Tuesday, May 28, 2013

14 Things We Did This Weekend

What a weekend! It's hard for me to remember a three day weekend in which we had virtually nothing planned outside the house. We tackled project after project after project. And, had a lot of fun on the side!

So, here's what we did.

1. Partied!!! (Family style) Friday night was a party at the neighbors. Josie swam for a bit and then went out in the field with the music blasting and danced her little heart out. She was too far away to get a good video, but it was priceless. Tessa got in the pool at 5:30 and didn't get out until 10! She was playing with the middle school/high school girls and they happen to all be cheerleaders. They were putting her up in mounts and then tossing her. Needless to say, she was in Heaven.

2. Slept!!! Saturday morning, we all slept in until 10 and we had to wake Josie up at 11:20! I guess we all needed it! I slept in until 10 again on Monday morning and lounged in bed with coffee until 10:30 thanks to Tom. 

3. Painted!!! The whole deck needs stained, but we started with the porch floor. The kids helped and Tom and I supervised and touched up. I'm pretty happy with the results. Tom thinks its too gray. I think we just need a rug and we'll be all set! (The porch furniture was my Mother's Day gift except for the wicker looking stuff which we found at a garage sale.)

4. Planted!!! We picked up flowers at Home Depot for Tom to plant. My favorite annuals are Wave Petunias. They seem to just take over where you plant them. This year, we went with my favorite color too. They make me smile. Now, we just need some new mulch.

5. Visited!!! Our good friend from Ohio, Wayne, visited with his girlfriend on Saturday night. It was so nice to catch up and meet Debbie. Sometimes, you just have friends that you won't see for a long time and then get back together and it's like no time has even passed. Wayne is one of those friends. They ventured into the Snake Pit at the Indy 500 on Sunday and it was fun to hear their stories. We all went over to the neighbors to visit with their friends also in for the race. After hearing their stories, I'm finally ready to go to the race next year. 

6. Swam!!! The kids were able to get in the pool twice this weekend thanks to our neighbor's pool heater. It was not super warm outside but the kids didn't care one bit. Even Jack ventured into the pool. He found two high school girls to take him around on Sunday. I've never seen a happier kid.

7. Partied!!! (6-year old Style) Tessa turned 6 on Sunday! We hosted 7 five and six year olds for a party on Sunday. Everyone had fun and it was even nice enough to play outside for a bit. I was a little nervous as we had nothing planned, but the girls just played and played. I made our lives easier by having Tessa pick out a cake at Walmart instead of making one. It was definitely worth the $8. :) And, the theme was Monster High. Not a huge fan of the ghouly little dolls, but Tessa is in love with the dolls (I think there's a show too but they've never seen it) and I feel like the pretty little butterfly cake evened things out a bit. 

8. Hung!!! Tom hung two hammocks down below our deck. Not too bad for $12 at Big Lots! Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to nap in one this weekend, but that is on my list for summer!

9. Painted!!! Again!!! This time, Tom and kids painted/stained the wooden outdoor furniture that my parents gave us when we moved to Indiana. This stuff looks awesome when it's freshly stained! Not to mention, our table was pelted by hail and had to be sanded down to get rid of the polka dots. It all looks like a million bucks now!

10. Laundered!!! Love a photo of a clean bed even if it's missing the fancy pillows. I got all of the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away. This NEVER happens! This would have made a successful weekend in and of itself!

11. Purged!!! After finishing up laundry, I cleared out my closet and drawers. Not only did I switch out my winter clothes for summer clothes, but I got rid of a ton of stuff. Next to laundry, this was my most feel-good task of the weekend. Here's the Goodwill pile! And, that's just my stuff...

12. Decluttered!!! I didn't get as much done here as I would have hoped. But, I took a full laundry basket full of stuff out of our bedroom that did not belong there and a full trash bag full of stuff there too. I tackled the pile of stuff in the kitchen on Friday too. This may not look like much, but the little area between our dressers seems to just collect stuff. So does the tops of our dressers. Not anymore! (For now anyway...)

13. Ran!!! I wanted to get in 7 miles, but only managed 4.5 yesterday. I'm blaming it on the heat and humidity. It really felt bad and I was very slow, but I'm not letting that get in my head. The Steamboat race is less than a week away and the forecast is looking awesome! It looks like it will be cool in the morning but nice during the days for sightseeing. 

