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Friday, May 28, 2010

Rave Run

You know how in Runner's World, in the beginning someplace, they always have a "Rave Run" that features some pretty running route? Well, I feel as though my run this morning could've been featured in such an article.

I drove out to the nearby trails at about 7 am, and it was the perfect temperature out -- 57 degrees, basically my ideal running temp -- and the run was probably the most idealic run I've ever had. The trails were wide, flat and mostly root and rock-free, and the majority of the trail I picked was shaded. I passed over a small creek (with ducks in it and everything!), and for the first half mile or so, the path followed along the bank of the Cannon River. With the birds singing, the forest's wildflowers and the morning's quiet, it was really a "zen" run. I was like Snow-friggin-White out there!


I don't get this kind of scenery or gentle running environment in South Florida, and I was in heaven; I can see how people get hooked on trail running!


The morning was so perfect, I felt as though I could run all morning, but again, we had obligations for the day, so I headed back for what I'm guessing was about 5 miles total (though it's hard for me to estimate since I'm sure my pace was different on the trail, but that's my best run-dar guess). I got back to Jerry's dad's a little after 8, and when Jerry asked me how the run was I told him it was so great, I felt like reciting poetry and listening to love songs. Seriously, it. was. awesome.


So awesome that I believe that I just HAVE to go back tomorrow. And bring my camera. I probably won't post the pics until I get back, but I just have to get a few shots of these trails. Those of you who have this kind of running nearby you are luh-ky! I am forest green with envy ;)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

MN Running

Thanks for all the comments and condolences about the loss of Jerry's grandfather. It was a nice service yesterday, and then afterward, the whole family came back to Jerry's dad's house for the afternoon and we got to visit with some relatives that we haven't seen in years. So, in its own way, it was a good thing to bring us together with family that Jerry and I rarely see, and who we probably wouldn't have seen on our trip otherwise.

So, yesterday was a busy day with the funeral, but today was quieter and I got out for another run -- this time I went a little further (according to Map My Run, it was 4.5 miles) and that was nice. So now that I have two runs here in MN under my belt, I feel as though I can offer the following assesment of the pros and cons of running here:

Pros:
  • Perfect weather right now -- warm but not hot, low humidity, gentle breezes.
  • Good smelling air. Sounds weird, but it's true -- it just smells good here right now!
  • Friendly drivers. They don't seem as though they are aiming to run me down -- definitely a plus, and every driver gives me a friendly little wave, very nice.
  • Lots of new areas to run wth new scenery for me. (I think tomorrow I am headed over to some nearby trails.) A change of place is always refreshing.

Cons:

  • Friendly drivers. It throws me off. In FL, I run with the assumption that cars are gonna plow me down at any opportunity, so I am always guarded with traffic, but here, with such friendly drivers, I don't know what the hell they're doing! Giving me the right of way? WTF?
  • Hills. South FL is flat, flat, flat, and even though I wouldn't normally characterize MN as "hilly," there is definitely a big difference between the rolling farmland around here and the flat, filled-in-swampland of South FL. I actually kinda like the challenge of hills, but I run a mile uphill and I am done.
  • No sidewalks. Jerry's dad's house is 1.5 miles from town, so there are no sidewalks here (but today, I ran into town so I did a little sidewalk running there). So that means running on the shoulder of the road, which makes me nervous. It's fine since I'm running by myself, but it would certainly make me leery if I were pushing Norah in the jogging stroller.

So, that's my current assesment. I plan tomorrow to drive over to some trails at Carlton College (we're in Northfield, MN right now). I've never runs trails before so we'll see what kind of adventure that will be. And on Saturday morning, I think I may tackle this giant hill that's nearby that I have been avoiding. It is scary steep to me, but I think I may be up for the challenge!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In MN

After two long days in the car, we arrived in MN last night. Norah was a peach and traveled so well! Random observations about the road trip:
  • Georgia had the cheapest gas (nearly .30 per gallon cheaper than FL).
  • Illinois has constant road construction.
  • Iowa has great rest areas. At one point, I wanted to just stop and build a house in one and live there.
  • 1800 miles is a long way in the car with a baby and nervous Copper Top dog.

So, this morning, I was able to get out for a short 3 miler and it was glorious. My legs really needed the exercise after sitting for 2 days, and the weather here in MN is absolutely gorgeous! I haven't been in MN in the summer since we moved 6 years ago and I had forgotten how beautiful it is here in the summer. Today, the temps are warm and sunny, but there's no humidity so the air feels (and smells) good.

