Zoo Run Run

Well, this was a big weekend! I ran my first ever 10K race, and nailed it thankyouverymuch.

I look back over this past summer and almost can’t believe that I couldn’t run any distance without getting seriously winded back in April. I had goals all along the way:

Goal 1: Complete a Couch-to-5K running program (3.1 miles)

Goal 2: Be able to run the 4 mile loop in my neighborhood.

Goal 3: Run 10K (6.2 miles)

Check, check & check.

I’ve gotten so into running, in fact, this looming winter had Andy and I trying to figure out how to keep this fitness regimen from coming to a screeching halt for the season. I mean, I don’t mind dressing for cold weather, but unless you have running spikes, there is no way to run on ice and snow safely. And 5 months of unrelenting snow and ice is what we had last winter.

After much discussion, we decided to buy a treadmill. I actually found a like-new one on Craigslist this week, and we brought it home yesterday. While moving this [extremely heavy] piece of fitness equipment into the house, I tweaked my back. This usually means pain and complete muscle lockdown until I can get a chiropractor to look at it.

Yesterday was spent on my back, with ice, popping Advil and googling how to know whether or not you can compete in a race due to injury. And no, the irony is not lost on me that I almost botched a race I’ve been training for for 6 weeks because I was busy making sure that I could continue to run through the winter months.

Thankfully, I woke up less stiff this morning, and running – as it turned out – didn’t aggravate the injury at all. Huge thanks for tiny blessings.

So, this morning, this is what I was staring at at 8:55 a.m.

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And after 1 hour, 4 minutes and 42 seconds, I looked sort of like this:

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A little bit about the race itself:

It was incredibly difficult not to run too fast out of the gate. Usually I’m comfortable pacing at 10:30 min/mile to start with, but this time I felt like I was really putting on the brakes and my pace was right at 10:00 min/mile. So I went with it. Being Wisconsin, there were hills a-plenty, but I’m used to that, so it wasn’t a huge deal. After about 3 miles, the pack who was running my pace stabilized, and with a mile left I turned up the heat and left them all behind. :)

The boys cheered me on at the finish line. And maaaaybe 30 seconds after I finished, Graham was whining for a snack. Glory doesn’t last long when kids are in the mix.

Next up was the Roo Run Run, a race for the little guys. There was a 1-mile, 1/2-mile and 1/4-mile event. I signed Graham up for the 1/4 mile because he’s been fascinated with my running while I’ve been training. We had to wait around for quite a bit for his event to start, but we found ways to keep ourselves occupied.

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Baby Reid has already begun his Rocky-style training for next year’s Roo Run Run.

We had a little hiccup with Graham’s race. The starting line was so congested with parents and kids that I sort of had to direct him through a crowd of parents to the crowd of kids at the starting line by shouting and pointing my finger. Not the best plan. I got him where he was supposed to be, and I took my place in front of the starting line to cheer him on except… all the kids ran by me and Graham didn’t!

My heart was in my throat. But after all the kids cleared out, I saw a race volunteer holding Graham’s hand. I ran up to him, and with red eyes he said, “I didn’t know where the starting line was!” Poor baby. BUT, he rallied really quickly and took off.

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He ran the entire thing by himself, worked SO HARD the whole time and at the end, he got a medal with all the other kids.

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He was jumping up and down and said, “I ran it all by myself!!!!!” It’s a solid 5 hours after the race concluded, and Graham is still wearing his medal and his race shirt.

So that’s our day! Two successful races. It consumed our morning, but we had so much fun!

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How to Catch a Reid

Who doesn’t love a little Baby Reid in the middle of their day – I do!

Reid is a babbling fool. He enjoys talking, even if he’s not saying a word. He tries really hard, and sometimes he gets so excited he just bellows (or squeaks!)

Yeah, the hat? He insists on wearing it in the car. But when the car arrives at its destination it’s “ALL DONE, HAT!” Last night, when we got home from the drug store, he said, “HOME! All done, hat!”

If Reid is locomoting between two places, he’s moving like a fullback. There is no exception to this. They say men lead with their chests and women with their hips when they walk. Reid leads with his head. He is constantly running at a 25-degree angle, slanted forward, barreling to.. wherever.

To that end, if you have the pleasure of greeting Reid when he is excited to see you, try not to be gullible enough to crouch down to catch him in his adorable running hug. Keep your feet firmly planted in a standing position with your knees slightly bent. It better absorbs the shock from the tackle.