14. Slept!!! Oh, did I mention this already? Well, I crawled in bed last night at 9PM hoping to read for a little while. I drifted off after about 2 minutes and just gave in. It wasn't even dark. Must have been a good weekend. :) 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

She Doesn't Ask for Much

Tessa was bored yesterday so I told her to make a birthday list on her whiteboard. Here's her list... (Translated)

Baby Doll
Monster High Doll
A Mini TV (for her room)
Tree House (a real one)
My Own Doll House
More Barbies
Big Screen TV
A Fireplace in my Bedroom
(I have no idea what this one is)
More Clothes
Play House (again)

My favorite is the fireplace in her bedroom. No big deal. :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Running Update

After a weird virus last week (self-diagnosed of course), I feel 100% better this week. I attempted four miles on Monday and Tuesday last week and barely huffed it through two before throwing in the towel. Finally, on Wednesday, after an awful headache (migraine?) I gave in to the sickness and went to bed for the night at 5:30PM. After 13 hours of sleep, I was on the upswing by Thursday.

Sunday, I hit the Pennsy trail for 10 miles. It was very hot - over 80 I think - but I got through all 10 miles and even included some hills in Riley Park. I like running on US 40 through town and through the park. It was a very nice change of scenery. However, I was SLOW!!! I think I had a 10:15 pace. At one point, I read some article about how much your pace slows down per degree of temperature but I can't remember it now. In any event, I was slow but felt fine.

I was surprisingly sore yesterday and today but got out there tonight for three miles at a good clip. Then, Josie joined me for a good cool down mile. (She's up to three with me and one with Tom.) She keeps about a 11:30 pace, so that felt nice. She said she loves running with me and I love it too. It gives us a chance (albeit only 11 minutes and 30 seconds) to get unplugged and away from it all and talk. I hope it continues.

I have another half in less than two weeks in Colorado. I'm super excited for the trip but not quite there yet for the race. I'll get there though. The 10 day forecast isn't up yet but it looks like perfect conditions. And, the course looks gorgeous! Although, today I was thinking, why didn't I just sign up for the 5k? :)

That will make number two for the year and I plan to do the October Indianapolis half too. Plus, I think there's a few 5k's around that I want to try. I guess, little by little, I'm becoming a runner. Who would have guessed? :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tessa Writes

Tessa has been writing more and more these days. Way more than Josie ever did. (I really try hard not to compare the girls, but it is inevitable.) I'm amazed at the things she will get out on paper and fearlessness with which she will spell things. They're rarely right but she tries so hard. I talked with a kindergarden teacher in another school who is a friend of mine and she says she sees that more in second children. First borns are afraid to get it wrong so they only will write what they know. Tessa is the exact opposite.

I bought them white boards and dry erase markers for the car trip down to Florida - best dollar I've ever spent! They got really simple on the trip home. This was a story about a unicorn pooping. She proceeded to illustrate it.

She also makes cards and writes notes. She wrote and illustrated a whole book that my mom gave her for Josie's birthday. 

I frequently come home to messages on the white board that has taken up permanent residence in our living room next to the decorative snow shoes. This was one welcoming the Easter Bunny to our house. (Josie wrote instructions for the different colors for each kid.)

Earlier in the week, I picked them up at the sitter's. Tessa had written a poem. Here it is. I'm so proud. I have no idea why bells stink, but now you know.

{Translation: I stink. I stink. I stink. So bad you wouldn't want to smell me. I smell better than a stinky bell. I stink more than my stinky shoes. I stink more than my stinky feet. I stink more than my stinky toes. I stink more than my stinky socks.}

For good measure, I recorded her saying it on my phone. It really does have a good rhythm to it. Iambic pentameter maybe? I'm totally kidding - I never really "got" poetry.

She and Josie also worked on some "nonsense words," which is a component of their standardized testing they had this week. Here is her list. (I hope this rotates - Photobucket is not cooperating today.)

Then, she proceeded to write a poem about those too. This one isn't quite as goofy as the first. Nor is it as much "poetry."

