Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 7: Running Challenge

Distance: 0.82mi
Time: 7 minutes

Hooray! 7 consecutive (minus Sunday) days of running! This is definitely the first time in my life I've done this.

I'm glad I didn't make running in the morning part of the goal. That's definitely not happening much. I love me my bed a little too much.

Tonight was another dark run. I found a good night route that follows the parking lot so it's well lit and close to people. I just need to make sure I keep my distance from the dumpsters (see day 3).

Today was a fun day. Lillian and I went to the mall play place and she loved it! For the first ten minutes or so she just watched all of the older kids running around and jumping from place to place. After she'd taken it all in, she began crawling through the many tunnels and begging for rides down the slide. She made three friends. A brother and sister who took an interest in her. There was also a cute little boy who couldn't have been more than a few months older than Lilly who followed her around saying "baby!" Lilly particularly liked this little boy. They would approach each other and mimic whatever sounds the other was making loudly yelling things like "ba-ba, da-da, etc." together.

After the mall Lilly got a short nap and then we picked up some friends of ours and dropped them at the airport. They are a really fun couple and I always love hanging out with them--even if it's just on the way to the airport! Lilly also enjoyed having another car seat next to hers and getting to play with her little friend in the car.

 Finally, if you would like to see what made this the best day ever, view the video below.

Day 6: Running Challenge

Distance: 0.77 miles
Time: 7 minutes

On day 6 (yesterday) I ran in the evening just as the sun was setting. It was a nice time for a run and I used it to blow off steam. It was a stressful day because I spoke to a friend who is going through a really hard time and I was worried for her. I found myself really angry in general. I couldn't really pinpoint a person who I was angry at, just angry at the situation. Running was a nice escape. Although, to be honest, it definitely didn't feel the way I imagine it feels for experienced runners when they run to blow off steam. I didn't feel the freedom of running quite as much as the feeling of bordering on death by lack of oxygen. Not that I'm complaining. Near death experiences are also pretty good at distracting you from other feelings. I felt much better after my run.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 5: Running Challenge

This morning I slept in until 9:00 and it was beautiful! I am getting the idea though, that I should probably have a "perfect month" of early to bed, early to rise one of these months...

Today was Matt's first day back to the lab after the long weekend from heaven. :( I missed him. Lilly and I had a great day, though. We played in the sand, drove some smart cars and went for a long walk by the lake.

Around 10:00 I realized I still had a run to do. Honestly, I was kind of dreading it. I had a stomach full of about five chicken pods (I don't even know what they're called anymore. Matt called them chicken pods once and it stuck) and about half a gallon of water and I remembered too well my last night time run when I almost re-visited my first ever run. (See Ted's comment on day 1). I waited a bit for my stomach to settle, mapped a run along the road so it would be lighted and started off.

After the first block I realized that the road that goes around our complex has no lights whatsoever when I literally ran off the road because I couldn't see my own feet. I decided to turn onto the parking lot the first chance I got. After the fear factor was removed, it was a very fun run! I decided to add a little distance to the run that I mapped out since my parallel parking lot version was an inside track. It was not difficult and my body felt wonderful! When I got home I found out that my little addition brought me up to a 0.86 mile run. I've been doing about 0.5 miles so an unconscious increase was a happy surprise. The run took me about seven minutes.

Cute Lilly note of the day: I think she wants a smart car.

Day 4: Running Challenge

Day 4 was not a fun run. It was a hot and humid day--one of those days where it feels like you're drinking the lake with each breath you take in. I did get up and run in the morning, but I had a serious lack of a plan regarding where I was going. I ended up basically running across a big field behind a bunch of apartments. There was a guy out smoking a cigarette and I sort of felt like I was running on a stage as he sat back and watched. Awkward.

It was a fun day, though. Matt and I cleaned out the storage closet downstairs and cleaned out our front closet. We found a box of Matt's old dinosaur models and Lilly was very excited! She pulled them out one by one and said "Raarr!" while shaking a dinosaur in one hand and making a claw with the other. That's my baby!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 3: Running Challenge

As Teri predicted, day 3 was harder. :)

Also, for clarification: I am blogging day 3 and day 2 on the same night. After all, I didn't set a goal of perfect blogging. ;)

This morning it was raining and I was exhausted. I decided not to do a morning run. Despite the rough start, today was a happy and productive day! Matt, Lilly and I vacuumed out the car, filled the tires with air and took the car to the "Octopus Car Wash." We watched through a window as the car went through the automatic wash. The window was equipped with a joystick with a button on top that you could press and aim to squirt additional suds on the car as it went by. Awesome! After the auto-wash part, about eight people all wiped it down and cleaned the windows and voila! Clean car.

