Monday, November 26, 2012

Random Ramblings

I can't seem to stream together one logical blog post today and I have several small updates so we're going bullet point style here.

* Ross found this sticker in my scrapbook stuff and wanted to wear it.  If you can't tell, it says "Big Brother".  Yes, I let him wear it and NO we do not have an announcement or any plans for announcements.  Yes, I let him wear it out in public to the hockey rink and dad's face when he saw it was priceless :)

I'm a Big Brother sticker
* I got to spend some quality time with my adorable niece this weekend.  She says "Carmen", she loves me, I'm her favorite aunt.  Enough said :)

* We came home early from my mom's house on Sunday so I could get a run in with a friend.  I picked the hilliest course we ever run because I felt like I needed the "punishment" after eating non stop for four days.  There is one killer hill that we call "El Diablo" and then many other hills as well.  I pulled up the elevation just to feel all "BA".  The picture made me laugh more than anything.  Somehow, this FEELS a lot worse than it looks.

Yeah, you're not impressed either are you?
* I made an impulse buy at Target while trying to find candy canes.  Ross loves candy canes.  I never found them and he forgot... but this stuff erased any gains I made by running those 8 hilly miles:

What's that babe?  You didn't see any left in the house.  Oh, I'm sure it's there.  I would NEVER eat an ENTIRE bag of popcorn in one night... not me! The "other" Carmen did it.
* The "other" Carmen did it is an inside joke but one that I'll have to remember in the future to taunt Ross with.  On Sunday he pooped on the bathroom floor.  He finished on the toilet but I came in and found some poop on his bathroom floor.  I asked him why he did that and he told me that he didn't the "other" Ross did it.

* While playing around with my Garmin and downloading my relatively "flat" run... I noticed that Garmin now keeps track of your Personal Records.  Funny that my half marathon PR is a faster pace than my 10K PR.  I've only ran three 10Ks ever.  This PR was from the plaza day 10K this September which happened to be the day after I ran a 20 mile training run.  So, I'm pretty confident I could do better.  I don't run many 5Ks at all and I'm also confident I could beat that time.  Which led me to proclaim to Russ that I was going to make FOUR new personal records next year.  That's right - my goal for 2013 is set - all four of these times are going to be crushed!!

* Last, but certainly not least... Reid has had a few health problems lately. I'm not trying to minimize them but I'm also doing my best not to freak out (have we met?).  Last week he started having chest pains at school and went to the school nurse.  His heart rate was in the 140s for almost 40 minutes.  It eventually went down to 120 but stayed around there.  I called our dr and he worked us in that day.  It was still pretty high when we were there so they did an EKG and consulted a cardiologist whom we now have an appointment with this week.  The EKG looked normal and he's not really had any other problems (besides grouchiness and extreme fatigue) so we're hoping it was just a fluke.  Regardless, keeping him in your prayers would be appreciated.

He was NOT very happy with me for taking this picture and he told me not to put it on the internet... so NO ONE is to mention to him that they saw it here! 

Luckily I had picked up Mr Goodcents and had it in the car.  Reid ate as we waited for the cardiologist to call back.  Dr Moore was SOOO nice and kept checking in with us like every 3 minutes apologizing for the wait.  He even brought us in some bottled water since I had only gotten Reid chips and a sandwich.

This was during one of Reid's MANY naps over break.  I can't remember him ever sleeping as much as he has been lately.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our Day of Thanks

I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Grandpa Steve & Grandma Linda drove up from Hannibal, MO and joined us for Thanksgiving.  They got to our house around 9am and we ate our big lunch just before noon.  I know, I know... I'm not exactly known for my cooking skills :)  I ordered a pre-cooked turkey, a couple of sides, and a couple of pies.  Russ' mom made homemade noodles, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes.  We also had two kinds of rolls, a vegetable tray, strawberries, and some cookies for the kids.

Ryan had made all of us some placemats and name cards on Wednesday.  We had the placemats all laminated and picked out a centerpiece on Wednesday as well.  I thought the table looked pretty:

Here's a peek at our spread:

After we all ate too much of our food, I definitely needed some exercise.  I hate eating too much and going to sleep - just makes me feel like the food is going right to my hips.  I took the boys to the park to play for a little while.

 The boys decided to play some hide and seek.  Reid did a great job of hiding.  Can you see him in the picture below:

Did you spot him?
Here's a better picture:

He climbed the tree and laid down against it to hide.  I had to steer the boys in the right direction to find him.
Grandpa Steve & Grandma Linda left around 3:30 so I decided to go hit Michael's since they opened at 4pm and see if they had any great deals.  I'm glad I did because I got a great deal!!

The Michael's line right before the doors opened - it really wasn't that bad.
In the evening we had another round of the meal and then cleaned up the kitchen.  Russ and the boys watched some football, played toys, and wrestled.  Ross fell asleep on Russ around 6:30p.  Ryan did some of his Thanksgiving homework packet.  We let the big boys stay up until 10p and then we all went to bed.

He did 4 of his 5 worksheets - he's doing so well in school!
(Update - Ross slept until 8:15a.  Reid got up around 8 and Ryan got up around 8:30a.  Not a bad night of sleep!  It's 9a now and we're still chilling in our pajamas - playing puzzles, computer games, and watching tv).  Not much planned for today... a little stick & puck fun at 11:15 and that's about all)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Family Hike at Lake Lenexa

A few months ago I was out on a long run and did some miles around Lake Lenexa.  I'd never been there before and after 6-7 miles of pavement, I really enjoyed the dirt trails around the lake.  I'd been saying that I wanted to get out there with the family to show them the area.

