Monday, September 28, 2015

Patience and Parenthood

Before becoming a parent, I knew it required a lot of patience. Not that I am a parent, I realize a lot was an understatement. What I didn't realize was where the patience would be needed.

I am not going to pretend that having patience with E is always easy. It isn't, but that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone with a child. That said, being patient with her is easier than I expected. I think I am in awe by how much she is learning as she explores the world on a daily basis. While I know it would be much quicker for me to do things such as buckle her in her car seat, I enjoy watching her figure it out and hearing her say "Ellie do it," is pretty cute.

What I was not prepared for was how much patience I would need to have with myself. Before I had E, I was on top of everything. The house was normally clean, I cooked a lot (and enjoyed it), my head was clear and there was rarely a day when I didn't get the things I needed to checked off my to do list. That all changed when I had E.

Not I need to learn to have patience with myself when...

  • the house isn't as clean as it should be
  • I am too tired to cook dinner
  • my lack of sleep means recovery is a lot harder than it should be
  • there are still a ton of things on my to do list, but I can't keep my eyes open any longer
  • I forget something because I am distracted
  • I have to say no to opportunities that aren't a good fit for us right now
  • I feel like I can't form a coherent thought because there is a toddler screaming
and that is just the start of it. It seems like I am always trying to catch up and make sure nothing gets missed. 

The more  think about it, I guess I am learning too.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Weekend Workout & Wine Down at Hyatt Regency Orlando

To say that life has been a bit crazy lately would be an understatement. Work has been hectic, E is a busy 2 year old, I am in the middle of half marathon training and we are trying to both get our house fixed from our flood and painted. I am a big proponent of taking time for yourself, but lately there just hasn't been any time to take. So, when the opportunity to spend part of a day at the Hyatt Regency Orlando for some yoga and relaxation popped up on a day I could make it work, I was very excited.

One of my favorite things about living in Orlando is that you can really get away without going very far. Sunday morning I made the quick 30-minute drive down to the resort. I hadn't been to this part of International drive for a while and it was interesting to see what had changed since my last visit. 


Walking in from the parking garage, I got a peek at the pool we would get some time to relax at later in the day. In the lobby I met up with Meghan from Megan on the Move, Linda from Tapas Lifestyle and Karen from Kahrenheit. Megan from the Hyatt Regency Orlando greeted us and took us back to the fitness center.

After a quick tour of the huge fitness facility we got to the yoga room. The room was gorgeous and had a spectacular view of the private terrace pool. Anne was our instructor and she guided us through a great gentle yoga class. This was the perfect class for me. I had run a 10-miler on Friday and then chased E around Brighthouse Stadium, including lots of stairs, on Saturday. 

Yoga Room
Getting ready for class

Yoga Set Up
The room was light and bright

I could look at this view all day
Once yoga was over, we got to sample a variety of spa services and enjoy a cabana by the pool. Some ladies went off to their massages, pedicures and facials. I headed out to the pool with a few other ladies to relax a bit before my massage. While I was waiting, we had lunch from Coconuts Pool Bar and Grill. 

Hyatt Regency Pool Cabana
Yeah, I can relax here
Hyatt Pool
Lunch with a view
Summer Salad with Salmon
Then it was off for my massage. I had a 50-minute relaxation massage with Robin. The massage was wonderful and Robin really helped work out the tension in my legs and IT bands. I was really impressed with the Spa the Hyatt Regency Orlando and am trying to figure out when I can head back. It is almost as nice as my favorite Spa (at Vdara in Las Vegas), but much easier to get to. The prices are reasonable, they have some great weekday specials. The best part is when you go to the spa, you have access to the pool for the day and they validate your parking.

I went back to the cabana for a bit after my massage. Took a quick dip in the pool and enjoyed a drink before heading back to reality.

The pool felt so good

Drink by the pool
A drink all by myself
I had an amazing day and it was just what this tired running mama needed to recharge. I would like to give a big thank you to the Hyatt Regency Orlando for this opportunity. I also want to thank the Central Florida Lady Bloggers and Meghan for working to arrange the day. It was a good reminder of all the good things we have going on here in Orlando. 

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event for free, but not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Smart Mobility with Ford

As some of you know from my Facebook feed, last January we purchased a new car. While I loved it, the 2-door coupe I purchased in 2007 when I was unmarried and child-free was no longer cutting it with a toddler and a rear facing child seat. After a lot of thought about the future, we decided to go all out and get a 3-row SUV and the issue of a too small car wouldn't ever be an issue again.

