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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Big Changes

After several very positive job offers were considered, Jerry has accepted a position in Winston Salem, NC.  His tentative start date is set for mid-January.

It's an exciting move for him since it will offer him a step up in both pay and position and promises to be rich with opportunities for professional growth.

So that's awesome.

The kids and I won't be joining him in NC immediately, though, since after a few lengthy discussions with my Dean, I decided it was to my own professional benefit to stay and finish my academic contract and teach the remainder of the year.  So.  That's gonna be tough to be apart, and I'll be honest: the idea of full time Momming and full time teaching is intimidating, but I know I can do it.  Especially when I know there's an end in sight.

The big question will be: Will I be able to continue streaking?

Monday, December 02, 2013

2013 Turkey Trot 5K

After I posted on Wednesday that I didn't expect much from Thursday's 5K, I went out and surprised myself and my legs by running a new PR (by 2 seconds) of 26:33.

Afterward, seeing how narrowly I'd beat last year's PR, I kinda kicked myself for not really pushing it in that 3rd mile and earning a significant PR.  Doesn't matter.  I was pleased with what I did.  Leading up to the race, I actually wasn't sure if I'd even be able to pull off a 30 minute 5K (my legs were still achin' something serious from that fall).

Here's the kids and I after the race; they were all about the cookies:

For my effort, I was really sore on Friday, but thankfully, by yesterday, my legs seemed fully recovered from both the fall and the race.  And, yesterday was day #335 in the streak: Exactly 30 days until I can celebrate my 1 year streak-versary!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Falling Down

On Sunday, while running, I tripped, fell, and scraped my left knee. (I also did something uncomfortable to my right quad because it's been aching like I ran a marathon.)  However, after I fell, I assessed the damaged, determined it wasn't anything I couldn't run through, and ran on to finish up my planned run.  The streak is now at day #330.

The fall, while real, is a good metaphor for the entire month of November.  Because Jerry and I have had a doozy of a November.

Jerry got laid off.

There's a lot to discuss here in terms of explanation, but it's boring, and it's not a tale no one hasn't heard before.  It was a blow, but:

Thankfully, Jerry had anticipated the company's downsizing and had already been pursuing a few promising leads, and since the news, he has been inundated with calls, emails, and texts with leads and opportunities.  Ironically, now that he's a "free agent," managers from across the country have been contacting him and doing their best to try and "pick him up off the waiver."  Sorry, that was a lot of sports talk.

From all this, he will most certainly find a fitting offer from another company.

Also, he received a generous severance and, with our savings, we aren't concerned about any immediate financial impact.  Plus, you know, I work too.

While we are some of the most fortunate who can receive this kind of news, it still complicates our lives and is stressful to deal with.  A new opportunity for him most certainly means moving out of state.  We will probably have options to consider, but it's a big decision, and a big move (wherein I will have to resign my job), especially since we don't yet know where or when.  That would be okay, but we're also on the verge of closing on our condo, which we've already been negotiating a sale on now for months.  We're now set to close on that at the end of December.

In the end, all of these big events will, most likely, work out just fine and maybe even better than fine -- in some ways, the lay off could be advantageous for us and maybe push to make some decisions we were reluctant to undertake before.

So, the lay off announcement pushed us down, but we didn't stay down, and while his company's decision bruised, it's nothing that won't fade and that we can't recover from.

As for the running: Tomorrow, I run in my 9th consecutive Turkey Trot 5K, a streak of its own, but I have no expectations about time this year.  My runs following Sunday's spill have been short and slow, and I doubt my legs will feel good enough tomorrow to really push myself.

Still...you never know.  Sometimes an unexpected descent means you have no where to go, but up.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Sayonara October!

October always feels like a particularly long month.  And the last week of the month was particularly exhausting: We had company staying with us (which is always fun but is also busy), then I came down with a round of the barfs, and then it was Halloween which, once you have kids, requires days of events not just one day.  Given that, I was just happy to get last week's runs done, and squeeze in an even 100 miles for the month.

So, I'm happy to see October in the rearview and am pleased to look forward to November, one of my favorite months.  I have the turkey trot on Thanksgiving (always one of my favorite traditions), and I am planning for an early December half marathon, so I have that training beginning to peak as well.  Thankfully the weather has begun to cool off, so even though the days are shorter and I'll have to adjust to running in the dark, the relief of more temperate weather is welcome.

In general, because FL's sub tropical climate gives us the opposite enjoyable weather as the rest of the country, from now until March I get to enjoy FL's "race season," and just yesterday, I was starting to get excited about determining which events I wanted to include in this year's race calendar.  Certainly, it's tempting to do them all, but practicality dictate that time and finances be considerations, so I have to limit my choices.  Still, it's always fun to look at my choices and weigh the favorites with the events I've never done, or haven't done in awhile.

I'm lucky to have such choice, and it being November, I do pause to be grateful for the running events that stretch out before me from now until March.

Monday, October 28, 2013


In terms of running, October has been an average month: Still streaking (today is day #300 -- "only" 65 more days before I can fill out the forms and submit my official USRSA application!) and still putting in an average of 3-4 miles a day.  However, in terms of blogging, October has been a giant failure.

In part this is because I've been very busy with work this month (midterm), but in part, I've had little that feels blogworthy.

The weather has cooled off here, though, and it's been lovely here in South Florida, so for the first time in almost 6 months, I'm enjoying running outside again.  Does that count as a noteworthy piece of blogformation?

Hope so.  Because it's all I got right now.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Taking it Easy

Last week, after hitting the month's mileage goal, I promptly caught a cold.  With an accompanying low-grade fever.  Admittedly, I internally freaked out a bit with the fever since last year at this time, I got sick with a virus whose principle symptom was a low grade fever and it wound up undoing the streak I had going back then.  Thankfully, by Friday, the fever had passed and so had most of my other symptoms and I was feeling better.

But, I did take advantage then of a "bye" week in terms of mileage.  I ran no more than 3 miles a day, and totaled the week with 19.64 miles, almost half of the previous week's effort.

Honestly, it's been nice giving myself a little running "break," as the decreased effort spilled into this week too.  A streak never affords a runner an entire break, but it's funny how such a descrease in mileage really does feel like one.  

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Nailed it!

Yesterday, on September 30th, precisely within my designated timeframe, I ran 2013's 1,000th mile, which also happens to be my streak's total mileage.  It was day #272 in the streak, which means that I have averaged 3.6 miles a day this year and in this streak.

To my surprise, Jerry had picked me up the above shirt as a gift for celebrating the occassion.  Jerry.  He's the best, isn't he?

I feel like I've rounded a curve in this streak and in this year's running, and now I look forward to upcoming approach of the 1 year mark (93 days away!) when I can register to become an "official" streaker.  Plus, if I can maintain my average of 3.6 miles a day until the end of year, I'll log a year's mileage that exceeds any previous year's mileage. 

Sheesh.  I would say it's tough being this awesome.  But, really, it's not.  I'm a natural.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Down to the Wire

At the beginning of the month, I announced my intention to reach my 1,000th mile (this year) by the end of September, and for the most part, I've been diligent in my endeavor.  But, over the weekend, I hit a bit of a running slump.