When we got home I decided to shampoo the car mats. I put them in the bath, squirted them with shampoo and scrubbed them with my manicure brush (never really knew what that thing was supposed to do...). If you've ever tried to clean a paint-soaked sponge so that the water runs clear, you've experienced a similar process.

The mats came out amazing (even got a big oil stain out that's been there since Matt bought the car!) and by the time I put them back in our car and disinfected the dashboard, our little car was bursting with pride. When we got to thinking about it, we realized it'd been over a year since we'd vacuumed or washed the car. Poor thing.

Next, I cut Matt's hair and we went to the Olbrich gardens and Rocky Rococo's for pizza. It was a wonderful date night and Lillian was a doll the whole time.

Lest you think I gave up on my goal, I better mention that I took a nice 10 minute jog (5 minutes warm up/down, 5 minutes running) around the complex in the pitch dark tonight. As I circled around to get back to the apartment I heard a clang, looked in the direction of the noise and found myself about four feet away from a startled looking raccoon who was standing on top of the nearby dumpster. Yikes!

This is not my photo, but if you imagine it being pitch dark and the raccoon being all puffed up and standing on the lid, it's basically what it looked like. I thought it was gonna claw out my eyes.

Day 2: Running Challenge

On day two I only hit the snooze button 3 times. An improvement. But, don't be fooled. I was nowhere near as excited and perky as I was on day one and day two was definitely not filled with leftover run energy.

In the first minute of my run I almost ran over a poor walker (I was going downhill and when he turned the corner and ended up in front of him we nearly scared each other to death!). At the end of my run, which was still only a five minute half-mile, I had to run uphill. As I was feeling exhausted and wanting to quit, I came to the road. A car slowed to a stop and the driver was leaning her head out of her open window. For a split second I awaited her praise or shout of encouragement. Then I realized she was just trying to see around me so she could make a left turn.

By the end of the day I was exhausted. Matt and I decided to take Lilly to the play area of the mall and set her loose. About five minutes after we arrived she was sitting on a soft foamy stair and was being mauled by three little girls. They were on each side of her patting her and petting her head. This went on for at least 5 minutes, maybe 10. We kept expecting Lilly to get upset, but every couple of minutes, she'd peek her head around one of the girls and flash us a big toothy grin.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 1: Running Challenge

This morning when the alarm went off at 7:30 I wanted nothing more than to hit the snooze button. And that's exactly what I did. I hit it again and again. Obviously, I wasn't being modest when I stated in the intro to this blog that I am not a perfectionist naturally.

It's actually a miracle that Lilly was still asleep when I finally got up an hour later. Matt is just doing research (no classes) during the summer, so he's been going in to school a little later than normal anyway. I am blessed to live in a beautiful location near campus that is surrounded by forest and right on the lake. I walked to a nearby path entrance and did a short 0.5 mile jog through the forest and along the lake shore.

It was a beautiful morning and I took it very easy, running for only 5 minutes and "warming up/cooling down" for another 5. It was a fantastic beginning to my first attempt at perfection. This Mexico jersey, part of my running attire, was my inspiration. !Viva Mexico! (No, I'm not Mexican...but I sometimes pretend I am).

Today was incredible. Starting the day off with a run (albeit a short one) gave me energy all day long! Lillian and I played outside for about two straight hours this afternoon. She was one happy baby! She even fed off of my energy and decided to conquer her fear of slides! She's a pro slider now.

I declare day one of the running challenge a happy success!

Month One: The Running Challenge

This month (starting on May 24, 2012 and ending on June 24, 2012) I will run every day except for Sundays. If there are extenuating circumstances, I will replace my daily run with a killer indoor workout.

Because I'm not a "real" perfectionist, that's it. No specific distance, speed, time of day. There's just very little chance that I could PERFECTLY achieve this goal if I add any more constraints.


Welcome to "The Perfect Month." My name is Carol-Marie (aka Cam). I am 26 years old and enjoying my little family of three. My husband has just begun a Ph.D chemistry program, I'm just starting my second year in a masters of social work program, and our curious 13 month old daughter, Lilly, is studying everything she can find by putting it in her mouth.

I've always used goals as a way to make my life purposeful. Lately, however, my normal goal-setting routine has not been exciting or motivating enough to hold my interest. I got the idea for this blog when I was feeling a frustratingly low level of motivation.

The Idea:
At the beginning of a month, I will choose a goal that I would like to complete perfectly every day of the month. I'll blog each day about my success/failure and about the impact of the month's goal on my and my family's life.

I will define "perfect" completion of each goal when I set it. Please feel free to share comments, questions, experiences, or suggestions. I would love to hear from you!