“Tackle,” by the way, is one of his few words. It’s starting to become the tip of the iceberg. He also loves all things with wheels. He’s fairly non-discriminating in his vehicular interest, but he can say “car” and – more recently – “choo-choo” so he does tend to gravitate toward those objects.

After dinner most nights, he suddently realizes that he has an urgent need to play with his cars. He’ll motion “All done” after dinner, remove his bib and say, “All duh… play car??!?” One night, he stood straight up from his little chair in the middle of an episode of Curious George and said, “MOMMY!! PLAY CAR!!” Like he’s worried we’re going to tragically run out of time and head to bed before he’s had his due.

It’s a mini-Reid update. I just can’t stop watching this video today. ;)

Let it Go, On-the-Go

Graham has a LeapReader and thoroughly enjoys it. I think he’s a little young for the “read on your own” features, because he seems a little overwhelmed by sitting down with a book. But – something I didn’t realize when we bought it put it on Graham’s wishlist* – it also plays audiobooks and music. Basically, it’s a little like a mini mp3 player.

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He totes this thing on car trips and to “the boring places” like haircuts and oil changes. He plugs in his headphones and plays his own little set of tunes.

Funny thing is – there is only one audiobook and a couple songs on there: the demo versions that the LeapFrog company preloaded on the device. Today, I changed all that. Graham is now the proud owner of the Frozen soundtrack.

His reaction was priceless. In fact, he wanted me to shoot some video so he could tell us about it.

(I didn’t edit the clip, it lags a little at the end, but I thought the “I just sing it…” was hilarious.)

Other than 24/7 access to Frozen songs, we’ve had a pretty slow week around here. We made some cookies this weekend. Reid’s teacher in the infant room resigned to be a nanny, and has now become our a-mazing babysitter, so we made for the hills (figuratively speaking) and went on a date night last night.

Other random updates:

- I have now run 6.5 miles two additional weekends and have suffered no ill effects from the distance like I did that first time. The actual 10K race is next weekend, and I’m feeling equal parts confident and ready for it to be over. Graham is also entered into the race for the 1/4-mile kiddie sprint. Should be fun.

- We lost the caterpillar I wrote about last entry. I replaced it with a big fat woolly worm (pictured below) and we mysteriously LOST THAT ONE TOO. I am going on the record to say that I’m not OK with the number of larval insects on the loose in my house. Probably they are both inside Hugo’s tummy, if we’re being honest. No more caterpillars will be coming indoors this season.

That’s about it from here. Hope you had great weekends wherever they may have led you!

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*Brainfart! We didn’t actually buy this for Graham! I thought really hard about it and researched it thoroughly but the people who made it happen? His Grandpa Craig and Grandma Sue. :) talk about a gift with longevity!

Running Update and Our First Fall(ish) Weekend

It’s been a great weekend around here, per usual. Trying to soak up the last few weekends we have before we hibernate for our 5-month winter.

Andy has continued to be an amazing support for this running thing I’ve been after lately. My 10K training plan is completely relentless and has me running both mornings of my weekends now – about an hour each time. He keeps the kids entertained while I go completely obliterate my large muscle groups and other major organ systems.

This Saturday, I ran 6 miles – which, for those who don’t know, is a mere 0.3 miles shy of a 10K. Why didn’t I just go for broke and run the entire 10K? Because my training program didn’t tell me to, that’s why. ::shrug:: I put much faith in those who have done this before, so I’m rather rigid about doing what it tells me.

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I actually felt amazing during the run. Never really out of sorts, but after I finished my run – I was in all kinds of GI distress. Totally disproportionate to how I felt during the run itself. Never winded or draggy. Sorry not to overshare or anything. I just felt cheated.

Dr. Google tells me it’s a phenomenon that happens to almost half of the long distance running population. Blood supply is directed to the extremities, away from the gut. Turns out that makes for an extremely unhappy tummy. Who knew?

Today I took it easy on my 4 mile run and no issues whatsoever. Next week, I’ll be ready for my longest run ever: 6.5 miles. Dun-dun-DUN! (I will also plan to not have events, such as Andy’s company picnic, following my long run like I did this week. “Hi! My name is Debbie, I’m Andy’s wife, willyouexcusemejustaminute??!“)

I would also like to note that the above route is the actual route (again, save for 0.3 miles) of my 10K race. I’m not sure about how Andy felt about me running my longest run ever in a new place fairly far from home – what with my propensity for getting lost. But I have Andy’s Garmin to thank.