We were camping in the Keys -- left on Friday, returned on Sunday -- and both the prep, the camping itself, and the return left me wiped out, so I ran minimum mileage those 3 days.  So, I put myself a bit behind in the mileage.

Now, with 6 days left in the month, I need to run 29 miles to achieve my goal.  That's 4.8 miles each day.

Obviously, if I hit 1K on Oct 1st, rather than Sept 30th, the world doesn't end, so there's no "real" pressure to achieve this.  Still.  I set a goal for myself, I like to see it through.

So, for 4.8 miles a day for the next 6 days?  It's on.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Yesterday, I was at the gym getting my miles in, and when I finished my 4 miles, I was wiping down the treadmill when the guy next to me said, "I can't believe you can run for 38 minutes without stopping!  That's amazing."

It made me chuckle since, to many runners, running A.) 4 miles isn't much, B.) 4 miles in 38 minutes isn't fast, and C.) without taking break is kinda expected.  But, that's why, as I walked out to my car, his comment felt meaningful.

It's so easy, as a runner, to look at what everyone else is doing not appreciate what I am capable of.  Running 4 miles in 38 minutes is not impressive to some, but to others?  It is.

So, inadvertently, his flattering comment helped me pause and be grateful for being in such good health that I can run, every day, and not think of it as anything particularly remarkable.  That's a luxury.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday's Run

On Mondays, Norah started ballet at school.  It goes from 3:15 until 4:15, so I have an hour to kill.  How do I do that?  How do you think?  Run!

It's too hot at that time of day to run outside, but yesterday I did what will probably become routine on Mondays: Run on the treadmill at the gym.

It's been a looooooooonnnngggggg while since I last ran on a treadmill, and even though it was boring, it was nice to feel (somewhat) speedy again.  Over the course of the last few months, even though I wear my Garmin and record my time, I have been doing my best to ignore my timing since it's been so dang slow.  I know that this time of year, with the heat, always slows me down, and this year I also have to account for the toll a streak takes on me.  So, I've gotten used to averaging 10:30 min/miles. 

But, yesterday's run on the treadmill was a different story.  Inside the A/C and on the treadmill (where I can just set the pace and then keep up), I ran 6 miles in 58:10, which is a 9:40 pace.  Stil slow considering that in March I ran a 10K in 56:12, which is a 9:03 pace.

Still.  I was pleased with it. A sub-hour 6 miler right now is more than welcome!

Today, then, I'm feeling it: A bit sore, a bit tight.  But, pleasantly so.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Weekend Running

Weekends are often when runners are able to really pack their miles in, which makes sense because we all have a little extra time on the weekend.  But. I have long found it a struggle.  It's the one time during the week when my streakin' resolve falters.

During the week, my daily runs have cemented their place in our routine, but on the weekend, when routines are more loosey-goosey, finding the right fit for running's timing is sometimes a stretch.  Case in point: This past weekend.

On Saturday morning, I decided to fit in just a quick few miles before I needed to get ready and take Norah to a mornign birthday party.  I ran 2 miles with the intention of running more later in the day.  But then the day was pretty packed with fun: birthday party and then a family trip to the Art Museum, and then I ate 2 Bahn Mi's, and well, my plan to get back out there crumbled in favor of watching "Escape from Planet Earth" with the kids instead.

On Sunday, I could have gotten up early and run, but I lacked the will, as I often do in the morning.  Especially a Sunday morning, when I just want to be able to sit and actually drink a hot cup of coffee.  Again, we had a birthday party to attend -- this time in the afternoon -- and, I drank 2 beers, ate a sizable burger, and then an even more sizable slice of birthday cake.  I got home feeling tired and bloated, but knew I still had to fit in a run.  I did 4.2 miles, which was more than I thought I would when I walked out the door, but afterward, I wished I had run earlier in the day so I could've allowed the food and drink to settle in like a brick.

So, it gets done, but 10K in 2 days is pretty weak.

But, if this weekend had been a race for cake consumption, I would've rocked it!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

August Tally

For August, I managed to squeek by with exactly 100 miles, making the month my year's lowest mileage month (Feb clocked in at 101, but considering it is a few days shorter than August, it really makes August look like a wimp).  It wasn't a stellar running month, but still, one can't complain about logging 100 miles and maintaining a streak.  So, there.  That's me not complaining.

Annnnddd, moving on: September has been a fresh start with the miles, and I'm off to a solid start.  The main goal this month is, as I mentioned last week, to reach my year's 1,000th mile before month's end.

And, of course, to keep streaking.  Today will be Day #246.

In case you lost track. ;)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All the Little Runs

August's mileage has been a bit disappointing.  For the first two weeks of the month, my weekly mileage was in the teens, and excepting yesterday's 5 miler, I haven't run anything longer than 4 miles. 

That means I'm going to barely coast through the month by meeting my 100 mile minimum.

I could blame the heat, Norah's birthday, the start back to school...but last August, I managed to run 150 miles, and I had all the same factors then as now.  Dammit, guess I can't blame anything or anyone but myself for logging so many short runs.

Oh well, it's nothing really to complain about: I keep on streakin and doing my best to log the miles I need, and that's what counts for me right now.

However, I do already have my sights on September's potential mileage because I'm nearing in on 2013's 1000th mile.  If I meet my mileage expectation for this week, and round out August, and te year so far, with 880 miles, that means I -- obviously -- have 120 miles to run in September to hit 1000 by the end of that month.

120 miles, 30 days, an average of 4 miles a day.

It'll be my new challenge.

*Disclaimer: If you notice typos and misspellings in my recent posts: Blame Blogger.  Something screwy is going on and it won't allow me to edit anything.  Any techy advice?*

Thursday, August 22, 2013

White Rabbit

Day #233 in my running streak proved eventful.

First of all, I've been running the same 4 mile route everyday this week, and each evening, I've been spying an albino rabbit  near the path.  Tonight, I got his pic.

Actually, if I'd wanted to, I think I could've scooped him up, and he'd have been happy to go home with me.  Clearly, he's a pet.  Or was someone's pet.  I told Jerry that despite the fact that I don't want to bring a white rabbit home, I confess that I've been fretting a bit about his well-being.  It's probably a bad sign I've come to think of him as Harold.

Naming found animals.  Not the path to just letting them be.

After my Harold sighting, I ran on to discover that a stretch of my regular sidewalk was torn up.  Gone.
So, for half a mile, I ran on the road.  Kinda scary in South FL.

Some drivers will slow down and move over, but many, frankly, will not.

I think I'll have to run an alternate path until this construction is finished.  I don't need running to turn into a suicide mission.

Then who would look out for Harold?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School

So, today is the 1st day back to school -- for both me and the kids (my classes don't actually start until next Monday, but this week is still back to work for me).

This morning, Norah alternated between excited and nasueous, as she proclaimed several times during our car ride that she was "gonna puke!" but she never barfed and once we got to school, she was fine.  More than fine, actually.  She scooted off to play with friends the second we stepped in her classroom, and I had to remind her to give me a hug and kiss goodbye.

Caleb had no real inclination of what going back to school meant, but he was a good sport.  When I dropped him off in his class, he was fine, and little dazed but didn't cry or anything.  Then, as I was leaving the building after takign Norah to her class, I circled back to his room just to peek in, and I saw him crying and his teacher comforting him.  Dammit!  That tore me up, especially because I knew that going back in would be a mistake, so I didn't.  And, I hate having left knowing that the last image of him was in tears.

