Monday, December 28, 2009

Slippery Slope to 2010...

This week's runs have been a bit harder than the rest. This was a big week - 54 miles - and I had a hard time keeping my head in the game for some reason. I'm not sure if it was the hub bub of the holidays (though we did a decent job of keeping that to a dull roar) or what, but I"m hoping this week is a bit better... though my legs are pretty thrashed from a hilly 10 mile pace run then a hilly 20 mile long run. I did it and I hit my goal times, but didn't feel as good as I felt on my last 20 miler. Granted last time I only ran 10 easy the day before not 10 HARD w/ a crap load of hills.

I was excited to do the 20 miler after my punishing hilly 10 miler. I had dad drive me to a neighboring town so I could just run home instead of finding a loop or out and back. We did this for my last 20 miler and it worked out nicely to do point-to-point on roads I had never run before. So we are driving driving driving and I'm wondering if it's really that helpful to see exactly how far I'm running when we start to DESCEND.. big time.. into New Milford. Yes ladies and gentlemen my hilly 10 mile pace run was to be followed by a 3 mile mountainous climb out of town at the BEGINNING of my 20 miler. I decided I wasn't going to be psyched out by this. Instead of jumping from the car to avoid going any deeper into town I took a deep breath and reminded myself that my goal was to go nice and easy and keep my heart rate down to train my body to use fat as fuel. I'm walking those puppies and I don't care what anyone thinks... so that's exactly what I did. I ran until my heart started beating a little harder than I wanted it to (haven't located my chest strap for my Garmin yet) and then walked. Walked and walked until I got to the top then ran on the flats and walked some more. It was fine. I hung in there and listened to my book (Freakonomics this time) and thought about all my friends out there running 'w/ me' (thanks guys) and plugged along. By the end my left knee was done and my right arch was yelling at me a bit, but I persevered through the pain and the rain that had started. All in all the run was BEAUTIFUL and frankly I'm surprised I don't see more people out there running it's so pretty... maybe in the summer. I ran through hills, by creeks and lakes and ponds and it was all heavily wooded like someone had paved a nice little road through 20 mile long state park just for me (and a few cars) to travel on. It was quite serene...

As I'm quickly coming to a close on this training session I'm starting to plan for next year... lot's of things rolling around in my ol' noggin'. I did join the Bethel Cycle Tri club and am meeting w/ the crew in early January so we can talk about what races everyone is doing. I'm looking forward to tips from everyone as to the good races in town. I also just registered for a masters swim class (12 weeks) put on for triathletes and am hoping to get some much needed guidance on my swim. There are some goals around that part of the sport for sure!

I can't believe that 2009 is coming to a close.... 2010 is going to be EPIC!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Garmin must be broken

Seriously people. My Garmin must be broken. I needed to do a 6 mile pace run today. My goal pace for Miami is 8:20... okay it's out there now. I'm trying to qualify for Boston. Putting goals out there for all to see is great, but I'm always afraid of falling short in front of everyone. There it is for you all to see and know and wait to see if I can do it...... crap.

Anyway. I needed an 8:20 pace run today. It's hilly here. My run starts off - no matter which way I go - with a significant incline so I do my warm up up hill. Today I just started pushing and when I checked my watch (this is after my up hill warm up) I was running sub 8. I slowed down a bit, but I must admit there was satisfaction in the realization that I was running fast. Now I always thought that I would FEEL fast if I could run fast, but the fact of the matter is I don't. I feel .. well, the same. I don't feel like the cars driving by think.. wow, she's running fast. I think I look pretty much the same as I always did, but who knows.

I have a hard time maintaining a certain pace so I decided to just run hard and see where it put me. I checked my watch periodically and I would be lying if I told you I wasn't stoked when I was running UP HILL at race pace. I couldn't believe it. More than once I did think to myself, "this can't be right, my Garmin has got to need charged or just be broken.".... guess we'll find out on Jan 31st since I don't have anyone else to check it against.

At the end of my run ... and out and back so equal amounts of up hill and down hill... I averaged 7:49... SEVEN FORTY NINE!!!! Most of you know that back in the day it was all I could do to maintain a 9:30 for any length of time....

I'm working my ass off, eating the best I possibly can and trying my damnedest to get in bed early and get the rest I know my body needs for recovery. Hydration is a whole other issue, but I'm trying to stay on top of it. I'll be damned if it doesn't seem to be paying off. Maybe I'll actually pull this off.

Oh, I might add that it was like 10 degrees out this a.m. and I couldn't feel my feet until right before I turned around!!! Guess running on numb stumps works for me!!

Thanks to all of you that are giving so much support on my FB updates. The count down is on... only 6 more weeks... I think I can I think I can I think I can.....

IF I qualify for Boston there is another goal on the horizon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Actually feeling like a runner...

So I've been RUNNING for YEARS. I did my first marathon in 1999 and I ran off and on for about 7 years before that, but I never felt like a runner. I know a lot of you know what I'm talking about and if you don't run you probably think I'm nuts. When I would train for a marathon (which I've done twice) or a half marathon I would run quite a bit, but when people would say things like, "oh you're a runner." I never really identified w/ that label or felt that I deserved to be called a runner. I liked running w/ my friends. I knew it had benefits and I knew I could eat whatever I wanted when I was training and maintain my weight, but I never loved it. I would always say, "NO, I run, but I'm not a runner." I suppose I felt that way because after my event was over I always pretty much quit running. I always had the goal to be able to run 10 on the weekends, but never stuck with it.

