Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween - Before

I'll probably have an after post one of these days, but had to share this photo of Tessa. She wants to be a zombie this year so Tom and I went to Goodwill to buy her a dress that we could get dirty and tear up a bit. We ended up with this pretty pink dress. Tom said Tessa would probably like it and not want to get it dirty. He was right. She wanted to wear it school today. (She has gotten so much better about clothes lately!)

So, here is the before photo. We'll see how she feels about messing it up this evening.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Today, I felt restless. It's not a new feeling - I get it every once in a while. In general, I get bored. I stop enjoying routine, start looking for new distractions, stop wanting to knock stuff off my list (although today was one filled with many to-do's switching to to-done's), and eventually I start to look for something new. I say eventually because it takes me a while to realize what is happening.

In fact, I think I'm just now realizing what the feeling may be. I think it's a calling. A calling to try something new, to branch out, to expand my horizons. It's my way of experiencing a bit of creativity in my very black and white and organized mind. It's not good for one to stand still - to stay stationary - and sometime, it's not good to be content. Discontentment can lead to big things.

Sometimes, it's as simple as a new haircut (or new color), trying a new recipe, planning a vacation or organizing a closet.  Other times, it's much deeper like deciding, on a whim, to list our old house and build a new one without a real plan as to how it would work. Deciding to start training for a big race. Thinking about a big event for clean water. And, yes, even deciding to have a third baby. (And, no, for the 14 millionth time, I'm not pregnant.)

Today's feeling may be nothing. It may pass. Or it may be something. Only time will tell if it's clean out a closet time (I certainly have plenty) or more life changing. I can honestly say I'm not sure where it will lead, but I will wait patiently.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Race Day Wrap Up - Indianapolis - October 2012

This wrap up will be much different than the previous wrap ups because I really don't remember any of the specifics. Here are links to my previous wrap ups.

Mini 2012
Mini 2011

(I wasn't blogging in 2009 when I ran my first Mini.)

The Indianapolis Marathon (Half) was my fourth half-marathon (and Tom's eighth) but it was my first that wasn't the Mini. I was more nervous than I expected with it being a different course. I guess I just wasn't sure what to expect.

The race started at 8:30 and we arrived at the parking lot around 7:15 which was a nice change from the early start at the Minis. I didn't sleep well the night before and Jack was in our bed from about 5AM on, but I wasn't tired.

It was a cold morning (around 42 degrees at the start) and wasn't really supposed to get much warmer. So, I was a little unsure about what to wear. I decided to follow my mom's rule of thumb which is to dress for temperatures about 20 degrees warmer. So, I had on a running t-shirt and shorts and a lined running pullover. I also kept on a pair of sweats until right before the race when we dropped stuff at gear check. This made me pretty chilly at the start (just in shorts) but I had stripped off my running jacket by mile two. So, the rest of the race was just in a t-shirt and shorts and I was very comfortable and even got overheated around mile 10.

The line for the Port-A-Potties was long as usual. It always cracks me up to see the lines!

Tom and I right before the race. Ignore the massive bags under my eyes. :)

The start was great and fairly anti-climatic. They did a wave start so it wasn't too crowded. Tom was in corral B and I was in C. My only complaint about the race was that I didn't see a clock at the start line. There may have been one, but I didn't see it and I wasn't sure about when I actually crossed the line. I started my phone stop watch about 5 seconds before I crossed the line so I was able to track my time. My watch battery was dead or else I would have worn that to better pace myself. I made do just fine though and checked my phone at each mile.

This leads me to the main gist of the race though. I think I was able to enjoy the run more by NOT having any of the high tech gadgets I usually use (i.e. a watch) :). I simply checked my phone at each mile. At the first mile, I was right at a 9 minute pace which wasn't anything spectacular. But, I made up another 30 seconds by the second mile and I think another 15 by mile three. I think I was able to keep up with the nine minute pace for the rest of the race and then probably lost the extra 45 seconds during miles 10-13.1. I ended with a 8:59 pace and a time of 1:57:40 which is almost exactly 5 minutes off of my best time (2:02:43). I think I could have hit this during the last Mini had it not been so hot.

Overall, I didn't walk except through the last water station and felt really pretty good the whole time. There were certainly more hills on this course - most notably at mile 11.I slowed down around mile 11 but not too much. I used Gu packs this time for the first time (around 4.5 miles and 8.5 miles) and I think that helped some too. At one point, I started to get a bit of a headache (dehydration probably) and felt a bit prickly, fuzzy and hot. The last mile felt awesome though and went so fast which was a nice change from the Mini last year.  

This course was awesome and couldn't have happened at a better time of year. The guy in the white shirt with orange sleeves happened to be the one I paced off of for the last half of the race. He went on to do the full marathon when I cut off at 12.5 for the finish line. He was a nice and relaxed runner and was encouraging as well.

