Friday, May 30, 2008

exercise overload on sesame street

Have you heard how Sesame Street has really started to push good nutrition and exercise? Although we don't watch the show, I had read somewhere that Cookie Monster has expanded his palate to include fruits and vegetables, rather than just sugar loaded cookies. I think this is a great message to send. I just hadn't realized that there was more to Sesame Street's new healthy lifestyle message than that.

My enlightenment came this morning when Dizzle and I were finishing up our hour of "school work" and I took her over to the computer to utilize one of the many educational websites out there, like Sesame Workshop. We decided to listen to some stories (Dizzle chose "The Lemonade Stand"). I won't ruin it for you, but about five minutes in Elmo is selling lemonade when a girl comes to the stand and says, "Oh, I happen to have just finished a marathon. That's 26 miles, and boy am I thirsty." (Seriously.) She proceeds to drink her lemonade and then says something to the effect of, "That lemonade was great. Now I can go finish a triathlon before dinner."

That is a girl after my own heart. And big props to Sesame Street for pushing endurance sports.

Think I'm lying or just want to see it for yourself check it out here

Thursday, May 29, 2008

so, she face planted

Remember how I mentioned that Doodle is a stunt woman-in-training? Well, she showed off her high-flying talents yet again this morning as she so eloquently face planted at Maymont.

For those of you who missed her fall, it went a little something like this.

Me: "Doodle, let's put you in this nice, secure five-point harness, so that you'll be safe as we run around Maymont."

Doodle (thinking): "Sure, Mom. But that little piece of canvas can't stop me!"

One guess who was right.


Right as we were headed to the parking lot, Doodle managed to get completely out of her five-point harness (well, actually half of the five-point harness. She had gotten her top half out earlier.) and subsequently launched herself out of the stroller, face first into a huge pile of dirt (a mere two inches from the asphalt, might I add). Then I nearly rolled over her with said stroller.

My heart sunk. I quickly picked her up, waiting for the tears, but nothing. Other than a mouthful of dirt, she was perfectly fine. Obviously, she has been getting the message that when I tell her to "suck it up," I mean it. But seriously, if she can't handle a little fall like that, how will she ever succeed as a professional stunt woman?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

five miles is just too much ...

Five miles with a stroller is SO. NOT. FUN.

Five miles with a stroller and without your friends is even less fun. But since I would never even consider missing a training run, that is exactly what I faced today. I headed out and felt OK to start. Then, I looked down at my watch. Only 4.67 miles to go!! Almost done!! Yippee!! (I'm sure you can see where this is going.) So at .33 miles in, I hit the first uphill, at which point I was pretty sure that the 90 plus pounds of children and stroller that I was pushing was going to slip into reverse and roll me over. Luckily, it didn't. But it was close. I was moving so slow that I could probably of walked faster.

But I dragged on, feeling like I was barely moving, until mile 3.5. Then, suddenly, I found my groove, but that too was short lived. I was running a 1.5 mile loop, and for some reason, when I started my last cycle (which is when I usually speed up) I got lost in my head just praying for it to be over. At the same point, I swear that we must have picked up some cargo as well, because that stroller was CRAZY heavy. Seriously. My arm hurt afterwards.

OK! Enough! I really am such a wimp! Have you been listening to me ramble? Someone just tell me to shut up already! Slap some sense into me and tell me that it was just a bad run. Get over it!

Thanks, I needed that.

On a completely different note, I just wanted to share another one of Dizzle's tactics to get whatever she wants. As we were playing today, she turned to me and said, "Mommy, I need a big mommy hug. That would make my heart so happy." (Really, where does she come up with this stuff?) I, of course, gave her a hug. At which point, she says, "Can I have some chocolate?" Now who could say no to that?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

i did it in a bikini ...

No ... not what you're thinking.

So, what did I do in a bikini? I walked around King's Dominion, and I actually felt pretty good about it.

Luckily, I had Dizzle and Doodle with me as proof that my pale, soft, Freddy Kruger victim looking stomach, was not from some serious overeating, but rather from two very close together pregnancies. I was also comforted by the fact that as long as I didn't bend over and let gravity get a hold of my midsection, I looked kind of hot (for a mom of two, at least) and I was surrounded by quite a few "curvaceous" individuals who thought that itsy, bitsy bikinis were made for everyone. Just for the record - if you cannot find the strings to your bathing suit because they are hiding in back fat, then PLEASE opt for the one piece.

