Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another summer of fun

A perfect summer beach day with our family.
I love how many kids there are!
I feel like I wrote this yesterday. Lamenting the loss of another summer and the return to school. And yet here we are again. I'm happy to say that so far we have NOT repeated the fighting and yelling and pushing each other away! Possibly because we've done our fair share of bickering this summer but also because I planned things a bit better. We had our Long Island trip in the beginning of August followed by fun at home and then our first real vacation as a family. We went back to the mountain that Vader and I got engaged on and spent a few days doing fun family things. They weren't perfectly behaved every single minute (well, the Princess wasn't) but they did really good and it was a lot of fun and I hope we get to do it again. Since we got home we've had nonstop fun. Our last trip to the local small amusement park, playdates with good friends, and this weekend we'll have a BBQ with some newly discovered local second cousins. This summer we've caught fireflies, gone fishing, done a lot of swimming in various places, gone to museums and playgrounds. We've had lots of family time with LightRunner's first birthday party and our trip to LI. We've truly packed it in. We had wanted to do a drive-in movie but that just wasn't in the cards this year. We also wanted to do a local hike but I discovered that they've closed it... but it's okay since we managed to do a hike while on vacation. We've managed to do all this between speech for Chewie and PT visits for me. It really was a great summer.

Will we resort to the moody yelling this weekend? Maybe. But I'm going to really try to prevent it. We've been having major battles over food--what else is new--but I'm trying to institute change slowly so we're not at war every night.

In just a week they will be back at school and we will go back to the demands of homework and projects and school lunches. Chewie will start her second year of preschool the week after. LightRunner and I will fill our time with food shopping, running, story time, and whatever else I can manage. But this week we are still enjoying summer. I'm trying to get as much laundry and crap done today so we can have one more Friday Fun Day tomorrow. Instead of lamenting the fact that it's over, I want to celebrate all the fun we had and start planning next summer.

Monday, August 19, 2013

This one goes to 11

Even though I still have kidney stones rattling around my insides and I've been battling tendinitis and have barely run in the last couple of weeks (my last long run was July 27), on Saturday August 17th I laced up my new ankle brace and set out to run the 10 mile Clove Run for the first (and only) time. I LOVE the 5K. It's local, it's small, it's fun. I always do my best there. I LOVE making it home in time to cheer on the runners doing the 10 mile that goes right past my house. But this year I decided to do the 10 mile instead--as preparation for the half in October--and to prove to myself that I could do it a year after having a baby. My fourth baby. It was kind of a bucket-list race. This was going to be my one time doing it so I could go back to the 5K and get back to cheer my friends on next year! So, even though I've had some set backs and I knew it was going to be the hardest run I've ever done, I felt like I had to do it. The race course is made up of my local country roads. Long, hilly, deserted country roads. I drive these roads all the time. I knew every hill and long stretch of corn fields coming up. It's kind of tough to keep running when you know EXACTLY how far you have left and what's around the corner.


Before the 10 mile I ran the 1 mile with the Princess, SkyWalker and Vader pushed Chewie in the jogging stroller while Grama stayed with LightRunner. It was the best mile I ran that day. SkyWalker took off and Vader had to really run to keep up with him. He walked a couple of times but for a lazy kid who complains about everything he did really well. I'm not sure how quickly he did it because I was with the Princess. She had to walk a bit more, but when she was running she did pretty good. We finished in the 12 minute range, which meant SkyWalker finished well before that. Which is pretty awesome when they've never done a 1 mile race before. I thought the 1 mile would be a good warmup for the longer race and I think it was.

I started the 10 mile with my friends (who all did wonderful! Bridget did awesome and had a major PR. Felice was her usual amazing self despite being sidelined with an injury not too long ago) and as usual I started out too fast. But my foot would not let me keep it up. I knew I wasn't "racing" and I knew that the half marathon is the more important race, so I just fell back and ran my own race. Quite literally my own race. I ran up the first smaller hill and had to stop and walk so I could adjust my water belt and my bib. Then I kept going and going. When I got to mile 6 I realized that the only person behind me was on a bike. I asked if I was last and he diplomatically said "we were at the end." I had NO idea until then. I knew there were still two big hills coming up and I still had the hardest part of the race to go and I was already last. There was a woman about half a mile in front of me and I hauled ass to pass her. I caught up to her and ran with her a little and then we walked the first big hill and then I was on my road so I started running ahead of her.