Rationally, I know his crying was probably brief and he's fine, but...still.  Breaks my heart.

As for me, getting back to work has been surreal so far.  It's like I have to re-learn everything, and my brain is like, "You want me to do wha?"  Seriously, I had to print something and for a brief moment, I had to think about how to do that.  It was weird.

I know in a week or two, we'll be back into this school groove, but for today, I feel like I'm living in an alternate dimension.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gearing up for Back to School

Admittedly, the whole "back to school" season has snuck up on me this year, and I'm kinda scrambling in this last week of summer vacay to both prepare everyone for the change next week and to make the most of our last week of our vacation.

Norah is excited for school, especially since she'll be in VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten), and that makes her feel like a big kid.

Caleb has no clue what's going on, but will definitely have a tough transition back, but will be fine and will probably stop crying at drop off sometime in April...

As for me, I fall somewhere in between the excitement and the crying.

It'll be fun to be back in the classroom.  I enjoy my work, and after the time off, I feel refreshed and eager to be back to teaching.  Plus, it'll be nice to have more daily adult interaction and to have more stimulating conversations.  And, as I always say with kids: "It's good to miss them a little."

On the other hand, I've grown accustomed to our lassiez faire routine this summer, so transitioning back to a solid routine with a specific schedule will be a jolt.  I'm not gonna get to sit in my PJs and leisurely drink my coffee while we watch "Phinneas and Ferb" first thing in the morning, and that's especially gonna smart.  That, and having to adjust to again packing lunches. 

Plus, I enjoy spending the day with the kiddos.  We've had a lot of fun this summer, and as they continue to grow and get older, they get easier, so it's not as stressful as staying home was, say, 2 years ago when Caleb was an infant.

Anyhoo...we still have some shopping left to get done and some fun times to wrap up the week.  Then, Monday, the 19th is D-Day. 


Friday, August 09, 2013

Snotpacalypse 2013

One of the benefits of staying home with the kids, as opposed to having them in school, is far fewer illnesses.  It probably has helped that it's summer too and fewer viruses are floating around.  Either way, up until last week, neither the kids nor I had been sick since April.  For us, that's a record amount of time.

Of course, having such a long, healthy stretch means that when we did all come down with a cold, it felt pretty awful.  Thankfully, it was a minor bug and within 48 hours, we were all feeling better. But...

...The boogers lingered.

For me, it was like a boomerang: I was feeling completely better; then, the congestion set in and I felt yucky again.  The congestion was so bad on Wed and Thursday this week, and my right ear was SO plugged up, I thought for sure I had another ear infection.

Yet, I held off going to the doctor because...I'm lazy, I guess...but, I adopted the wait and see policy, and while I'm still congested and my ear is still plugged, I can tell it's better.  Not dramatically better, but subtly better.

I've been taking decongestants (but only taking the minimum dosage because they make me super tired and with the kids, I really can't afford to be feeling sleepy all day), but as always, I've found that the best decongestant is running.

I don't know the science of why, but I've always found that running clears out the mucus better than anything else.  On Wednesday's run, I actually got to experience one of those satisfying POP!s in my ear and for a brief moment (before fluid rushed in to the emptied space), I could hear again.  It's always kinda tough to drudge up the motivation to keep running when sick, but for me, I always feel better afterward.

Hopefully, I begin to feel better soon because tomorrow is Norah's 4th birthday (I KNOW!  can you believe it?) and her birthday party, and my dad is flying in today to spend the weekend with us.  So, I'll be too busy for boogers.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Dog Days

I was gonna try not to whine about the heat this summer, because, you know: It's kinda boring.

But, can I just say, "Sheeeet, it's effin HOT out there!"

If you don't live in FL, you might see those thunderstorm symbols and think, "Yeah, but rain means it'll cool off, right?"  HA!  No, that just means higher humidity.  All. The. Time.  There's really no escaping it in this season; that's why you can see that the highs and lows don't vary by more than 10 degrees: It is a constant level of sweltering here this time of year.
Ok, I said my piece about heat for the summer: Ahhhhh, I feel better!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Square One

Yesterday morning, Jerry took the kids to the park and to run some errands so I could have some time and space to clean the house.  I just needed to be able to really clean things because it was driving me nuts, and I wanted everyone OUT.  So, he got back with everyone -- and the house was sparkling for that small window of time before they all returned! -- and he had decided to pick me up a treat: A Dunkin Donuts Iced Latte.

Dammit, Jerry!

He was being nice, and apparently, he didn't understand I was trying to quit it entirely (he thought I was going for "cutting back"), but I was faced with either drinking it and breaking my 10 day no-DD-streak, or essentially pouring $3 down the drain.

I like to stick to streaks, but I also HATE to waste money.

I drank it.

And, it tasted like shame.

So, I'm back to Day #1 of no DD.  And now Jerry understands that, under no circumstance -- even if I beg and plead for him to swing through a DD drive thru -- should he be a darling husband and bring his wife a treat.  Cuz starting over is tough.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Flesh Wound

I am pretty vain about my feet, and I usually treat myself to regular pedicures.  But, this summer has been very busy and I've had little time for those luxuries.

Long story, short: My heels are as thick as hooves.

So, as any grosso would, I pick at the layers of dead skin as I mindlessly watch tv in the evenings.  Turns out, I dug a little Grand Canyon in my right heel and now it's killing me, Smalls.

The irony here is that now I REALLY can't go get a pedicure so they can take that cheese grater thingy to my heels to slough off the thick calluses because anyone with a forebrain knows you can't get a pedicure with an open lesion.  That's just asking for an infection.

So, I'm dutifully applying Neosporin and limping around on it.

Of course, it hasn't kept me from streaking: Unless that foot falls off, I'm still running. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dunkin Detox

A few years ago, I began to treat myself -- once or twice a week -- with a small iced mocha latte from Dunkin Donuts.  Then, I began to go more frequently, and THEN, they put a Dunkin on campus (about 100 feet from my office), and my occasional habit become an official addiction.

This summer, I figured I'd try to scale back to more moderate consumption, but alas, my efforts at moderation have been in vain.  Maybe one week, I'm successful at limiting myself, but I always go back to a-latte-a-day in the next week.

So, it was clear to me that only one course of action would work for me: Cold turkey.

At the end of last week, I decided to cut myself off, and I'm now on Day #5 of no DD.

Don't misread me: I'm not giving up coffee, or caffeine, I'm just forgoing DD.  Two reasons: Cost and calories.

The drink I get isn't expensive, but when purchased on a daily basis, it adds up.  I've been rationalizing the daily treat's cost by justifying that I don't spend much on myself, and this is true, but perhaps I'd get more enjoyment from spending money on something that lasts and not something I consume.  I've calculated that I can save myself about $90 a month if I quit the cold stuff.  And, I think I'd like an extra $90 in my pocket.

The other, perhaps bigger incentive, is to save myself the calories.  Again, the "cost" isn't much in the grand scheme of things (220 calories for the drink I get), but again, when added up, it probably isn't doing my waistline any favors.  It's easy to justify extra calories such as this when streaking -- "I run every day; I eat what I want!" -- but, really, if I ever want to lose those last 5 lbs, then gulping down whole milk and sugary syrup everyday isn't going to help me.

