Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Bonked!

For the third time in my years of running varied numbers of miles I bonked. I hit the wall. My mind said, "No more!" And, my body went kerplunk!

My first experience with the wall occurred while training for my marathon in 1999. During a 16-mile run I was hit with pace-wrecking fatigue. No longer would my legs take the strides I needed to complete my run. I was done. Crushingly done.

My second experience with the wall was during my last 1/2 marathon in November of 2007. I ran 8 miles strong and steady. I felt good. I felt that, though my pace was slower than I had hoped, I was going to knock out the last 5 miles with minimal pain. Then BAM! I was done. I wanted to scream! I wanted to cry! Mostly I wanted to call my dear hubs and have him pick me up and cart me home. I ran/walked...well, stumble/walked...those last, horrid 5 miles. I throbbed with pain as I crossed the finish line. I remember asking Todd why I was the only one hunched over and fretting for Ibuprofen. He was so dear and said, "You finished. Congratulations."

So today, what happened? I have no idea. I set out for 10 miles. I ran the first three like a breeze. My pace was quick, my mind was ticking. About 4 miles in I began to get a bit concerned. At 4 1/2 miles I was done. I hung my head and silently cursed myself. I was so upset with me! Then, something happened. I realized, with a great blow, that I just ran 4 1/2 miles. I ran on my own two feet, by my own sheer will. No, I didn't reach my goal for the day. But, I will reach my goal for the race. I have been so blessed with the ability and desire to run. Yes, I had a bad run, but I didn't have a bad day. I bonked, but I recovered. So I changed my thought. Instead of berating myself for only knocking out 4 1/2 miles I am delighted because today I ran 4 1/2 miles!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hydrox vs. Oreo

It is my humble opinion that Hydrox cookies have nothing on Oreos! As I did the working mom dash through Vons on my way to pick up the kiddos at Grandma's house this evening, I came across an end-cap that made me pause. It was a beautiful display of delightful cookie sandwiches nestled in that classic blue packaging. I admit I stopped because I thought they were Oreos and I have yet to come across an Oreo I didn't devour.

Then I noticed that kitschy logo that took me back to my Granny's kitchen where a snack before bedtime was a given and was always accompanied by a tall, cold glass of milk. How long had it been since I had a Hydrox cookie? Far too long I reasoned as I grabbed a packaged and tossed it in the cart.

I loaded the groceries in the car taking special care that the blue package with the old time logo sat in the seat next to me. I started the car and opened the package taking only enough time to acknowledge that the Hydrox is 100 years old this year. That is one old cookie! I ate one cookie and, could it be true? I ate another to confirm. And, yes, a third, just to make sure. It turns out the Hydrox cookie sandwich isn't all my memories made it out to be. I am definitely an Oreo girl. The chocolaty cookie part just wasn't as chocolaty and the creamy center part just wasn't as sweet and creamy as the Oreo.

That's not to say that the package of Hydrox will make it through the weekend unscathed. I feel pretty confident that all those cookies will be gone by Monday...Tuesday at the latest. They definitely are not what I remembered but I will enjoy watching the kids dunk them in tall, cold glasses of milk after their baths. Then, someday, they can reminisce about the olden days when we sat around the table as a family enjoying a bedtime snack. And, they will wonder when they last ate a Hyrdox cookie.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One race down, three 1/2 marathons to go!

Sunday, the 21st found my whole tribe on the running course! Only Mitchell and I had intended to run, but an ambitious little Ellie made sure she and Daddy ran too!

Thanks to my running buddy, Julie, I had a great race! She has an amazing ability to stay on pace mile after mile. When running solo I am a bit erratic. I run fast, then slow, then fast, then slow, then slower... But with Julie setting the stride, I finished the Cross City 10K in 58:43. I averaged 9 minutes and 29 seconds per mile! I love it! Julie finished a few steps ahead of me with a 9:25 average mile. What a great run for both of us!

The next event was Mitchell's 1/4 mile kids race! What a proud mama I was when he said he wanted to run like Mommy! As I walked to the start line with Mitchell, Ellie became adamant that she would be running the race too. So, with two running toddlers, my dear hubby had to dust off his sneakers and shake the cobwebs out of his knees.

Mitchell decided he would run with Daddy so I ran...carried...and then ran some more with Ellie! Mitchell had a great race! He ran his 1/4 mile in 2 minutes and 47 seconds! He had little legs of fury! Miss Ellie was an unofficial entrant so her time was not recorded, but I will say, we ran crossed the finish line dead last. For a two year old in a 3-4 year old race, I am just delighted that she finished on her own two feet...even if I did carry her for a couple steps mid-race!

Look at Mitchell's happy little face as he crossed the finish line with Daddy right behind him!
Miss Ellie looks a bit bewildered but she was mighty happy when she ran across the finish line amid a crowd of people cheering for the last, and littlest, runner!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Walk on the Wild Side

We took our four-year-old, Mitchell, to see Walking with Dinosaurs. We kept him in anticipation of a "big surprise" until we were in the car driving to the event locale. We asked Mitchell where he thought we were going?

"I don't know."

"What is something you have been wanting to see?"

"Hmmm... I don't know," Mitchell replied again.

"What big animals have you been wanting to see?"

"I know! Camels!"

"Camels? You want to see camels? OK, what other big animals have you always wanted to see?"

