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Making plans, poor little Owl, and marathon training…

Maybe if we wear Halloween clothes fall will magically come...

I’ve been on the Boston high all week.  This thing is actually going to happen.  We booked a flight immediately because there was only one direct flight from Austin, and believe or not over 100 runners from Austin got in.  Austin is an extremely health oriented community, so I suspect most other cities are not sending that many people to Boston.  We figured we had plenty of time to book a hotel, remember the marathon isn’t until April.  I was poking around for fun, and was shocked that just about everything in downtown Boston was booked.  Other close by areas were booked as well.  I called Mark in a panic, and we decided to book ASAP.  Rooms in downtown Boston shoot up to $400 a night on marathon weekend, so we didn’t really want to stay there anyways.  I hit the Runner’s World Boston marathon forum to seek insider advice, and was really shocked to learn people book a hotel a year in advance, not even knowing if they will qualify.  At the end of the day, we had found what looks like a really nice hotel in Cambridge, with easy access to the “T” (the subway), and walking distance to a huge shopping and dining area.  Having lots of good quality restaurants near your hotel after you finish the race is quite ideal.

My Boston high was temporarily busted when the little boy became sick last night.  Out of no where he threw up a ton of sour milk in my car, and spiked a fever.  We were all on our way to try the Dogfish Head Punkin ale, when he did it.  So no yummy beverage to usher in fall…instead a very unhappy little boy and a very messy car.  Ever the selfish one, I freaked because Mike is going overseas tomorrow at 7am, and I just wanted things to go smoothly, and did not want another solo stint with a very sick child.   Jaspy was still sick this morning, so no work for me today, but I am feeling better about it all.  He should be fine pretty quickly.  These bugs never last too long.  Of course Mike and I are crossing our fingers that neither one of us gets it.

Now despite Boston, I have not forgotten I have a half marathon next weekend, and the Frankenthon 2 weeks after that.   I’ll be running my loops while Mike is gone, so nothing too long, but I’ll run to and from the start of my half, so that will make it a 16 miler or so and my last long run.  I did my run at marathon goal pace this morning, and I have some doubts about how this marathon will play out.  I would LOVE to get another Boston qualifier, but I just don’t seem to be running as fast as I did last year.  So my goal is a magical 3:40.  It’s a long shot, but everything in the next couple weeks in training will be geared towards that.

Provided he gets well, the Owl and I have lots of plans this weekend.  We may make our return to the nature center for the first time in months, as it might actually “only” be 90 this weekend.  I plan to get as many Pumpkin Spice lattes as I can, and we may make it to that “Punkin” ale yet….

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That’s wicked awesome…

I feel like I just won the lottery.

Let me back up a bit:  last year I busted my butt to qualify for Boston in a little local marathon, the Frankenthon.  I was getting about 2-3 hours of sleep a night, nursing Jasper, and losing all my immunity, and just plain worn out.  But somehow, a perfect race came together for me, and I did it…got my qualifier.  Mark, on the other hand, suffered in the heat and humidity, and did not have the best day.   Determined, he threw together an amazing performance in Dallas 6 weeks later and got his qualifier.   Then, we heard about the new Boston standards.  Since the race had sold out in record time last year, the qualifying times were being made harder to get in, and preference was being given to the fastest runners in each age group.  We figured since we both qualified with just a few minutes to spare, we didn’t stand a chance of getting in.

Two weeks ago registration opened for the 2012 race.  The first week the very fastest entrants were allowed to register.  I was shocked when I found out at the end of the week, there were still slots left for those with the slower qualifying times….like me.  I talked to Mark…maybe we should try and get in.  We may never run a qualifier again.  Mike got sick of me looking at the Boston website and told me “Just register!”  So we did.  Both of us felt incredibly guilty for even considering something our families would not be joining us on, but both of us were heavily encouraged by our families to go for it.

As the weekend passed, Mark and I became obsessed.  We both realized we really, really wanted to run this thing.  We made all our plans, and both fretted about getting in.  We had fairly good times in the very last group allowed to register.  Would that be good enough?  What if one got in and the other didn’t?

The email came today.  We are both in.  I am super proud, happy, and honored to run at this amazing event.  I am even happier I go with the full support of Mike and Jasper.  I am so fortunate they encourage me and do whatever they can to help me reach my goals.  Like I said, I feel like I won the lottery.  I have the best family and I get to do some of the most amazing things on the planet.  Yes, I am excited…can you tell?!?

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“Jasper, what sound does the elephant make?”

A Jasper original. He enjoys using multi-media.

Todderhood is funny.  I spend a lot of time thinking how great it would be if Jaspy never got older, and a lot of time wishing he was old enough to do so many of the really fun kid activities.  The later is especially true during this never ending summer.  Today was 104 degrees, and Mike and I agreed we couldn’t handle the Children’s Museum again, and we’d already done playgrounds in the morning.  I just couldn’t bear the thought of baking by another playscape.  Hopefully if we ever have another summer with 600 days over 100, or whatever the current tally is,  Jasper will be old enough to see a movie, go to the book store without destroying it, and be in the house for more than an hour without going ballistic.