From obvious experience, I'm putting the whole 21 Day thing to the test here in breaking myself of this habit.  So far, so good.  But, man, it takes just as much willpower to quit a habit as it does to form one!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day #200

Saturday was day #200 in my running streak.  I ran a short 3 miler, and as I drew near to home, on the corner, I spotted Jerry and the kids who had come out to meet me for the last quarter mile of the run.  Norah was dressed in her "running clothes," Caleb was in regular clothes, and both kids were barefoot. 

Having them run toward me was the best thing I'd seen that day.

We met up and they ran with me for the last stretch of my run, and then, eager to run some more, we went a little farther and then turned around for home.  As a 2 year old, Caleb often looks like he's about to careen forward as he's running (still a top-heavy-toddler), but he's getting more balanced and loves to run as he declares: "Me feet supa fast!"  He hasn't figured out what to do with his arms yet, so they just sort of flap loosely at his sides.

Norah, however, gets the concept of bending her arms at the elbow and tucking them in a bit, and since she's better balanced, she doesn't look like she's gonna nose-dive into the pavement at any minute.  Plus, Norah is getting surprisingly fast, and a few times, I had to run in earnest to keep up with her.

Afterward, since we were "so sweaty" (Norah's words), we took a dip in the pool.  It was a nice way to mark the day in the streak.

July has been a bit of a trial on the streak: Like everyone else, I'm sweltering out there, and I seemed to have lost some mojo.  Still, I'm getting the runs in -- most of them short and slow -- and am hoping it's just the season, and like the season, I'm hopeful that this lackluster feeling will pass.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Kiddos

I figured it's been a while since I've dedicated a whole post to talking about the kids.  So, to indulge that urge:

It's my theory that kids reach a peak level of cuteness at 2, which seems contradictory to 2's typical bad-rap, but I think 2 year olds are pretty much the cutest.  They're still kinda babies, but with increasing verbal abilities, more physical dexterity and agility, and a kid's expanding understanding of the world.  This all equals total cuteness.

Caleb, therefore, is at Code Red Cute right now.  Don't get me wrong, he is also a goblin, but at least he's an adorable goblin -- which is maybe even worse.

He can now scale almost all playground equipment and manages most obstacles with prowess as he follows in Norah's shadow.  He talks a lot, doesn't listen to us, is stubborn as a mule, is swimming like a fish (he recently started jumping in and swimming to me on his own; it's pretty impressive, really), and can harass his sister and Scooter like a pro.  He also recently moved up to a big boy bed because he was leaping out of his crib, so that now means we get regular 2 am visits, and he decided that, as a 2 year old, it's now his job to get picky about food and making bedtime a chore.

He's also prone to biting and hitting.  I don't know if it's a boy thing, or just his personality, but you have to watch out for those teeth and his propensity to smack you with a toy (he has two toy swords, both of which are forever "put away").

Still, do you see that little dude handing me my 4th of July beer?  THAT is why I had kids -- so cuties could hand me coldies.

Jerry and I were just recently talking about the difference a year makes (for both kids: this time last year, Caleb was taking his initial steps; now he can climb rock walls), and with Norah, there's been a lot of maturation.  She's getting to be such a big girl now, a sweet big sister who is, more often than not, very patient, kind, and understanding with Caleb (even though he returns her kindness by biting her).  She listens to us so much better now and we can reason with her so much better now.  She understands complicated concepts, like delayed gratification, and is eager to pull her share around the house (she actually loves being assigned "chores").

Granted, she's still an almost-4-year old, so we still have tantrums and fits of rage (especially directed at her frustration with Caleb; today, I overheard her tell him, "You're really giving me a headache!"), and no kid is perfect.  3 was kinda a rocky age for her (as it seems to universally be; 2 gets the bad rap, but so far, in my experience, 2 was sorta-tough, but 3 was a shitticane of tough), but she seems to be coming into her own now as a full-blown kid, and it's fun to be a part of.

Also, this summer has been nice since being at home, I took away her afternoon nap, and bedtime stopped feeling like waterboarding for me.  My opinion of her rose considerably when I didn't have to spend an hour with her every night bargaining and pleading with her to go to bed.
Now, I get to do that with Caleb.
She's eager to go to VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) this fall, and I already feel the familiar heart-twinges at seeing her slowly growing up.  (In general, thinking of going back to school on Aug 19 gives me the heart flutters; we've been enjoying such a carefree summer.)
Over the weekend, we all went to see "Despicable Me 2" in the theater (Caleb's first successful theater experience!), and Gru has this freeze gun ("Freeze ray!"), which I keep thinking about: I'd like to freeze these kids at this age forever right now.
Of course, if I even tried, they'd both lipstick-taser me.  I know it.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Taking a "Rest" Week

Toward the end of June, my left ankle began to make some complaints.  It's what'd I'd consider an ache more than anything, a dull pain at the most, but still, combined with some general running fatigue and once again a failing Garmin, my enthusiasm for running and for the streak was waning.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to quit streaking -- today will be day #188, which is officially more than halfway through the year -- I can't stop now, can I?  No, I didn't want to quit running, but I definitely needed some kind of break.

Since last week was busy anyway -- my SIL was visiting all week and we packed our days with fun times and it was the 4th, which was, as Norah described, "the best day ever!" -- I figured it was a good time to scale the mileage back to the minimum.  So, last week I only ran 20 miles.  Not that I've been running any BIG mileage this summer, but downsizing to 20 miles did feel like a significantly easier week, and I think it helped the ankle feel a bit less grouchy.

Still, I have a watchful eye on it.

If only all my joints could be replaced with bionic ones!  I'd never have to rest again!

Plus, I'd probably be a superhero or something.

Monday, July 01, 2013

For Every Uphill

Over the weekend, we went to visit my dad, who owns a vacation/future retirement home in Central FL.  For those unfamiliar with Central FL, the landscape is very different from South FL; in fact, driving through this part of the state, one would assume they were in Georgia or Alabama, not Florida: There are lush, green trees with cascading Spanish moss, there are pastures and orange groves, and, oh yeah, there are hills.

The rolling kind.  But, still: HILLS.

In South Florida, the only hills we have are in the form of bridges or re-purposed landfills.  Therefore, I rarely, if ever, run hills.

Much to my running disadvantage.  I know all the benefits of hill repeats to boost strength, speed, and endurance, but to do hills, I have to drive somewhere inconvenient, and one of the reasons I love running, is that I can walk out my door and go; if I have to commute somewhere to run, I better get a medal at the end of it.

So, over the weekend, my runs took place on some scenic roads that featured these foreign landscapes.

Saturday morning, I was chugging along, admiring the lovely houses and the rural neighborhood, but couldn't ignore the hard work of huffing and puffing up these hills.  At one point, I was putting forth what felt like my hardest effort, yet I felt like I was stuck on a treadmill going no where.  I glanced down at my Garmin and was dismayed to see that on the uphill, I was slowing to an 11+ min/mile.

The reward, however, was reaching the hill's crest and then enjoying the easy descent.