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While not the most user-friendly device ever, I was able to load the 10K course into the watch ahead of time, and it directed me where to turn to stay on track. I am happy to report that I made it right back to my car. No problems!

As for other goings-on around here. It’s a pretty typical weekend in Wisconsin-land. We had Andy’s company picnic in the morning yesterday and a visit to the park yesterday afternoon. In the evening we built a fire in the fire pit.

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This one was notable because we needed jackets when the sun went down, and I ultimately had to get a blanket to throw over my legs by the end of the night.

Today, Graham, Reid and I went for a walk in the woods nearby while Andy cut the lawn. There, Graham found a caterpillar that he just had to bring home to put in his bug house.

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Do you see him? Of course you don’t.

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Because I think Graham found the TINIEST caterpillar in all of the upper Midwest. ;) His name is Simon.

As for Baby Reid, he has been big on addressing people this weekend. As in, instead of, “Hi,” it’s, “Hi, Mommy!” and, instead of, “All done!” it’s, “All done, Daddy!” He also has learned the word, “Meatball,” which is hilarious because I’ve called him that a time or two. I’ll say, “Hey, silly meatball!” and he’ll parrot back, “Hi, meatball!” (Guess I deserve that!)

That’s about all from here – hope you all had wonderful weekends too!

4K and Hand, Foot & Mouth

This weekend has been a mixed bag. But let’s start at our high point:

Graham started his 4K program today!

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Graham has been looking forward to today since we picked him out a backpack several weeks ago.

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Great choice? I think so. Please also note the fact that Graham has on a pair of short that are *not* of the athletic variety. This took moving a small mountain and the fact that 4K has a ‘no soft shorts on the first day’ rule.

::shrug:: Whaddyagonnado. I don’t make the rules.

This 4K program is a great deal for the G-man. It’s actually a program run through our public school district and housed at local daycares throughout the city. Graham’s daycare is a participating location, so that means he just goes to daycare like normal, then, after lunch, he lines up with his backpack at the door with the other kids going to 4K and walks downstairs to the 4K classroom. There, he meets up with other kids from the community. After a couple of hours, he goes back to his regular preschool daycare room.

The only thing we learned about Graham’s first day in 4K is that they sang the “Tootie Tot” song where they stuck out their butts and tongues and sang “a tootie tot, a tootie tot, a tootie tot-tot”. I tried to tell him that I know that song – it’s “Singing in the Rain” and WHOO BOY that was the wrong answer!!

Did I also mention that he no longer has time for a proper nap with the 4K schedule? Ha. Yeeeah.

I was home with Reid today while he convalesced after a rather wretched weekend with Hand Foot & Mouth disease.

Let me start off by saying: Reid is fully in the throes of toddlerhood. The man has plans and rarely do they jibe with ours. When things don’t go Reid’s way he roars and throws things and cries. So it was a solid 24 hours before Andy and I were like, “He seems fussier than normal, no?”

Basically, Reid was walking around crying all day long. When you’d try to give him something you think he wants, he’d yell “NNNNNO!”, take whatever it was that you’d given him, throw it, and about 50% of the time he’d hit you too, just to drive the point home.

The nurse I called today asked if Reid ever ran a fever over the weekend, Welll, yes and no ma’am. If you mean “Was he warm and sweaty?” then yes, he was because a perpetual state of pissed-off screaming will do that to you. If  you mean, “Did a thermometer read over 100.4″ then no, because measuring Reid’s temperature would have been like trying to apply mascara to a cat.

But then there were moments like this:

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I read once, “If kids are fussy, apply fresh air.” So true, random Pinterest typographic print-maker, so true. My failsafe key to a screaming tantrum still works: GO OUTSIDE. An onslaught of pleasant stimuli to the 5 senses + a vague feeling of being watched by no one in particular = a calmed down child.

And so the weekend went on. Three days of crying on and off. Some cuddling. Some interrupted sleeping. Poor guy couldn’t eat. That was the worst part. He’d stick food in his mouth, chew it up and then start a piercing cry, shove his entire plate away and sign “All done” with tears streaming down his face and a mouth full of food he couldn’t swallow.

That’s why Reid and I stayed home today. His appetite hasn’t gone back to full capacity yet, but he’s able to eat now and is back to feeling better all around.

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That’s what I’m talking about. :)