Thursday, March 29, 2012

things I learned from training for and running 13.1 miles

  • The event itself is a lot like Christmas.  Runner's high is amazing.  You also get the blues the week after the race is over.  I haven't felt "down" in months.  Just about three days after the race was over I started feeling like my best friend died.  I didn't run for the whole week after and I missed it so much.  I missed the schedule, the routine, the free time to just think.
  • I'm kinder to my children when I have "me time" away from them.  I started losing my patience with both kids a lot quicker the week after the half marathon.  It must be good to be away from them 25 miles/week.
  • I make some funny faces when I run.

  • I am a much nicer person in general when I make myself go to bed at nine o'clock each night because I'm getting up early to run most mornings.  I have no self-discipline to go to bed early when I don't HAVE to run the next morning.

  • My family makes some darn good cheerleaders.
  • It's a lot easier to decide what to eat when you know you don't have a 10 mile run scheduled for the next few days.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March phone dump

I'm working furiously on a certain someone's six year old video and have recently been reminded that I never posted the five year one so both are coming soon.  Until then, enjoy these pictures from the glorious month that March has been.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

March madness

I have had the most amazing March so far. The month started off with a fantastic birthday (which included some unexpected hail and a day off of work).  It continued with a couple of amazing wins by the Wolfpack and the payoff from a few months of hard work which was extremely rewarding.

This weekend was kicked off with more late night basketball and housecleaning before the most awesome angry birds birthday party ever.  After celebrating my baby girl's birthday we got to go to a late showing of the Hunger Games which I had been eagerly waiting months to see.  It was awesome.

For the birthday party Jonathan built Julianna a big slingshot which the kids used to shoot tennis balls across the front yard at pyramids of shoe boxes, angry birds style. It was perfect for six year olds.

We also had the angry pig pinata that the kids had a blast beating.

And of course there was plenty of sugar to eat.

We were really worried about the weather because it seems like we always plan for an outdoor birthday party for Jules and then the weather does not cooperate despite her birthday being March 25th. Every year of her life it has been absolutely freezing on her birthay. This year there were tornado warnings and thunderstorms.  Fortunately, it rained all morning, cleared and became sunny for the party, and rained and hailed in the evening after it was all over.   It couldn't have been more perfect.   God is good.

I can't believe my girl is six. Furthermore, I can't believe I wore maternity capris to her six year birthday party.  I think it's time to go clothes shopping; whaddya think?  Anyway, fabulous weekend. Fabulous March. And Spring Break is coming soon!  Life is good!

Happy Sunday everyone!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

half marathon recap

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon.  My official time wasn't that great (2:57 which is roughly a 13:30 pace) but I am very proud.  I trained with Feet Fleet since January and had awesome coaches.  I would highly recommend their training programs.  For our training, I was in the slowest group of about a hundred people and it didn't bother me a bit.  In my training runs the most I had succesfully done in one long run was 11.2 miles.  When everyone asked what my goal time was for the race, I said I mostly just wanted to finish the race.

Saturday morning we all got up and I ran a short distance around the neighborhood (about two miles) at a very leisurely pace before I showered and we loaded up the car.  We headed to Wrightsville Beach and it was hard to ride four hours when you're trying to take in as many fluids as possible, not to mention the very annoying whiney mood Joshua was in.  We did make it though.  When we got there we checked into the hotel and then headed to the race expo so I could pick up my packet.  We let the kids play in a couple of the bounce houses and met the FF people for a group picture.

After that we got take-out from Macaroni Grill and ate in the hotel room.  We went to bed early which worked out well because the kids desparately needed sleep and so did I.  None of us slept perfectly, of course, but it could have been worse.  I got up at 4:20 and ate a bagel with a small amount of peanut butter on it and waited for a couple of girls from my group to meet me in the lobby.

The three of us took the shuttles from the hotel to the starting line.  We waited around a while, stood in line for the port-a-pottys and then met up again with FFers for an additional pep talk from the coaches and to drop off sweatshirts, etc.

I really wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be considering how nervous I got for the first few long runs with our training group.  I was pretty relaxed before we started and I was beginning to realize that really I had three small goals: 1) to make it to the 4 mile mark in under an hour since they claimed they'd shut the course after an hour, 2) to make it ten miles without stopping to walk, 3) to finish without stopping to walk. 

The weather ended up being perfect.  It was overcast and in the upper 50s, but not rainy and not too humid.  I did the first 4 miles with ease.  I got to see my better half and kids around 4.5 miles and that helped me power through the next couple of miles when one of the girls from my group picked up her pace and pulled away from us a bit.

Then around mile 6.5 the other girl I was with got very nauseas and stopped to walk a ways so I continued on my own.  I did OK at first.  I knew I wouldn't see my family again until mile 11 so somewhere around mile 8 it started getting pretty hard.

Shortly after mile 8 I caught a glimpse of my other friend from training that started out with us and I managed to stay right behind her or with her for the rest of the way.  When I hit a small wall I just kept telling myself that I'd let myself walk a tiny bit once I reached ten miles.  It was perfect timing that I saw a couple of the coaches from FF at that point because once my coach ran up to me and said, "It's only a 5k from here on out, Courtney. You can do it!" I knew I could make it a little more.

