Saturday, September 30, 2006

End Training Week 7

As of tomorrow I have 6 weeks, or 42 days, or a month and half until the OBX marathon.

I feel ready.

Here is my week:
Sunday: It was rough after my almost back to back long runs but I went to the gym and ran 4 miles in just under 31 minutes. I walked it out about a half mile for a cool down. Then I did 30 minutes of upper body strength training and then some serious stretching.

Monday: Rest, went to see Tara and the baby.

Beau didn't go to school so I didn't get to run until the afternoon. Did a very nice 10 mile run at about an 8 minute mile pace.

Wednesday: I wasn't sure what my plan was but figured I go out and try for at least a 12 miler. I ended up feeling pretty good and did 18 at about a 9 minute mile pace. Then the kids insisted we go to the gym--they love that Kid's Club-- so I did 30 minutes cross training and 30 minutes upper body weights and stretching.

In the morning I went out planning to run 6 but as soon as I hit that first downhill--uphill was okay, little stiff--my knees started hurting. I turned around and jogged slowly back home. Only made it about a mile and half total. I took some Motrin and then later jogged the half mile to Carmella's school to test out the legs. Better. So in the evening we went to the gym and I did 4 miles again in just under 31 minutes. I walked a mile cool down and then stretched really good.

I ran 6 on the treadmill at about a 7:50 pace. I finshed off with a cool down jog for a mile. Then I stretched. I caught some ladies snickering at me but what do I care. As I have said I am pretty flexible so it does a little contorting at times for me to get a stretch.
It was a tough run on the mill. But my thinking/plan has been to try and do 10K runs on my tired sore legs the next day or the day after long runs in under an 8 minute pace per mile. My thinking here is that this will mimick how I will feel in the marathon and I can bust out a fast 10K there at the end. In fact, I have been trying to run all my shorter runs in under 8 minute miles. Additionally, I have also been running the last few miles of my long runs in under marathon pace to further perpare myself to push hard at the end.

Saturday: I gotta say I was having some serious anxiety about my long run today. I was still a little sore and stiff in the leg and hips despite all my contortions. Yesterday I used an internet tool that will map your runs. After trying out a few different routes I finally settled the most logical because of the sidewalks and potential pitstops. Unfortunately a very hilly course with some hills I normally try to avoid but in this area hills are unavoidable and this course was really the best option. After today, provided the weather cooperates, the OBX should prove easier--at least the course.
According to the site it mapped the run at 24.67 miles. It ended up being 24.48 miles according to Garmin. I don't know if that is because I made a mistake and went down a different road or is because I forgot to turn Garmin on once after stopping at a light. I don't think it was off for that long though. Doesn't matter really. I wanted to run between 24 and 25 miles today and I did.
And, I think, I did great. I was really slow starting out and had those naysays in my head from the beginning. I think around the 6 mile mark I was at a 9:20 avg pace and walked up this one monster hill. I really questioned then how I was going to go the distance. But then a few miles later I saw these cyclists that I had seen when I first started and they clapped and gave me a thumbs up. I stopped around 12 miles and bought some gatorade and after that I really started feeling better. I don't know if it was being at the halfway point or the gatorade but by the 14th mile I had pushed the avg pace to 9:10. Around that time I passed two walkers who yelled "You go girl!" as I charged up a hill. At the 17th mile a guy rolled down his window when I ran in front of his car at a light and smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Then some landscapers I had passed earlier in one of the neighborhoods cheered as they drove past me.
I reached the 20 mile point in around 3 hours and 6 minutes.
I know a lot of people do not like the Pogues but I have to say them and Johnny Cash put a spring in my step and smile on my face and I pushed the pace down even further. I ran those last four miles in under my marathon pace (which is 8:30.) I know when I finished Garmin was reading 7:16 pace!!!!! So yup, I finished strong. Just under 24 and half miles in 3 hours and 40 minutes with an average pace of 9:03.

I have 6 weeks to figure out how to fit a another mile and half in that time and I am going to Boston!!!!! (Actually, a BQ allows for a time of 3:45.) I am very hopeful.

Total Mileage:68 (70+ if you count all the miles I walked as cool downs and from my aborted run).
Items Found: Some optimism.

Friday, September 29, 2006


You'd think as the parent-- the Mom-- I would totally be in the loop to my kid's lives, their dailies. But apparently, no; not so much.

At least not when it comes to what really goes on in preschool, kindergarten. That world is pretty much unknown to me. Truly unknown, not just forgotten. I didn't really go to preschool and I pretty much got kicked out of my Montessori kindergarten. For those of you who might have a kid like I was-- try not to worry so much. They will be okay. Eventually. . .