Anyway, in addition to learning that I have enough self confidence to flaunt my stuff in public, I also learned some facts about my children as well.

First, despite being older and having far more experience in the water, Dizzle likes the swimming about a tenth of the amount that Doodle does (maybe it's because Doodle's a Pieces). For example, Dizzle has a freak fest if water even approaches her head, while Doodle will crawl face first into water that is obviously too deep to be crawling in.

Second, even though, she really hates to be wet, have the water near her head, and is shivering, it is a cardinal sin to remove Dizzle from the pool before she is ready to go. This will result in a full out tantrum with stomping, screaming and crying.

Third, never attempt to stay at the amusement park past 2 p.m. Doing so will impede on Doodle's nap time and make an otherwise enjoyable trip miserable for all.

Finally, the promise of meeting The Backyardigans will make the crabbiest of children, into bubbly angels once again. Seriously, it's like someone flips a switch and the tears disappear and smiles emerge. It didn't even matter that we had met Pablo yesterday and Uniqua just last week (yes, we do go to King's Dominion that much.)

Talk about an educational outing ...

Friday, May 23, 2008

it's only 300 meters ...

I am a runner. A runner who also dabbles in cycling. A runner who has not swam more than 25 meters straight EVER. So, since I am obviously qualified, I entered a sprint triathlon on June 1 (which I'm not really training for).

This race consists of a 3.1 mile run (easy peasy!), a 12.4 mile bike (very do-able)and a 300 meter swim (did I mention I don't swim?) Anyway, this evening was my first (and perhaps my only) time in the pool. I headed in to the session with two goals:

1. To swim that far without stopping.

2. To do it in a time close to my seed time (six minutes).

So, how was it? Well, I learned that freestyle is not my strong suit. I got about a lap and a half in and could barely catch my breath. Obviously, my technique isn't that great. So I switched to breaststroke (much more effective). After what seemed like a very long time, I finished, out of breath with my heart racing. And my time? 7:14. Not bad considering that I initially put in my seed time at 7:00, but then decided that seven minutes was too slow and switched it to 6:00. (I can switch it back, but it will cost me $$ to do it).

I swam another 300 meters about five minutes later (still out of breath with my heart pounding) and finished in 7:25, feeling much more comfortable with my form and rhythm. Too bad I was totally fatigued about 25 meters in. Either way, I'm hoping that the adrenaline of racing and not wasting my energy with freestyle, will help me get my time between 6:30 and 6:45. Anyone else think I'm being crazy?

In other news, Doodle accomplished her own feat of athletic greatness yesterday. At 14 months, she finally took her first steps!! Yeah!! No more carrying Buddha Baby!! I'm super proud. Now if I could only get her to do it without bribery ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

can i drink it now?

Those of you who know me well are aware of the fact that I try to run a tight ship. We live and die by a schedule. Bedtimes are set in stone (7 p.m. not one second later), the girls have to put their toys away before leaving (or at least help), and meals are at the same time (roughly) everyday. And at said meals, you get what I make and like it, or go to bed starving. Think I'm kidding? I'm not, I have sent Dizzle to bed four nights in a row after she ate next to nothing. Seriously, she had like three bites. (That would never happen with Doodle - She'd eat liver like it was chocolate.) Don't think it would work for your kids? It will. They will eventually get hungry enough and cave ... as long as you don't cave first.

Since she's starting to grasp how meal times work in this house, Dizzle has started to request certain food and/or told me how she feels about a food when the two of us are preparing the meal (which we do while Doodle naps). For instance, when she was eating lunch today she managed to say the following in a matter of seconds.

"That is very tasty."

"These strawberries are delicious."

"Chicken and pasta for dinner? That would be very good to make."

Basically, she is becoming a connoisseur of the very family friendly meals I prepare. And while her tastes are pretty standard for a preschooler, she asked me if she could consume the most off-the-wall (and repulsive) thing this morning at the doctor.