I loved the last part of the course - there is a final turn into the last .1 of the race. I actually got choked up as I made that turn and realized I was going to smoke my best time! Tom did awesome too and got his PR at 1:43 and change. We both said it was our favorite course and so pretty. I'll also say that it was nice to not run in such a crowded group and they did a great job with putting people in the right pace groups. I didn't see a single walker, which is not typical in the Mini. (Nothing against walkers, but it was nice to not have to bob and weave like the Mini.)

Now, I will say my recovery has been less than optimal. I felt like crap yesterday. I wasn't able to do anything other than shower and lay on the couch. I've never felt this bad after a race and thought I may actually get sick a few times. I guzzled a bunch of water and a Powerade and some coffee and managed to feel human enough to make it to a Rotary event in the evening. My feet are also a mess with blisters and I should probably figure that out before another race. Today, I've been hobbling around pretty bad and dreading tomorrow as I'm usually more sore the second day. Either way, it will all pass and I'll have my new personal best.

This is a race I will certainly do again! But, I will be taking a running break for a while. Feeling a little burnt out...

Friday, October 19, 2012


In case you were wondering,we're running a half tomorrow in the frigid cold. Thought I would share my playlist. Yes, my favorites are on there twice. Now, I'm off to carb up and get an early bedtime...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Break 2012

Today is the last day of our trip to Ohio for Fall Break. Due to the new school schedule, we have two weeks off this year in October and decided to make a four day trip back to see family and friends. We thought about heading back down to Gatlinburg, but aren't quite over the traffic woes from last year. The foliage here has been absolutely amazing. I'm just gawking every time we leave the house. Not to mention, you could film a movie in my parent's backyard with the crazy technicolor hues we've been seeing here! I feel like I can't take enough of it in!

First, we went to our great friends' house and visited with Eric, Sarah, Oliver and Marlie. We hit up a pumpkin patch in Adamsville - McDonald's Greenhouse.

Glad I caught this wonderful act of parenting in action. Yes, we have actually had a child with a dislocated elbow. Yet, we continue to swing them in the air.

This is my kind of pumpkin "picking." No mud!

Didn't get any great shots of the kids, but sure did try.

This is Marlie.

And, Oliver!

Tom and I went through our first corn maze. Oh yeah - it was probably the kids' first too.

The Motley Crew

In case you were wondering, this is what it looks like to give five kids fruit snacks.

The littles were lucky enough to get some shoulder rides.

We actually lost Jack more than once. He was so interested in everything and kept lagging behind. Again, a little more difficult to do anything with five kids to wrangle!

The petting zoo part was a little sketchy, but Tessa was really into this baby goat.

So were Marlie and Jack. So sweet.

Last stop was the Enchanted Forest. Not so enchanted, but the kids loved it. Just goes to show it is really the small things for them!

Then, we brought the kids to my parents' house. Monday, Josie and Tom went to the store for some kids' hunting gear. Josie went out with Tom on Monday and Tessa went out yesterday. They lasted three or more hours in the tree stand! I can't believe it! And, they acted like they actually enjoyed it, which is just so foreign to me. :)

Yesterday, we took the kids to The Works, which is a local museum in town. I'm always amazed at what a wonderful gem of a place it really is. Upstairs is a local history museum and downstairs is a scaled down version of COSI. I love it because it's all close enough to be able to to see (OK well hear anyway) your kids no matter where you are. The kids always love the big Mastodon upstairs and the little historic village up there too. I didn't take any pictures here because we've done it a million times!

Today, we visited with Tom's grandma, Grammy. The kids always love her house and they always leave with a new Beanie Baby for the collection. She took us out to Sopapilla Express for lunch. Yum.

Then, we went out to Dawes Arboretum. Absolutely beautiful. The kids loved the Nature Center just like they did in Gatlinburg - can't beat free! Josie wanted to take her picture with the display of stuffed owls for her teacher Mrs. McCleery. She's such a thoughtful kid!

They were all pretty grumbly/whiny on the walk, so we only made it to the Japanese Gardens. We stopped off for a photo session. I had high hopes of getting our Christmas card photos like I did last year on Fall Break.   Didn't happen. Here's the gist of how that went...

Anyway, we got to see the gorgeous trees around the Arboretum and the drive out there reminds me that I really do miss the rolling hills of Ohio.

This was part of the "Story Trail" and the kids LOVED it!

This reminds me of the oil drilling things on my grandpa's property in Gratiot.  

Finally, we headed back to the house and Tom went back into the woods. We went out back to play and I took the camera just to get some pictures of the backyard.

And, then, bam. The kids were agreeable and I got these gems. Finally! :)

Great break, but I guess I am ready for some routine. Tom and I run our half this weekend, so we'll spend the next two days gearing up and then the two days after that limping around the house. All in all - great fall!