Challenge

Week Fivesixredux

Ugh, gaah, etc etc. Sleep deprivation really messes you up. I’ve never been a good sleeper, but I naively thought that after having a baby, I would be so exhausted that sleep would come easily. Nope. Worse than ever. I’ll wake up at the slightest noise (like a squirrel jumping onto our fence outside, even though I’m inside, wearing earplugs) and then not be able to fall back asleep the rest of the night. Waking up for the day at 2AM many nights in a row = ugh. It turns me into an unmotivated, physically and emotionally drained, sugar-craving, clumsy shell of a human being.

This turns into a Vicious Cycle of Doom wherein I spend my free time staring into space/internets/Netflix instead of doing something active or productive that would make me feel good, which again makes it harder to sleep the next night. So I’ll try to make up for these two lost weeks of the challenge by adding a Week Seven where I’ll try to break that damn cycle and get all excited about life again.

– 20 miles
– 2 runs
– no sugar (except for my birthday cupcakes, because birthday)
– do something productive every day (beyond raising a child)

This doesn’t sound very challenging for most able-bodied humans, but right now, it will be for me.

InstagramCapture_70ceb294-9286-4ae3-a27d-fdcba60ee759 InstagramCapture_b8035b1b-4a2f-4c0e-bcb3-0da2229e5857
InstagramCapture_893449ba-0950-4aef-95b6-42f6b0ca7801 InstagramCapture_f4659030-207c-49ed-9bb6-4d3b1d8e5026

Some highlights from the last few weeks (no photos of me with my head in a bucket after getting food poisoning – this really hasn’t been my week):

Strawberry picking – Nora “helped” | We ran out of containers while making freezer jam… | Nora turned nine months | …and she also turned 38 weeks and 2 days, which meant she has now spent longer on the outside than on the inside (hmm, that makes it sound like my uterus is San Quentin or something).

20150530_192833116_iOS
Challenge

Week Five

Ugh. I think I might just have to put this on hold until I get some sleep. I don’t know what to do – last night I took a Benadryl (which hopefully won’t affect my milk supply), but that didn’t keep me from waking up at 2:55 and not being able to fall back asleep. Why, body? Whyy?

THE GOOD:

I covered 21 miles and went on a beautiful hike | I probably spent more time walking than sleeping. I wish I was kidding.

AdobePhotoshopExpress_3facb76f74a94d08901e26d14f6abf6e
Challenge

Week Four

Sleep fail, massive sleep fail. And sleep fail leads to a sluggish body and zombie brain, and it’s all a stupid vicious cycle of sloth. I need to remember that a challenge is supposed to be challenging, which means that I should get out there even when I’m so tired that I just want to collapse on the couch. It might even help me sleep better. Sitting on the couch obviously isn’t helping, so it’s worth a shot. Having insomnia was bad enough before, when I was living a life of absolute leisure, but now that I have a child to take care of, it’s a special sort of evil.

Apart from the whole sleep issue, it was a great week. We went for a hike on Cougar Mountain, which is so green and beautiful right now, and attended a dinner with His Majesty King Harald V of Norway! A very cool experience, but gaah, I am never wearing heels again. Why do women do this to themselves.

Dinner with His Majesty King Harald V Cougar Mountain

For the sake of my sanity, I’m skipping the bad bullet points this week. I didn’t run, I didn’t sleep nearly enough, yada yada yada.

GOOD:

I covered 18.5 miles | That’s frankly amazing considering my sleep this week. *pats self on back*

I completed one strength session | I’ll take it.

I did not shoot myself up with chocolate | The no sugar challenge taught me that I don’t need chocolate every day, which was a lesson I really needed to learn. Eating well is going smoothly in general, I notice that I’m pretty much just eating the way I did when I had gestational diabetes, with a focus on beans and greens.

Powerline Trail Free ride
Zzzzz Naptime gardening

This week’s book obsession was Eating on the Wild Side, which was recommended on Alpine Lily. I found it fascinating, and it has influenced my vegetable intake (and gardening plans) in lots of little ways – for example, arugula is now my lettuce leaf of choice, even though I used to think it was too bitter, and I let my garlic rest for ten minutes post-mincing before cooking with it. Also, if I ever get around to weeding around our house, those dandelions are going in my belly, not in the compost pile. The book has lots of little tips and tricks to get the most phytonutrients out of your produce, and tells you what to look for in the grocery store, at the market, or when shopping for seeds for your garden.

Alright, I hear Nora chirping on the baby monitor. I’ll be back next week, hopefully all energetic and well-rested.

17377918688_ff601f8ba8_k
Hiking, Hiking with baby, Teanaway, Top Trip Reports

Mother’s Day Weekend Part Deux: Iron Peak

First of all, before I forget: the Teanaway Road is in excellent condition right now, I have truly never seen it smoother. So go, go!