I'm training for a marathon right now so maybe this is all crap, but I am actually feeling like a runner. I still don't feel like I look like a runner, but I feel like one. I run... a lot... by myself and I LOVE IT! I love that time and look forward to it every day. I do whatever I can to carve that time out during the day ... even if I'm having to run hard to get home before it gets too dark b/c I didn't get it done during the day light hours. Hell, I ran 20 miles by myself and it was no problem.

Maybe it's my current life of constant input and I really just like the alone time and feel justified in taking it in this fashion. As opposed to going to the coffee shop for 1 to 3 hours alone 6 days a week. I'm starting to think I want to do ultras... maybe start with a 50k and move to a 50 miler... 100??? Maybe ... I'm leaning this way more than I am to triathlon. THOUGH I MUST CONQUER THE 70.3!!! And I still have Ironman dreams.

Running with just myself takes me through so much. I think I'm enjoying it more bc I'm not just putting one foot in front of the other anymore. I'm thinking about my form and my speed. I'm mixing it up w/ just running, making myself run slow and three different types of speed work.

During any given run I solve all of my problems, work through issues I'm trying to resolve with the kids, totally space out and think about nothing, focus on my form to alleviate little aches that might creep in, focus on my breathing and how I feel, focus on the topic in my book, take in the scenery and sounds (I only use one earbud so I can hear cars), I think about my friends and wonder how they are, I send out love to them, I write lists in my mind (which I immediately forget when I get home), but mostly... MOSTLY I have gratitude! Gratitude for my husband and all he affords me and adds to my life, gratitude for my parents and the fact that w/o them most of this running wouldn't be happening, gratitude for my health and ability, gratitude for my position in life.

All is good.... and I just want to run.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stew Leonards Santa

So there is this crazy grocery store here called Stew Leonards it's like an amusement park slash grocery store... it's always crowded and it's great for kids - IF you can stand the crowd. Anyway... dad and I stopped there on our way home the other night and noticed that they had a santa. Now the crowds at Stew Leonards are NOTHING compared to the ones at the mall so we decided to do some shopping w/ the kids and let them talk to Santa while we were there. FIFTEEN minutes and DONE! Perfect. I got to snap a picture myself and didn't get hassled to spend ridiculous amounts of money on a photo....


Not too bad for 15 minutes and no charge. I am a HAPPY HOLIDAY CAMPER!

PS Lily wore piggies b/c she said Santa would like it.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snow in CT...


Snow in CT sure is different than snow in Madison... besides just the obvious difference in sheer volume. The snow here is wetter. It snows, then warms and rains. I hear ice is the big problem here. Not so much in the deep freeze temps of Wisconsin. I'm also not so confident in the road clearing prowess of the CT team as I was in the WI team. Not to mention it's uh, flat in Wi. It's curvy and hilly here.

Shoveling this snow is harder... despite the lack of volume. It's freakin' heavy. Good thing we got a slammin' snow blower in the house deal... though we haven't yet needed to fire it up. Maybe today.

The big question today is do we continue on w/ our shopping plans or bag em b/c we don't know what the roads are like? In Wi I never would have changed my plans over this amount of snow. This certainly adds another layer to outdoor running. Passing a car on the road is one thing ... passing a snow plow w/ his blade down is another entirely. Takes the splash of the puddle to a whole new level. Okay imagining someone (not me) running along and getting a 'shower' of snow from the snow plow actually made me chuckle a bit! Guess I'm off to the gym today and am REALLY REALLY hoping I can run long (20 miles) on the road on Saturday... Training for a winter marathon takes some tenacity in these parts. Good luck to my Wi training partners.. ugh.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Getting settled...

We are getting in our groove here in Connecticut. The kids are adjusting just fine to their new school. Ironically they went from a class of all girls and two boys to a class of all boys and two girls. The kids don't comment on it, but I thought it was interesting. Lily has commented a few times on the way to school that she wants to go back to Wisconsin and her old school. She won't say why, but I think it's because the easel and paints were a mainstay at her old school and she would paint every day. Here she can't paint very much.

We found a cool state park about 2 miles from here and we go there a ton. The kids love to 'go to the woods'. They love to clamber up the rocks and hike on the single track trails. I just like being outside in the fresh air. It snowed today so we'll see if we continue to go out there as much.

I'm running a ton... alone. When contemplating it prior to having to hit the huge milage I was dreading it, but really it's kind of nice. I'm not sure if it's my current state of life. Full boar, huge volume and CONSTANT that I don't mind running alone in silence w/ my book and my thoughts or if it's just the book. Certainly running 20 miles alone is not as fun alone as it is w/ your best girl friends, but I'm surviving much better than I thought I would. My 19 miler today was suffering (around mile 12), but I got through it and in the end didn't totally hate it so that's good. :) I blew through Born to Run in just over a week's worth of runs... even taking a day off of listening to it to conserve it for my longer run. Now I've moved onto "This is what I talk about when I talk about Running" and I think I pretty much used it up today on my 19 miler. Both great books. Born to Run may be my favorite book right now. Next up The China Study. Omnivore's Dilemma will probably be next. I've tried to read it twice and it's nice and LONG! This could get expensive. Guess it's cheaper than a swim coach at this point.

I did go ahead and join the local cycle/tri group. I'm a bit nervous b/c it's mostly roadies and I don't race bikes. I know they want participation, but they also want people to do well and improve. Guess there is no harm in that right??? :) I haven't been in a pool in a year and didn't ride much at all last year... could have a tough season ahead of me. At least I kept running though it all.. THANK YOU RIDGE for making me keep up w/ that all year. What was it that Betsy said? "Friends don't let friends train for Ironman alone." ???

