Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Long Run: Training Week 11

So today is Tuesday, my scheduled long run day. According to my training plan I was to run 13 miles today. I am never good at following any sort of plan, even a plan I make. How gay is it that I rebel against myself?

I completely miscalculated the distance and ended up running just shy of 16 miles--and yep, I am rounding up and calling it 16 miles. I am 3 miles ahead of schedule for the long run and a total of 5 miles ahead so far for the week, which is fine. But I'd be lying if I said it was an awesome run and that I felt great. It was horrible and I felt like I was running through Dante's rings of hell instead of the peaceful Atlanta suburbs. I knew it was going to be rough today regardless of heat and the distance but I totally underestimated just how rough.

I probably would have had a great run if it hadn't been so damn hot. I didn't start running until almost 10 am and by then it was 80 degrees. When I finished it was around 88 degrees but felt like 100 in the sun. I only carried 20 oz of water with me and had to stop and fill up. I welcomed the air conditioned reprieve and it was very tough going back out there. It involved a little pep talk in the doorway of the CVS.

The cool air break helped. I picked up the pace for a bit and if anything hurt I was totally unaware of it because my head was just swimming from the heat and that was all I could think about. At about 13 miles I started to get the chills and felt a little ill but with only 2 more miles to go I knew I could make it, and I did.

My pace suffered from the heat as I know I could have run much harder if it had been just a bit cooler and a little less humid but even still, I stayed within my "assigned" range of 9-9:30 minute miles. I averaged a 9:08 pace with a best pace of 6:47. Not sure when that happened but probably early on and on the downhill. At the 13 mile point I was averaging a 9:03 pace which is really only about 35 seconds off my PR half-marathon time. So I think that tells me I will be faster this year--assuming all goes well with my training.

I think this all bodes very well indeed--especially considering that I managed in the heat to stay close to a 9 minute pace on my first official long run of my truncated training program. Surely in November I won't be dealing with 80 degree heat and my training, hopefully, will not only carry me over those 26.2 miles but I will do it at a 8:30 pace (or faster.)

I met another OBX marathoner yesterday. She said she is a marathon coach but she herself isn't "fast"--as she commented that she would be lucky to break 5 hours. I asked her what she thought about the wind factor and she said we should have a tail wind at our backs-- you know, unless there is a hurricane.

I think next week I'll shoot for doing the same run again and try to do it faster before stepping up mileage again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Beau goes to preschool

As a recent graduate of Mommy's school of (go on the God damned potty or you are going to be punished BIG time buddy )potty training Beau is now eligible to attend 3 year old preschool. Sure it was a crash course but that is how we do things over here. Admittedly, his chances of graduating in time really weren't looking all that promising a few weeks ago. I thought for sure he was going to have to repeat the 2 yr old MMO program but in the end he pulled it out of his you know what and got it done and is now a card carrying member of team potty. Gooooo Beau! And when I say team potty, I ain't kidding. I am not just referring to this post but to every time Beau goes potty-- whether it is pee pee or poopy-- we all hear about it, have a celebration and discuss it ad nauseam and jump around and cheer. I think if Bubbles and Poppy were here they'd break out the champagne and we'd all be drunk 24/7. Certainly, I am trying to phase this aspect out and have been reverting to just some thumbs up, way to go buddy and high fives. Carmella though, is still the potty cheerleader: Give me a P! Give me a O and another O and a P and a Y and A Go Go Poopy Beau! herky and spirit fingers
In all seriousness, what this means-- other than saving me tons of money in diapers--is he can officially go to three year preschool. Some of you may be shocked and wonder what other rigorous standards are expected of 3 year olds? And at the same time, I know you are secretly internalizing; Oh my God! Will my child ever get into college? Well, you may rest easy: the only requisite for 3 year old preschool is to be potty trained. So yay us! We have that down. No remedial preschool for my boy! Okay, so yes he is still in speech but you see, speaking well is not a requirement for preschool, just being potty trained. And that Beau can do. Too bad swimming isn't also required because he can do that too. Hmmm, maybe I should see if that is enough to get him to AP preschool. No need waste any time getting my little genius on the fast track to college!
If you are wondering about the panda bear in all the pictures, well, that is for the Teddy Bear tea party, of course. I have to admit I am starting to get a bit annoyed about all this teddy bear nonsense. Every year since Carmella has been 2 she has had to take a teddy bear to the first day of school, even for kindergarten. Does this madness never end? My kids do not play with teddy bears.