Here's a recap:

Dizzle and I were in the bathroom, collecting her urine sample (which apparently is necessary for a three year old.) Anyway, after much fighting, I actually managed to hold her up (since the toilet was not kid-friendly) and get all of three teaspoons of urine into the cup (most of it was on my hand.) When I placed the cup on the floor to wipe her, Dizzle bent over, picked up the cup and asked, "Can I drink it now?"

"Really? Drink your own pee? That's just gross."

Luckily, I was quick enough to stop her (without spilling the whole cup on the floor) and proceeded to explain how you should NEVER eat anything that comes out of your body. NO PEE, NO POOP, NO THROW-UP, NO BOOGERS, NO EARWAX, NO NOTHING. I hope she got the point, because I wouldn't put it past her to try it again. I mean, this is the girl who drew me a work of art on her bedroom walls (and door) with a piece of poop because she didn't want to take a nap. Oh God! I hope she didn't eat any of that either!

Monday, May 19, 2008

1096 days ...

Dizzle and Doodle are in bed, J is out of town and I just put the last batch of cupcakes into the oven. Tomorrow is Dizzle's third birthday. Wow! Three years - That's 1096 days.


In the last 1096 days, I have not slept straight through the night. Sometimes it's because you weren't sleeping either. Other times, my sonar hearing kicks in and I awaken suddenly to make sure that you are still OK.

In the last 1096 days, I have never eaten first. It's always prepare and serve your food, then, if I am lucky, take five minutes to shove as much food in my mouth as possible.

In the last 1096 days, I have changed diapers, cut nails, brushed hair and given baths more times than I can count.

In the last 1096 days, I have never left the house with everything I need.

In the last 1096 days, I have only seen 5 movies at the theater. And only one of those was with your dad.

In the last 1096 days, I have been bitten, pinched, kicked, yelled and screamed at more often than I would like.

In the last 1096 days, I have never left you without considering what you would do if something happened to me while I was gone.

In the last 1096 days, I have only spent one night apart from you. And it was the evening I gave birth to your sister.

In the last 1096 days, I have dealt with vomit, diarrhea, and 105 degree fevers.

In the last 1096 days, I have used my clothing as a napkin, a tissue and a spit rag. Nothing I owe is stain-free.

In the last 1096 days, I have not stayed in bed past nine, even when I'm sick.

In the last 1096 days, I have never needed an alarm clock. Your yells do the trick.

In the last 1096 days, I have lost my patience, my body and my mind.

Yet, as much as I've had to sacrifice, adjust and adapt in the last 1096 days, I wouldn't change one bit of it. Because ...

In the last 1096 days, I have received enough hugs and kisses to more than erase any anger and frustration directed at me.

In the last 1096 days, I have grown to love you more than I had ever imagined.

In the last 1096 days, I have had the opportunity to be there for every one of your "firsts."

In the last 1096 days, I have had the chance to watch you grow into an intelligent, strong-willed and adorable child.

And the list goes on ...

Dizzle, thank you for making me a mother and for being such a great big sister. Thank you for giving me a reason to act like a kid again and for loving me endlessly. But most importantly, thank you for the most difficult, yet happiest 1096 days of my life. Because of you I will never be the same. Happy Birthday Baby!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

i should have registered as an athena ...

So in the race this morning there was an Athena division. For those of you who don't know Athena (and Clydesdale) is a separate division for racers who are over a certain weight. I looked online and found that the Carytown 10K had a 160lb weight requirement, but on Friday when I picked up my bib number, I grabbed a race brochure and it said that the division was for 150 and over. I considered switching my registration to be included in this group, but thought I was going to have such a great race that it wouldn't matter.

I so should have done it!! It would have made what was a mostly crappy race, really good. My time (53:34 - officially) would have finished third overall in the Athena division. That would have been sweet!!

I know you are doubting that I would qualify for the Athena classification, but trust me I would. I weighed in at 150 right before the race. Still don't believe me? Come over. I'll get on the scale.

when will I learn?

This morning was the Carytown 10K, my third race in 14 days. I went in with one goal, and for once it wasn't to beat my friends. It was to run faster than I did in the Monument 10K (53:17). So in an attempt to run "my race", I didn't start with my usual partners in crime. (I did see them about 20 feet in front of me at the start, but I couldn't get their attention). Anyway, I started at what I felt was a "comfortable" pace. I felt good, and I wasn't pushing it. Or so I thought.