We got a dog. The first two days I had serious buyers remorse thinking I might have just put myself over the edge, but he has settled into the family nicely and has figured out where he is supposed to go to the bathroom. He's still got an affinity for my slippers, but he's not an aggressive chewer so I'm able to get them off of him before he does too much damage. We've had a few minor toy casualties, but it's helping the kids keep their toys picked up a bit better. Okay maybe not that much better. Jason loves practicing his "Cesar Milan Dog Whisperer" techniques and actually helps out quite a bit w/ the dog considering his age. The kids love having him around (aside from the times of the aforementioned casualties).

I'm having a hard time getting into the Xmas vibe. I'm not a huge holiday person, but I'm trying for the kid's sake. I made them fun little advent calendars that they are totally jazzed to open every morning. They get a chapstick tomorrow and I can't wait to see the look on Lily's face. (she loves her some chapstick)... and yes there is some candy in there. They got chocolate coins today. We talk a lot about Santa.. mostly in the terms of ... if you do / don't do that Santa is not going to be happy. I find myself breaking into the Santa Claus is Coming to Town song daily... as their reminder to mind their Ps and Qs. Papa is also one of Santa's secret agents and he calls him daily to give him a report on how Jason and Lily are doing. I hadn't even thought of doing this until a lady mentioned that she uses it quite a bit. I think Jason and Lily will probably get some toys, but most days I am tempted to give them coal and sticks. They might get coal and sticks w/ their toys... I got sticks one year... may as well pay it forward. YES!! My mom and dad REALLY gave me STICKS from Santa one year. (I'm sure I got something else.. but damn Gma doesn't mess around). Do I need to remind you that Xmas is also my Birthday... nice mom.

We got our first snow today and I couldn't believe how wet it was and the fact that it didn't really stick initially. We aren't in Wisconsin anymore Toto. Mom and I are going shopping tomorrow and Tom said we would wait and see what the roads were like? WHAT!!! Okay it's seriously mountainous (East Coast Mountainous anyway) here, but seriously!?

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays... we're getting there! :D

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A long day and a name change

It's been a long day today. Our last here in Madison. I've held it together pretty well though this whole process... busying myself w/ the minutia of life and the minutia of the move, but today saying good bye to Marie was just too much. My first break down. The tears flowed and when Jason and Lily asked me what was wrong I told them I was going to miss my friend Mama Marie. Lily said, "that's okay. Daddy will be there." Then she said, "We'll come back to Wisconsin." Marie, I miss you so much already!! I miss all of my friends as we get ready to shove off for CT.

We spent our entire day w/ friends... we went to breakfast w/ Ridge then headed to Hoyt Park to meet Mama Marie, Kate, Coco and some other friends for some fun in the woods. After that we headed over to Casa Brown (aka Kate and Coco's) for lunch and fun. Then to Betsy, Ty and Ian's for a quick good bye. Despite the undertones of sadness because of our departure it was a great day. I even got a nice run in... despite the fact that I am so full from EATING my way through this moving event. Eating out every meal does not agree w/ me.. and my tendency to eat when I'm stressed isn't helping. Finally got the Vitamix out of the car for my dinner smoothie and am much happier w/ greens and veggies in my belly. One more smoothie for the road tomorrow and some kombucha to help my poor gut get back to normal and we're off to our first stop in Maumee, Ohio (right outside of Toledo) then another stop in Pennsylvania (Lily asked if we were going to see Pinky Grandma - my grandma - I was amazed she remembered that she lives in PA)... then a short day and we are in Bethel, CT... hopefully in time for a little preschool get together to introduce the kids to some new friends before their first day of school on Monday.

I changed our address w/ our bank so I changed the name of the blog too. We'll just be the East Coast Mounts for now... maybe I'll come up w/ something more inspired at a later date.

Jason and Lily are ROCKING this move. I am so shocked at how well they are rolling with this. We've talked about it a lot and continue to give them the plan for the next days to come so they know what to expect. I really think our trips to TX and to PA are really paying off right about now. They are familiar w/ the car rides and staying in hotels and they think it's fun so this is nothing new to them. We're all a bit tired and a bit more on edge than usual, but so far so good!

Okay... time to attempt bed time for stay number 3 in the hotel. Closing is tomorrow at 10:20a.... 'see you' on the other side.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting Ready

I'm starting to feel a bit more prepared. We got some things done today. Packed the kids clothes for the hotel stays, moved some things that stay with the house, cleaned a bit, booked hotels for the drive and gave feedback to have the hotels booked for Madison and CT. I've also booked some last minute get togethers with friends for me and the kids. We're keeping busy until the very bitter end.

Six more days and the big truck shows up. We'll see if the kids really get it that we are moving and their stuff will resurface on the other end.

Running has been going surprisingly well... My legs are repaired from my P90X workout last week. I'm relieved I was seriously wondering if that was just how I was going to feel for the rest of my training. I didn't see them healing while I was continuing to work them so hard. I took yesterday off and that seemed to help. We'll see how they fair on P90X and hill repeats this Wed followed up by a 6 mile pace run on Friday and a HILLY half marathon trail race on Saturday.