Mitchell looked at us nervously, like he is afraid to say it in case it isn't true. He squeaks out a soft little, "dinosaurs?"

"Yep! We are going to see dinosaurs!"

At this point we witness screams of excitement and a general bit of happy thrashing in the car seat!

I must say that we enjoyed Walking with Dinosaurs as much as Mitchell did. The dinosaurs were very life-like with blinking eyes and slow, plodding movements. It was easy to spot the actors in the small dino costumes and the stability bars under the bigger dinos, but I found myself so caught up in the theatrics that none of that mattered. I was so glad we splurged! We actually bought "cheap seats" but were front and center to the was perfect!

As one can imagine, Mitchell has been talking about dinosaurs non-stop since the show. It the car this morning he asked me so sincerely from the backseat, "Mommy? Can you tell me all about Walking with Dinosaurs?"

"Don't you remember sweetie?"

"Yes, but I want you to tell me what you remember and I will listen."

Aw! So cute! A budding paleontologist!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mice and Teeth

As I laced up my running shoes this morning I caught sight of something out of the corner of my eye. When I looked up, I found I was being watched by a the house! I am afraid of mice beyond logical comprehension. I looked from the mouse to my three dogs who seem too happy, fat, and old to chase mice. I weighed my options and opted for a mad dash to the bed where I landed on my sleeping husband. I explained the situation to this farm boy who reminded me that we had no mouse traps. This fresh knowledge actually made me light-headed. I instantly had visions of this mouse strolling through our home...walking on our sleeping children...taking liberties with our cereal boxes...pooping those little mouse poops!

My husband, my dear sweet husband, offered to walk down the hall and turn on lights so I could at least get myself out of the house for my run. He told me the mouse was more afraid of me than I was of it. I reminded him that the mouse was watching me and that I was the one who ran away!

So I went on my run, which was difficult because I had exerted so much energy freaking out about the mouse that I was actually spent. Seriously afraid of mice! Before I headed home, I went to Walmart to buy some mouse traps. I thought Walmart would be open, but I had to wait about 30 minutes. With time to kill, I went to Starbucks and grabbed a coffee and some breakfast. As I drove back toward Walmart, I passed a dentist office in the strip mall. I noticed it because it looked like a pretty rough place to get your teeth cleaned. That is when I noticed a poster hanging in the front of this dental office. It read...and I kind you not..."Pain is fear leaving the body." What the heck!?!? What does that even mean? Who in their right mind would go there for dental work? I just have one word in response to that...NOVOCAIN!

Now I am sitting here typing as my hubs...the dear man who fears no mice...sets traps. He is so sweet he agreed to set all four traps to calm my fears. My goal now is to get a shower so I can get myself to work. This entails entering the mouse zone! My head actually hurts at the thought. I guess mice are a part of country living though I didn't think of this when I signed the mortgage papers seven years ago!

Deep foot in front of the I go...

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Royal Throne

I believe that enjoying a trip to Lowe's or Home Depot is a sign of aging. As a child, I dreaded the weekend trips to look at knobs, lumber, and latches. Now, I get giddy with excitement! I think a sign of being even older is when a trip is warranted to buy new toilet seats and that same rush of excitement is felt.

Have you ever noticed the many toilet seat options? Did you know that they have seats that are ergonomically correct for your derriere? They have wood seats, clear seats, seats that are squishy, and seats that look like they are filled with water with fish in them. The have cheap seats and they have expensive seats. And, some manufacturers make seats that are antimicrobial. Yes, and these antimicrobial seats can even go in your dishwasher. Am I missing something? Do people really wash their booty seats in the dishwasher? This makes my stomach lurch. And, if such seats have been created to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew...why would they even require such a cleansing? It disturbs me. I am a Pine-Sol and Clorox girl! The dishwasher is strictly for dishes in this household! But I digress...

My hubs was very amused at my concern that we purchase a good quality seat. And, the kids amused us both by sticking their heads through the seats hanging from the lower shelf. We knew the seats had never been used, but there is still a gross factor here. We went through a number of handi-wipes back in the car as a prelude to the baths when we got home.

I am happy to say that after laboriously looking at every type of seat on display I found a nice Kohler design to rest our buns on. We hope you will like it too should you ever visit our humble abode! It isn't antimicrobial. And it doesn't have plastic fish in it. But, it is a nice place to have a sit down and do your business.

I think it says something about my week when the topic of choice is toilet seats!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fountain of Youth

Last night, we enjoyed dinner with my super amazing sis-in-law, Shib and my niece, Annie. We met at Red Robin after work since it is a favorite of the kids...and because Shib had coupons for free kids meals! Rock'n!!

After a yummy dinner, we went outside to "The Fountain". If the kids behave through dinner we tell them they can throw coins (no quarters though!!) into "The Fountain". Shib snapped the great pictures below that show the kids having a blast and burning off their dinner!

Good thing we didn't name Ellie "Grace". Doesn't quite seem to fit a little girl flashing her pull-up!
I think Mitchell is wondering if he can get his coins back for a few more throws! He has quite an arm on him! And, he is a lefty!

I love pictures taken from behind! It lets us see what they see. They see wonder in things we take for granted.

Running like the wind without a care in the world!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Murphy's Law

I am a case study for Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will." Like today. We took the kids to the zoo. We had a marvelous time. There were literally hundreds of people at the zoo today. But, as I am a case study for Murphy's Law, it was my head that the bird poop hit. SO gross.