I checked the Garmin at mile marker one (the first of about a zillion watch checks - I need to stop doing that.) Back to my point, I was through mile one in 7:58. I should have slowed down right then. I knew I was going out too fast. If this had been a 5K I would have been fine, but a 10K? I knew I was in trouble.

I still felt pretty good through miles three (23:58) and four (31:50). Have you noticed yet that I was averaging 7:58 miles through the first four? Once again, I still knew I was going too fast. But I was on pace not only to beat my previous 10K time, but to go sub-50. (Which I believe both E and C did - you girls rock!) So, instead of letting up, I kept the pace. BAD IDEA!! At about mile 4.5 I hit a wall. I started getting a little lightheaded so I decided to walk. (I ended up walking for a total of three minutes! AHHH! I am so angry at myself!!) The last mile was TORTURE.

But I finished (barely) and was kind of out of it for a good five minutes after the race (lightheaded and dizzy). So what was my time? ... on my watch, 53:28 (and my Garmin said I ran 6.3 miles not 6.2). Either way, basically, I'm bummed. There are several things I could have done differently and easily bettered my time. Not walked, kept an slower (even) pace, or maybe calmed myself down and not gone out so fast. When will I learn? I do the same thing EVERY time!

So I've made a decision (and it's not to break the legs of my friends so that they slow down.) I am going to start running strategically. Here's my plan.

5K's will be "balls to the wall" fast. All out, who cares how fast you go out because it's only three miles. Any races over three miles (which right now for me is the half marathon), I am going to attempt to run even pace, or negative splits. No matter how slow that makes me feel like I am going in the beginning. I know this will make me a stronger racer and I will enjoy racing a heck of a lot more.

So, since the half is my next race (other than the sprint tri, but that's a different story) I've laid out a course of action. I want to run a sub-2:00:00 race, which equates to 9:10 miles. So I will attempt (I say attempt, because who knows if I'll actually be able to do this) to run even pace nine minute miles. Do you think I can do it? Maybe I'll be able to convince someone else to join me in my quest and then they can keep me in check. Any volunteers?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

and you thought I was crazy ...

I know my last post was rather somber, but life is like that sometimes. You take the good with the bad. And since all ten of you that actually read this page suffered through it for my sake, here is a spirit lifter for you.

So we all have that crazy relative, right? Well I have several. But the leader of the pack is by far the matriarch of our family, my grandmother. She is a loving, chain-smoking, slightly off her rocker kind of grandmother. And I know she means well but so very often misses the mark. The prime example of this is her gift-giving skills.

With 8 children, 18 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren (not to mention spouses) she has a lot of people to purchase for. I'm sure she realized this and came up with a method of buying that made sense for her. And from what I can gather it works like this. She divides people into groups based on gender and age and all the people within that group get the same thing. I guess it could work, but usually we all end up with things we are not thrilled about. Plus, once someone else in your group (and we all know who falls where) opens their gift, all the excitement is removed for you. So not fun!

In addition to buying identical gifts, she often wraps them WAY in advance and forgets who gets what. Over the years, many gifts have been opened by the wrong people and/or people have received duplicates. Two years ago, I opened four gifts from my grandma. Every last one of them were candelabras. Seriously, four candelabras. I still can't figure out why she thought I would even need/want one!

But as funny as that may be, she topped the cake with a gift she gave my soon-to-be 18 year old sister on Mother's Day. My mom and G were at Grandma's celebrating with some of our family when Grandma told G that she came across a gift that she had gotten for her a few years ago. (Really? Where had it been for the past "few" years?) Anyway, when she brought it out it was a mud mask. The container was faded and not exactly in pristine condition, but not wanting to offend our grandmother, G said, "Thank you." Then Grandma asked if she thought she could still use it. G, thinking, "Are you crazy? You want me to put that on my face? How old is it?" instead said, "I think we should check if there is an expiration date." So Grandma took a look and couldn't find anything. So G passed the container on to our other Grandma (OK she's not really my grandma. She's my aunt's mother-in-law). But enough digression. Grandma F looked at the bottle and found the date. Are you ready for this?

