February 13, 2014

Gifts for Mark's friends!

When I woke up this morning, I thought, "Man, why did I write that I was going to start doing 30 Day Shred? I don't wanna..." ;)  After the boys went to school, I went to the rec center to run on the indoor track. I could have done the treadmill, but I honestly wanted to go up and down the flights of stairs a few times to get a little bit of elevation for my Wii U Fit Meter! I'm so far behind Jerry that I'll never catch up.

Anyway, my schedule for today and tomorrow is technically 3 miles easy today, and a 10K race tomorrow. But since I'm not racing a 10K, I think I may just do 8 miles at long run pace tomorrow. So today, my plan was to do 3 miles at half-marathon pace (8:34/mi).

I have no idea what happened, but my pace was nowhere near 8:34. My heart rate was up to the middle of my tempo run zone (Zone 4), but my pace was in the low 9:00's mostly--and I kept getting slower and slower. I'm hoping it's just because it's so hot in there? I don't know.

After I finished running, I ran up and down the stairs about five times. My legs were tired from that! I should do that as a workout one day--just go and run up and down the stairs for 20 minutes.

When I got home, instead of doing 30-Day Shred, I decided to do Pete Thomas's ABC circuit workout. His bootcamp class was SO hard, but that's what makes me think this workout will be effective (it's the same thing we did in class, only he won't be yelling at me to go faster!). I'm not going to do the full circuit program as listed (~60 minutes, 4 days a week); I am going to do 20-40 minutes, 4 days a week, by cutting back on the repetitions of each circuit.

Basically, you start with Circuit 1, and do the "A" exercise for 60 seconds; then the "B" exercise for 60 seconds; then the "C" exercise for 60 seconds. Repeat 2 more times, for a total of 3 times for Circuit 1. Then you move on to Circuit 2, and do the same thing. And so on, until you've done all 6 circuits.

To cut back on the time, I'll just do 1-2 repetitions of each circuit instead of 3. I did 40 minutes today, and I have a feeling I'm going to be REALLY sore tomorrow!

My parents and I have been quickly getting things together for Mark's party on Saturday, and we had the idea to buy gifts for Mark to give each of the men at the group home. He lives with 17 other men, who are basically like his "family", and they've missed him. Mark loves to make people happy, so giving gifts is perfect for him :)

My dad talked to the woman who runs the group home, and she gave him a Christmas wish list from all the men. There were a few items listed for each person, and their favorite colors/sports teams/etc., for gift ideas. They said they're always in need of toiletries, so my parents went and bought shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and a washcloth for each person. And I did the fun part--going shopping for the items on the wish list!

Looking at the list, it was going to be a bit of a challenge, but definitely a fun challenge. I quickly learned that the hardest part was shopping for people I'd never met. I wasn't sure what sort of disabilities each of them had, and where it listed "books" or something, I wasn't sure if that meant a children's book or adult book. So I tried to go with safer items that were still on the list.

Some of the men enjoy coloring, so rather than the typical coloring books, I bought these little white figurines that you decorate yourself with markers and stickers. There were a few DVD requests--war movies, cat/dog movies, animal movies. Someone requested the book The Outsiders, but I couldn't find that at the stores I went to, but I did find the DVD, so I picked that up.

Also on the list were their favorite treat foods--chips, cookies, Cheetos, doughnuts, etc. So once I bought a non-food item for everyone, I decided to get a small food item that they'd requested, too. I was really excited to get home and start packaging everything together. I bought some clear gift bags to put everything in. Thankfully, I didn't forget anything, and I think everyone will be happy with their gifts!

Tomorrow, I'm going to go up to the nursing home with my dad, where we'll meet with the occupational therapist. She's going to teach us how to get Mark into and out of the car. And, while we're at it, she's going to follow us (and Mark) to the group home! Mark hasn't been home since early December, so tomorrow he'll see everyone for the first time in a couple of months. The OT is going to evaluate how he does in his home environment, and see what they need to work on in OT and PT sessions.

Unfortunately, he'll have to go back to the nursing home for the night, but then we'll pick him up on Saturday for his big party. Needless to say, Mark couldn't be more excited about this weekend!


  1. You have the kindest heart. I hope Mark has a great party!

  2. I read your blog every day and this is the first time I've commented. It's so inspiring to see all you are doing for Mark and his friends. I have an uncle who lives in a group home and I don't live nearby. It's heartwarming to think there are people like you out there who would go out of your way to make someone's life better. I'm sure they will remember and cherish the party forever!

  3. Can't wait to see pictures of the party!

  4. Do you think being inside the building messes with your Garmin? I'm not familiar with it so it's a thought.

    I am so excited for Mark's weekend! Enjoy!

  5. You are so awesome! I know that party is going to be fantastic!

  6. Cripes... I'm excited for the party too!!!! Hoping all goes well!!

  7. I'm about to cry! Katie, this is AWESOME! I hope Mark has the most wonderful party. You should be so proud of yourself for showing your children what kindness is.

  8. I've been playing catch up on your blog (officially caught up) and you are amazing, Katie! What you're doing for Mark is awesome!

  9. Wow what a great inspiration you are!

  10. I printed that circuit to add some diversity to my workouts when I have to do them at home...thanks for a new adventure.

    That is so cool about Mark's party and all the gifts you found for his family. I am sure everything will be greatly appreciated. I have sent two postcards to him so far...one from Thailand and one from Japan...more to come. --Mishka

  11. Playing blog catch up and life has been very busy but you are like the sweetest person ever! I'm sure you are filling Mark with such Joy! Also a note about the workouts...if you get bored and want a good routine that mixes in cardio and total body ST check out the 21 day fix. My hubby and I are doing it together and last night was our first workout. I was pleasantly surprised. I get bored during The 30 days shred but this DVD flew by.


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