But, there wasn't much by way of flatness, so as soon as I reached the road's valley, it was a journey back up.  Lordy.  It was a short run -- a little more than 3 miles -- but I felt like my exertion was really getting challenged with this run, and I began feeling exhausted; this was too much work!  I was ascending one hill and, feeling crabby about the climb, considered walking (or...maybe just turning around).  Then, a saying that I'd overheard at a race a few years ago came echoing back: "For every uphill, there's a downhill."


It was hard work going up, but then there was the flooding relief of conquest followed by the ease of running downhill.  Granted, there were more hills in the run, but it wasn't as though the entire run was straight up the side of a mountain without any hope of reaching the top.  I needed to re-adjust my outlook, and the above saying did just that.  It's not all that unique, and I'm sure runners have heard it before, but like many simple mantras, it felt profound.

Plus, the obvious metaphor was something I needed to be reminded of.

I finished the run feeling exhilarated both because of the literal and figurative change of pace, and I felt pleased at my own personal revelation.  Running is full of these small, teachable moments, and it's just one more reason to keep lacing up every day.  Plus, if I stacked up all these running related epiphanies, I'd have my own little hill of inspiration and burgeoning discoveries about life, growth, and character. 

Enough, perhaps, to form a legit mountain of metaphors.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Mommy Running?"

Yesterday, I was gone for a few hours in the afternoon to attend a friend's baby shower.  When I returned, Norah asked: "Did you have a good run, Mommy?"

I'd been gone about 5 hours.

But this is what they think I do when I'm not around.  And, it's pretty much true.  Occasionally, I slip away for other purposes, but during the summer, since I'm not working, pretty much the only time I'm away from them is when I'm running, and like Forrest Gump: "I [am] always running!"

For kids, time is an intangible concept, despite the fact that they're always trying to strike a two minute bargain with me -- "Time for your nap, Caleb."  "Me play two more minutes, Mommy!" -- so for them, 5 hours of my absence didn't register as an unusually long time for me to be out running.

At this point, the kids' association with me and running has solidified.  We were discussing our tentative 4th of July plans for next week, and Norah interjected by asking me: "Are you gonna run your running race?"  (In the past, I've infrequently run a local 5K on the 4th.  But this year, I'm thinking of skipping it -- too much driving back and forth -- but...maybe.)

I think it's pretty cool that they think of me as a runner, since I do too, and like any Running Mom, I hope the influence one day rubs off on them so we can run together.  Until then, it's also pretty sweet to enjoy the time I spend running alone, and when I get back, I'm greeted with: "Mommy running?" from Caleb. 

"Yup, I was running!"

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Blogging

...has been pretty lax as of late.

I have excuses, but they're boring and basically boil down to: I've been busy and haven't felt like it.

But here's what you need to know:

Kids and I have hit our summer stride, and we're having a great time doing all kinds of parks (regular and water), museums, and swimming basically everyday.  I was just thinking the other day how nicely "mushy" my brain has become in the last few weeks as I haven't had to think about anything work-related in 6 weeks.  It's quite lovely to reach this sublime state, and even though summer SAHMing is its own kind of work, it's been nice to have a break in our school year routines.

We are tanned, pickled in chlorine, and loving it!

On the running front, I have continued to streak, and am on day #...something.  See, I told you I had a lovely mushy brain.  Guess I have to go check the stats...

...okay, checked them: Day #169.

Last week's mileage was weak, and I took not 1, but 2, minimal mile days, but it was a necessity.  This week, the running has started off strong, super hot (90s everyday here lately), but strong.  It's a sweat-fest, but that's summer for ya.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Runs I've Had

It seems as though the runs, and their timing, have been a bit outta whack this week.

After work, Jerry attended a mandatory meeting for Norah's school for the upcoming school year, and someone, somewhere along the line, got the time wrong, and it was at 6 pm instead of 5 pm.  So, instead, of him getting home at 4:30, as he usually does, it was 7 before he got home.  When he walked in, I was already in my running clothes; I basically high-fived him on my way out the door and his way in, so I could quick squeeze in 3 miles before Caleb's bedtime.

Ahhh...all the time in the world for a nice 6 miler.  The run went well.  Except for the fact that a bee stung me on the palm of my hand at 4.5 miles.

It had landed on my shirt, and not looking -- I just felt something sticking to my shirt -- I swatted at it, and by doing so, cupped it in my palm.  Sting city.

I haven't been stung by a bee in probably 15 years, and I forgot: It fuckin' hurts!  I had to stop for a moment to pull the stinger out, and my palm throbbed for the rest of the run, but run, I did. 

Admittedly, I felt kinda badass taking a stinger in the palm and continuing running.

BTW, 2 days later, I still have a red welt in my palm: That bee venom, it's a bitch.

Again, ahhh...got some time, enough time that I figured I'd go ahead and run 7 miles.  But, as I was running, I was off in la-la land and didn't turn down the road I intended, so...the run ended up being 6.25.

I don't know about you, but once I find myself back home, and short on mileage, I don't usually have the willpower to putter around more.  I just call it "done."

Today (Thursday):
Lots of cleaning and errands and "to do"s on the list today, and the day and evening just got stretched out with chores and life's everyday things that need to get accomplished, so I again found myself with a day like Monday and only had the time for a 3 miler.

Tomorrow (Friday):
While I don't have a crystal ball, I do have a calendar, so I know our evening tomorrow has swim lessons at a weird time: 5 pm, which will put swimming during our typical dinner hour (yes, if you live in FL, it's basically mandatory to eat before 6 pm -- early bird special!).  But, after a brief discussion with the Jer-Bear, in which I explored the various run options that would help me circumvent either A.) Getting up early, or B.) Pushing two kids in a beast of a dbl stroller, he suggested I just run TO swim lessons (usually, I've been running HOME from lessons since they've been scheduled later in the evening in previous weeks).

Sounds like a plan: Run to lessons, watch everyone splash around, and then we can all go have Fun-Day-Friday dinner out. 

And, I'll be sweaty.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Caleb's 2nd Birthday and Day #150

Friday was a big day:  It was Caleb's 2nd birthday, and it was day #150 in my running streak.

For the big dude's b-day, we met some friends at the park for playing, a picnic, and cupcakes:

That afternoon, he opened gifts and we had a special dinner (mac and chz: his request), and more cupcakes.  On Saturday, then, was his big party at Chuck E. Cheese.  In short, he had a blast.

This morning, he had his 2 year old check up, and as always, he was healthy as a little bean sprout.  As for growth, he weighed in at 28 lbs, 2 oz (52%) and was 37* inches tall (97%).  It's funny how kids, even as babies, seem to have a growth trend that is just THEM.  Caleb has always had stats like this: Tall and slim.  I have no idea where he gets either, but it must be nice!

So far, being 2 has been pretty awesome for him.