1995!! Seriously!! How did she not come across this "gift" in 13 years? And what's crazier is that G was 5 in 1995. Did she seriously think a mud mask was a good idea for a 5 year old?

OK, OK. I know you are peeing your pants right now. Go ahead. Take a second to clean it up.

Are you good? Great. Well at least now you know where I get my craziness from.

Run Log, Day Three: 4.03 miles. 38:10. Outside with the girls in tow.

six years ago ...

May 15, 2002 - The day my life changed forever. It's hard to believe but six years have come and gone since my father passed away. And like with everything else, at times it feels like forever and other times it feels like minutes.

That day is emblazoned in my mind. I can tell you specific details like I am recalling the events of this morning. I'm pretty sure that will never go away. I wasn't supposed to be home that day. I should have been moving into my first apartment, but the former tenants weren't out yet and my move was delayed a week. So on May 14th, my dad picked up me and two of my roommates and we headed home for a few days before the move.

We awoke on the 15th to the sounds of my dad singing, "Come Out and Play," by Offspring at the top of his lungs. Yes, he was slightly crazy. My friend C rolled out of bed and just said, "Your dad is so cool." And I had to agree. In fact, his coolness was proven again just hours later when he set up the three of us with an appointment with his tattoo artist for later that evening.

The rest of the day was pretty typical. We would come and go as we pleased. Mom and Dad were busy around the house, but you could just tell that something was off with my father. He was extremely bloated. So much so that he couldn't make a fist. And he kept zoning in and out. But since he had been sent home from the hospital with a clean bill of health the night before, I think we all just thought that it was no big deal and he would be fine. It's crazy how thing are so clear in hindsight.

So that afternoon, before C, M and I went to get our new tattoos, my dad asked me to go pick up his paycheck. He proceeded to write me out directions with a map, an event that on a normal day would be a piece of cake. But instead, he was kind of loopy and almost falling asleep as he drew the map. All I could do was laugh, I mean, seriously, he was acting ridiculous. As I left the kitchen, with poorly drawn map in hand, I kissed him goodbye and told him to go sleep it off. Little did I know that would be the last thing I ever said to him.

The girls and I got back from tattoo shop just before 8 p.m. I was a Wednesday night and we were about to watch Dawson's Creek together. A tradition my family had ever since the series first aired. But my Dad was still sleeping, so my sister G, then 3 days from her 12th birthday, went to go wake him up. But she came back, completely white in the face, saying that he wasn't waking up. We called 911, and for all their effort he couldn't be saved. By far the WORST moment of my life. We cried and screamed and cried some more. It kills me just to think of it.

In that very moment, we all changed. How could you not? Losing someone that important to you really puts your life into perspective. You start to understand how insignificant all the little things are and that what really matters are the people we share our lives with.

And because of the awareness I gained from my loss and the person it has helped me to become, I can say that the most horrific moment of my life has also been one of the best. And there are hundreds of reasons why. Here are some of my favorites.

- It has made me appreciate the people around me more than ever - my mom and my sisters, while always important in my life, evolved into my best friends.

- I always try to say "I love you" even when "I want to kill you" is running through my mind.

- I have become more easy-going and I stress about so much less than I used to.

- I've adopted the healthiest lifestyle that I can, to ensure (as much as is in my control) that my children never have to experience what my sisters and I did.

- I've learned that being strong is good, but being vulnerable is better.

- I know that while life will never be the same and the hurt will never completely disappear, with time it gets better.

- I understand that love will get you through anything.

So, here's the lesson of the day. Hug your kids. Visit your parents. Let everyone you love know it. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

And because I know you all love pictures - Here are some of my dad and me.

From top to bottom:

From vacation, Summer 2001 (He wasn't that short. He just thought it would be funny if he looked like a dwarf next to us.)

Our last family picture, Christmas 2001

My favorite picture of the two of us. Summer 2001

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

she ate poop?

I know you are intrigued and at least slightly grossed out by the title of this post, but read on. I promise, it's not as bad as it seems. In fact, it's quite educational.

Over the past three years, I have lost the ability to function like a normal human being. Instead, I have been taken over by "Mommy Brain." I'm sure that every last mother out there has experienced this (right? I can't be the only one). If you're not sure, or just need a refresher (very likely if you are currently suffering from "Mommy Brain" yourself), here it is.

