Monday, September 8, 2014

how to save money on groceries

So, I've missed more gym time than I'd like to admit...  With school starting and activities re-starting I've been busy, blah, blah, blah.  Yeah we all have excuses.  Yesterday when I rolled out of bed around 10:00 a.m. I immediately put on my gym clothes and wandered around the house trying to find someone to go with me.  Finally one of my sons agreed to go with his old mom.  Not that I mind going alone, and while we are there the kids do their own thing, it's just nice to go with someone.

The workout went fine, I took it slow and I was actually surprised at how well I did.  I thought I would be starting over from nothing, but my body seemed to remember what to do.

I've decided that my gym days will be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and one day over the weekend.  I thought I would go about 7:00  in the mornings.  I homeschool my kids, and I know to a lot of people that sounds like I have all day to do whatever, but we have a schedule, and a lot to accomplish during the day so I need to get to the gym early.

Last night my oldest son told me that he was going to go early this morning before he had to go to school.  I said I wanted to go early too!  He said he would wake me up when he got up and I agreed.

It was still dark when he shook my leg.  I stumbled out of bed and got dressed in the dark (I keep my workout clothes together so that they are easy to find, no excuses!), brushed my teeth, put my shoes on, filled up my water bottle, and stumbled out to the car for the .5 mile drive to the gym. 

That's how I came to find myself standing on a treadmill at 5:45 a.m.  A little earlier than I had ever planned!  That's when my brain started saying *HUH?*, what the heck is she doing now???

I did 33 minutes on the treadmill, some weight machines, and I hit the hydro massage room and I was home by 7:00 a.m.   By 8:00 a.m. I was drinking a big mug of coffee starting our day.

I thought I would be exhausted by now, but I feel good, awake, and alert.  I also ate a light lunch of crackers, cucumbers, and hummus.  It's been so hot around here that is all that I wanted.  But I think not overloading myself on carbs is keeping me from having that afternoon slump feeling.

I use to do four days of grocery shopping on Sunday and then on Wednesday I would do four more days of shopping.  Shopping for more than four day overwhelms me and I usually have to go back to the store after four days for bread and milk anyways.  I hadn't done this in a while so that would mean that I would scramble for dinner from choices that were less than stellar.

Yesterday I decided to plan ahead, make a list, and go shopping on a Sunday with most everyone else in the city.  I stuck to my list very easily, I didn't even think about buying anything that wasn't on my list.  When I was done, and pushing my cart to the cash register, I noticed that I had skipped entire aisles.  Mainly the soda, cookies, crackers, chips, and candy aisles.  I also noticed that my grocery bill was at least $30.00 cheaper than usual when I paid. 

I had a nice big grin on my face when I left.  :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Disney Half Marathon rambling recap

No, I didn't run the Disney Half Marathon, this is just a short rambling recap of my experience as a cheerer :). 

So, a couple of months ago, I signed my daughter and I up to go with the Girl Scouts to the Angels Stadium and cheer for the runners of the Disney Half Marathon.  When I signed up I didn't realize that we would have to be at the stadium at 5:00 a.m.!

Luckily, we live close to the stadium so I didn't have to wake my daughter up until 4:00 a.m.  We quickly got dressed and threw some water, snacks, and sunblock in a backpack and took off.  We met up with the Girl Scouts out front at 5:00 a.m. sharp and soon we were standing in a long line of mostly Girl Scouts with some Boy Scouts mixed in.

Almost as soon as we got inside the stadium and settled in our seats the first runner went by, then a  couple of bikes went by and a man in a racing style wheelchair went whizzing by as well. 

cheerers taking a well deserved break but still cheering from their seats
In hindsight, I noticed that there was a rhythm to the race.

First the *elite* went through, the people in first, second, third, and fourth place with some spacing between.  Soon the spacing was closer together, very soon there were groups of four, five, and six people going running through.

And then a whole herd of runners came through, sometimes the runners were so thick that they could hardly run.  It was like that for a good while, but then the herd started to thin out.  Soon there were a few people that were trading off walking and running, then there were more people walking than running and soon a person who sets the pace came by with a sign that said something about being able to walk a mile in under 16 minutes.

Dense pack of runners.  The guy carrying the
American flag brought on an insane amount of cheering!
This group was largely made up of older and overweight people.  Now, I cheered off and on during the rest of the morning.  But these people, the walkers, the overweight, even the senior citizens (although I'm not a senior :)), are my people!  I stood and clapped and cheered and yelled encouragement for each and everyone of them!

There were lapses of time when no one would come around that corner and we would wonder if it was over, but eventually, another person or two would come through and there was a group of us that stood and cheered just as loud as ever.  Most of these people were tired, struggling, sweaty, and weary.  They especially seemed to enjoy our cheering!

Runners entering the stadium.  A lot of them were taking pictures,
stopping to take selfies, or even video taping the experience and crowd.
Finally, after quite a long pause, a man, probably in his 30's who had down syndrome and a companion went by with.  We stood and cheered the loudest for the last two people who waved and smiled as they went by.  It was a truly awesome end to a long morning.

Why did I get up at 4:00 a.m. to do this?  Because the reward was that my daughter would get  a free ticket to Disneyland.  Since Disneyland tickets run at around $96.00 for a day pass I felt like I couldn't pass it up, it seemed like an easy way to earn a ticket.  So that is why I got up at 4:00 a.m.  But in the end, the reward was a lot more than that, and the time just flew by. 

A lot of a runners would come through the stadium and pump their arms, raise their hands, jump up and down, and generally cheer on our cheering.  The kids would hang their hands over the wall and some of the runners would give them "five" as they ran by.  The kids loved that.  A lot of the runners wore costumes, mostly Disney themed costumes, and those were fun look at.

I was also pleasantly surprised about how much I knew about marathons just from reading running blogs.  I actually felt kind of smart explaining some things to a friend of mine that was with me.

Will, I go again next year?  Yes, I am sure that I will.  Hey, I might even be one of the runners next year!  Perhaps  not an entire half marathon, but maybe part of it...