As for me, with the close of May (logged 123 miles), I rounded out another milestone in my streak: Day #150.  Here I am post run:

The running has been very slow lately, which has been kinda frustrating.  The slowness is maybe in part due to the rise in heat and, especially, humidity, or maybe too has something to do with not taking a day off in 5 months.  Or, it's just part of the running cycle (sometimes, I'm a bit faster; sometimes, I'm slower -- there's no explanation beyond that it seems).
Anyhoo, by now, I'm on day #153 and chugging forward!
*Jerry said the nurse definitely mis-measured, by his estimate of at least 1/2 an inch.  So, Caleb is probably really somewhere in the range of 36-36 1/2 inches, which would put him in a lower percentile, but whatever, I really don't keep track of that stuff very closely.  Let's just say he's somewhere around 3 feet tall.  Bigger than a Smurf, fo sho.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Running...Out of Indoor Activities

Norah and Caleb are active kids, and to them, any day is best spent in motion.  Keeping two active kids busy and entertained through the summer is a tough task.  A tough task made even harder with rainy days.  Of which we've had a lot lately.  So...

...On Tuesday, we went to Monkey Joe's, an indoor play place with bounce houses and all kinds of madness where kids can run and bounce and be, well, monkies:

On Wednesday, I had planned to take them to a different indoor play place, only to discover once we got there, that it was closed.  As in, gone.  Poof!  So, we switched gears and went to the mall's indoor play area, where there's not a fast enough shutter speed to capture Caleb running around:

They played there and rode the mall's train, as well as made the requisite pit stop at the Disney Store (a place that is both a blessing and a curse: they love to go there and check out all the merchandise, but then trying to leave without buying anything usually means dealing with someone's meltdown).  Also on Wednesday, we had swimming lessons, and both did well, but Caleb especially did great:

His back floating, with ears submerged, was worlds better.  So, he gets to advance next week.

Today, then (rainy.  AGAIN.), we went to the Young at Art Museum.  I went there once, in their old location, when Norah was about 18 months, and I hadn't ever been back, but I took the kids today, and must say: The place kicks ass!  The kids played for 3 hours and would've stayed longer, but I was already pushing the limits of Caleb's naptime.

There's a million things to do there, all of them interactive, and below is just a smidge: They were building this giant fort/castle/maze out of these big foam blocks.  The place is filled with that kind of stuff.

Below, here they are outside; Norah is the wee one on the "L" and Caleb the dot by the "U."

Clearly, they needed to blow off a lot of energy.  While I was getting us checked in and filling out a membership form, my 2 were running around the lobby like wild animals.  Literally.
Caleb was, honest to God, crawling on the floor pretending to be a tiger, making chomping sounds and yelling, "Me tiger!  Bite!"  And Norah was running after him screaming, "Ahhh!  RUN!  The tiger's gonna get you!"
I filled every other mom in that lobby with smug happiness.
If anyone ever wonders why I run: THIS. IS. WHY.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Weekend Wrap Up

The 3 day weekend was a busy one, and here's the breakdown of all the awesome time:

Saturday was actually a pretty run-of-the-mill Saturday: Mostly chores and errands, and for me, running.  But, Saturday night, we had a sitter, so Jerry and I went out to dinner and to Star Trek.  We'd been waiting to see the movie, and thankfully, it lived up to our expectations.  For anyone familiar with Star Trek, I'd describe it as "Wrath of Khan: Remixed"; for anyone unfamiliar with Trek, then I'd just say, "It's awesome: go see it."

Sunday, Norah and I went to a birthday party in the afternoon, and Jerry and Caleb stayed home since Caleb needs to nap then.  Norah had fun at the party and swam or slid on the water slide for about 2 hours.  She was spent that night.


On Monday, we met some friends at a nearby water park, and the kids had fun swimming.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a hot enough day to really enjoy the side with all the spray stuff and water slides (that pool is freezing!), but Norah and Caleb didn't mind.  They love the zero-entry pool because it's so shallow that they can swim all over but have the comfort of being able to stand up in the majority of the pool.

During Caleb's nap, Norah and Jerry went to the cheap theater to see "The Croods" and I had a glooooorrrrrious nap!  (They reported that the movie was "okay."  Norah was mostly stoked about the snacks and the soda she got during the movie.)  After nap, we played some baseball in the back and Caleb did some "fishing."

We grilled, drank some beer, and then had a family movie night.
Then, that was that.  Now, I guess, it's officially summer!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

That Time of Year

After 8 years of running in South Florida, I have become accustomed, mostly, to summer's heat and humidity.  What I really despise about running in this season is the bugs, specifically these tiny black gnats that swarm in clouds and are impossible to avoid.

All I can do is put my head down, close my mouth and nostrils, and cross my fingers they won't fly in my eyes.  They do, of course.  Even with sunglasses on, they swoop in and peg me in the eyeballs, and even with the above mentioned combat measures, I still end up swallowing a bunch and having several shoot up my nose.
But the worst is how they stick to the rivers of sweat, so that when I wipe my face as I run, I always have little bug bodies on my finger tips.
I know.  I should write FL travel brochures, shouldn't I?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Swim Lessons

Last year, we'd had Norah take swim lessons via the city, and they were okay, but not great.  Norah didn't like going, and often cried beforehand about having to go, and at the end of the 10 week session, we didn't feel her swim skill had advanced much.  So, we didn't continue the lessons, and since it was then late fall, there wouldn't be much swimming over the course of the winter anyway.
This summer, then, I was on the fence about having both kids do lessons again: Were they really worth the money?  Could I teach them what they needed to know?  So, we began our summer of swimming with arm floaters and that was fine, but I knew they needed more in order to be competent swimmers -- sooner rather than later.  I knew the city lessons weren't great, so I searched for private swim schools and found the US Swim Academy, a place we'd briefly checked out before since it was close to a movie theater Jerry and I often go to for our date nights.
I toured it, and I knew right away it would be WORLDS better than the lessons we'd done last summer, so I signed them up.  Their first lessons were yesterday, and I can't say enough good things about the place and their methods.  It's indoors, heated pool, and they have a plethora of inventive toys and equipment, and the teaching philosophy is all about making every skill a game or task.  Plus, the classes are super small: 3 kids to 1 teacher.
Pic's not great, but here's Norah going down one of these floaty slides into the water in her class:

Unlike the lessons Norah did last year, she was beaming through her entire lesson yesterday, and when she got done, she was excited about returning for next week's class.

That is worth every penny of the extra cost.

Not only does the place make the lessons not feel like lessons, but immediately, there's a noticeable improvement in both kids' swimming.  Today, at home in our community pool, Norah abandoned the arm floaters and was swimming back and forth from the stairs to me, and she kept wanting me to go farther and farther away (I'm terrible at judging distance, but I'd say she was going about 10-12 feet at a stretch).

Caleb too wanted to follow Norah's example and swim out to me without his floaters, but he could only go about 2 feet or so, and he was still flailing like I was stabbing him with hot pokers when I tried to get him to practice his back floating; still, he too had improved and he had also liked his class (the only problem, by his estimation, with his class was that Norah wasn't in it with him).

Caleb's teacher said he needed one more week in the class he started in, and then he could probably advance; Norah immediately advanced, and for her advancement, she earned a medal.