I've changed my schedule and I'm interested to see how the Hal Higdon approach works for me. He has you run hard pace runs the day before your long runs. The idea is the wear you out so you can't run your long runs too hard. I'll also be doing either a tempo run, hill work out or speed work out every Wed to mix things up. I'm excited to approach marathon training a bit differently than I have in the past. In the past I just got out there slugged out the miles. Now I will have a bigger goal with each run... run faster or run slower. Hills or repeats. I'm going to start off doing the Advanced schedule to see how that treats me, but will allow myself to drop down to the Intermediate II schedule if the Advanced is too much. I feel like I'm ready for it, but time will tell.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One and a half weeks and counting...

One and a half weeks until the movers come. In my mind I had been counting down until closing... which is two weeks away, but today I just realized I really should be counting down until the movers pack us out because that is really the big day for me. I need to do some work before then. Like separate out the things that stay with the house and the things we are taking on our trip. This could take some time particularly with Jason and Lily running around trying to 'help' me.

We are talking a lot about moving and the kids talk a lot about the big truck coming and taking their stuff and about moving to Connecticut. We'll see what happens when the truck actually shows up to take the stuff away.

I'm really excited for all the things that I hope to do at the new place - essentially everything I had planned on doing here, but put on hold because we are moving. Things like composting, rain barrels, a bigger garden, but as we get closer to the actual move I'm getting nervous. Mostly I'm nervous about moving to a new place in the face of winter and feeling isolated in my house without friends and play groups. Hopefully winter is a bit different out there in that people don't basically disappear into their homes for cold water hibernation.

Training is going well. I'm doubling up the P90X (really fitting it in where I can) and it seems to be working in just 2 weeks of not doing it every day. I did legs and back yesterday and can definitely feel it today. I have to 'cheat' on the "pull up" part of the work outs because I don't have a pull up bar (like I could do a pull up - one day) and use bands, but hopefully after we get settled in the new house I can get a pull up bar. Not sure where it would go, but we'll figure that out. I did legs and a 5 mile run yesterday. Ugh. I'm questioning the training schedule I am working off of now so I'm trolling around for a new plan... if anyone has recommendations.

I stumbled on THIS post the other day and really thought it was great. For those of you that run... Why? Why do you run?

Why do I run? Lot's of reason. Not necessarily in this order:
3. I like to eat
4. love the burn/runner's high
5. to feel accomplished (set goals and achieve them)
6. to set an example for my childern

Sunday, October 11, 2009

a boy and his dog

a boy and his dogs

We are watching my friend's dogs for the weekend and the kids are loving it. Lily is upstairs reading bedtime stories to Bandit right now. (He's probably passed out cold from our run this evening) and Jason and Micah are passed out in his bed. It's so fun to watch the kids with the dogs. Particularly Jason. Lily likes the dogs and is interested, but she isn't as into it as Jason. Lily is always very excited to see dogs on the street, but her enthusiasm isn't the same when they are in our house. Jason wants to do everything with and for the dogs. He lets them out, he helps feed them and has already refilled their empty water bowl many times... all by himself w/o prompting. He always needs to know where they are and is learning to correct/direct them. Like when they jump on the couch he tells them to get off the couch. When Micah is getting a little too friendly at the dinner table he is the first to tell him to go to bed. It's really cute.

I'm loving having them here too. When I first walked in the door w/ these two good sized dogs it immediately made our house seem way smaller. :) These dogs are great and are the perfect dogs to watch. They are well behaved and great to walk with. It's been interesting being w/ them after being used to Phoebe. (RIP girl we miss you.) I took Bandit for a run tonight and he was great. Ran right by my side (he did try to sprint when we first took off, but responded when I told him that wasn't going to happen), didn't tug at the leash to go faster or to stop abruptly nearly ripping my arm out of it's socket and when we ran past other dogs he barely paid attention to them. The first time we were about to pass another dog I could feel myself starting to tense up and had to remind myself to relax... he was not Phoebe and there was a good chance he could care less about that dog. And he didn't do a thing. It was great! I can't wait to get a dog of our own. Jason and Lily keep saying they want Micah and Bandit to stay w/ us. When I told them that they had to go home to their family Lily said she wants to get a girl Micah when we move to CT. :D

We had a fantastic weekend. We had a nice easy day yesterday. I ran in the morning and came home w the dogs so the rest of the day was all about the kids playing w the dogs. Chuck it in the yard until Micah ate the ball, walking the dogs, feeding the dogs, petting the dogs, following the dogs around...

Today we decided to check out Madtown Twisters to use a gift certificate we've had laying around. I figured it would be better to have one on one parenting and Tom actually has some gymnastics coaching skills that I figured would come in handy when Jason wanted to play on the apparatus. We all had a blast. Lily was mostly into the trampoline, the blow up bouncy house and the foam pit. Jason checked it all out. It was fantastic. Here are some photos (all from the iPhone so I apologize for the quality).

balance beam


parallel bars


If we were staying here I would definitely enroll the kids in the 3 to 5 program. I think Jason shows a natural desire and skill. We'll find a place once we get settled in Connecticut and see if they are into it.

After gymnastics we were all starving so we tried to go to the kid's favorite - The Great Dane, but they serve a limited menu on Sunday so we decided to go across the street to Flat Top Grill. Did you know that kids under FOUR eat for free? How did I not know this? The kids really enjoyed it too ... even though they don't have mac and cheese. :D

Jason used chop sticks for part of the meal and actually did a pretty good job.
chop sticks

Lily practiced twirling her pasta and also did well.
twirling noodles

noodle mouth

My long run yesterday was tough... as was my last outdoor a.m. run. I think it's the morning thing really. We were scheduled to run 13 and ended up just under 12. I just wasn't feeling it and knew that 12 would be plenty. My legs felt heavy and I felt tired. We still ran about a 9:20 pace the entire way (which is a little fast than we needed to run), but it felt slow and I was kind of bored... not w/ the company just w/ the running. I skipped my Friday run b/c I didn't want to over burden my legs for the long weekend run ... my sched has me running long on Sundays, but we had to do it on Saturday this weekend... so I went for my Friday run this evening. I didn't think it would go so well because I ran long yesterday, but it was great. Nice and easy the way I like it. I was supposed to go nice and easy, but I felt great so I just ran and ended up averaging 8:30s... I figured I felt good so I was just going to go w/ it. We'll see how the next three runs go this week... including my tempo run on Tuesday.