I passed the house and the kids had signs and were cheering and Vader was there and I wanted to just stop and let him carry me inside. But I kept going and going. I passed the house when I told him I would so I really wasn't running much slower than I anticipated. It was just that everyone else was much faster. But somehow I made it to the end of my road and the last 2 miles of the race.

The last part of the race is the most brutal. There is a a huge hill (I walked) and then you still have more to run before the end! There's no crowd support. Nothing to get you through. I almost tripped and the old volunteer dude said "We can't have any falling now." in that funny old man way so that helped. I got to the last half mile or so and one of the Strong Running Mamas was running in the opposite direction but turned around to run with me and it was exactly what I needed. Just to have someone else with me.
When I sprint, I heel strike. When I run normally, I don't.
When I started to turn the corner for the home stretch I sprinted to the finish and then I was done. 10 miles done. 10 miles after a 1 mile fun run. So I did 11 total miles, my longest ever, with tendinitis and kidney stones and still nursing this baby, and I did it in less than 2 hours (1:54:36 official time) which is what I expected with the hills. I've looked at previous years results and there were more people in this race but they were all so much faster! There were people who finished in 2 1/2 hours in the last couple of years. Clearly they've been training! I'm not really thrilled with it, but I'm proud that I finished and I'm okay with my time. I wasn't racing it, I was just trying to run it. And I did.

And I did it on my 11th wedding anniversary, so that's pretty cool. But no, I won't be doing 12 miles next year.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Firefly race recap and tendinitis

So, those strained ligaments in my right foot that were bugging me? Turned out it's actually tendinitis or tendonitis depending on who you talk to you on the internets. Luckily I was smart enough to go to an actual Physical Therapist/Sports Doc who did all sorts of crazy things like move my foot and watch me run. I went for my first actual PT visit on Saturday, the day of the Firefly 5K. He hooked my foot up to some crazy machine so it could be all nice and tingly:

This is actually from today but the same thing happened.
Then he used an ultrasound (not diagnostic) to try to heal the area even more. The last thing he did was tape my foot up with KT tape and other tape and have me run in the parking lot. The pain was SO so bad. I would have kept running but I don't think I would have been able to keep it up for a 5K. So he retaped it and had me run again and it was AMAZING. To have so much pain and then to have none just because of repositioning some tape was truly just amazing.

This too is from today. The tape for the race was a bit more.  But you get the idea.
The race was an evening race and not knowing how the tape would hold up since he had to wrap it so early, I really tried to not put pressure on myself for a particular time goal. I wound up running 28:28, 2 seconds slower than the Dodge the Deer and 2 seconds faster than the Freihofer's. Which is... interesting. I won't lie, I am disappointed that I am still a minute slower than I was before I got pregnant. But, since I'm not lying, I will also freely admit that I am not doing the work. I'm not doing speedwork religiously like I had been. I'm not pushing myself right now. I am increasing mileage and having fun with my kids this summer. Once school starts again I think I'll buckle down (I don't know if that's a phrase, but I'm going to use it as such) and get back on the speedwork track and clean up my eating and get focused. But right now I want to enjoy as much as summer as I possibly can.

When I think logically and if I were listening to a friend talk... I first started running when Chewie was just turning a year old and it took me a good couple of years to get my 5K time to my PR (27:35). LightRunner just turned a year old, I barely ran when I was pregnant, I took it nice and easy when I started again. Instead of thinking that I'm still a minute away from my PR, I would tell my friend, look, you're ONLY a minute away and this is just your 3rd postpartum race! AND you have kidney stones and tendinitis. I'm not making excuses--like I said, I admit I'm not doing the work--but all things considered... I'm doing pretty well. When I look back at the Firefly 5K, I started really strong with no foot pain, I ran up hills instead of walked them, and I finished strong.

Official time: 28:28 Splits: 8:52/9:46/8:50 and 86/317 people.

(Although I did not PR, I was so excited to be there for Bridget who did PR, after running 5 miles in the morning too. She ran a super awesome race and I'm so very glad I could be there with her!)