She was SO proud of her medal, and when she got home, she knew, right away, where to put it:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's Been a Spell

So, I've been AWOL for a bit. 
No one thing, just an accumulation of things.  End of the semester, a trip to Disney, and now summer SAHMing have all kept me away from blogging the past few weeks.  Maybe I'll be a more regular blogger this summer; we'll see.
We're still settling into a summer routine, and we have some activities planned, but most don't begin until the end of this week and beginning of next: Kids are gonna do gymnastics and swimming lessons, and I have been scouting the library story time classes, as well as the community ed classes for tots (maybe a crafty art class or something, we'll see).  In the meantime, what we mostly plan to do this summer is go to parks and swim in the pool.  We've already gotten plenty of pool time in:
On the running front, I continue to streak, and as of yesterday's run, I'm at Day #135.  In those days, I've run 478 miles.  Nothing epic, but I'm kinda working up to epic this summer.  Summer heat isn't really conducive to epic mileage, but my time is.  So I'm probably gonna sweat myself silly in the next few months, but I'd do that anyway.
Lastly, I got myself a new pair of shoes.
For those who are friends with me on Facebook, you already know that these shoes were 3 weeks from order to arrival, and their journey from an Amazon warehouse to my front door was fraught with mishaps; for those who aren't on FB with me, know that it was a GIANT pain to get these -- apparently, some packages just go to Opa Locka, FL and stay there.
Anyhoo...these are Saucony's Virratas, which are touted as a hybrid between minimalist and stability shoe.  As you know, I've toyed with various minimalist shoes, but haven't ever found a satisfying pair.  I don't know if these will be either.  I've given them 2 runs so far, and I don't yet have a feel for them.  Like any new pair of shoes, they take a bit of adjusting, but because they are also a "bit minimalist," they take quite a bit of adjusting (considering I ran the previous 471 miles of the year in my trusty Brooks Adrenalines, which are just getting to feel really broken in and perfect).
Once I've given these Virrata's some significant mileage, I'll let you know my thoughts; for now, we're just getting to know each other.
Lastly, this summer, I've decided to give both push ups and sit ups a "go."  I downloaded these apps on my phone that take me through 3 days a week plans to get me to do a bazillion of each.  I'm modifying both: With the sit ups, I'm just doing crunches; and with the push ups, I'm doing them "girly style."  But, dang those push ups slay me.  Yesterday, I did 5 sets of varying reps for a total of 57!  My arms were like useless slabs of meat afterward.
And, I'm on week 2.
On this path, I should be The Hulk by August.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Run for Boston

Monday evening, the local Ft Lauderdale running community gathered for a run to demonstrate support for Boston and to raise money for the victims and their families.

It was a rainy night, and I questioned whether or not they would hold the event; and if so, if I wanted to run.  That sounds wussy, I know, "I don't wanna get wet even though the run supports a noble cause, wah, wah, wah," which is exactly why I still went despite the downpour.  I know that runners at Boston did all kinds of courageous and noble acts for those who were injured and killed; the least I could do was show up and run in the rain.

Once gathered, a few "leaders" said some words, we shared in a moment of silence, we sang the National Anthem (particularly tugged at the ole heart strings this time), we posed for a giant group pic, and then we ran.  Around a track.

Since it was literally pouring, some runners just ran a "symbolic" lap or two, maybe a mile, but others, like myself, ran 3+ miles.  For selfish reasons more than anything, I wanted to get at least 3 miles done, and after I was soaked within the first lap, I figured, "Eh, may as well do what I can out here."

The event sold out of the t-shirts they'd ordered, and they managed to have a really significant turn out, especially considering the weather, so they were able to raise a nice little sum for The One Fund.  I got there too late for a tee but still donated some moola, so I got to benefit from the warm fuzzies even without the tee.

All around, it was a feel-good run-sperience. 

Plus, Monday was my birthday -- yes, the Earth graciously shared the day with ME.  So, in honor of the day, my 35th birthday, I made sure my mileage was an even 3.5.

Maybe one of these years, I'll actually run the number of miles for the number of years old I am, but every year that I put that off, the harder I make the goal.  Hmmmm, this is one of those "better sooner than later" goals, isn't it?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving Along

With such a major event on Monday, it's felt a little odd resuming the normal routine, but that's the business of living: We have to get to it.


The running here this week has been a lesson in adaptation.  Mother Nature decided, "Meh?  Why not just go ahead and make it summer!"  I know that many people in the rest of North America are shaking angry fists at the heavens cursing Mother Nature's refusal to move forward out of winter, but here, she decided to just skip ahead to July. 

It's April, dammit.  We're supposed to get a wee bit more of the temperate weather, aren't we?  Nope, guess not.

Thus, there's really only one word to describe the running this week: Sweaty.

You'd think I'd be used to such bodily effusion, but honestly, after months of lovely weather, it's a bit of an adjustment to suddenly be out there thinking, "Sweet Jesus, I'm melting!"

Oh well, best get used to it: It's not gonna get any cooler here in the next six months!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Boston

Last night, after dinner, after the kids had been bathed, the dog fed, the kitchen cleaned, and everyone settled in for the evening, I changed into my running clothes as I do every evening at this time.  And, I sat on the kids' step stool in the bathroom to lace up my shoes, and for some reason, that act of lacing up my shoes brought me to tears.

So, I sat on the step stool and cried.  Just for a moment.  Long enough to use up the tears that swept over me, but not so long as to dwell with them.

Then, I finished lacing up my shoes and I went out and ran.

It was nothing special: A 3 mile route that I run nearly everyday.  I didn't run fast.  I didn't have any earth-shattering epiphany.  I didn't completely resolve any feelings of grief, fear, despair, frustration, or sadness.  I didn't have any newfound faith in humanity or any restoration of the power of good or heroism.

When I got back, the world was still the same place it had been when I'd set out.  It was no different and neither was I.  But.

I felt better.

And so we run. 

Maybe away.  Maybe toward.

As Tim O'Brien says at the end of his story, "The Things They Carried," "[Our] loads will be heavier" but, we find the strength to "carry on."

Run on, friends, run on.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day #101

Today's 3 miler was my 101st consecutive run this year.


100 day streaking barrier? Broken.

It's been kind of a crazy week, too. Wrapping up some busy committee work, as well as the end of the term, at work, we had a surprise visit from my SIL and MIL, and then Norah barfed all over school today. Uff.

But, when is life not crazy?

I just know that I'd BE crazy if I had to handle this madness without running.

Monday, April 08, 2013

On Teething, A DNS, and Pushing a Dbl Jogger

Caleb has been a handful as of late.  Poor dude is teething something fierce, but instead of teeth coming in, it is just pure evil.  It's been about 10 days of various "symptoms" culminating over the weekend in an effort to make Mom and Dad's lives a living hell.  His general weekend philosophy seemingly was: "If I can't sleep, neither will you!"

The only things to make him happy were treats like cold, cold ice cream:

Otherwise, he was a bear.  So, poor sleep and dealing with the crabbiest almost-2-year-old on the planet meant I was spent.  Sunday's 10K?  I was out.

I bailed.

Friday night, I realized my online registration for the race hadn't gone through, and Saturday morning (after a night of not-so-great sleep), I decided to take the registration snafu as a sign, and I texted my friend Wendy, who I was supposed to meet up with, and told her the truth: I'm not showing.  She was understanding.

It wasn't that I didn't want to run (I still ran all weekend -- Viva La Streak!), but the thought of getting up early and driving to Boca to race?  It was just too much.

So, on Sunday, I decided to take on a challenge of a different sort.

I broke out the double stroller, which has been sitting idle for a LONG time, and I ran the kids to the park, let them play for awhile, and then ran them home.

