could hear an oncoming vehicle or a person talking to me and I never listen to music when I have Eva with me.  I never run after dark and if it is overcast or getting close to dark, I wear light colored clothing like white shirts and shorts.  If I am going on a long run, I sometimes take my cell phone with me in case there is a problem.  I always stop at intersections and give every vehicle around the right of way unless they come to a complete stop and wave me to proceed, which only happens about 50% of the time.  And of course, I make note of the people and vehicles that pass, paying attention to how often I encounter someone and whether or not the situation feels right.     

I have always done these things, but I feel even more pressure to make sure that I keep myself safe now that I have a child.  Does anyone else feel that way?  Are there any specific things you do to keep yourself safe when you go out on a run?  Have you ever had a scary moment or a close call?

Weaning Update

Eva is nearly 8.5 months old now and we are down to essentially one nursing session a day.  Since the pediatrician did not think that Eva was having a reaction to formula, we have been using the Target Up and Up brand of milk-based formula for several weeks and she seems to be doing well with it. 

While we still have some battles at mealtimes, for the most part Eva is eating anywhere from 1/2 to 1 full tub of pureed fruits or veggies at each meal.  At breakfast and lunch, we mix it with some oatmeal cereal.  When she's at home (as opposed to mealtimes at daycare) she gets a handful of Cheerios to finish off each meal and sometimes we give her a small amount of shredded cheese (but I think most of that ends up in her lap and on the floor). 

For a while, I was nursing before her bedtime and again first thing in the morning.  I decided to cut out the bedtime nursing and give her a bottle instead and that went over just fine.  She no longer has any problems taking a bottle from me or Kyle and it doesn't matter to her that its formula as opposed to breast milk.  I can tell my supply has drastically dropped and I wonder if she's even getting enough breast milk to constitute a meal during our morning nursing session. 

The main thing that has kept me from dropping that feeding and going to 100% formula is the convenience of it.  Eva usually wakes up anywhere from 4am to 6am everyday wanting to eat.  It makes sense to me to feed her then because by that time, it has literally been about 10 hours since her last feeding.  It is so much easier to go grab her out of her crib and bring her to our bed for her feeding, then we can both just drift right back off to sleep. 

This weekend, I tried giving her a bottle instead and I didn't like it.  I had even set out a premeasured portion of formula powder and put the 6 oz of water in her bottle and left it by my bed.  When I heard her crying out at about 5:45am, I got up and went into the bathroom to mix the formula and didn't get the collar screwed on correctly (because hey, I was half asleep) and when I went to shake the bottle, I threw formula around the bathroom.  By the time I got the bottle situation figured out and went to get Eva and brought her to bed to give her the bottle, I was 100% awake and Eva was displeased at the amount of time it took me to get in there and get her. 

So basically, I hope my supply hangs on for a little while longer because I am fine with keeping that early morning feeding going for a bit longer.

Even though I gradually eliminated pumping sessions and slowly cut back on feedings, I can tell my hormones are a bit out of whack at times.  Thankfully, I have been able to get out on some good runs lately, so I know that helps.  That and being mindful that this is just a fact of weaning and if I can keep perspective on things, everything will turn out just fine. 

All in all, I am impressed with myself as far as how long I was able to nurse.  My goal was 6 months and I surpassed that easily.  Especially remembering back at how hard it was to get the hang of nursing (it took about 6 weeks to get past the pain and latching problems) and the fact that I had no immediate family or close friends that had experience with breastfeeding to help me, I think I muddled through pretty nicely. 

7/10/11 CVS Trip

I got some great deals at CVS this week and this time I took pix! 

A couple of weeks ago I found out that you can preview next week's CVS ad online on the CVS web site, which is great for planning a weekly shopping trip to snag some deals.  There are a ton of people that coupon shop around my area and if you don't get there early, you will probably miss out as things sell out pretty quickly. 

CVS does do rain checks though, which helps, but if you have a coupon to use that will expire soon, that could be a problem.  So I like to review the ad on Friday or Saturday and make a list of the things we need that are on sale.   Then I go through the list and use an online coupon database to match up coupons with the sale items I plan to buy.  Finally, I gather up all my coupons and figure out how to group my items to get the best bang for my buck (basically I figure out if I need to divide up my purchase into separate transactions).   Usually, I spend about 20 minutes at a time working on this, but if I did it all in one sitting without interruption, I think it would be about an hour's worth of preparation.

This week, I divided my purchase up into 4 transactions in order to maximize my savings.  I went to CVS at about 10am, so it was not busy and I told the cashier what I was doing and asked her if it would be okay.  She was very nice and helpful, so we got my checkout finished in just a few minutes and no one had to wait behind me. 

Here's what I got:

In my first transaction, I picked up the two items that were on sale and free after you received your Extra Care Bucks.  The contact solution was on sale for $7.99 and I received $7.99 in ECBs.  The Balance bar was $1.69 and I received $1.69 in ECBs.  I used $8.79 in ECBs from previous shopping trips so my total out of pocket for this purchase was 95 cents.

Summary: $9.68 total - $8.79 ECBs = 89 cents plus tax (95 cents total)

The second transaction included 2 Garnier moisturizing products and a pack of razor cartridges.  The Garnier products were $12 and $5, so I earned $5 ECBs due to the promotion they had going on.  I used two $2 off coupons for them as well.  The razor cartridges were on sale for $6.98 and I earned $3 in ECBs for them, and I also had a $3 off coupon to use.  I also applied $6 in ECBs from another shopping trip and the $9.68 in ECBs I just earned from my first transaction and paid $1.40 out of pocket.

Summary: $23.99 - $7 in coupons - $15.68 in ECBs =  $1.31 plus tax ($1.40 total)

My third transaction was just a box of diapers.  The deal on diapers this week was that they were marked down to $19.99 a box and you earn $5 in ECBs for the purchase.  I got on Pampers mailing list a while ago, so I get some high dollar coupons on occasion and I happened to have a $4 off a box of Pampers Cruisers coupon so I used that.  I also used the $8 in ECBs I just earned from my 2nd transaction and paid $8.54 out of pocket.

Summary: $19.99 - $4 coupon - $8 ECBs = $7.99 plus tax ($8.54 total)

My final transaction included 2 bottles of Purex detergent and 2 packages of Pup-Peroni dog treats.  The Purex was on sale for $2.99 each and the dog treats were 2 for $4.  The dog treats had a peel off sticker on each bag for $2 off, so I basically got those for free.  I used the $5 ECBs that I just earned from transaction 3 as well, and ended up paying just $1.05 out of pocket.

Summary: $9.98 - $4 in coupons - $5 ECBs = 98 cents plus tax ($1.05 total). 

To conclude, I went home with $63.64 in household items but only paid $11.94.  That is an 81% savings!