Maybe we'll have a writer on our hands. Maybe it's a phase. Either way, I'm proud of her for trying, even if it is silly. At least it's not potty humor. This time anyway. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Race Day Wrap Up - Indy Mini - May 2013

I'm not big on suspense. Let's just say I crushed my "stretch" goal of setting a personal best. My time was 1:54:51 and a 8:46 pace. I am beyond thrilled. I beat my previous best (Indianapolis - October 2012) by almost three minutes.

Now, on to the specifics...

On Friday, Jack and I headed over to the expo to pick up our race packets. I picked up a few friends' too so I walked out with 8 bags! I also walked out with a pack of Yurbuds. I bought the ones that have call and track control. These things are awesome. I've been thinking about them for a while but couldn't really justify spending $40 for a pair of headphones. They're worth it. Not only did they stay in my ears but they were super comfortable and have a great sound.

I'm always amazed at the port-a-johns. I don't know why. But, I am. So, I took a photo on expo day. I am proud to say we avoided those bad boys on race day.

I enjoyed the expo more this year. I don't know why. Jack spun a few prize wheels and I managed to win a $5 gas card. :) I also got a $10 coupon for the Indianapolis Half-Marathon I hope to do in October.

This was a cool count down clock they had before packet pick up.

I spent the morning (pre-expo) working on my playlist. I came across this gem and considered adding it in but decided against it.

I did end up rearranging the playlist so that I had a few fast and pace setting songs together and then a slower song to catch my breath a little. Mom and dad arrived around 5 or so on Friday night. After taking a look at the house we're building down the street, we settled in for an awesome meal of Turkey/Bison Meatballs and spaghetti. We hit the hay early - 10:30 or so. Dad wasn't feeling great - cold symptoms - so he was out by around 8:30!

Carbing up!

We were up around 5:30 the next morning and I downed two cups of coffee and a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter for breakfast. I took another cup of coffee and water in the car on the way downtown. I drink entirely too much coffee, so three cups is nothing for me. (I did drink a boat load of water for the whole week leading up to the race and I think felt much better because of that.) 

We left the house around 6:10 (planned on leaving at 6) and made it to the parking garage at 6:40 or so. We hit up the bathroom at the Westin - highly recommend by the way - no one know and/or cares that you're not staying there. Dad took advantage of the warm temps inside and stretched a bit. 

Then, we booked it to gear check with a light jog. It was nice to warm up a bit, but honestly, we were just running a little close on time. I made it into my corral around 7:15 or so. But, not before a photo op!

This year was the highest corral I've ever had. I was in D and felt surrounded by men! I seriously only saw three women. And, the wind was whipping through there like crazy. It made me really cold and made me think about regretting my outfit choice of shorts and short sleeves. I was afraid the wind would follow us and mysteriously be in our face the whole race. Luckily, it didn't. Maybe something about being so close to the JW Marriott? Wind Tunnel? 

See the sea of men?

Then, off we went. I crossed the start line after only 1.5 minutes or so. Everyone started running way before the start line which was kind of nice actually. Our GPS watch didn't charge right overnight so luckily, mom and dad both brought theirs, and I was able to wear mom's. I would have been a little lost without that on this race.

The first two mile were rough - I'm not going to lie. I didn't feel good. My right, outer shin really was giving me problems. I have never had that happen before so it was concerning. I told myself to just get through the first two miles and see how I felt. I remember feeling like my first two miles were not "fast enough." Usually, I start out faster than I finish (maybe this was key to my PR?) but this time, my watch told me that miles one and two were only slightly under 9. Although, looking back at my splits, it looks like I was about 10 seconds under a 9 minute mile.

I think part of the problem of the first two miles was that everyone was passing me. I'm not used to that in this race. Usually, I'm bobbing and weaving to get moving. This time, I was the person people were bobbing and weaving to get past. I talked with my other friend and she said she noticed the same thing. She felt like she ran the first bit too fast for that reason. I remember telling myself over and over again, "Run your own race."

Either way, the rest of the race was a blur. Somewhere, probably around mile 5, I realized that I was feeling awesome and a PR was certainly a possibility. I took a Gu pack around mile 4.5 and remember just thinking how good I felt. The track was a breeze and I took another Gu pack at mile 9. They handed out Clif shots at mile 10 and I grabbed one, thinking why not? I ended up "sipping" it from mile 10-12. I'm glad I did. I think the extra sugar rush kept me going.