1. Before you had children, bodily functions (especially other people's) were gross. You would never talk about poop, vomit or drainage of any sort. Now, you could write a dissertation on the many complexities of a breastfed baby's poop with ease.

2. You used to have adult conversations about everything and anything, except children. But now it's hard to go a few minutes without mentioning your children, other people's children or just child rearing in general. Don't believe me? Just try it. I bet that if you are able to have a "normal" conversation, you had to stop yourself at least once from bringing up your kids.

3. Your vocabulary has changed, and it's not for the better. Sure you curse less, but instead you've added baby phrases, which you will use not only with your children, but with adults as well. For example, a train is no longer just a train. It's a choo-choo train. As in, "Hey, look at all of those people getting on the choo-choo train! TOOT! TOOT!" Oh and my favorite - night, night. As if saying "Good night" is too difficult. It's the same amount of syllables and just as easy to say, yet on countless occasions I have rolled over in bed and said night, night to J.

There are many other symptoms of "Mommy Brain," but you can easily be diagnosed with the disease if you suffer from any (or all) of the above. Yet, despite all of the annoying characteristics of "Mommy Brain" I have found at least one redeeming quality of the disorder - the ability to dissect the most complex topics into bite-size pieces that even a preschooler can understand.

Case in point - Digestion. Dizzle wanted to know about it, so I had to provide her with accurate information (mostly) that was easy to understand. It all started like this ...

Dizzle: "What did Doodle poop?"

Me: "Her food."

Dizzle: "She ate poop?"

Me: "No, she ate food."

Dizzle: (Confused look)

Me: "Dizzle, this is how it works. When you eat food, it goes in your belly. Then the little bugs (bacteria) in your belly chew up the food some more and then send all the good parts to your body so that you can get big and strong. Then whatever is left over gets pooped out."

Dizzle: "There are bugs in my belly?"

Me: "Yes, they are called bacteria and they take the good stuff out of your food."

Dizzle: "And then I poop."

Me: "Yes. And then you poop."

And Dizzle totally got it too. All afternoon she told me that the bugs in her belly were eating her sandwich. And this morning, when she pooped, she told me that her cheese sandwich was in there (pointing to the toilet).

See, a totally complex process made simple for a three-year old. Isn't "Mommy Brain" amazing?

*** Thanks to our resident Earth Momma for reminding me to post my run log. See, "Mommy Brain" again!! Anyway, here's day two of training. DAY TWO: 3 miles. 27:50. Outside with the girls in tow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

enough with the hints already...

OK Dizzle, I get it. You want a baby brother. But, seriously, stop with all the pressure.

As if last week's declaration that Mommy and Daddy were going to go pick up her baby brother (whom she named Boy Baby) weren't enough, Dizzle hit me up again this afternoon for a sibling. This time in the form of a song.

"Baby in Your Belly," by Dizzle (to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
You are my special Mommy,
With a baby in your belly.
You try to get a baby in your belly,
Like I have food in my belly,
Food in my belly,
Food in my belly,
Food in my belly,
Food in my belly.

I know, she's flipping hysterical. So, how did this future Grammy winning song come about? Well, when I took Doodle to the doctor this morning, the doc we saw was seven months pregnant. And of course, Dizzle wanted to know what was in her stomach and the doctor proceeded to tell her that she was going to have a baby boy. (No, she didn't try to name him.) This led to a good five minutes of pushing on the doctor's stomach and incessant pestering to see the baby. Once we left, Dizzle continued her obsession by asking me what was in the bellies of every person she knows. To which I answered, "Food, Dizzle. Just Food." From that she apparently came to the conclusion that all moms store babies in their bellies and everyone else stores food. And so her song was written.

On a different note, today was day one of training for the Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon. I've decided to log my training here, in an attempt to keep myself from slacking off, especially as it gets hotter and the kids get heavier in that stroller that I so often train with. So here it is. DAY ONE: 3 miles. 24:05. treadmill.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I've had enough...

I would like to start this post by congratulating C and E for awesome times at this morning's 5K (23:26 and 23:21 respectively). I am in awe of them. C finished 5th in our age group and E was 6th in her's. They totally rocked it out!!

