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.