Thanksgiving…

I'm thankful for both of my "babies."

Thanksgiving has come and gone and as is the case most years, I realized I’ve done nothing to prepare for Christmas.    Thanksgiving weekend is always a nice little break but includes a panic attack when I realize how little time there is to get the holiday stuff done.  I swear I will become one of those people who Christmas shop during the summer at some point in my life.

Thanksgiving was slighting marred this year by a daycare virus.  This is not a scientific term, but just what  I call these little illnesses I seem to get ever since I had Jasper.  They seem to be a fast onset of fever and general misery, but it only lasts 24 hours or so.  But it’s an intense high fever that renders me useless.  Mark and I had a lovely long run on Thanksgiving morning.  It was chilly and I couldn’t stop shivering when I got home.  I realized this was chills and yep…fever was not far behind.  I was very thankful that Mike’s Thanksgiving request was I not spend all day in the kitchen, and focus on family time instead,  so I pre-ordered a really tasty dinner from Central Market.  Turned out very handy to have dinner already made so I could be an invalid.  Good news is at this point (Friday night) I am almost 100% normal.  Bad part is I feel I wasted a precious extra day off being an invalid.  I slept for two hours during Jasper’s nap.  I haven’t done that since he was born.  It felt soooo good.  Life is just better with naps.

I’ll probably write a longer post about it later, when I finish reading it, but if you read only one book about running, read Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.   If someone asked me “how does running fit into your life and what does it mean to you?, I would just give them this book.    Anyhow…more to come to try to entice everyone to read this book!

We are still enjoying the mini-chocolate soufflés Mike’s mom sent.   It’s just so hard not to heat one of those little bits of heaven up, when I know they are just waiting for me in the freezer.  The take about 15 minutes to heat.  The other night I popped one in the oven, did my 15 minute core routine then, settled in to enjoy a soufflé.  Yes, I actually did core work while a chocolate soufflé was cooking.    I realize how crazy that seems.  I really should not keep desserts in the house.

Off to read….then sleeeeeep.

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Jasper and I get a pumpkin fro-yo at least once a week

Here’s a running tip……if the weather looks bad, and your alarm has already gone off, go ahead and get up.  Get yourself ready, because there is always a chance the rain could let up.  Running in a drizzle is completely doable, and sometimes quite pleasant.  Running in a downpour so hard you cannot see in front of you is no fun, but that may not be what happens.  That was the case this morning.  After a nice night of about 4-5 hours sleep, the downpour started about 3:45.  I was set to get up at 430.  If I went back to bed, I probably wouldn’t fall asleep, still be tired all day, and be pissed I didn’t run.  So I got up.  A text from Mark was waiting questioning if we should run.  I texted I was in.  I’m sure he had some choice words for me at that point, and while he was driving to my house in treachorus conditions.  But right as he pulled up, things dropped down to a drizzle and less than half a mile into the run we had no rain at all.    We had a great run with nice overcast skies, and not a soul on the Mueller trail, minus some ducks swimming on part of the trail!  I always say, you almost never regret going for a run, and almost always regret skipping a run.

 
I am so happy it is Thanksgiving.  We are doing pretty much nothing and I want it that way.  I need to catch up on everything at home.   Mark and I have a Thanksgiving morning 16 miler planned.  I know everyone loves the turkey trot, but I just love getting up early on Thanksgiving and going on a quiet run either alone or with a small group.  It’s much more reflective and gives me time to notice whatever hints of fall there are out there instead of a mass of people in front of me.   I’m thankful I could rope Mark into the 5am start madness, but I will be very happy when I am home at 8am making post run Kerbey Lane pumpkin pancakes.
 
I got my marathon pacer gear last week, and made me kick into full training mode.  I am trying to decide about a half marathon next week.  It’s one I’ve run many times, and love.  What makes the whole deal questionable is the price tag.  It’s up to $65.   That’s just a lot of money however you rationalize it.  I may be fast approaching a point that I only do marathons due to cost.  If I’m going to spend over $50 to run, I might as well get a lot of bang for my buck.  Does anyone else feel this way?
 