With that being said, I've had enough. I can no longer stand to be slower than them. Haven't you ladies gotten the hint yet? LET ME WIN ... Just for once I want to be the fastest! (I know, I know, enough with the whining.)

At first, I was totally psyched about the race. After all, I set a new PR (27:54) and managed to do so while pushing a 90lb stroller up some pretty fierce hills (so fierce that I had to walk up one for more than a minute). But then I got home and checked the race results, and once again my friends ran significantly faster than me and I was crushed. (Seriously, I'm too competitive for "friendly" races.) Instantly, I wanted to lace up my shoes and go run 3.1 miles to prove to myself that I could do it just as fast. (Don't say it. I know, I'm nuts!) I didn't do it though, instead I went for a seven mile bike ride and came to the following conclusions.

1. I need to find a 5K to run with my friends where it's flat and I don't have to run with a stroller (and I can get pulled by E a.k.a. The Kenyan).

2. I need to stop running in the same races as my friends, that way I can't compare times.

3. I need to find new, slower friends who lack the potential to ever beat me.

4. My friends all need to get knocked up, so that they are ultimately forced to run slower. Wait, that might backfire. If they beat me all big and pregnant, I would be devastated.

I'm hopeful that one of these scenarios will play out. Personally, I'm pulling for number one. Why? Because I love my friends to much to run without them and I really don't want to have to replace them (but I will if I must). Also, while I hope they all have more children, I can't take another ego blow if they don't get any slower.

But for now, I guess I just have to deal with the crushed ego that comes with having talented peers. Maybe next week when we race, I'll pay some people to box them out, so that I can make a mad dash for the finish line. Hey, a girl can dream!!

(I just wanted to mention that J ran this morning too! He finished in 29:48, a four minute PR over his last 5K and 12 seconds faster than he had hoped for! Way to go J! On a completely unrelated note, I registered for my first triathlon on Friday and I'm totally psyched ... stay tuned for updates!)

Friday, May 9, 2008

a long afternoon ...

I'm not quite sure if it's just me or if every other stay-at-home mom feels the same way, but for some reason Friday afternoons drag on and on. Perhaps this feeling is brought on by a full week of child rearing, without a relief squad (thanks to J's super long hours as of late) or maybe it's just the prospect that J WILL be home ALL weekend and I will somehow manage to get some me time in there. Actually, it might just be that Dizzle's sick, the weather has been crappy and I feel trapped, literally trapped inside of my house.

While we managed to make it out this morning for Stroller Strides (do you really think I would miss cupcakes?), it was probably not the best idea. Dizzle actually asked to go home and has been dragging ever since. Damn cupcakes! Why do you have to be so yummy?

OK, enough about the cupcakes (even though they were great - check out Back on point. This afternoon has passed so incredibly slowly that I'm pretty sure that the seconds hand on my watch moved backwards. Maybe that didn't really happen. It could have just been a hallucination from the sugar high. But either way, you get my point.

Now I am left with two hours until bedtime, a runny-nosed (and whiny) preschooler, a really loud toddler and nothing to do. I know you're thinking, "There are lots of things to do. Be creative. Put that Ivy League degree to good use." But I swear, I've tried. It's just not working today. I feel like I'm 10 again and I've just told my mom that I'm bored and she says, "How can you be bored? There is plenty to do. Why don't you go outside and play?" And of course I would reply, "Because I don't want to."

Seriously, it's so easy to get trapped in your self-inflicted boredom.

Monday, May 5, 2008

biking is the new running

Despite the fact that until yesterday I hadn't been on a bike in over six years, I think I may have found a new addiction. I went on a five mile ride yesterday evening to get a gauge for where I was at. Sure I can run, but bike? I pretty much figured that I would get on, get about half a mile down the road and want to turn around because my butt was so sore. But that totally didn't happen.

In fact, the entire time (once I figured out how to properly switch gears) I actually thought,"This is so much easier than running. Why haven't I thought to try this before?" And that's all it took. As soon as I got home I started researching bikes and trailers (so the kids can come, of course). Next came the daydreams of how cool it would be to bike to the store and the library and the park and all the other places the girls like to go. (Keep in mind that no matter how "green" it may be and how "green" I like to be, that will never happen. The roads here have no shoulders and are way too dangerous to take the girls out on.)