I ran at about 7 am, and I can't stress how friggin' perfect it was out there. I wanted to keep going for a looooong run, but didn't really have the time to squeeze it in -- maybe later this week when we don't have as much going on. This afternoon, we have Jerry's grandfather's wake and tomorrow is the funeral.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Own 13.1 -- Cancelled

Or at least postponed.

See, we were planning on leaving later this week for a long vacation back to MN, but we got news today that Jerry's grandfather passed away early this morning, and his funeral is scheduled for Wednesday. We'd like to be there for the funeral, and since we're driving, we decided to pack up and leave early tomorrow morning in the hopes that we'll be there by Tuesday.

Once we made the decision to go, this afternoon was a whirlwind of preparation (thankfully, Norah took a nearly 2 hour nap, which is unprecedented for her, and it allowed us to get a lot done around the house), but with just a few details to finish getting ready this evening, we are basically all set to hit the road early tomorrow in the AM.

So, I'll be getting up at 5 am tomorrow. Just not to run. Perhaps I will get the chance to get it done while we're on vacay (we'll be gone for nearly 3 weeks, and with lots of family time, I should have plenty of childcare), which may work out better anyway: It will be cooler there and maybe, just maybe, my Garmin will be waiting for me when we get there (it's supposed to ship on Monday).

Don't know how much I'll be blogging in the next few weeks, so until I talk at'cha again, adios!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Week's End

I'm not sure what it says about me that the most exciting thing going on on my Friday night is a 6 mile run, but that was the plan and the action for the evening. And, it was a nice 6 miler -- the kind of run where I'm just on cruise control both mentally and physically. Very relaxing.

Now, tomorrow is a rest day.

And then on Sunday, I am running "My Own 13.1." Without a Garmin -- so my distance will be estimated by MapMyRun, and my time? What time? I don't need no stinkin time!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dirty Baby

This morning, Norah and I went for another 3 miler. The air was thick and humid, so when we got back, I was soaked in sweat. I always feel bad for Norah when I'm so sweaty because by lifting her out of the stroller and carrying her around I coat her in my sweat -- gross.

Combine that with the fact that crawling around the house all day gives her dirty feet and knees, and she frequently gets her meals squished into her hair; so by the time we get somewhere like the Mommy and Me class we go to on Wednesdays, she smells like a locker room, looks like I let her loose on a dirt farm, and her hair is crustified into a faux-hawk with little bits of food smeared betwixt her fingers.

Lovely.

The other moms must take one look at her and think about phoning in a hazmat team.

Oh well, a nice grime-coating creates a thick, protective shell -- kind of like a forcefield around her!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Morning Run, Afternoon Swim

Do you think this means she wants to go for a run? I took it to mean so. So, run we did. We did our standard 3 mile loop this morning, and even though it was a bit later in the morning than I would have preferred (it just gets so warm), it was a bit overcast and we had a light breeze so it wasn't bad. Highlight of the run was that I scared the bejesus out of an FPL (Florida Power and Light) worker. He and another guy were on the sidewalk doing some sort of assessment, and I thought they saw me coming so I didn't think I'd surprise them when I called out, "Behind you! On your left!" Apparently, I'm like a ninja, though, and my sneak attack completely took them off guard and the one guy literally leaped into the bushes to get out of my way! I guess I'm a fearsome sight barreling down the sidewalk.

This afternoon, Norah and I decided to take advantage of some pool time; I bought her a pool raft, so we had to test it out:
She liked it; although, I think she likes floating freestyle better. Either way, she's a little fish in the pool: Kicking her legs and splashing, and drinking the pool water -- she loves it! And, the extra benefit is that some combination of fresh air and chlorinated water makes her pretty tired, so now she's taking an afternoon snooze...ah, my favorite time of day!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Morning

This morning, I got up at 5 am in order to get out the door by 5:30 for a long run. I was aiming for 11 miles, but in the end, I only did 8. As I was running, I just felt tired and I couldn't shake the fatigue and the desire to just turn around and go home; so, at the 4 mile point, I allowed those feelings to win out and I turned around. Despite feeling beat, I must've still run at a decent pace, since I was back in the house by 6:50 -- so, it's not so shabby to be back from a run before 7 am!