Thankfully, we have quite a few and can pull them out for the first day of school so that we may participate in this precious new school year ritual. I understand that the teddy bear is to serve as a comfort item to help the child transition into the scary new classroom but my kids are not scared and what Carmella really wants to bring to school is a Barbie and what Beau really wants to bring is Batman. And they don't want to bring them for comfort but to show them off and impress their friends with their way cool toys. They do not want some freaking teddy bear they have no attachment to.

I totally try to play it up and get them excited about the tea party and bringing a bear to school but I can read it in their eyes and they both are thinking: this is so lame but I'll do it for you Mommy. Carmella even told me she "sure hoped she didn't have to bring the teddy bear the 2nd day of kindergarten." So after parading the teddy bear out that first day Bear was once again resigned to the shelf in Carmella's room.

So this morning I told Beau to go grab a teddy bear off his bed or Carmella's (we really do have a lot teddy bears) and he came down with a panda bear. So on a whim I asked him the panda's name just in case, you know, he was asked at school. He seemed thoughtful for a second and said "Bad Bear." I laughed and questioned him, "Bad Bear?" And he responded with a "Uh, yeah. Bad Bear." See, I told you they are not down with the teddy bear tea party.

However, in retrospect and taking into account his penchant for leaving the first sound off of all words he says he may have actually said "panda bear" but just agreed with my "Bad Bear" interpretation because that sounded better and really, made more sense. If nothing else, at least one of our teddy bears has a name now.

Beau is very excited about this year and I am too for that matter. Have I mentioned yet that I now, for the first time in 5 1/2 years, will have 4 days with 3 consecutive hours when I will be kid and fancy free wheeling-- I mean running my ass off? Really, I don't know who is more excited about this school year: Carmella, Beau or me. Okay, I think it is me.

I have probably lost more sleep over worrying about Beau going to 3 year old preschool than I have about Carmella going to kindergarten. This is because last year, Beau--being the strong willed child that he is-- was a bit of a problem for his teachers. I won't say that Beau was a problem because really he was just being a boy and well, was just being a 2 year old. Both of those things, especially when combined together, were apparently greatly frowned upon and quite taxing on his teachers. What they wanted was a classroom full of compliant sweet little girls and boys who sat crissed-crossed applesauce with neatly folded hands. And for the most part they had that, except for Beau. I dreaded picking him up because I knew I would have to hear, yet again, another lecture about how Beau wouldn't listen to them and how I needed to fight the battles with him. As if.

For the record Beau's worst offense, the one that got him sent to the director's office twice and sent home once, was for refusing to wear his coat on the playground. Seriously, this is Georgia and they only go outside for 20 minutes. I told them just to let him freeze but the problem wasn't a question of him being cold but one of if they let him not wear his coat then the other 2 year olds would see it and then they too would rebel against wearing their coats and then there would be anarchy in the classroom. See how they are making them all little socialists? Beau is a political force, a revolutionary and he is not cool with that commie crap.

Well, thankfully, this year my little anarchist has company because Parker is in his class. Parker's mommy and I commiserated last year on how much "trouble" our boys were in school and consoled each other every time once of us got called to collect our little hellions and comforted each other in that they were just "boys being boys."

And yes, I dressed Beau in that pale pink shirt so his new teachers would think he is a little pansy angel criss-cross applesause boy rather than the devilish, screw you and your rules little boy he can be. Doubt that will work for long.
He said he had a great day and I had to drag him kicking and screaming out of the classroom and away from his buddy Parker. I thought for sure this would be the year Beau and I could walk calmly in and out of that school but so far he is still causing a scene and jogged everyone's memory of exactly who he is today. If nothing else at least it wore his little tail out. He refused a nap and then fell promptly asleep watching Scooby Doo before I could even get him his snack.