It was a pretty typical weekend.   Got the long run in, made it to my favorite yoga class, had more veggie curry, and ate dirt on the trail.  Mark and I both took inevitable spills this morning in the darkness of Walnut Creek, with just our headlamps.  Only Mark did a graceful fall that I barely noticed and thought he had just jumped over a branch, he popped up so quickly.   On the other hand, I, went down like an elephant with a huge thud, when I failed to see a rut in the trail.   I am already feeling it, and tomorrow won’t be pretty.  I definitely do not have Jasper’s resiliency when it comes to hitting the ground.  I know tomorrow will be the hit by a truck sensation.

Ok, Breaking Bad is about to start.  Anyone else watch it?  I LOVE it.

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Curry!

Even though it is 15 degrees cooler than it was in August, it is still 95 degrees, so it’s not exactly fall.  But we are pretending.  I’ve had a couple Pumpkin Spice lattes this season, I’ve been putting Jasper in long sleeve PJs at night, and I am on a curry kick.  The pictured curry is from Black Star Co-op, and it’s their new vegetarian curry.  It was super yummy.  It is supposed to come with a side of their amazing fries, but I could not justify creamy coconut milk and fries.  Tonight I made curry udon noodles from the Veganomicon.  There are so many incredible looking recipes on this site.  Mike is joining me in going vegan a few days a week.  Well, not super strict.  I am still eating my regular bread, and greek yogurt for breakfast, but everything else is vegan.  Maybe I can let that yogurt go eventually, but for now it’s staying.  Oh, and if you make the curry noodles, I added baked tofu and omitted the soy sauce.  I made it with the soy sauce, and it was way too overpowering.  I remade the sauce without the the soy, and added raw coconut butter instead (this is the best tasting stuff ever), I also added lots of toasted sesame seeds.  It was delish.

Ok, it’s late.  The Owl wore me out with a gymnastics session and a very long Kid and Play bouncy gym session.  Bed calls…

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Sticky…

So this blog may become even less exciting….and less updated.    Jasper seems to have changed up his bed schedule ever since our out of town trip where he refused to sleep.  He’s been going to bed about an hour later, which doesn’t seem like much, but when you get up at 4:00-4:30, like I do, an hour is a lot…..I go to bed at 900 most nights.   So my evenings have been zapped for the last week.  I am attempting to adapt, but in the process computer time has been tossed out.   This seems to be a pattern though…you get in a groove, figure out a schedule and it gets changed…and not by me!

So the weekend was a very busy blur of high humidity, a long run, kid activities and a yoga class that made me suffer.  I had another 20 miler and timed out at 18.  I just ran out of time and had to call it a day, but 18 in high humidity is probably like 20 on a nice day.   22 this week, and hoping for cool weather.

Nothing exciting coming up other than my longest stint yet of single parenting…but I have another week and a half until it starts, so I a trying to make the most of it.  Getting in my runs, hitting yoga when I can.  In the meantime, these are photos of the Owl and his new favorite pastime…stickers.  It does involved plowing through a $7 book of stickers in about a week, but it also means some quiet time for me to make dinner, empty the dishwasher, or one of the other really exciting things I get to do.  On that note, I am signing off to do one of my favorite things….sleep!


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Weekend preview…

Well the results are in and Team refuel with chocolate milk is a no-go.  I don’t think I didn’t get in for lack of friends voting, I just think I am not the best marketer and refused to Facebook, Twitter, and spam my coworkers.  Thanks to everyone anyways who took the time to vote for me.

The busy week continues.  Not sure why I am just having one of those weeks I can’t get organized.  I watched “Forks Over Knives” while riding the trainer, and it makes a very compelling argument to go vegan, just based on health benefits.  We are almost there, but we still eat dairy…I really enjoy Greek yogurt, and I am not sure if I am willing to pull the plug on milk, cheese and yogurt for Jasper.   Jasper has made himself a vegetarian anyways.  I plan to do a little more research and hopefully start going full vegan a few days a week.   Mike’s work cafeteria has different vegan entrees everyday…how cool is that?

Up this weekend:  20 miler, 2 kids’ birthday parties for Jaspy, a night at a real restaurant and a babysitting splurge,  and hopefully, a trip to buy jeans since all my jeans I bought last year don’t even fit past my knee anymore….yeah, depressing.

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I’ve had enough fun for a while…

We’ve been busy.  All blogs, playing on the computer at night, and watching Netflix was put on hold for a while to study for my certification exam.   I had it today, and while I do not feel super confident that I passed (it was hard!), I am glad it is done.   I now have a little more free time at night.