There are a lot of factors I could probably blame for the fatigue, but I'm not sure any one thing is guilty -- probably a combination of things. Oh well. Failing to complete my intended distance isn't bothering me today; I still got 8 miles done and still rounded out 20 miles for the week (which is my "minimum" mileage I aim for each week). In fact, I'm still pretty tired, and now that Norah is down for her morning nap (and Jerry and Scooter are crashed out too), I think I may join in the family spirit and take a little snooze myself!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back Order

Turns out, the Garmin is backordered, and probably won't ship until the second week of June. Poop. When I ordered the Garmin, on April 30, it said "5 left in stock" -- I took that to mean they HAD 5 in stock, but apparently, they had expected them to be in stock, but they still have not received their full supply from Garmin yet. According to the customer service rep, "Demand has been unexpectedly high for this version and Garmin is backed up in manufacturing and distribution to its retailers." Fine, guess I can wait.

But, it's now expected arrival date is bad timing since we'll likely be on vacation when it arrives. So, I am faced with a dilemma: I can either A.) Hope it gets delayed a bit more and doesn't arrive until we get back from vacay -- very likely scenario since the date the rep gave me is "tentative"; B.) Cancel the order altogether, and then wait to reorder after we get back; or, C.) Have it shipped to my in-laws in MN since we'll be staying there during its approximate ship date.

Each scenario seems risky in its own way, but I don't want it to arrive while we're gone and then sit outside our door -- in broad daylight! -- until our return. What to do?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If Found, Please Call

I didn't want to do my run today, which is when I know I really NEED to run. So, I procrastinated until this evening, and then went out around 7 pm for a 6 miler. It was a good run -- the evening was cool and temperate -- and I was glad I got it done.

The best thing about my run this evening was that I took my new Road ID for its maiden voyage! I got a giftcard for Road ID for my b-day last month, and I ordered the sport ID in pink, and it arrived earlier this week. And it is pur-ty! (I would take a pic and show it to you but it has vital, personal info on it -- like my address and home phone number and I don't need one of you lurking outside my bedroom window at 2 am.) It's kinda like dog tags for a human: If I'm lost, injured or dead while running, people know to contact Jerry.

The only thing about wearing it was that having something on my wrist instinctively made me feel like I was wearing a Garmin -- which, sadly I was not. (By the time I got around to having the time to contacting customer service about the Garmin, it was past their calling hours, so I sent an email. Hope to get a response soon. Or, better yet, hope the Garmin arrives soon!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Full Time Mom

This is my first official week of summer break and full time momming has kept me busy the last few days, but so far, it's going pretty well and we've been enjoying some summer-time fun: the park, the indoor play area at the mall, Mommy and Me class, and the pool. So, I haven't had much time to post in the last couple of days, but I have been doing my runs!

On Monday and today, Norah and I went for typical 3 milers with her in the BOB. Thankfully, it's been a bit cooler this week than it was last week (80s instead of 90s), so the running isn't quite as miserable. And, last night, I played raquetball. I played five games with 3 different people and I won 1 game. So, I have a success rate of 20%. Fail. However, it was still fun -- even if one of the court's A/C seemed to be out and we were sweatin' like whores in church.

Now, my Garmin has still not arrived and I thought I was gonna have it by the end of last week. Should I call customer service and demand to know where it is? Or, should I try to be patient for another day or two? I feel as though my patience is just about out in terms of running without a Garmin. Get it? RUNNING out of patience? Heh.

Oh lord, being with a 9 month old all day has already rotted my brain.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nine Months

Today, Norah is 9 months old. And, the best way to describe her in the past month is simple: In to everything. Now that she's mobile, she's all over the place and she's into everything. So, we thought we had baby-proofed, but we were wrong. See all these enticing books and magazines at baby-level?Gone. See these doors that just open willy-nilly to a wonderous cavern of DVDs, remotes, and video games? Locked up. Other cabinets and low dresser drawers have also been locked up. She wants to open every door and drawer within reach. Scooter's water and food dishes? Up on the counter now after she made a lake of the kitchen floor. But, of course, there are some things she's just in to and there's no way to really baby-proof them. For instance, shoes:
Notice Scooter's worried expression, and he should be worried because she especially loves Scooter's stuff; here she is lurking around his toy basket:
Life is so unfair for Scooter these days; he's not supposed to play with her toys but she's always bothering his! Poor Scooter. At least he gets lots of dropped food as consolation.
Needless to say, it's been a busy month with Norah all over the house. Plus, she has begun pulling herself up to standing:
And, she's eating real people food and feeding it to herself now (about 50% of it makes it to her mouth, which is where Scooter reaps the benefits of standing beneath her highchair). Soon I expect she'll be asking for the car keys and trying to negotiate her curfew -- sweet baby jesus, the time goes too fast!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

First Mother's Day

Today was my first "official" Mother's Day, and I had a great day. I got to sleep in, and then woke to breakfast -- pancakes and bacon, my favorite! Then, we went to the beach: And the water was so calm that Norah was very willing to give it a go, and she loved floating out in the ocean (plus, it was a lot warmer this week; we've had temps in the 90s all week). Sand is still somewhat un-trustworthy to her, but she did tolerate sitting in the wet sand right next to the water for a bit.