Yesterday, after school, Beau was showing Carmella the pictures from his adventures with Share Bear. For some reason it clicked with her then who Share Bear was and what it meant to have Share Bear. I guess on Wednesday she was so wrapped up in her own kindergarten dramas to notice why Beau was carrying around Share Bear.

She looks at the pictures and hands them back and says to him,"So you were line-leader today?"
Beau: "Yeah."
Carmella: "Were you door holder too?"
Beau: "Yes!"
Carmella: "Cool. What was your share item?"
Beau: "Drum." pronounced urum and does drumming motion for clarity
Carmella: "So the letter of the week is the letter D? You know Daddy and doll start with the letter D."
Beau: " Yes. And Dog." pronounced Og

Carmella totally knew what happened and all the right things to ask Beau about his day. She is such the better Mommy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ugh, homework. Again!

So this morning I ran 18 miles.
That was the plan for today.
On Monday and Tuesday I cleaned my house, got on top of the laundry, did my errands so that all I had to do today after I picked the kids up from school was take Carmella to dance. Then after dance I would get to chill while the kids played outside until it was time to make dinner.
That was my plan.

But when I picked Beau up from school he had homework in his school bag.
He had Share Bear.
Does this madness never end?
Two weeks ago we had Busy Bee and now I've got Share Bear to entertain. I hate it when company drops in uninvited.
So rude.
Exactly what sort of manners is this preschool teaching anyway?

Thankfully, we only have to have Share Bear as our guest for one evening. We, meaning me, are suppose to record all that Beau and Share Bear does. So I don't think my planned afternoon of nothing would be so great for show and tell tommorrow.

I should mention that I think Beau's teachers think I am a slack Mom who lets her kids run wild. I think this because nearly everyday I get a "talk" about Beau not sitting still during story time or circle time or his shoes came off too much--could I put others on him, or it is problem that I sent him to school with a belt on-- could I not do that again-- or he had a fit because he doesn't want to do whatever it is next in their hyper-every-20-minutes-we-do-a-different-activity-scheduled school day. You can understand why I am already having anxiety about coat weather.

So you see. I must make a good impression of our time with Share Bear. I can't have Share Bear ratting me out.

James Dickey, I believe it was, once discussed the merits of the lie-- citing it as one of a writer's greatest tools when it comes to fiction. My little camera comes in handy for documenting the creative lie and making fiction nonfiction. This is why I love photography. It tells the truth about something that may or may not be the truth. Doesn't matter because whatever picture, whatever moment you have captured becomes the truth. I love manipulating reality! So cool.
Follow me?
Doesn't matter, because here is our afternoon with Share Bear:
See, Beau loves Share Bear as much as he loves Blue:
We went to visit Lala who totally didn't mind stopping work so that we could take pictures and go visit the goats.
The goats were very interested in Share Bear:
Share Bear helped Beau feed the goats:
Beau and Share Bear had a fabulously fun afternoon:

So what is the truth about Share Bear and Beau?
Well, I'll never tell but consider this: the Bear's name is Share Bear and this is Beau we are talking about.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Beaufus Vomitus

I feel better Mama!
This is what Beau said as he threw up his breakfast in the toilet this morning. You know, I did think to get a picture of him while he was in the throes of vomiting but then I thought that maybe I would seem less than the sympathetic mother that I am.
Really, I am.
Besides you would have laughed too if your 3 year old vomited and kept vomiting and kept telling you that he felt better as he did it.

See you would have laughed because this time there was nothing for you to clean up. Two weeks ago you were not laughing when he threw up on the couch and on the floor of the only room in the house that has carpet. Carpet that had just been steamed cleaned. See the difference between today and last time? See how this time you were able to rise above the situation and find laughter.

Sigh, so today is Tuesday.
Beau has speech on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Then school.
So he has to eat breakfast as soon as he gets up.

Beau has always been one to eat even if he doesn't feel good or is already full. In fact last year when he had Rotavirus he still wanted to eat dinner. So he would eat and then throw up and eat and then throw up. That was fun and funny. Most people I know do not enjoy vomiting--myself included-- and will do just about anything to avoid it.
Not Beau.
Vomiting is no big deal.
I can already tell he will be the campus legend in college for this ability alone.

Not surprisingly, Beau was quite the spitter upper as an infant. In fact, Beau could have won the triple crown of vomiting, crawling and climbing before the age of one because those were the things that he excelled at and far surpassed his peers in. Just think, if only there had been such competitions with endorsements. I would be a rich woman now.