With every run outdoors I feel like I am in my long farewell to Madison. I'm flooded with memories of all the runs and rides I have done here through all the seasons and all of the people I have run and ridden with. We've gone through so much in this town in the last four years.

Monday, October 05, 2009


So I got off the bean for a while. I did feel markedly better. Then missed it and started having it ONLY WHEN I COULD SIT DOWN AND REALLY ENJOY IT. Which turned into every a.m. then again every afternoon. And again I'm cooked! Why does it have to be this way? I just love the coffee so much. Back to just a.m. and feeling a bit better already. Though I'm enjoying my a.m. cup right now after a hard early morning run and am already day dreaming about having another cup.

Speaking of an early a.m. run. 1. I am NOT a morning person, 2. running on pavement is way harder than running on a treadmill. Guess that belt really does help move the foot eh? I felt great on my Mon and Tues runs (on the treadmill), but today was tough. Granted M/T were 'easy' and today was tempo. My legs felt like lead today. I did get bored yesterday and played w/ the elevation on the TM, but come on.. it wasn't anything that drastic. I think it has more to do w/ the getting out of bed and running immediately vs getting up and waking up before running. I remember suffering through early a.m. runs back in Seattle while the evening runs were fine during the same points in training. Too bad most races start in the early a.m.... though I rarely start a race right out of bed like I start a run right out of bed.

This waiting to move thing is really weighing on me right now. I'm so tired of the waiting!!! My house is cluttered and messy (I know I know it's not like it's normally neat, but after the staging it was pretty slimmed down).

And for all of the parents (all 5 of you) that read this do you ever think.. "I'm not sure I was meant to be a parent"? I'm feeling quite inadequate lately. I feel a 'new years resolution' coming on. Most days lately I've felt like I wasn't' cut out for this!

Here are some photos .. I really need to get back to taking more photos. Now the only photos I take are w/ my iPhone.





Saturday, October 03, 2009

Great run!

I had a surprisingly great run today. It's been a hard week of training.. or so my hip flexors have been telling me. I was slated to do a 6 mile tempo run then got an email about a group run at 8 miles and Betsy and I decided to jump in on that instead of going it alone on Sunday. Historically it seems most runs I do w/ Betsy I just don't feel good so I was thinking this would be another.. legs sore and tired from a long week and lots of stretching (yes makes you sore) and I just started my period. UGH! But wow. We had a great run and ran most of it as a tempo run!!! YIPPEE! Tomorrow is my day off then we start all over again. Come on legs. We CAN do this!

The weather was perfect... much like Seattle. Running w/ Betsy and the crew (though I mostly just ran w/ Betsy) reminded me so much of Seattle, TNT and running w/ a nice sized group. It was great! I hope I can latch onto a group when I move to CT. First long run on the docket our first weekend there is 17 miles. SEVENTEEN Long miles when running alone... maybe Tom or dad can ride a bike w/ me as we figure out the area by foot. :)

I'm feeling good w/ this training and am excited to see what I can do as the runs get longer.... and running 26.2 miles is a small price to pay to lay on the beach in the dead of winter!

Jennie don't forget to get yourself some new running shoes in your 'baby preparation' so we can do Marine Corp in the fall. Julie, Colleen, Karen...still no response from you guys ... you in?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fall is here...

I really had a good thing going there for a while. I was getting up a couple times a week to go for a morning run and I really love having it done by the time the day officially starts. BUT... now it's cold and I can barely get out from under the covers much less out the door for a run. Damn I'm in trouble it's really not even cold by midwest standards. Good thing I'm moving. Ha ha Though I know it will get WAY colder than this in CT over the winter. Perhaps my house will be better insulated or just warmer for whatever reason! To add insult to injury I won't be able to schedule early morning runs with my running buddies to motivate me to get out of bed. Will have to find my own will and strength I suppose.

Four more weeks and counting here in Madison. I'm going out w/ some girl friends for a last girls night out ... though not as many people can come as I hoped. Then next week it's girls night w/ the play group ladies. I'll do my last Wisconsin race on Oct 24th and one more last trip to the zoo for halloween w the kiddos on the 25th and then we are in full on move mode and it's pretty much over. I bet it's going to go by fast.

I'm really glad I have this marathon to focus on! It's like when we were planning our wedding and Karen and I were training for Portland. Training helped keep me grounded. Gave me something else to have to do on a daily basis and not let the crazies and stress creep in.

I rotated the kid's wardrobes last night - cause face it the warm ain't comin back! - and discovered I have almost no pants for Miss Lily. She has two bins full of clothes for 4T and 5T, but NOTHING for 3T. And the 4T pants are miles too long. Jason on the other hand is SET. Funny how that changes. It used to be Lily that had drawers and drawers of clothes.