So, what's harder than pushing two kids in a stroller into the wind? 

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

On our way to the park, I managed to crank it up to a whopping 10:30 min/mile pace, and I was thinking: "Man, this is great!  I need to do this more often!  We have tons of parks within running distance!"   But on the way home, I think I averaged an 11:30 min/mile pace, and I was thinking: "What fresh hell is this?"  

It was a total of 4 miles in 44:28.  It was a humbling running experience.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

March Tally

So, we're 4 days into April, and I realize that.  Kind of. 

March flew by for me -- it was a blur of spring break, then my grandpa's death and my subsequent trip to Wyoming, then Easter and a visit from my brother, and an unexpected visit from my SIL.  Before I knew it, March was in the rearview.

But, despite being a busy month, I still racked up 110 miles and continued my streak (total days now stacks up to 93!).  Plus, with a 10K at the beginning of the month, I set a new 10K PR, and that was pretty awesome.

As for April, the goals remain straightforward: I'm very close to tying my previous 100 day streaks, and dare I say it, I believe I will exceed those previous 100 day streaking barriers.  Thus, I plan to continue freakin' streakin'! 

Also, this weekend, I have another 10K, and while the bar is high for my level of awesomeness, we'll see if I can clear that bar.  As for the month's mileage, if I continue streaking, I should be able to maintain the standard I've set in the first 3 months of the year: Run at least 100 miles a month.  Last year, April was one of my lowest mileage months (I only ran 60 miles in April 2012), so if I hit the 100 mile milestone this month, I'll be pleased.

And, after April, my academic year pretty much comes to a close, so then it's just 4 months of straight up summer running!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ahhhh, That's More Like It!

After complaining about weekend heat, the running gods were like, "Ok, ok, sheesh, we'll give you one last cool spell!"

So, today, I woke to some lovely cool weather that's supposed to last a day or few. Nice. I'll take it.

I can't say I'm a faster or a better runner when I have temperate weather, but I can say the running is more comfortable, and therefore, more enjoyable. For me, it's a simple formula: If it feels good to be outside, I feel good running out there.

Do you have a "perfect" temp for running?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Summer Running

For those of you buried in snow, you're probably gonna hate me for saying this, but:

It was HOT this past weekend here in FL.

Like high-80s/low 90s hot.  It was like the weather suddenly decided to be July.  The shift was abrupt and, for the running, uncomfortable.  After both weekend runs, I returned home red-faced, dripping sweat, and with sausage fingers.  And, I didn't run more than 5 miles.

The other day, after getting back from a run, I picked Caleb up, and he recoiled from me, threw his hands up in disgust and said, "HOT!" 

I think summer was just briefly fucking with us because today it's back to a more temperate range in the 70s, and the forecast for the week looks like the heat hath reigned itself in.  But, it was a brutal reminder for how spoiled I get by "winter" here.

Anyhoo, for those who are living somehwere where your spring is feeling a lot like winter, forgive this brief diatribe about heat.  You're welcome to fling whatever insults you want my way.  Or, you're welcome to come visit FL. 

Your tourism pays my income tax, so I don't mind. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Case of the Missing Blogger

I know it's uber-annoying to blog about not-blogging, but what can I say, I live by own rules! So, here's my list of excuses:

  • I've been busy.
  • Kids, work, home: This keeps me buzzing from one to the next from about 6:30 am until 9 pm.
  • Then it's beer time.
  • I'm streaking and it's going well.  Nothing much to report there.
  • I lack blog-spiration as of late.
  • Blogger's mobile app really sucks.
  • I mention that because I'm often "on the go" (gawd, that phrase is worse than the word "uber"!), so I like being able to update stuff via apps that I can access on my phone.  Facebook?  Easy.  Instagram?  Easy.  Twitter?  Easy.  Blogger?  Toughest shit in the world to compose on.
  • Probably because a blog post is more composition, and the other media is all compressed.
  • And if an idea is longer than about 3 sentences, these days, I tend to forget it.
So, that's my list.  Lame.

"They" say that if something's important to you, you make time for it; if it's not, you make excuses.  Guess that sums up my blogging right now.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Keepin' the Streak Afloat

Thanks for your condolences regarding my grandfather's passing.  I appreciate your sympathies.

My trip to Wyoming over the weekend to attend his memorial went well: All flights ran in a timely manner, the service on his behalf was nice, and it was great to visit with some family who I hadn't seen in a very long time.  It's a shame that it's events such as a death that reunites people, but in its own way, it's a good thing to have a significant reason to bring everyone together.  My family is kinda scattered, and I haven't seen some of them in well over a decade, so this was an opportunity to see and catch up with some cousins and aunts and uncles who I hadn't seen in a very long time.

We drank, we ate, we even managed to fit in a St. Patty's Parade.  So, the occasion was sad, but ultimately, joyful.  Thus, I'm thankful I had the opportunity and the means to make the trip and to attend the funeral.

Traveling, however, made the past 72 hours feel like a blur -- planes and time gained then lost -- and I feel a bit disoriented from it all.  But, guess what?  I kept running.  Granted, I had to pull out the "1 mile" card for two runs, but they saved the streak, so I'm grateful for that safety net.

I did manage a "real" run early on Saturday morning, though, in Cody, and it was lovely.  It was cold and windy, but running in the west is unique.  Cody is not as scenic as some other parts of Wyoming, like Jackson Hole, but it's pretty in its own way, and being from the west, I always feel nostaligic in such wide-open, sweeping locations.  I ran a road that wound slightly outside of town and up the side of a butte, and at the top, I had a wonderful view of the valley that leads into Yellowstone to the west, and the scattered mountainsides and buttes to the east.  In Wyoming, it feels like you can see forever.  It's grand.

On my return, I had snow spitting in my face, but I was feeling warmer and was lucky to not have significant wind (Wyoming is a WINDY place!).  I love the chance to run somewhere unfamiliar, and this was a great run to squeeze in to my trip.

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's Been a Week

Getting back into the groove of work is always a bit tough after a week's break, especially so with the time change.  Waking up in the dark has been an adjustment for all of us, and the week has been a struggle with bed times as well (because SOME ONE, hint: her name begins with an "N" thinks 9 pm is time to rock, not time to sleep).

Then, I caught a cold from Caleb, and the boogers runneth.

Then, my grandfather died.

He was 89, and had been diagnosed 6 months ago with extensive, inoperable cancer, and for the past few weeks, we knew his "time" was imminent.  His death then was both expected and, honestly, a mercy.  Still, it's sad to see someone go.  I especially feel for my mother.  Losing a parent must be particularly difficult, no matter the circumstances or degree of preparation.

So, this afternoon, I fly to Cody, WY.

Know where that is?

Probably not.  It's commonly known as the entrance to Yellowstone, but is also home to a whole lotta cowboys.  Because in WY?  There are still cowboys.  And, drive-thru liquor.

I'm catching a flight this afternoon, attending the funeral tomorrow, and then flying home on Sunday.  I wish my trip could be longer and could be for a happier occasion, but I am thankful that I can attend, despite the duration and the distance.

All this means the running has been minimal this week, and hopefully, I can still manage that minimal through the weekend to keep the streak alive.

So, that's all that.  Could I compose a less graceful conclusion?