I, of course, took him to the pediatrician for the spitting up but they assured me that he did not have reflux:
Babies that more than double their birth weight before they are 2 months old do not have reflux, they said.
Then Beau threw up and started laughing.
The doctor shrugged and said, see, some babies just like to throw up.
How fabulous for me!
So no speech or school for Beau and no running for me this morning.
On to laundry duty, ugh.
Oh, and yeah Beau is fine. He is right now, at 9 am in the morning, enjoying a Pbj, a banana and a glass of milk.
One of these days I am going to risk it and just send him on to school.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Girl vs. Boys

Here is proof to end the age old debate of who is the superior multi-tasker of the sexes.

That's right baby.
She can bring home the bacon don na na na.
Fry it up in a pan don na na na.
Nurse the baby don na na na
And mow the lawn better than you cha cha cha.

Seriously though, you don't see the boys playing with 2 toys at once. What you see is 2 little boys surrounded by a yard full of toys and yet they both fight over what the other has.
Doesn't matter what it is.
All that matters is that the other has it.
Beau and Chase have been fighting it out to be the Alpha male since they were one and you see there who the Alpha really is.
She is the puppet master and they her little toys.
Kind of makes sense why societies for the past thousand years have sought to be patriarchal based: self preservation.
Carmella took this picture of the boys and me--just another one of her puppets:

At any rate Tara has added one to Team Carmella-- not that Carmella isn't managing perfectly well on her own.

This afternoon the kids and I brought dinner to Tara.

My pot roast was my in to getting to see and to hold baby Ellie and to get a play date with Chase for the kids.
Also to make certain Tara wasn't becoming a shut-in.
From the looks of it she is well on the road to be the superior mother of two multi-tasker extraordinaire. I even caught her holding Ellie and trying to put Chase's shoes on. It brought back memories of nursing Beau while unloading the dishwasher, taking Carmella potty, doing payroll etc, etc. It truly is a phenomenon of nature how when you have only one kid your two hands are barely sufficient for all that you had to do but as soon as you pop that second one out you've suddenly sprouted 6 other arms. Immediately you are able to do stuff with two kids that you could barely manage with just the one. I can't even begin to imagine what happens when you have 3 or more. As I think I have said before-- I will not be finding out.

And today was also the first time we broke out the fall clothes.
You know, Saturday was the first day of fall-- so heat be damned my kids were wearing their cute fall clothes. Luckily the high didn't quite make it to 80.
And for dinner the kids had the Carmella special: turkey burger patty, steamed broccoli and mac-n-cheese. It has been awhile since I've made this but the tried and true favorite proved yet again to make my kids card carrying members of the clean plate club.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

End Training Week 8

Definitely a better week, partly thanks to the nasal spray and partly to just not feeling sick. Also, the weather was awesome. Next week looks good too. Today though it is a little hot but mid 80's with a breeze I can deal with. So here is the breakdown:

Sunday: Cross train 35 minutes and 30 minutes upper body weights.
Monday: Rest day.
Tuesday: Skipped the morning run to go see the baby. But made it to the gym for a 10K (7:50 pace) on the mill and 40 minutes all over weight training.
Wednesday: 10 miles (8:20-8:30 pace)
Thursday: 18 miles at 8:40 pace
Friday: 6 miles at 7:30 pace--damn neared killed me too. It was hard to make myself get on the treadmill. Some days I have to give myself a pep talk. Friday's was: The first mile is the hardest. It is only 6 miles. You'll be done in less than an hour. Later today you can have a cocktail.
So I got myself through it. And then did some deep stretching to workout those kinks.
Saturday: This was rough. First because I was tired from my previous workouts and second because Ryan and I had an adult evening out since the kids stayed at Bubbles and Poppy's for the night. An adult evening means we went to a restaurant where people generally don't bring their kids since it is kind of pricey. We even ate at the bar and I had an expresso martini and a few yummy glasses of wine with dinner. We stayed out a little late for us but definitely worth it. And I did get to sleep in until 7:30 am so that was a treat too. Of course by the time I actually got myself out there for my run it was a little warm. Oh well. Still managed 19 miles at a 9:15 pace. Not too bad since that was 2 long runs and speed workout in 3 days.

Yep, I am feeling it too. My hips and hamstring are a little stiff/tight but I am pretty flexible-- so tight for me I don't think is the same as for other people. Meaning I can touch toes easily I just can't lay my palms flat on the ground today. Walking around and the ice bath earlier help.
I swear though, I get the weirdest pains in the oddest places after my long runs. My legs, knees, ankles?-- that's all good. I guess it is all joint stuff --probably from the pounding--but like my neck will be achey, or my shoulders, or sometimes my lower back hurts. I think the back might be from my water belt. I don't know. Thursday, for example, my right arm of all things hurt. I think from holding it funny while I ran. Maybe from talking on my cell phone while I ran? Who knows.