Then, after the beach, I went and got a massage that Jerry, Norah and Scooter got me for Mother's Day, and that was heavenly. I nearly fell asleep on the massage table and that hour went by way too fast!

So, it was a great first Mother's Day: They set the standard pretty high -- it's gonna be a lot to live up to in the years that follow!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Humid 10 Miler

This morning, I got up at 5 am in order to be ready and out the door for my 10 miler by 5:30. The heat and humidity have been so high the past week that I wanted to be sure I got my 10 miles done early in the day -- I didn't really want to be out there much past 7 am (it's just past 9 am right now and it's 87 and by early afternoon, we're supposed to have low 90s again today). Before I left, I checked the weather and while the temp was moderate (77 degrees), it was humid (85%).

By the time I got to the 2 mile point, I was drenched in sweat, and I was kinda doubting the quality of this run, but this is typical thinking for me on a long run -- it takes a few miles for me to settle into it, but once I'm settled in, I usually enjoy the mileage. That was true this morning. After the 3 mile point, I was enjoying the run even though it was so warm out. That's FL in the summer; I just have to live with it.

So, the run was good. Still no Garmin, so I don't know what my time or pace were, but it felt pretty strong -- like I was able to maintain a pretty steady pace. And I was back a little after 7, which is really nice. It's tough getting out of bed early, but I sure like getting it done early in the day!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Too hot for Running

I haven't done any running since Wednesday: yesterday was a rest day and today turned into a rest day because I never found a time to fit a run in this morning and now Jerry is out enjoying a guy's night, so no evening run. Oh well, it's too hot out there anyway.

Tomorrow morning, I do hope to get up early and get a 10 miler done though. Should be good stuff. Anyhoo, I am planning a little evening to myself tonight that involves some dinner, some beer, and a movie that I want to watch (haven't decided which one yet: "Up in the Air" or "Julie and Julia"?)

Lastly, here are two cute Norah videos from today: In the first one, she is playing peek-a-boo with me in the bathroom (what? where do you play peek-a-boo?); and in the second one, she's dancing to some baby-rock.
video

video

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Fashion Show

Last night, my fellow raquetball compatriots bailed on me, so no raquetball. Instead, I ran a 3 miler. And this morning, I again ran a 3 miler, but this time with Norah in the Bob. It was about a million degrees out for both runs, so I was a river of sweat, but otherwise, both runs were fine.

Today, then, Norah's "school" hosted a Mother's Day Fashion Show. Each class had a different theme; Norah's class was swimwear, so here she is pre-show (chewing on a sand shovel). This is totally the face of a future runway model, right? (See that kid next to her with the pacifier in? Norah likes to terrorize this little guy by stealing his pacifier. I guess she already has the super model bullying down.)
The show was cute, but we didn't get any good pics or video during the show; however, here she is with me post-show waving "hi!"
So, that was super cute. And, speaking of fashion shows...today, I picked up my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding later this summer: Here I am, yo.
A little closer: Lovely tan lines, eh?
Two feel good things about this dress: One, it's 1 size smaller than the bridesmaid dress I wore 2 years ago for a friend's wedding, and it's 2 sizes smaller than my wedding dress (4 and 1/2 years ago)! And two, when I picked it up today, the seamstress asked me if it was my prom dress! So, apparently, I am now slimmer and I look about 16 years younger! Score.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Crosstrain Tuesday

This afternoon, I had planned on attending a yoga class offered at the college. The college regularly offers classes like this for faculty and staff, and not only are they free, but they also count as professional development credit for us. So, after I finished my grading (all done for the term!), I changed and then grabbed my yoga mat and water and headed off for the class...only to have no one else show up. Not even an instructor. I double checked that I had the room and time right, and I did, but no one else was there. Poop.

I wouldn't have minded so much except that my office is about 1/2 a mile from the building where the class was supposed to be held and it was 93 degrees out this afternoon. So, it was a mile's walk in that blistering heat for nothing. After getting back to my office, all sweaty and kinda pissed off, I called the office of professional development to tell them what had happened, and their answer? "Huh. That's weird. You sure you had the right location?" Yup.