On the running front I have already fallen off my schedule, but not necessarily in a bad way. Yesterday I did my "assigned" 6 mile run but sadly the champagne from the night before had me dragging and my pace was 8:58 rather than the outlined 8-8:30. Not to mention I was sore from my 7 miles the previous day at a 7:45 pace. I did an ice bath after the 6 and felt better for it today.

This morning after I dropped Beau off I was supposed to do a 5k sprint at 7-7:30 pace and call it a day and rest up for tomorrow's long run. Instead, excited at my freedom, I ran 4 miles to the gym at an 8:15 pace and then did 30 minutes of upper body work and then ran the mile back to the school at a 7:50 pace. So slower, but longer than I had planned. I hope the extra miles and weights didn't ruin me for the long run tomorrow.

Lastly, rain rain go away and bring me some cool dry air.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Running Log: 11 weeks and counting down

Tomorrow I've got 11 weeks until the OBX marathon.

Beau, finally, starts school next week and I get serious about my training. I've always been a procrastinator, shrug, what can I say? At least I am a prepared procrastinator. I really started my training last week and this is how it went:

Sunday: 6 miles at an 8:30 pace
Monday: 7 miles at a 9 minute pace in the am. 5k at a 7:15 pace on the treadmill in the afternoon. 20 minutes weight training.
Tuesday: One hour on the elliptical and 30 minutes weight training
Wednesday: 10 miles at an 8:20 pace in the am and then 4 miles at a 7:28 pace on the treadmill in the afternoon. 20 minutes weight training.
Thursday: 4 miles at a 7:20 pace on the treadmill. 30 minutes weight training
Friday: 5k at a 7:20 pace on the treadmill, 1 mile cool down at 9 minute pace.
Saturday: 7 miles at a 7:45 pace.

Total miles: 45 miles
Items found: My marathon schedule for the next 11 weeks:

Sundays: 6 miles at a 7:30-8:30 pace

Mondays: 3-4 mile "speed" run (7-7:30 pace) or intervals and some upper body weights or plyometrics

Tuesdays: The long run at a 9-10 minute pace. I am currently planning the build-up as this: 13 miles, 15 miles, 17 miles, 15 miles, 21 miles, 17 miles, 26 miles, 21 miles, 17 miles, 13 miles, 6 miles.

I know that looks like huge jumps and that I am not obeying the 10% rule but I never have and didn't last year and have managed just fine. Again, as a life long procrastinator I am use to cramming.

Wednesdays: 5k recovery or cross train/weights or rest

Thursdays: 8-12 miles at an 8:30 pace. I may find that some weeks I have to make this my long run and Tuesday my mid-length run. I put the long run earlier in the week so that if I can't do it Tuesday I still have Wednesday and Thursday to make it up.

Fridays: 5k recovery or cross train/weights or rest.

**I've built in Friday and Wednesdays as "rest days" if I feel the need but also tried to limit myself to shorter runs or cross training if I can't make myself do the "rest". I probably won't utilize the rest days until my long runs get, well, longer and I will need to rest.

Saturdays: 6-10 miles at an 8:30 pace

The Plan:
I'd like my weekly mileage to peak at around 60 miles a week and not go below 40 for the week until the taper. Last year I peaked around 55 miles, averaging about 45 miles per week. I only ran 3 or 4 days a week during training last year. This year I plan on running 5 or 6 days a week. I have since April been running or exercising everyday of the week so I think my body is prepared. Just to be on the safe side I have begun taking Glucosamine Sulfate for protective measures. Regardless, I foresee many an ice bath in my future.

To break a 4 hour marathon but my biggest goal, the one that keeps me going, is to qualify for Boston with a sub 3 hour 45 minute finish time. I am not as optimistic about a BQ as I am about breaking 4 hours but still, I remain hopeful and positive.