The kids are absolutely loving school and growing leaps and bounds before our eyes. In the beginning when I asked what they did in school they would just say, "Painted" or "played in the sand box". Now they are telling us details about their art and what the focus of the class was. They are also singing through EVERYTHING. It's like Preschool Musical up in here. When we went to Parents Night at the school they told us that they sing songs through every transition to keep all the kids entertained while they wait their turns or complete mundane tasks. Well it shows. My kids are singing everything. It's really cute, but at times can get to be ... uh... too much. On the way home the other day Lily was singing LOUDLY the same thing over and over and over again. It was all I could do to not tell her to stop. Finally Jason told her to. Of course she didn't, but he tried. He just put his hands over his ears. I couldn't do that because I was driving and I'm pretty sure that would have labeled me WORST PARENT of the year if I tried to drown out my girls new found love.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

5 weeks and counting... looking forward to 2010

I know it's only September, almost October, but I'm already in 2010 in my brain. I feel like September and October are kind of a wash because we are here, but I'm not feeling very INVESTED in being here. I'm just rolling along and trying to see friends as much as possible.

I spend a lot of time thinking about 2010.. which really starts NOW for me.

A couple of girls and I are planning to go to Miami for the Miami Marathon on January 31st. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to have a goal and to be working toward something. To have a schedule to get me out there on a VERY regular basis. I was off pretty much all summer with no fitness goals because I was dealing w/ some pretty extreme fatigue. I am feeling better not 100%, but better. The training really helps my mental state and sometimes I need a nap. No worries. I can do this. I'm also doing a 1/2 marathon trail run that I think is going to be pretty hill (aka CHALLENGING) called The Northface Challenge at the end of October. It's a race I wanted to do last year, but was on the fence too long and didn't register quick enough. I'll be using it as a training run and taking it easy... slow pace as dictated on my schedule (that I am so excited to have).

I'm really excited about running right now. I've been going to the gym to get it done this week, but when Tom is here I get up in the a.m. to do it and it's great to get it done and start my day before the rest of the family is up. The training schedule that I have maintains 5 to 6 mile runs during the week so I'll always be able to get that done in a reasonable time in the a.m. I will have three LOONNNGGG runs - in the past I've only done one 20 miler. This schedule has me do three 20 milers. I'm also continuing to try to get faster. I've found that pushing myself hard and getting the adrenaline going helps with my fatigue! YEAH! Improvement without any meds of any kind. I've already put my dad on notice that he better be ready to do some long bike rides along side me when I do long runs just in case I don't IMMEDIATELY find some long distance running partners.

I would like to say that I'm going to try AGAIN for the half Iron distance triathlon as well, but I'm not going to make that decision just yet. I will say that I plan to join the Y and do a Thursday night swim lesson to better my stroke and do some triathlons next year - distance to be determined.

I'm getting back to the raw vegan thing now. I tried eating more protein to include animal protein and didn't have good results so I'm going back. I felt so amazingly good when I was training for the half ironman and eating mostly raw and I want that feeling back!!!

I'm also going to use the move to make some big changes in the kid's diets. I've already started to try to get back on track with them, but the move is going to be a big catalyst. I got pretty lazy this year and hotdogs, french fries, string cheese and macaroni and cheese have found their way into the "staple" department of our kids diets and I'm just not okay with that. This MUST and will change. Green Smoothies are becoming a daily thing again along with a lot of veggies with dips and fresh fruit. I'm not going to profess or even try to make my kids 100% Vegan or raw, but they will be high raw and have limited dairy and wheat. :)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

... slowly...

I'm spending WAY too much time day dreaming about our 'next life'... thinking about the new house, how and where our stuff will go, colors to paint, things we need, what to do in the yard, school the kids will go to, where will I go to the gym... will I go to the gym, what are my goals/plans for life in CT? My head spins, Tom is out of town and I stay up WAY too late.... uh, it's 2:25am I haven't been up this late for AT LEAST 4 years. At least I feel like I'm getting some where in slowing my spinning mind down. Though that's a normal state of affairs up there for me. Now if I could just get my legs a spinnin' too!

Our house here is sold... we ... just ... AWAIT.. WAIT WAIT WAIT for our close on this house. Closing at the end of October is great timing for us logistically, but mentally it is killing me. I'm certainly in no rush to get out of Madison. I will miss my life here dearly, but I do not function well in the limbo state. I feel stagnant. I hate to be stagnant! I feel like a dog in a cage ready to act, but unable to move. Just pacing and waiting and considering gnawing my own leg off just for something to pass the time.

Don't get me wrong... we are doing (read busying ourselves) plenty of stuff to get all we can out of our last midwest fall, er, summer. Tomorrow we are hitting the Iowa County (in Mineral Point, Wi) Fair. We are hitting TJs hard and our local parks. All at the kid's request. We are soaking up our favorite spots around town and are trying to explore the areas we kept saying we would get to. Unfortunately Gpa and Gma are redying themselves for their last midwest departure next week. They have graciously agreed to come to CT in November to assist me in unpacking and adjusting. This will be SO helpful as Tom is heavy in travel season and will be busy adjusting to his new role at Cannondale Sports Group as the Director of Accessories. He has already started the job and will continue to do his current job as Director of Product for Schwinn Specialty until they are able to fill the position. So I suppose things ARE moving forward, but it sure doesn't feel like it!

We have planned and subsequently canceled two trips to Seattle ... it's just too much right now for us to get out there w/ Tom traveling a lot and the move and kids starting school, etc. I just can't even wrap my mind around it. So spring... we will be out in spring over break.