My stomach started hurting shortly after that and I just wanted to see the kids and get out of the dang neighborhood that we were in.  It felt like we had been in that same neighborhood for hours.  Tons of marathoners had begun passing me which was inspiring instead of aggravating especially when the marthon lead came by me with the race crew bike in front of him and a big pick-up truck with a digital clock in the back of it at the 1:40:00 mark.  I knew that once I got back on the main road that I'd feel like the finish line was a short distance away.

Sure enough I powered through and made it to my family around 11.75 miles.  It was hard not getting weepy when I saw them and realized that I'd run further than I ever had in my life.  The kids were holding signs that my sweet mom had sent for them and my sister was cheering with them as well.  Jonathan ran beside me a short bit and then Josh ran up to me which totally made my heart burst.  Whit made me cry and I had to shoo her away.  :)

Shortly after the 12 mile marker there was a water station that I let myself walk through to drink the water (I usually just run through the aid stations and hadn't walked one all morning).  After that short walk my stomach seized up and I felt awful.  I saw another person from the training group and he ran backwards through the course until he caught up with me and ran with me for a bit.  I walked a tiny bit after that and let him go on since he was running much faster than I ever could.  Then I saw one of my coaches who had already finished and he joined me and made me power through the last 4/10ths.

The only other time I have been that proud of myself was right after my kids were born.  It's not the fastest time, but it's a PR for me and I couldn't be more thrilled. Hooray for another 2012 goal crossed off in the record books!

I hope to have pictures up tomorrow.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Chapter 1: and I think I'll call him George

Julianna was dying from the plague and lying on the couch one day several weeks ago while my mom stayed with her.  She sat up and said, "Nanna, do you want to know what I'm going to name my baby if I ever get one?"

Of course, Nanna wanted to know.

Julianna replied Butterball and Rosebud if it's a girl.


Chapter 2: I hope her teacher doesn't read this blog

Julianna told me the other day that she'd had a sub at school for two days that week and that they would have her again tomorrow.  It was all well and good because she has had the sub before and likes her a lot.  Their classroom Teacher's Assistant was still there those days despite the lead teacher being out.

She said, "I wish it was Ms. -- [assistant] who was out instead of Ms. --."  When I asked why she explained that Ms. -- [assistant] had good ears, she could hear when Julianna was in the back of the room talking to Greyson.  The funniest part was when she explained that Ms. -- simply wasn't good at anything.


Chapter 3: A Doo Doo Baby?

I was talking to Joshua's teacher one day last week and for some reason mentioned that he turned two in October.  She asked which day in October because her daughter was born on October 12th.  When I responded that his birthday was October 22nd she said, "Oh well my daughter wasn't due until the 20th but she was born on the 12th."  I said, "Josh was a due date baby.  He was due on the 22nd."

I continued to talk to her for a bit and Josh kept interrupting trying to get my attention.  I kept asking him to hold on just a minute while I talked with her.  Finally, he grabbed my cheeks and turned my face to him and said, "What's a Doo Doo baby?"

It took both the teacher and I a bit of time to figure out what he was saying adn when we finally understood I told him that he was a due date baby because he was born on the day the doctor's said he would be born on.  He still looked at me with major confusion, but one day he'll understand.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

as they say, stressed spelled backwards is desserts

Over the last several months I have found myself under so much stress that it has often reminded me of how confused I would be when I was younger and my parents would say that they were dealing with intense stress.  I really didn't understand the concept of stress when I was a child, but I most certainly understand it now.  Working a seemingly hopeless full-time job and running twenty five miles a week (plus shuttling kids and cooking dinner) has taken it's toll on me and I've vegged out on Pinterest for more hours than I care to share on my blog.  Needless to say, I was relieved to open and dive into Diary of a Mad Fat Girl, the next BlogHer Book Club selection as it looked like some mindless "chick lit."  Just what the doctor ordered.

I plowed through the book very quickly and it was an easy enough read.  I read more than 150 pages one Saturday after my long run and it was the perfect way to recover physically and mentally from my week.  At times I was chuckling about the high school art teacher's adventures with love and friendship. 

That being said, I finished the book over a week ago and at this point I'm having trouble remembering anything that it was about.  Considering the memory test is often one of my best rules of judgement on a book or movie's worth, that is definitely not a good thing.

Anyway, I do remember that I was annoyed in the beginning because too many of the characters seemed to have alliterative names like "Lilly Lane" and "Mason McKenzie" but I got over it I suppose and I do love how the book ended.  So that's another good thing.

If you have the spare time or just need a fun fluff book to read this summer then pick up a copy of Diary of a Mad Fat Girl and if you finish it sooner rather than later then here's the link for the discussion over at BlogHer.  Come join us!

**This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

march is off to a good start

My little buddy was sick today so I took the day off and stayed home to snuggle with him.  During one burst of energy he climbed down off my lap and proceeded to do this:

Obviously not deathly ill, but running a fever and coughing terribly no less.  Still, it was nice to have the day off on my birthday.

It wasn't however, so nice to wake up to see this:

After having a very mild winter so far and even a few almost 80 degree days last week, it did not bring a smile to my face to see a white yard on the 5th of March.  I think it was mostly hail and it melted right away, but there was definitely a chill around today.

I spent most of the day taking care of Josh as well as creating invitations to the coolest angry birds birthday party around.  Also, this:

Now I certainly can't eat the candy ahead of time so that takes care of that.

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