Monday, August 21, 2006

35 Weeks and counting down. . .

5 weeks (or hopefully sooner) until Tara's baby girl gets here and I get to found out if she is an Ellie or an Ava or another name I don't yet know about since she won't make up her mind or tell me. How am I to get cute things monogrammed for her if I don't know the name?

On Saturday her sisters and I threw her a shower. Really I just provided the house and some china and some wine-- they did everything else. Her youngest sister, Melissa, made almost all of the food. It was freaking amazing. Check out the cake, the confection de resistance: a lemon poppyseed pound cake with white chocolate and cream cheese icing. I am sure I got it wrong but that is what I think it is, I mean was. She made it from scratch. It looked good and tasted like heaven. I never eat cake but I have had a piece everyday since Saturday.

Here is me and Tara's sister Melissa in front of the spread. I came downstairs after getting dressed and she had taken over. She had on that adorable apron and I, of course, asked if she brought one for me. I was joking,but still hopeful. And she did! I was so damn excited. She is 20 years old and is cross between Marilyn Monroe and Julia Child.

Here is the full spread. I don't think you can see it all but there is champagne cocktails, wine, chocolate covered strawberries, yummy tea sandwiches, Brie, deviled eggs and a bunch of other yummy nibbles.
Some of the guests:(left to right) Meme, Anne, Tara, Kim and Dee Dee
Tara and our friend Melissa who just moved back!
Tara and her sisters Katherine and Liz
Some of the loot
Okay Tara, you are all set! Hurry up and finish baking that baby so we can finally meet her!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Running Log

Total miles: 37 miles and it was by no means easy to get there.

Sunday: 6 miles, great run
Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: one hour cross train and 30 minutes upper body weights
Wednesday: 7 miles in the am and 5k sprint on the treadmill and 20 minutes weights
Thursday: one hour cross train on the treadmill and 30 minute weights
Friday: 2 miles in the morning and my ipod died so I did some quick leg weights and went home cleaned house. Went back to the gym in the afternoon and did 5 miles in just under 39 minutes.
Saturday: 7 miles

No items found.

Goals for next week: Keep mileage above 35 miles and look towards that last week in August when Beau also starts school and I officially begin training! I still need to get my schedule mapped out.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It Damn Near Took a Village but

We have poopy on the potty! For those not fascinated in scatology you might want to skip this post. It is a too much information one.

As I think I have mentioned, I have been potty training Beau. All is/was going fairly well. He is completely pee trained and about 50% poopy trained. Didn't know there was a difference did you?

I didn't either because Carmella, when I trained her, just did both all the time. However, I have discovered that going poopy on the potty is infinitely more difficult than I ever could have imagined. I guess Carmella was just some sort potty genius because lots of kids, apparently, have this problem.

As of last week Beau was doing okay with the poopy on the potty. We have only been training for about a month now so I didn't expect him to have it perfected, though that would have been nice. The point here is that he was going poopy on the potty not in his underwear-- however, I should add that he would go in his pull-up if he had to go and had one on. For the most part I avoid pull-ups until bedtime.

All was progressing as it should until last Sunday. It was then that Beau had the monster of all poops and it hurt and I guess he decided that "I am never going to do that again."

And he didn't, at least not intentionally. He did go poopy in his pull-up while he was asleep Monday night. We had a discussion about where poppy goes--in the potty-- and that was that. Then on Tuesday afternoon I took the kids to the pool and Beau pooped in his swim diaper. Now that he does get in trouble for--especially if I had just asked him to sit on the potty and he refused. Punishment was leaving the pool and going home. This was way more devastating for Carmella who also had to leave but had done nothing wrong. It just seems way too early to have the Hey, Life's Not Fair; Them's the Brakes talk with her.

Once home, Beau and I had the discussion about where poppy goes--in the potty-- and he had some time to think about it in his room. Then he watched an informational video and we read the companion book about where poopy goes--in the potty. He seemed to understand and we moved on to an enjoyable evening with no more potty discussion.