Okay... I must go to sleep or NO amount of my now not so 'quit' coffee will make me even a little tolerable / tolerant tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We're moving...

some day. God I can't believe it's been since APRIL!!!

We've been busting our butts around here getting this house ready to sell. I think it looks pretty good too. You be the judge:

We are now just waiting to see how long it takes the house to sell ... then we start looking to buy in CT. Gotta say just trying to make three beds in the a.m. w/ the 'help' of two three year olds is posing a challenge much less keeping the place clean... CLEAN!

The kids are just fried after all the work and not spending as much time w/ them and the travel ... we're all fried. Though I don't want to leave SOON I hope it doesn't take too long to sell the house... this is going to test my patience and coping skills.

I wish I had more to say right now, but my brain is mush and I'm TIRED!!!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

That's life....

We've been sick and busy and figuring things out... that's my excuse for my absence.

First we were in Texas in March. Only days - or the day after?? - the kids and I got back from our trip Tom came home w/ a relocation package to move to Connecticut. We are headed to CT this weekend to check it out and learn more about the opportunity. Needless to say both our heads are spinning. The good news... or one of the good things... about it all is that it's got a fire lit under my butt to get things done around the house. The trim and finishing on the french doors is done. Jason's wall has been patched (uh, at least a year later), primed, textured and painted. The baseboard trim on the main level of the house is almost done. The basement is in the process of being cleaned out as is the garage and I have made MANY trips to the donation box down the street. Okay... typing it out doesn't make it sound like much, but things are happening.

Along w/ the projects the kids and I have been SICK. Jason was really sick and I saw my tell tale spots that usually indicate I have strep throat. It occurred to me that maybe Jason had it too. I took him to the doctor with Lily in tow. Every time we go anywhere like that (docs office, dentist, hair place) whatever is done w/ one has to be done w/ the other. They looked at Jason's throat and said it was VERY red and irritated then looked at Lily's and said it was a bit red. Jason had been sick for a couple of days and Lily had been fine aside from a runny nose. They cultured Jason and it came back negative. I had told the doc about my recurrent strep over the last couple of months so they cultured Lily too. And she had it. Turns out what I had wasn't strep (thank God), but I did get an ear infection so I ended up on meds anyway. Oh well, we seem to be headed back to normal. There is still a fair amount of coughing - particularly at night - going on at our house so we haven't gone back to the gym yet.

All of this has pretty much derailed any training I was doing... I've been in the pool TWICE since mid Feb. TWICE! UGH. I'm in trouble. And the two times I was there were LAME! I'm running and riding when I can, but it's not enough... not nearly enough. I'm hoping that my base from last year is holding strong and that my body will respond quickly next week when I try again to get back in the swing of things.

Ah well, that's life....

Monday, March 02, 2009

Not very bloggerific lately

Sorry I haven't been posting to the blog much. I do want to get back to it.. I do.

Things are wild and crazy here... as usual. Miss Lily is a non-napper these days which cuts into my blog time quite a bit. We are tired of being frozen to the core... Jason complains that he is cold every time we leave the house.

Thankfully we are headed to sunny warm Texas EARLY in the a.m. on Friday. It better be at least 80 when we show up. ha

So on Friday should you happen to wake in the middle of the night to pee - think of me. We are boarding a plane at around SIX A.M. on Friday. Do the math. I have to get myself and two wee ones (w/ Tom's help) ready and out the door to arrive at the airport by 5:30am. JOY. I'll be up by 4am at least getting myself ready ... to wake them by - gosh I don't know.... do I really want them to wake up all the way? Do I get them up early enough to eat some breakfast or do I slam them into clothes and put them in the car and race to the airport then feed them after we get through security... tough call. I know I will be using my super fantastic thermos coffee mug to get a coffee when we get to the airport so that during our 6+ hour excursion I will be able to have a sip of nice hot coffee to bring me back to reality/calmness should I need it. I mean, I won't need it b/c I am the picture of calmness. Look up zen in the dictionary... there I am. Okay, who am I kidding... I might have to get a refill cup of liquid pleasure (my coffee) at our layover airport....

Anyway.. you get the idea. My Friday shows promise to be VERY LONG... so say a little prayer for me that Child Services isn't waiting for me when I get off the plane in Texas.....

I already told my mom to be prepared in case I shove the kids at them and run back into the airport to book my flight to Mexico! :)


I thrive in change... I thrive in unusual circumstances.. I CAN do this! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Addict eyes

Lily just discovered a pappy (pacifier) under a dresser... She said "HEY!" all excited and I turned around to see the look of addiction on my little girl's face. She was holding the coveted pappy and I think she was on the verge of drooling! She was mesmerized by it and I could see that she so badly wanted to put it in her mouth. I took it from her and told her the Pappy Fairy must have missed it and we would have to make a special package for it and give it to her tonight. Her response, "I just want to look at it." (aka "only one sip/drag/hit") I handed it back to her and saw the crazy eyes get wider and quickly put it back in my pocket.

Thankfully she is back to playing and has forgotten about it for now. Too bad I didn't have a camera on hand to catch the 'crazy addict eyes' on my two year old.

Just turned around again and she is peering back under the dresser for another pappy and just turned around and said, "I want the pappy. I just want to look at it for a little bit."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"It's okay Mommy"

Today I finally broke down and paid $5 to drive my car through a gas station car wash. The car was so dirty that I think my dad probably had to bite his tongue when he came to visit. Anyway. I pulled up - having never done this - and was getting really frustrated with the pay station. Jason piped up from the back seat, "It's okay Mommy."

What a nice reminder that I really needed.