Well, I probably should return to work.  Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving.   If you want something to listen to on your next run, check out the last few 3 Non-joggers podcasts.  They have seriously had me laughing out loud while I listened at work.  Then I felt a little silly explaining I was laughing at a running podcast, because, most people are not aware such things even exist, and if they do, that doesn’t really seem like something that would be funny.  Anyhow, Happy Thanksgiving.

Catching up…

A lot has happened in the week or so since I last posted.  I had a Chicago trip for work; my second work trip ever, and I am another year older.

Life has been so busy the last week and a half just about everything that isn’t work and Jasper has fallen by the wayside…including this blog.  It doesn’t help that my laptop is currently not working either.  I left Austin early on Sunday for Chicago, for a conference.  Conference was good…and got my wheels turning about work and brought up my enthusiasm for what I do.  Chicago was a really great city, as I had never been there.  Our time to sight see was super limited, and as anyone who has gone on a work trip knows, there’s a lot of go with the flow during the whole group time thing.  But we did manage to have deep dish pizza and a trip to Sprinkles, which at the time we had no idea was a foodie mecca, as the founding location of the cupcake craze.

I also managed two fantastic runs on the Lakeshore trail.  I had no idea if I would even get to run, or if it would be feasible from our hotel.  Turns out it was really easy to take a pedestrian tunnel to miles, and miles of Lakeshore trail.   I ran up and back Navy Pier with views of the skyline all lit up still since it was only 530 am.  I followed the path along and enjoyed a mini tour of the city on foot.   It was great I got to run, as this was a 9 hour conference, including lunchtime speakers, so getting my legs moving in the morning was a real treat.  I had a couple hours on the last day before my flight, and used them to try and piece together a work wardrobe at the nearby mall since I did not have Jasper with me for the first time in ages.  I was semi-successful, but still searching for a place that sells work pants that actually fit me.   I swear shopping for pants is about the most frustrating thing in the world to me.  At least I didn’t do what I normally do….come home with no work clothes but a new running outfit instead.

I got home tired, and happy to be back and see my boys and my border collie again.  Wednesday was a whirlwind of catching up a million chores.

Thursday I woke up to start my 39th year with a horrible neck spasm.  How appropriate.  I was so tired I hadn’t moved an inch all night, and my neck was so stiff I could barely turn my head.   I met Mark for a 430am run, then headed off to work.  Mike had given my most of my present early to keep warm with in Chicago….a new lululemon outfit.   We are doing a baby sitter and movie tomorrow, so for Thursday we just had takeout.  Mike’s mom had a cheesecake and chocolate mini soufflés sent for a birthday cake, so I’ve been nibbling those the last few days.  I never look at birthdays as a negative thing, and enjoy the experience that is gained with getting older.  Sometimes I regret not planning more for my birthday, but I never get sad about “getting older”.  In fact, I am quite excited about becoming a masters runner next year.  But, for now, I’ll try and settle back and enjoy my 39th year.

Well…I’m turning in.  Luckily I’ve been doing these geriatric bedtimes for years, so that’s no change for me as I get older.  Hoping to have some time for some interesting running posts this week…we’ll just see if the little boy lets me get to the computer!

 

One year ago…

What a difference a year makes!

Wow, these pictures were taken exactly a year apart.  I love to compare.  I am sure every mom thinks their kid will be whatever age they are currently at forever, and it’s so hard to imagine anything else.  Note to self…must be better about printing these out!!!

If you are still reading at this point, get ready for my marathon commentary.  I am missing the San Antonio marathon this weekend.  I signed up back in February, and then it turned out my parents were in town the same weekend.  I’d kinda feel like a jerk if I had gone to SA for half the time they were here, so I did the Frankenthon a few weeks earlier instead.  It all worked out in the end because this work conference came up at the last minute, and I wouldn’t have been able to go to matter what, and would have been very disappointed to find out at the 11th hour all my training had gone to waste.  But the whole “corporate” marathon thing has left me underwhelmed.

What's wrong with a nice simple tree? It just needs a little love.

San Antonio is a Rock and Roll race.  I know they are popular, and I’ve never done one, so they may be really great, and I don’t know what I am talking about.  But these people spam me everyday, and sometimes more than once a day.  They charge extra for “rockstar port-potties” (ok, this warrants a WTF!?!?!), charge you extra for a finisher’s shirt, extra for shuttling to the start and finish, and charge for a tour of the course the day before.  I feel like Charlie Brown here, but this reeks of commercialism.