For your amusement:
This is how I had to shower after today's run.
I put clear wrap around it and taped it.
It did not keep it dry. Sigh. But it wasn't soaked.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July stats and where has the summer gone?

It is August 1st. August. 1st.

I'm not sure how that happened. Which is pretty usual for the summer. We look forward to it all year long and then it gets here and it just goes SO quickly. I decided the other day that if NYS ever extends the school year into summer I will either home school or move. Probably move.

We've been both busy and not busy. Lots of library programs, playdates with new friends and old friends. We've also spent quite a bit of time in our little rinky dink pool. Now that the heat wave is over and nights are getting chilly, the pool is back to being cold and is not quite as much fun. During the heat wave that everyone complained about the pool was actually quite lovely. Lovely in water temperature sense, it was still rinky dink in every other sense. There's a hole I can't find in the ring at the top. The pool itself has just been stretched out from years of use so it's not actually 3 feet. But they have fun. I've decided--with my MIL--that we will get an above ground pool installed for next summer. Vader can either have input as to where it goes or he can not.

The first week of July the kids went to gymnastics camp. I spent $300 for the three of them to have 9 hours of fun. Every summer I think about camp but I don't want them to be away from me and they don't want to be. Gymnastics camp was just half a day for 3 days. It was good, but expensive. I looked into the town camp that I never want to do because it's pretty much a school day (9-2) and for the three of them for a month it'll cost $250. Next summer Chewie will be able to go since she'll be entering kindergarten (gasp). The cost maxes out at $250 for a family. So I think I will sign them up for that and just send them a couple of days a week. It will solve the problem of them wanting constant entertainment and not understanding that I still have to go food shopping and do laundry and dishes and things like that. I'll still have LightRunner but hopefully he'll be okay. Wouldn't it be funny though if he goes from being the best baby ever to the worst 2 year old?

We just celebrated his first birthday and it truly is bittersweet. He is just a joy. Happy and easy going and truly delightful. He is crawling up the stairs and standing on his own for brief snippets. He can cruise along furniture but hasn't attempted to walk and I am fine with that. He is 19 pounds 6 ounces and 28.5 inches long. He misses the jedi record by two ounces... the Princess was 19, 8 at a year. The other two were 16 pounds. He loves eating meat and vegetables. We started cow's milk and he has been just fine with it, which was a relief after all his gassiness and crankiness from dairy early on. I nurse him morning and night but it is clearly just for me. I feed him in the morning, and 15 minutes later give him a sippy cup of milk and he smiles and claps for it and drinks it all down. The bedtime feed is really just him humoring me. For 4-5 minutes. I wanted to make it until the end of the summer but I don't even know if we'll make it the end of the week! He is independent--he likes to feed himself and Mama doesn't quite fit into that.

I started my half marathon training and I have been pretty vigilant about sticking to my plan this time. No extra miles. I've strained the ligaments in my right foot and sometimes my left foot gets sore from compensating. After I do the Clove Run in a couple of weeks I might have to take some more time off. I don't want to, but I want to be able to do the half in October and if resting for a couple of weeks will make that better than I should probably do it.

I've also signed up for a Ragnar in May. 24 crazy women from my local town are sleeping in vans and running a total of 180 miles over a weekend. It is insane. I am pretty sure that this will be a once in a lifetime thing. I am looking forward to getting to know the local ladies better and to do something so insane, but I think I like the idea of a destination half a lot more. Run 13.1 miles, stay in a nice hotel.



  • Mileage: 28.4
  • Runs: 6
  • Races: 1


  • Mileage: 56.1
  • Runs: 12
I'm not even bothering to list cross training since it was nonexistent. Well, I've done a lot of bike riding, swimming, pushing strollers and shopping carts, furniture moving up and down stairs, and non-traditional exercise. I'm pretty sure July is my highest mileage month in quite a while. And I even took a whole week off to go to the foot doctor and deal with my foot and its tender ligaments. 

I'm starting August off with a nice easy evening run with a friend and a 5K race this Saturday. It's an evening race with glow sticks and laser shows and all sorts of fun. I'm not even thinking about goals. I just want to run and not pee my pants during the race, pee blood after the race, or want to chop my feet off. There, those are my goals.