They do everything together... it's really sweet. Okay, NOT everything! ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Practice makes perfect and the winter days

I looked over at Lily's coloring today and this is what I saw:

I couldn't believe how well she was staying in the lines. This seems to have happened over night. She's been trying to do it for a while, but just did it today. Wow. They are growing up so fast (I say this a lot I know).

As you know it's been bitterly cold here so we've been going around to various indoor locations to play. Here are some pics from our adventures.

Lily is doing great without her pappies and is loving her Pinkie Poodle Puppy that that Pappy fairy brought her. Jason spends a lot of time correcting Lily's speech and they both spend a lot of time reminding each other and their animals about the rules. :) We are all very much looking forward to heading south in March.

We got new insulation just before the deep deep freeze and it made a huge difference in the first day. I can't wait to see what our gas bill is. Hopefully less... though w/ the deep deep freeze it might be a wash. We'll see.

I'm training for a half marathon in March and am VERY happy to be training and to have a goal. I registered for another 1/2 ironman in Door County, Wi and am very excited to be training w/ both Team in Training and a tri group I'm LOVING... Amy's Playgroup!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Swimming in the winter..

I started taking a masters swimming class and when I took Lily to the gym to go to the day care and I told her I was going to be swimming she pleaded w/ me to be able to swim too. I promised her I would take her this weekend to swim. On Sat I took Lily to family swim at our gym. There is a big warm water pool there that they do water aerobics in that is open for a few hours on the weekends for families.

She LOVED it! The look of joy on her face every time she got in the water was amazing. She even 'swam' by herself using pool noodles under her arms/shoulders. She wouldn't let me help her and she swam up and down the pool. She would even put her face in the water and go under water w/ no problems. We swam for a good hour. She was so exhausted on the way home that she crashed in the car (rare for her) and so much so that we almost got her straight to bed ... this has only happened ONE other time in her life.

Of course Jason wanted to swim too after hearing Lily talk about it. I told him I would take him on Sunday (today), but he napped a bit late. Around 4pm when he was finally waking up (after snoozing and lounging on the couch w/ me for about 30 mins) he asked to go to the pool. Family swim ends at 5pm, but we rushed and got over there and in thew after by 4:30p and he loved it too. I really wondered if he would really like it. This summer he was never as excited as Lily. I was also surprised when he used the noodles just as Lily did and loved it. At first he wasn't putting his face in and he freaked a bit when a kid splashed him, but he warmed up to it and was putting his face in and jumping from the edge and going under. The first time he jumped in he was a little shocked, but immediately said, "I'm okay." He jumped in numerous times after that. When I told him it was time to go he got out and put his noodles away and we left. I thought surely he'd throw a fit. I am so proud of both of them.

It was interesting to take them one after the other after that... to see how different they are. Lily could actually swim and move from one end of the pool while Jason would thrash about and not go anywhere (reminds me of someone else I know). Lily had no interest in jumping in the water while Jason was really excited about that.

The kids have been - once again - throwing us for a loop w/ the whole sleeping thing. Lily napped today for the first time since the pappies went away. She's been so tired. Jason has been napping short and on top of that they have been staying up till AT LEAST 8pm ... meaning we put them to bed by 7p and they are up there screwing around, going to the potty and generally pushing the envelop/our buttons until around 8pm. As I type this at 8:30pm this thing is not over.. they are still up there making noise and pushing us. We are really trying to drop the hammer on the kids and be consistent and follow through w/ our threats. I think it's really showing a difference in Jason, but Lily.. man she just doesn't care. If we ake her toys, doesn't care, turn out the light, doesn't care, shut the door, doesn't care. She will just repeatedly get up and open the door and/or turn the light back on. For naps today I had to take her poodle and shut her door and then sit up there before she would stay in her room and finally fell asleep. Little stinker. They've also been getting up 30 mins to an hour earlier. Blasted sleep. It's hard to believe that one day we will have to blast them out of bed to get them to go to school. Guess they have to make up this sleep deprivation some time right? ha

Friday, January 09, 2009

Shut up.

I had a parenting milestone yesterday. I was ranting on about something (it was long day) and Jason - albiet quietly said "shut up". I had to ask him to repeat it because I wasn't sure if that was actually what he said. Shut up... he told me to shut up. I wasn't angry w/ him at all. In fact it made me want to cry and gave me pause over my current rant and behavior. As I thought for a moment about the way I was acting I totally deserved his words. Lily was in a time out at the time and I stopped and went and sat by her and Jason came over and we talked.

I know that Jason learned shut up from me.. and maybe my mom too. Hey, the kid is a HUGE whiner! The only time I remember saying shut up was in a rage when they were being so loud, not listening to me and making me feel like my head was going to explode. Not that it's appropriate to say shut up to a two year old.

Anyway. I know they are listening and repeating and it's been kinda cute until now. I - AGAIN - saw flashes of me on Super Nanny. Flashes of him being a complete and total brat (he and his sister) and me battling them saying things like Shut Up all the time, and me having no idea why they are so bratty.

So FIRST I must revise/work on my approach and behavior when I'm angry. I must filter what I say and consider the fact that eventually it will all come back to me.

UGH! Parenting is kicking my ass lately.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Insulation is THE BOMB!

I've been handling the winter weather much better than I ever thought I would, but the one thing that has been bumming me out is wearing a sweatshirt, hat and/or scarf around my own house.

Well, we got new insulation today and I am happy to report that I am comfortable w/o a sweatshirt, hat and scarf!!! YEAH!

It's the small things!