It sucks that the first time a yoga class is scheduled for a time I can attend, no one shows, but perhaps in the fall I'll get another chance at it. In the meantime, I was dressed and ready for yoga but there was no yoga. So, I headed home and cleaned up this mess: And decided to unroll the yoga mat in the living room and do one of the yoga programs from On Demand. Of course, one of the reasons I don't like doing yoga at home is demonstrated here:
It starts small like the above -- just edging onto the mat, but it quickly dissolves into this:
And then I'm doing Down Dog with a dog who does the pose way better than I. I managed to shoo him away and convinced him that chewing on a bone was a better idea and then I got a 30 minute yoga flow in. It was a tough one, but man, it felt good and I really needed it.
So, too bad about missing the class on campus, but at least I found a way to make it work at home. Now, tonight, I'm planning on playing raquetball as long as those boys don't chicken out and cancel on me. Since I actually won two weeks ago, I heard that one of them was feeling a little "sick." Hope he mans up and we play.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Meatless Monday

About 6 weeks ago, I told Jerry that I wanted to start eating vegetarian 1 day a week. Eating vegetarian 1 day a week makes more of a symbolic statement more than anything else, but it helps remind me to strive to do small things that are good for the environment and for myself. Jerry was on board as far as making a vegetarian dinner one day a week but he didn't want to join me in commiting to going veg for an entire day; still, his willingness to do dinner is huge since he does 99.9% of our meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. So, we decided to make Monday "Meatless."

Each week, I keep thinking I should log my food for my Meatless Mondays, but I keep forgetting, but today? I remembered! So, here are my meals for the day:

Breakfast was a bowl of this cereal with skim milk, and I had two cups of coffee with milk. Snack #1 was more cereal and most of a banana (the small cut-off portion of the banana was used for Norah's morning snack).
Usually, I try to steer clear of frozen, packaged food, but some days, they are the most convienent thing for me. And, at least Kashi's frozen entrees are lower in sodium and have high fiber and protein content, and this is one of my favorites: It has plantains, sweet potatoes, black beans and polenta. It's kinda spicy and sweet at the same time. Delish.
Snack #2: String cheese and tortilla chips and mango salsa.
And for dinner, I have to thank Jerry for making yummy veggie flatbread pizzas: One of mine was veggies, pesto, and cheese; and the other was pesto, arugula, mushrooms and cheese.
Unfortunately, the pesto kinda repeated on me during my evening run, but that seems to be pesto's MO with me -- one time around is not enough for pesto, but it doesn't keep me from going back to it again and again.

So, yeah, that was my food today (and you could probably add a few Oreos to that since they seem to be calling my name right now). On to the run: It was an awesome 4 miler. I thought it was gonna suck since it was 87 degrees out when I went out the door at 7:30 pm, but it actually rocked. I was like a lithe little deer out there bounding along like it was the easiest thing in the world. So glad the mojo is back!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

SUNday

Went to the beach today, and it was a beautiful day for beachin'. Norah played with her sand toys but not in the actual sand. She crawled onto the sand, and was like "WTF is this stuff?" and she stayed off of it after that. Jerry tried taking her out into the waves, but she also wanted nothing to do with that. The water was a little too cold for her anyway. Still, she liked watching all the kids run in and out of the surf, so eventually I'm sure she'll be brave.
So, despite not wanting to play in either the sand or the surf, she still seemed to have fun playing on the blanket and doing some people watching (that's fun no matter how old you are). And the best part? That ocean air tires a baby out, so she's now crashed out in her crib for a nap!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

9 Miles

This morning, I took my newfound mojo for a 9 miler. Since I have no watch and no working Garmin, I have no idea what my overall time was or what my splits were (but I know it was 9 miles because I have memorized almost all of my routes so I really don't need any gadget to tell me distance), but on the whole, it felt good.

I was sweaty as hell when I was done, though. The thing about this time of year is that Nature seems to have runners between a rock and a hard place in terms of conditions: Run early in the morning and the temp is cooler but the humidity is higher; run late in the evening and the humidity is lower, but the temp is hotter. But, the advantages of getting a run done early in the day ultimately far outweigh waiting until evening, so I'm glad I ran this morning -- even though I lost a pound in sweat! (Literally. This time of year, I find it interesting to weigh myself before and after runs to see the difference since I sweat so much. A pound is quite a bit for a 9 miler. But it's nothing compared to what some people lose on a truly long run. I used to run with a woman when I was training for Chicago -- back in 2007 -- and she said she almost always was down 8-10 lbs after a long run! Granted, you re-gain that weight once you're properly hydrated and re-fueled, but I think it's amazing how much a person can sweat.)