I love Boston and it’s huge and has plenty of opportunity to buy stuff (which I plan to do!), but you get a nice shirt, shuttle prices are included, and you get treated like royalty.  I think at the end of the day most runners want a nice course with interesting scenery,  a nice shirt they might wear, doesn’t need to be a tech shirt, just something worthy of more than a Goodwill pile, and an organized start/ finish area.  Anything else is gravy.  And, I do recognize in this recession period that marathons need sponsors to stay afloat, but do we really need to have a marketing opportunity at every corner?  I’m all for whatever it takes to stay motivated, and keep people moving and in an active lifestyle.   But there is much to be said about a nice run, on a pretty day with a few other folks who feel the same way.

Ok, bedtime for me.   Someone was up all night last night crying over new teeth.  I am out of practice on functioning on 3 hours sleep.  My eyeballs hurt.  I am going to bed at 900 on a Friday.

Ok…get out and run, walk or just sit on a park bench, but go enjoy fall this weekend.

Nothing…

I’ve got nothing…no interesting stories, no exciting events.  Life is on hyperdrive at the moment, and I just haven’t gotten around to doing anything but the day to day. I also have no new pictures of the little boy, because I am so lazy.   So here he is watching Cars, or Cars II.  The Pixar folks are pretty much geniuses since they seem to have created something that every little boy under the age of 5 is obsessed with.  I try really hard to limit tv and movies, but give in sometimes.  If you can tell me how I can get ready for work, and make dinner with a toddler, and entertain him without a tv,  then maybe I won’t end up watching Cars at least once a day.

I’ve got a 3 day out of town work trip coming up this weekend….cue intense feelings of guilt for leaving a little boy with a cold and chronic mama-itis.    But, it’s work; I HAVE to go.  I better learn to deal quick, because I have another trip in April to Boston and I want to have fun and not feel like a complete jerk for leaving a little boy with mama-itis with Mike.   Good news is I should be able to run on my trip, even if really early. The hotel has maps from Runner’s World of recommended routes.  How cool is that?  Just hoping Chicago isn’t too cold at 5am… or too scary.

I am kicking off my next training cycle.   It’s a strange one…training to run a very controlled 5 hour marathon for the marathon pacing coupled with running a Boston fast enough to entice Mark to run with me.  More on that to come.

Every morning on my way to work I see a woman running with her jogging stroller with a kid that looks a little younger than Jasper.  If  Jasper was better about the stroller, I wish I could be out there with him.   They always look like they are having a good time.   There’s just something nice about seeing them day in, day out.  Maybe a reminder of  the little boy who just got dropped off at daycare (like I need one!), maybe the ease of routine?, maybe I just like seeing people run…who knows.  It’s just one of those small details that make me smile inside, as I head off to sit in a little office for the rest of day….and don’t we all need those little details?

And on that note…back to work for me.   Also, can someone please convince me to get rid of my Halloween candy?  I think I’ve hit a point where I cannot get through the day without a package of Whoppers.

Boring, boring, boring…

So, I couldn’t come up with any really good ideas for posts.   Rehashing my weekend just seemed kinda sad…I had a whole post written and realized it just wasn’t all that interesting.    I did the usual:  some running, some yoga, some Jasper activities…but these websites are much more interesting.  Enjoy….

I really liked the latest Ultrarunner Podcast interview!   Give it a listen.  I had not heard of the guy, Frank, that they interview, but he tells it like it is.  I agreed with a lot of what he says.   Some might find it controversial, but I liked it.

I also have become a fan of Lauren Fleshman’s blog.  She’s an elite runner, but seems like such a “normal” person on her blog.     She’s running the NY marathon this weekend.  Hopefully it will be televised.

Ok, and I am stealing this last one from Mark.  The King Arthur Flour website has fantastic recipes.  I made the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for a potluck, and they were a hit.  I really wanted to keep them just for me.  Will someone make the pumpkin whoopee pies, and deliver them to my front door?  Thanks….

Finally, no Halloween for the little boy.  He could have been a cowboy or a lion.  Both options sent him into a rage if I put the costume on him.  So he wore pajamas and went trick or treating to one house.  Oh well, he had fun.  Maybe next year we’ll get a costume on him..