We also were out of town over the weekend visiting family.  It was a bit of a challenge…a major challenge.   Some things we realized:  4+ hours in the car is just too long for Jasper.  He did as good as could be expected, but as expected still was tough.  Jasper has been on sleep through the night stretch.  My life is sooooo much better, but if he is not in his crib, he is not going to sleep.  We spent a completely sleepless night with FOUR drives in the car throughout the night to induce sleep.  He would fall asleep in the car then wake back up once we got him to the pack and play.  We gave up at 2am, and I sat with him and Elmo on the ipad until 6am, when I deemed it not too insanely early to run in the pitch blackness of rural Texas, and not too early to let him run around.  A short nap in the car on the drive there and no sleep overnight still has him messed up.   So Jasper may have a bit of a moratorium on travel.

I did a 20 miler the day we left with a 430 start (ick).  I had company with Mark and then with Meghan who was getting married later that day and wanted to get her run in and start her new life off with an injection of endorphins.  It was so much fun to pass the miles as we chatted about “deep talk” kind of stuff:  marriage, kids, life goals, etc.  The run flew by and I felt fantastic.    We came home a day early from our trip after a late night drive home, so I got to unexpectedly go to my yoga class.  So all in all, a good training weekend.  The heat is back though, with the last few days being over 100, so the good feeling that fall is here has kinda left.  I still celebrated completing my exam today with a pumpkin spice latte though.

Finally a picture from a few weeks ago of the little boy eating his favorite food, olives.  Yes, I am aware that frumpy doesn’t even begin to describe my current look, and that I’ve worn that tank top about everyday this summer, but at least there is a yummy IPA in the picture, and the Owl is actually eating his food and not throwing it.

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It's hard not to look cool when you have an angler fish on your shirt

Another quick post.  Another busy week.  I’ve been studying for a certification exam, and it cuts into my evenings.    How people go and get master degrees and the like while working full time with family obligations is beyond me.  One little exam seems to have derailed me.

I never got my entire long run in this past weekend, as time just ran out.  I got most of it in, and felt fairly decent.   Sunday Mark, Pancake and I did our trail run, as seems to have become our norm.  I went to yoga, sweated out everything in my body for the second time that day, and then spent the rest of the day chasing the Owl.  We went to a great bookstore, called Recycled Reads, run by the Austin library.  If perfect condition books for 50 cents each are your thing, then check it out.  Owl got a heap of great looking hardback kids’ books that for whatever reason, the library is taking out of circulation.  He can tear then up or whatever he wants, because at 50 cents each, we can always get more.   Then we went for frozen yogurt, as Jaspy has put it on his 5 food he’s willing to eat list.

I worked yesterday, but was still able to hit Free Day of Yoga.  I had fantasies of 2 days in a row of Ashtanga, but I realized it probably would have killed me, since once day makes me so sore.  I went to a Yoga for Athletes class that was pretty good, and had more of a stretching emphasis, but I was still sore last night.   Free Day of Yoga is such a cool thing though…I just had to go to something.

Today was the day we’ve all been waiting for months…a break in the heat.  I was an entire minute a mile faster on my run without making any effort at all.  I did a speed day and wasn’t disappointed in my times for the first time in months.  Now it’s still in the 90s during the day, but the mornings are turning and after 80 days of over 100, things are looking up.    No rain still, and if you are reading this and not in Texas, I am sure you still heard about the fires.  While I felt a spring in my step this morning and optimism that fall is coming, it was hard not to think about those who just lost everything, and are just a few miles from where I was enjoying a run.

Ok, my veggie burger is inhaled, and works calls again…..Oh, and please keep voting for me to be on Team Refuel.  Not sure why the voting period is so long, but it is, and I still need you help!

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Trampolines, Boston, and getting your Om on…

I just have time for a quick little post.  This is one of those weeks that time seemed to escape me. 

The Owl started gymnastics this week.  It’s a structured class at a real gymnasts’ gym.  Future Olympians and all that stuff.    Jasper wasn’t real keen on sitting and hearing some basic rules when we got there, but loosened up on the trampolines as a predicted.  Tumbling was a hit too.  He’s the youngest in the class by about a year, so he has a harder time following directions than the other kids do, but at the same time I think it will help him start to follow directions.  Who knows, maybe he will be the first over 6 foot tall Olympic gymnast someday.

I’ve got the first in a series of little time crunches this weekend to get in my marathon training miles.  It’s all good in the long run, and I should be able to cobble together some decent runs, despite still brutal weather.  One thing about a time constraint is it forces me to move my butt and no shuffling around.   I started marathon pace segments in a couple runs this week, and it went well.  Do I have a 3:20 in me for the fall?  It’s unlikely.  I just am not doing that level of training.   I am in the process of re-working my training goals for the week.  6 runs, 1 bike, and 2 yoga sessions….and very minimal time taken away from family.  Still working on how to get it in, but I am close.

Boston Marathon registration opens in a couple of weeks.  I am qualified, but unlikely to get in with the new favoring towards the faster times.  I would probably be crazy to think a toddler could endure that trip….and a husband who doesn’t do marathons or find them entertaining.  Still a girl can dream, right?

Ok…back to work.  If you are in Austin, take advantage of Free Yoga day on Monday.  All yoga classes in town are free.  Go try a hard one and challenge yourself!