We looked at a number of vehicles in that class and ended up with a Honda Pilot. The Ford Explorer was a pretty close second. I love the car and some of the fun features it has like a back up camera and blue tooth. 

Honda Accord and Pilot

We aren't buying a new car any time soon, but I was still excited when the invitation to the Ford Smart Mobility Event showed up in my email a couple weeks ago. It was as if my current life and my former life collided. When we were living in Richmond, I managed a number of mobility and transportation projects at the research firm I worked for. The Orlando Ford event was held on the campus where I work now.

Since I am a data nerd, the information about driving in the area and how technology can help make things safer was interesting. It is not surprising that researchers found Orlando residents are afraid of driving in low viability situations.

Finding out about Ford's Smart Mobility Options

We also got to see how technology is both making the vehicles we drive safer and providing additional mobility options. The adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane-keeping and parking assist technologies were very cool. I even got to try the parallel parking assist. That was amazing. As a parent, the additional safety features would be really useful because while you can put the phone down, it is hard to take away the distraction of a toddler screaming for a drink, her paci or asking to hear animal boogie one more time.

I also appreciate that Ford is working on mobility solutions beyond adding technology to cars. I could see a time when a flexible ownership option or multi-modal transportation option could work for our family. Because of the way the area was designed, the traffic in Orlando is not going to get better as the we continue to grow. Getting cars off the road is going to be a challenge.

I enjoyed the event and I can't wait to see how cars have changed by the next time we are in the market. It may be wishful thinking, but maybe then this mama can get a convertible? For now I will just have to make due with borrowing Grandma's.

E in Grandma's Ford Convertable
Yeah, Grandma's car is much cooler than Mommy's

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event for free, but not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Training Update - Cocoa Beach Half Marathon

I am now about 6 weeks out from the Cocoa Beach Half Marathon. This will be my second half marathon after having Ellie and the first one I have run in about a year and a half. All I can say about training right now is that it is going.

The Good

While I am a little frustrated with my training, it is not all bad. I have been hitting almost all my scheduled workouts, both runs and cross-training, and have been feeling good. Recovery has also been pretty good which is amazing because I never get enough sleep.

Each week I have been doing one speed work session, one temp run, one long run and two strength and conditioning sessions. Yoga and body pump have been some of my conditioning favorites this cycle. I am feeling really good on the shorter (sub-hour) workouts.

The Bad

My speed still stinks. I feel like I am still slower than a turtle going through molasses that just came out of the freezer. The long runs are where I feel the slowest. I don't know if it is just summer in Florida or if speed is more illusive than I thought it would be.

This week I also found out that almost 3 miles of the half are on the sand. I am not super thrilled about that one. It also gives me even less hope of making progress with my speed.

It also seems like my long run groove is MIA. I have been putting in the miles, but never really find my happy place. Again, I am not sure if this is the heat or just that life is crazy and long runs are hard. We will see how I feel about running long after this race. It has been my hardest training cycle so far.

My plan for the remaining weeks of training are more of the same. Running and cross training. 

If nothing else, I should be more fit at the end of training than I was at the beginning. I am not loving the long run right now. This may be because I have been doing most of them starting later than I would like, but that is how my schedule works right now. Training with a toddler is a whole new experience.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Back to School (or Not) with Tijuana Flats

I wish I could say that things have been crazy because of back to school, but that is not really the case in our house. E goes to "school" all year and moving a room is not a major change. I blame being extra busy at work, half marathon training, a flood in house and fall, just fall in general, for feeling extra busy lately.

A couple of weeks ago, just before the flood, I had the opportunity to have dinner with some other bloggers at Tijuana Flats. They offered some of there favorites as well as some new items. When life gets busy, Tijuana Flats is often a go to in our household, but I always get the same thing. This gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone.

We started the night with tortilla chips with salsa, queso and guacamole. Next up were chicken and beef flautas. Then we sampled the Bangin' Chicken Burrito and a Blackened Chicken taco. The flautas were my favorite followed closely by the taco. We wrapped the night with cookie dough flautas. These were amazing. Incredibly rich, but really really yummy.

Tonight was one of those nights when life conspired against me making dinner and where did we go Tijuana Flats. As always the food was great, I was with some of my favorite people and I tried something new. Now if I could get E to stop dipping her fingers in the sour cream, dinner would have been perfect.

Disclosure: I did receive complementary food at the blogger every, but all options are my own.