Total miles: 59
Items found: I got nothing. Just keeping at it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tolstoy Syndrome

Or, How Cold Medication Can Help. Uh, duh!

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him. --Leo Tolstoy

Anton Chekhov once said he could write a story about anything, even about something mundane like an ashtray. I think maybe Chekhov was a little full of himself but also having read some of his compatriots and not loved them ( One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, anyone? Nobel prize Nobel smize) I guess he had reason to be a braggart. Not to mention success will do that to you.

I am not sure why I remember this particular statement when I remember almost nothing else about Chekhov or his work. I am sure the context of this was something one of my professors said in one of my fiction writing workshops when we were discussing either writer's block or inspiration.

Writer's block isn't something I worry too much about since obviously I too can write about anything. Inspiration though, is something I think about a lot--especially while running. And this particular notion of Chekhov's, of writing about anything, floated into my head while I was running yesterday. Which in turn, led me think about another great Russian writer.

And so here is where I recall the words of Tolstoy and rework one of the greatest opening lines in novel history for my own purposes: Healthy people are all same; unhealthy people are unhealthy in their own way.

Okay, so maybe I am being a little dramatic about my health. Really I am just trying to cleverly work in the topic of my nasal spray-- which is really what I was thinking about on my run yesterday before my wildly firing mind lit on the Russians. And the reason I was thinking about my nasal spray was because it was then, while running, that I realized that I was able to breathe through, get this, both of my nostrils. It is truly amazing how much more oxygen you can take in when your sinus cavities are clear.

On Monday I went for my girly check up. I love my Ob/Gyn. If nothing else I go so he can boost my ego and tell me how great I look and how healthy I am. He really says all that. I know he probably says it to everyone but I totally buy what he is selling me.

My overall health really is fine and same as always: BP 110/70, heart rate 54, temperature a cool 97-- which is normal for me. Disappointedly though, my weight-- of course-- was exactly the same as it was last year and the year before and all the other years before that. I never weigh myself so I only get weighed when I go to the doctor and with the exception of pregnancy it is always the same. I am the only person I know who trains for a marathon and doesn't lose weight. It doesn't matter what I do but I never lose weight. Well that isn't true. I may gain a few lbs but I will always lose right back to my regular weight. This time though I was hopeful that maybe I'd budged a little because I know I have definitely lost inches since my jeans are all fitting looser. Apparently though I only change in measurements not weight. I guess it could be argued that I am denser.

So while my overall health is the same as always, my wonderful doctor did notice that I was congested. He asked if I was taking anything for it and I said no. He then asked if I wanted anything for it. Then I went on to explain that I don't like to take medication because I think the side effects might be detrimental, or worse, the medication might make me tired. Because, you know the last thing I need is to take anything that is going to make me tired. I mean, I am in the middle of marathon training and here is where he cut me off. "It is just nasal spray," he said. Then he dropped the word "steroid." I asked if it would make me run faster. He chuckled at me and said yes, probably, since I would be able to breathe.

And low and behold, he was right! Not to mention the dark circles that are perennially under my eyes have magically disappeared. Now, when I suck in a breath through my nostrils, it goes through both the left and the right. Amazing! It use to only go through the left side.

He gave me 12 refills for the stuff so I am thinking I might have to be on this stuff forever. He said maybe, maybe not. I just know I can't possibly go back to only being a one nostril breather now that I know what it is like to be binostrilly.

The added perk of all this easy breathing is that my running performance has indeed improved. Tuesday I hit the gym and did a 10k on the treadmill. I finished in just under 48 minutes. It would have been faster and was to start but I had to take it down to a walk around the 4 mile point when the cookies I ate on the way to gym threatened to come back up. I managed to keep them down and finish running, though a little slower. I then did 40 minutes of all over body weights.

Wednesday I did the 10 mile run where I realized the connection between the nasal spray and being able to breathe. I didn't have Garmin with me but according the clock on my phone it worked out to be an 8:20-8:30 pace.

And this morning I had the most amazing long run. I cannot believe how good I felt. Especially since I just ran 20 (well 23) miles last Saturday. I even sprinted out the last mile and a half. It was 18 miles in just under 2 hours and 35 minutes-- about an 8:40 pace. For sure the cooler weather has helped but so has my apparent nasal doping.

Morning People

Beau is not one of them.