I think this is when Beau decided he was never going poopy again. Ever. Because he didn't go again for 3 days. After one day I didn't really worry. It will happen, I thought. When it didn't happen on the second day, even in his pull-up or at the pool or when he "tried", I started to worry. At the same time though, I admired his ability to hold it. On the end of day 2, as an extra measure to ensure pooping success, I fed him a dinner of black beans and rice, steamed broccoli and carrots and baked chicken. Nothing. Not even in his sleep when surely that little sphincter muscle could have relaxed a little.

So on the morning of day three I called the pediatrician, who told me maybe I should stop potty training. I was stressing him out. Uhm, no way. We've come too far and this has nothing to do with the actually potty; just with pooping in general since he would not go on the potty or in a pull-up. He didn't matter where or how to him he was flat refusing to poop. Really, they were not very helpful as they seemed unable to fully understand Beau's situation but they did recommend to use a glycerin suppository at the end of the day should he not go. Well, I promise you neither me nor Beau wanted it to come to that.

After sitting Beau with his blue (blanket) and his baby (pacifier--only used at naps normally) on the potty and reading him a gazillion books and trying to talk the poop out of him I gave up and called the village.

I got tons of great ideas from my mommy friends: wheat germ sprinkled on everything, prune juice, oatmeal raisin cookies, mineral oil, Karo syrup in milk and so on. Stephanie advised maybe some vasoline around the butthole might help make for an easier exit. So armed with all this new knowledge Beau and I headed to the store.

We came home with vasoline, prune juice, mango juice and Craisions-- which were eaten in the car. I gave him a cup of prune/mango juice and then some milk with a teaspoon of fish oil--gross, I know, but he drinks it. I "lubed" him up and put him down for a nap. Two hours later I woke him and we tried the potty. Nothing. He wanted lunch so that was PBJ and oranges and lots of water.

We picked up Carmella from school and hung out at home for a few more hours. Nothing. He "tried" several times. He even admitted that he needed to go but was scared it was going to hurt his butt. I tried to explain the longer he held out the worse it would be. I gave him more prune/mango juice. He really likes it.

So around 5 we headed to the gym. I explained to Heidi and Noni, the nursery ladies, about our little problem and instructed them to come get me off the treadmill when he decided to go. I was just finishing my 5th mile when I saw Heidi come out and give me the thumbs up sign. So I hopped off and went straight to the nursery.

The nursery was all a buzz with the news of Beau's victory. Beau was so proud and he of course told everyone and anyone about it and even showed a few of the kids his masterpiece. I asked him if it hurt and he told me, quite excitedly, if not a bit surprised, no.

He then went poopy on the potty three more times at home. Apparently prune juice is the magic pooping elixir.

We celebrated by going out to Mexican and letting him eat lots of cheese dip and tortillas.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Carmella goes to Kindergarten

Today was the first day of school, of KINDERGARTEN, for Carmella. It wasn't a tearful day for anyone--well except for Beau. He was pissed because he didn't get to go to kindergarten. I've already been and so I had no reason to be upset. I, like Carmella, was really excited for her. You get to learn so much cool stuff in kindergarten--like to read and write and add stuff up. It is awesome.

I suppose, I might have been a tad tearful if I had to put her on a school bus but that is because I myself do not have the fondest bus memories. Actually, I have anxiety about all forms of transportation so for me to put my child in a moving vehicle without a carseat isn't something I plan on doing until that prescription for Xanax comes through.

Luckily, we live too close to the school for her to ride the bus so we either walk or drive. Today we walked but it wasn't an easy walk with Beau. I am thinking tomorrow we will drive.

The day started very early for us. I got up at 6am and made her lunch and packed her bag. We had already done the outfit negotiation the night before. I got Carmella up at 6:30 and Beau, begrudgingly so, a little bit later. We had none of the usual snafus of trying to get three people out of the house. Since we had time for video and photos, Carmella posed outside with her backpack for me before we walked up the hill to school.