I grabbed water at every water and Gatorade station but didn't walk through any of them. In fact, this was probably the first race in which I didn't walk at all.

I have to say that I really just felt great for the whole race. Miles 10 & 11 were rough, but no where near as rough as last time. I don't remember a whole lot other than I thanked God a few times that I felt so good. (I must have really felt good!) I was totally in the zone. I felt cold chills three or four times out there and my face broke into a big, stupid grin. But, I've only had that happen once before - I think it was a true endorphin buzz. So much of this race felt "in the zone"and that helped the whole thing really fly by.

Toward the end, I was feeling tired (bored?). I started up with the self-talk. "If you've got it, give it" was something I started repeating in my head to will myself forward and to will myself faster. I will say that the last mile was very tough. At some point, (mile 11 or 12?), I was still thinking I could get in the 1:53's but my head wasn't working the numbers quite right and I don't think that was actually possible. Coming over the last bridge felt pretty fantastic, but the finish line was so far away that I was surprised I didn't see it sooner. Once it finally came into view, I rubbed at something in my eye and my contact popped out! So, I ran the last half mile with one eye closed. My vision is ridiculously horrible and I am so thankful that didn't happen sooner because I wouldn't have been able to finish without major depth perception problems and vertigo most likely.

I had just enough kick left at the end to speed it up. I don't remember any of the last half mile other than not thinking people were cheering loud enough. :) I finished strong and was bent over at the end trying to catch my breath and take in what I accomplished.

Here are my splits according to my watch and the recorded splits...

Mile 01 - 8:42:53
Mile 02 - 8:50:12
Mile 03 - 8:41:26
Mile 04 - 8:38:32
Mile 05 - 8:40:36
Mile 06 - 8:40:36 (Is that really possible to have two exactly the same?)
Mile 07 - 8:44:26
Mile 08 - 8:49:19
Mile 09 - 8:40:98
Mile 10 - 8:41:08
Mile 11 - 8:40:57
Mile 12 - 8:32:68
Mile 13 - 8:38:90

Fastest mile at #12?!?!? I'll take it! (The watch was obviously somewhat off because these don't average 8:46, but it's probably close enough.)

Soon after gathering my gear, and most importantly my flip flops, at gear check (no major blisters by the way - yay!), I found our neighbor and went to the beer garden to meet a few others. So many of us had gotten our PR! I'm convinced it was the weather - a nice 50 degree or so day with no rain but no sun either. I found mom and dad a little later and they did great (better than last year!) considering dad's cold and cough.

We headed back home and had a family lunch at Applebee's. I felt surprisingly great on Saturday and pretty good on Sunday too. Today, my legs are really feeling it, but all in all I had a great recovery and a really great race.

I'm not sure how I'll top this one, but I sure want to try! In four weeks, I head out to Colorado with my friend, Claudia, and sister in law, Katie, to run the Steamboat Springs Half Marathon. No major aspirations there other than to finish close to two hours. But, you'd better believe that I'll be gunning for another PR come October. :) The thrill of competition, with myself, is unlike anything else I'm used to feeling. And, I like it.

I'm not gonna lie - I've been pretty much been giddy about my athletic performance since I saw this screen shot. :) What a weekend!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mini 2013 Playlist

Some old favorites. Some new additions. Nothing too new - I've run to everything before - I like the monotony. There is something calming about hearing the same music in the race as I do in training. It is in a totally different order though. It's just my little way of rebelling. :)

I still need to work on the order. I think I'll do a few songs with a little faster beat and then one with the "wrong" beat to give me a little recovery. I also have it planned out for 121 minutes. :)

Butterflies have officially kicked in this morning! Wouldn't trade the feeling for anything though. Bring it!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Another Mile

I ran another mile with Josie tonight! That makes two all together. She did great again but got tired (or bored) when we were almost done. It was her idea though so I made her finish. :)

On a similar note, it is HOT today! And, I am NOT complaining! But, I did forget what it feels like to really sweat when running. Really dripping with sweat. It feels good! However, I do still hope it's cool on Saturday. A little drizzle would be ok too. Just not lightning. Please no lightning.