After having breakfast in camp and getting ready for the day, Nora was overdue for her morning nap. We drove over to the Iron Peak trailhead and got Nora all saddled up in her new ride, the Osprey Poco Plus. Now for the big question – would she sleep in that thing? Dun dun DUUUUN.

Let's do dis

The answer is yes, oh yes. She slept better than she does in the Ergo! In order to let her get the best sleep possible, we put on headphones and listened to some tunes as we hiked instead of talking. I forgot how refreshing it feels to listen to music when you’re all endorphin-high in the mountains.

New pack = snooze success

The only problem with the new pack was that Nora’s sun hat kept falling off, leaving her face and her delicate little skull exposed to the intense Teanaway sun. I didn’t tie the hat under her chin since she kept nodding her head forward to sleep and I didn’t want her to be strangled, but maybe I’m not giving her enough credit now that she’s not a helpless little lump of a newborn anymore. Any tips on how to deal with this situation?

Pretty trail

The trail switchbacked up, up, up as it always does, but it all seemed to just fly by. We kept a good pace, and I was in this giddy state of flow were the world was all glacier lilies and Rainier views and moving legs and a chubby, sleeping baby ahead of me on trail – the cutest dangling carrot ever.

No no no no

Once we reached the saddle, the blue skies and hot sun were replaced by a high cloud cover and a biting wind, so we retreated leeward to get Nora changed and fed while protected from the elements. Apparently milk is no longer a sufficient hiking snack for her, so she supplemented with some trees.

Approaching the summit

We added a wool suit and a warm hat to Nora’s ensemble, plus some stylish sunglasses to protect her eyes from the snow glare, then made our way up toward the summit.

JK, (Nora,) Stuart

The snow level this year is ridiculously low (considering we were hiking Iron a full month before we usually do it), but there was enough of it to be all postholey and annoying. On the way down, I elected to glissade even though I was wearing shorts, because snow up the butt is preferable to repeatedly postholing up to your knees and scraping the bejesus out of your legs. (I have to wear a dress to meet the King, fer chrissakes!)

Ridgewalk

Apart from the postholes, I loved being up on Iron again. We’ve gone every year since 2010 (except last year, because ow), and it never gets old. We usually hike it for my birthday, but since we might not have time for that this year, Mother’s Day was the perfect backup.

Happy hiker

Nora wanted to partake of her father’s summit libations, but had to make do with more milk and some pilfered bits and pieces of our soggy banana sandwiches.

Like father like daughter

We signed the summit register, snapped photos, took in the panoramic views, and just hung out until Nora started to fuss. She definitely needed a longer nap, so we packed up and headed down.

Iron Peak, now with babby

Nora slept from summit to car. Whoa. And we didn’t see a single other human on trail the whole day. Whoa.

She napped the whole way down

Best Mother’s Day ever. Okay, so it’s also my only Mother’s Day ever, but still.

Iron Peak | 7 miles | 2600 feet elevation gain –

First Mother's Day <3

17800917186_25688f9a03_k
Challenge

Week Three

How did the challenge go this week, you ask? Friends, it went sucktastically! Between awful sleep (as usual it was my fault, not Nora’s) and being struck with some sort of post-camping malaise, I neither wanted nor was able to do anything more active than curling up on the couch with Qdoba salads and old episodes of Sherlock.

THE BAD:

No strength training | Except for some random planks and squats here and there, the closest I came to lifting anything heavy was getting my body up off the couch to fetch more wine.

No long walks | My weekly total was 14.5 miles, down ten from last week. Bah.

Salad

THE GOOD:

I finally went for a run | I felt sluggish and slow, and it was just one run, but in the context of this week, it counts as a positive.

Excellent week o’ fuds | We made it through the no sugar challenge and got to celebrate with some excellent Norwegian chocolate at the Constitution Day parade in Seattle! Interestingly, chocolate tastes insanely sweet now, so I was able to not go all bingetastic on that bar. Now for the real challenge: how to avoid falling back into bad habits (and by “bad habits” I mean being this close to shooting myself up with melted chocolate). By the way, when I was running, I looked down and noticed that my tights were no longer tight. We don’t have a scale in the house, but this confirms that avoiding chocolate for three weeks definitely had an effect.

Oggl_635675434431383456 Oggl_635675435079896585

Even though the challenge (and sleep) part of my week wasn’t great, the rest of it sure was. Nora celebrated her first Norwegian Constitution Day and got to hang out with a bunch of the cast members from Alt for Norge, our favorite Norwegian reality show. Actually, our favorite reality show in general! I can’t believe we didn’t get a photo of Nora pulling Alf’s beard braids. Sorry, Alf.

Nora meets Alf from Alt for Norge

Week four of the challenge focuses on sleep, which is just what I need right now. We also have a big event coming up this Friday – a dinner with King Harald V of Norway! – which should motivate me to lay off the chocolate a little while longer and maybe do a shoulder press or two. (And get a haircut.)