Our old routine use to involve me waking them up at 6:30 and letting them lay on the couch and watch cartoons until 7 am. Then I called them to breakfast. All this would have been fine except they were taking forever to eat and then we were having to rush out the door to avoid being late. I don't like panicked mornings.

So now I have breakfast sitting on the table at 6:30 am when they wake up. They have to eat and then get dressed before they can turn the TV on. They still take forever to eat and most days miss out on cartoons, which if I am being honest kind of makes me happy.

Beau however has found a way to make this work for him. He pushes the chairs together and makes a little bed. He then lays across them with Blue and puts bites of breakfast in his mouth. I guess this is his way of having breakfast in bed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Elizabeth "Ellie" Grace has arrived

At 9:36 am today-- September 19th-- Tara and Dusty and big brother Chase welcomed Ellie. I even skipped my morning running to go see her. There isn't much that will make me skip a run but when my best friend of eighteen years has a baby I figure that is as good excuse as any. What is living if you don't recognize life when it happens?

And she is gorgeous--a petite angel if ever there was one weighing in at 6lbs 1 oz and 19 inches long. She is perfect. Everyone always says "all babies are beautiful" but really this isn't always true--especially in the case of newborns. But little Ellie, she really is beautiful.

Tara and Dusty:

Big brother Chase:

Ellie and Chase:

Dusty and Ellie:

Congratulations guys! Tara, you did good. Love you. Love you all.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Busy Bee's busy weekend

Carmella is the "Star of the Week."

That means she got to take Busy Bee, the class mascot, home for the weekend.
We, and by we I mean me, had to record all that Carmella and Busy Bee did.

I am just going to come right out and say it: Kindergarten homework is hard.

Okay, well maybe not hard but definitely more time consuming for me than I think it should be. I always thought, you know after I graduated high school, finished my undergrad and got my master's that I was pretty much done with homework. I didn't realize that once I had kids and they went to school that I was setting myself up for another 20 years of homework. No one told me this. This is an evil secret that my parents purposely kept from me.

After our busy weekend I stayed up last night printing out pictures from Busy Bee and Carmella's escapades and glued them on construction paper so Carmella could tell about them today in school. This wasn't really part of the assignment but we all know that visual aides are the foundation of any great presentation.
I also had to print pictures of Carmella and her family for show and tell since it is all about her this week. We also had to gather her favorite toy: Barbie. Her favorite book: Clare and the Unicorn. Her trophy. And her rock collection.
This morning I got up a little earlier--5 freaking thirty am early-- so I would have time to write down the weekend in Busy Bee's journal and Carmella could draw her interpretation of the weekend. So Carmella dictated (as required) and I recorded --in pink ink, no less. Then Carmella drew a picture of her and Alexa as mermaids swimming in the pool at Livi's party while Busy Bee flew overhead. All this last minute throwing it together really brought back memories of my own school days.

Of course Beau and I had to help Carmella take all this to her classroom. She then pretended that we didn't exist. She is always onto me that I am not volunteering enough--hello, I'm there twice a week-- and then when I do go in she acts like she doesn't even know me. I think she likes the idea of me being in her classroom only in theory and then when I am actually there in the classroom she remembers how much I embarrass her.

For those of you not privy to her Busy Bee presentation and are feeling left out here are the pictures from some of the standout moments:

Carmella and Busy Bee climb a tree:

Here they are at Kinderjazz:

Busy Bee hanging at Baby Pat's house:
On Saturday we celebrated Ryan and Uncle Pat's birthday's.
Meme made a wonderful pan-Asian themed meal. She is such the little hostess.
You know Meme this isn't a competition.
You win. I concede, you're the best hostess.
Now can you please start being a little more slack so I don't have to look so bad when everyone comes over to our house?

This is a picture Carmella took of the adults enjoying their pan-Asian fare.

Birthday cake picture:

On Sunday we all, Busy Bee included, went to little Livi's mermaid party. The usual suspects were there and as usual the champagne poured freely. It was a lovely last weekend of summer afternoon:
Arlen, Carmella and Livi in the pool
Carmella and Alexa:
Beau and Poppy:
Beau snorkeling. At first he thought the snorkel was for hearing under water and I saw him trying to swim while holding it to his ear underwater. It was hard to resist the urge to just let him keep thinking that was what it was for but since I am not all evil I showed him how you really use it.
Birthday girl:
Baby Pat
And he walks! I guess he is toddler Pat now.
Beau loved the cupcakes!
Carmella and Alexa have some fun with whipcream:

And Max with the wipecream:

Noodle fights:
The girls on the raft:
Busy Bee chill'n by the pool, working on his tan, trying to even out the stripes: