InDependent

One of parenthood’s major perks is the gigantic tax break that’s delivered along your tiny bundle of joy. As that little joy nugget grows and takes up a larger chunk of your budget, you  look forward to that tax refund (a large percentage of which is allocated back to caring for said joy nugget). Eventually your child grows up, graduates, and gets a full time job… but still freeloads at home, so you naturally intend to continue claiming him/her as a dependent. In fact, you may even say to your now fully grown, less than optimally-functional adult child:  “Joy Nugget, I’m claiming you as a dependent on my taxes so don’t get any big ideas about claiming yourself.”

You might even mention this a grand total of 5 times.

And then one day you submit your tax returns, and about four hours later you get a notice from the IRS:  “Your tax returns have been rejected because Joy Nugget claimed himself”.

WHAT.  WHAT DOES THIS MEAN.

This means that your fully grown bundle of joy has a little extra pocket money but you, as the single parent who provided far more than half of his living expenses for the past year, you lose your Head of Household filing status AND the ability to claim your child as a dependent.

Oh, and almost half of your anticipated tax refund.

Now you’re presented with many options. You could contact the IRS and wade through miles of red tape to assure them that your adult kiddo claimed himself in error. (Nope). You could remind your child of the 5 times you told him you’d be claiming him and get lots of excuses and static. (Yep). You can then stew about it for a few days and decide that if Joy Nugget is clever enough and adult-y enough to claim himself on his taxes, he should probably either pay a reasonable rent to live at home or move out.  He chose the latter.

And this how I became a Happy Independent Empty Nester by the end of 2015 tax season.

Wake Up Buttercup

I may not know the names of all the muscles I shredded yesterday, but I know their precise locations and can feel their smallest contributions to movement . #ow

Altogether I did 120 slams, 120 push-ups, and 120 squat jumps (4 timed sets of 30 reps). This was a wake up call after two weeks of injury rest.

10K Training

I’ve run 3 half marathons and oodles of 5Ks, but when it comes to 10K races I have some sort of mental block. 6.2 miles is right in the middle of too short and too long, so it should be fairly comfortable, yet this distance has always been my racing unicorn.

To remedy this, I’m running a trail relay in April (taking the 6.5 mile leg) and the Borgess Run 10K in May. Are you sitting down, Reader?  I’m training for these races. Yep. I’m using a modified version of Hal Higdon’s intermediate 10K training program and it’s already kicking my butt.

Here’s what a typical week looks like between now and the first week of May:

schedule

No sweat, and #nosleeptilBorgess

embrace the burn

Training recap time! Long story short, distance running is back in my routine and my last two training sessions made me wonder if the gym staff would be offended when I unapologetically puked on their nice wooden floor. I added magnesium into my daily supplement regimen to convince my muscles I don’t really want them to die.

February 23:

  • Lunge walks with a 25lb plate, starting with the weight center and dropping it to the side and curling back up with each lunge. My arms are w-e-a-k
  • Broad jumps hugging a 16lb slam ball, then alternating broad jumps and actual slams
  • FIFTEEN minutes on the upside down Bosu Ball with a 25lb plate, alternating plate placement at chest level, stomach level, out in front, right side, left side

March 1:

  • Plank seal walk with slide plates; sumo squat jumps with 16lb slam ball 10x; slam ball 10x; plank seal walk back
  • Bosu ball: balance on one leg with 25lb plate, step off to opposite leg and balance on floor
  • Jump rope 30 seconds (no misses), paired with
  • Speed stripper squat jumps (TRX assisted) for 60 seconds
  • Weighted raised split leg ab crunches

And my trainer wants me to score two goals in one game this week. Wish me luck!