There she is:
Future graduate.
Class of 2018--crossing the big road to school, to higher learning, social angst and oh my God whole bunch of stuff that I am not going to think about.

She is right to business when we walk in. She immediately sat on the floor and unpacked her backpack and put her things in her cubby and hung up her backpack. I think she has watched a lot of reality TV because she was able to completely ignore me with my camera and the video recorder and eight gazillion questions. She wouldn't talk to me so I chatted up the other kids.

I had been worried that Carmella was too shy but everyone of those kids looked terrified--all wide eyed and quiet. They all had the same look--you know when your baby goes under water for the first time and they come up shocked, sputtering and eyes as big as dinner plates--that look. Carmella though exuded calmness--as if she had been going to kindergarten all her life and this was no, big, deal. She is so much cooler than I ever was.
Carmella puts her lunch up. Later when I asked if she was scared when I left or relieved she admitted that she was relieved. I think her irritation with me comes across clearly in this picture.

Carmella sets right to task. No chatting with friends, just work work work.

Carmella's table mates. We only knew two other kids going to kindergarten at this school and they are both in her class and sit on either side of her.
End of the day! Carmella in line with the other walkers leaving school.

Kindergarten is great!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Beaupalooza III: A Pirate looks at 3

There is this rule and it is called: if I have a party it will rain. Wait, I'm sorry, let me be more specific: if I plan to have a party outside it will rain. It has rained every year for Beaupalooza. Yesterday, though, was ridiculous. We have been in the middle of a drought/heat wave all summer and yesterday morning it was a monsoon. I was beginning to think I should have had a Noah's ark party instead of pirate bash.
Luckily, it cleared up right at 2 when the party started. It wasn't sunny but hey, it wasn't raining and it wasn't thundering and it wasn't lightening so the kids could swim and play my pirate games --and that is all that mattered. Regardless of the rain(and at this point it is just a tradition)and less than stellar weather, I think Beaupalooza III was the best so far.

I scheduled the party from 2 to 5 and I think the last guest left around midnight. About half of the party lingered until about 9ish. Not too bad for a 3 year old's birthday party.
I need to give props to my man Dusty for making and bringing his home brew for the party. Also thanks to Bubbles and Poppy for the champagne. It is never a party without you guys' libations. And thanks to Lala and Pop for the fun floaties for the pool. What's a pirate party without a shark and an alligator.

The kids loved my games. I was so thrilled. They were able to figure out my clues to the treasure hunt and were not at all disappointed that the treasure was squirt guns. In fact, more than one kid asked if there were going to be anymore treasure hunts.

But walking the plank proved to be the biggest hit. And, yeah, they walked the plank into the pool but we did at least nix the blindfold. Admittedly, I did want to kind of still use it but the kids were a little nervous about walking the plank as it was. Well, nervous the first time across. I am sure there are probably some county codes we broke but what's a party if some rules aren't broken? And besides, no one got hurt.

There were lots of other pirates at the party and while Beau looked at 3 the others looked at many different things:
Some, like Captain Steph, is looking at 40.

Captain Todd: 35
First Mate Annika: Peace
The Grandma Wench:Babysitting? More champagne? Someone else to hold big boy Duncan?
Abbie,Anna, Alexa, Carmella, Max and Harrison: Kindergarten
Sophie and William: Preschool
Terry: A new look?
Uhm, Dee Dee the invite said join us for a Pirate Party at the Pool not Bunny Party at the Mansion.
Livi: obviously, mother like daughter. I asked if she wanted to wear her pirate costume and she told me she was a princess. I guess if you can't find a princess costume bunny ears come in a close second? I know, I know, she's 2 1/2 I shouldn't try to rationalize anything she tells me.
And all the other pirates in attendance, myself included, were just looking for a good time.

I planned the party at the pool but the kids love, love, love to run around on the tennis court. So they pretty much divided their time between pool, snacks and tennis courts. I can't remember who said it but someone accurately pointed out that is was like a giant cage.

I just want to thank all our friends and family for coming out again for Beaupalooza and making his birthday so much fun. He had a great day!