Anyway, I even found a "race" to train for. It's actually the Bike Festival held in Ashland every year, which isn't so much a race as much as it is people biking predetermined courses of 25-100 miles. But whatever you want to call it, I am still going to have to train if I want to be able to finish it, at any speed. (I'm planning on the 27 mile course, by the way).

So once a week, in addition to my four days of running, I will gradually be building my mileage (and hopefully speed) so that I can accomplish my newest goal and feed yet another one of my addictions. Did I mention, biking is so the new running?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I run like a girl ...

I run like a girl ... and am proud of it.

This morning, S and I ran the Montrail Run Like a Girl 8K at Pocahontas State Park and despite being forewarned about the hills and pretty sure that I would probably collapse on one of them, I was rather excited going into the race. S and I were joined by 400 other women for the 4.97 mile trail run and with my Garmin ready (pointless, since most of the run was under cover) we headed out at the front of the pack.

But that didn't last long. Within seconds of starting, the two of us were engulfed by runners. But we trekked on, hill after hill, praying for it to be over (I told you I don't like to run.) We had been told there were water stops at about mile 1.25 and 3.75, so when I passed the first stop I thought to myself, "Oh that first mile or so went by pretty fast. I feel good and those hills are nothing." Yeah, I should have known better. The stretch between the two water stops seemed to drag on and on and on. By this point, S and I had seperated. I was slightly ahead of S, and since I didn't really know where she was, I used her as motivation. I just kept thinking, "If I stop and walk up one of these hills S will kill me."

By the time I got to the second water stop I really thought I was going to have to stop. I was beat. But again, the voice in my head kept me from doing so. Then sudden happiness hit me, the one mile to go sign!!! So I kicked it into high gear, and then a SUPER HUGE hill stood in front of me and I couldn't make it all the way to the top (my heart rate was 197 at this point), so I walked to the top and ran down all the way to another huge hill, where I walked again. Finally, I could hear the music of the finish area, so I sprinted (seriously, like at 100m pace) the last 400 meters of the race.

And I am so happy that I did. By my watch I finished in 41:56 and the race clock was around 41:58 when I crossed. I improved my 8K PR by 1:20, super awesome considering I walked some and the race was hilly (especially compared to the flat to downhill run of the NTELOS 8K). And although I am waiting for the official results, I am pretty sure I finished in the top 30. So, basically I'm psyched. It's awesome to run like a girl!!

UPDATE: I finally got the results of the race, and here's how it stacked up. My official time was 41:57 which placed me 6th in my age group (out of 60) and 33rd overall.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

oh brother ...

Last night after dinner, Dizzle, Doodle and I were in the kitchen opening the mail, which included an invitation to a cousin's baby shower. Instantly, Dizzle, the curious creature that she is, asked what the invitation was for and why her (J's cousin) belly was so big (picture included - Dizzle's not psychic). So I told her that she was going to have a baby and there was going to be a party. Of course, she wanted to know more - including the baby's name. Not having an answer for her, I asked what she thought his name should be. And what did she say? "Guam." I said, "Really? Guam?" To which she replied, "Yes, Guam."

She followed her response by telling me that she too wanted a baby brother. And when I asked her what she would name him, guess what she said. No, not Philippines. She said she wanted to name him, Boy Baby. Seriously, could she get more generic? A totally interesting name for her cousin, but the best that she could come up with for her own hypothetical brother was Boy Baby. Could you imagine that? Boy Baby Blanchet. It's like she read it off of the card they stick on the baby beds at the hospital.

Dizzle's obsession with her fake brother did not stop there. When J came home from work 20 minutes later the first thing she said to him was, "Daddy, you and Mommy are going to get me a baby brother. He be called Boy Baby." (Just a side note: J thinks I implanted this whole sibling idea in Dizzle's head. Just for the record, I didn't.)

J laughed and quickly regained composure telling Dizzle that we would see, which is usually enough to get her to drop whatever she's talking about. Ahh, but in this instance that was so not the case.

When she woke up this morning, J asked her what she was going to do today, but instead of laying out her day for him, she answered, "You and Mommy are going to get my baby brother this morning." Can you say "pressure"?