Last week I received a free pair of new trail shoes and I was really wanting to try them out.  We took the family out for a hike at Lake Lenexa.

Pretty new shoes... thanks Mizuno!
The boys were less than thrilled to go out hiking.  When we got out there and they saw the area it didn't take long until they got into the excursion.

View of the lake
The day was a lot of fun.  We did some hiking on the paved trails and then we cut across a road to some dirt trails.  Ross was obviously pretty slow.  We let him walk quite a bit of it at least for the first couple of miles  We think we went about three miles total and we probably carried him for about a mile.

Mom was being silly and "hiding" behind a tree to scare Russ and Ross

My big boy - his short little legs kept up for quite a while.
Once we got to the damn, we hung out for a few minutes to read the signs, look around, and take a picture or two.  Then it was time to finish up the trail around the lake to get back to our car.

When we finished we gave the boys some time to play on the playground.

This is the boy that didn't want to go... guess he had fun after all :)
This rock structure was one "end" of the play set.  Reid and Ross were playing on it so we had Ryan jump up there for a picture too:

We were discussing the Hostess bankruptcy and the end of twinkies on our hike and the boys didn't know what twinkies were.  We decided to stop on the way home and get a box for a snack.  I mean, seriously, what goes better with a 3 mile hike than a box of twinkies, right?   We stopped at a grocery store to grab some and were shocked that the aisle was EMPTY.

WOW... it's the apocalypse!
By the time we were pulling into the neighborhood, Ross was DONE!  I took him out of the van and put him on the couch at home and he slept for almost two hours.

It was such a fun day and some great exercise!  We were all wiped out on Sunday evening and ready for an early bedtime.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trick or Treat

Ok, it's November 13th (how did that happen?) so I think I'm going to wrap up the October posts.  I'll keep it brief since it's all but history now... but I do want to capture the pictures and remember a little bit.

* We landed in KC around 1:10 and headed home for a quick shower and dash out of the house.  Russ went to meet Grandpa Jerry to pick up Ross and I went to the boys' schools for their Halloween parade and party.

This was Ryan during the parade when he first saw me - the boys had no idea whether we would be home that day or not (until I was ON a plane, I wasn't either)

I missed Reid in the parade but I caught him in the hallway going to his party 
* After the class parties the boys and I went to the grocery store to pick up some sides and the liquor store to pick up some treats and some thank you's for some neighbors.  When Russ & Ross got home we went right over to our neighbor's house for dinner.

* We had some chicken nuggets, chips and fruit with our neighbors before heading out for trick or treating.

This was the best picture I could capture of the three of them

Ross and Charlie (the pirate) in their pirate ship
* We tried to stay as a group for a while but the older two boys were just too fast so Russ took off with them.  Ross was slowly getting in and out of the pirate ship and up and down driveways.  He had to ask at every house if they had a dog or not.  On the houses that just had their candy sitting on the front porch he had a hard time sticking to the "one piece" rule.  Eventually Ross and I separated and went to find the older boys and dad.  We did and then finished trick or treating around our neighborhood with them.  We had a great time.  All of the boys really enjoyed it and I'm glad I had went with them and just left our candy sitting out.

I RARELY drink but for some reason I usually do on Halloween.  It's a CRAZY night so I think it helps me to relax a little. This stuff is good!  I still haven't finished this bottle off but I'm thinking maybe on New Year's Eve... or maybe on my birthday next year :)
The morning after.  Halloween was on a school night - never as much fun... but Ross' school had pajama day the next day - PURE GENIUS is what I said!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baby Ross Jacob is 3

Rewinding a little bit here...

The week before we left for the marathon we had a big birthday in the house.  'Ross the Boss' turned three years old.  We had his well child check up on 10/15.  His measurements were:

* Height- 35 inches
* Weight - 30 pounds

The average 36-month old boy is about 37.7 inches tall, with a normal range of 34.5 to 40.5 inches.

The average 36-month-old boy is about 31.5 lbs., and ranges from 26.5 to about 38 lbs.

So... he falls within the normal range (BARELY) but he's far from normal :)  Poor Ross is just going to be one short little dude.  His classmates are all much taller than he is.

Heading into All Around Child on 10/24
We celebrated the big day in style (well, for a three year old)!  He took m&m cookies to school for snacks and we went to Chuck E Cheese when we got off work.  He was excited to go to Chuck E Cheese but he'd never been before.  Turns out that Wednesday nights are definitely the time to go.  The place was not busy at all which was nice because it allowed Russ and I to relax and just let the boys go play the games.  Ross had a blast (as did the other two boys).

Air Hockey - of course!
He didn't really have time for Chuck E, he was busy and un-phased.
Ryan really liked this basketball game
Shooting peanuts into the animals' mouths.
After they had played for a while and we'd eaten the greasy, overpriced pizza we let Ross open his presents from us.  We got him a Buzz Lightyear guy, an Angry birds game, and an iPhone case.

Buzz seemed to be a hit that night
When we got home he opened his gift from Grandma Linda & Grandpa Steve:

Yes, the GIFT was a soccer ball but the box made a great helmet
He also got a bunch of Sam books in the mail from Grandma Cella & Grandpa Jerry:

Receiving and reading a new Sam book
His buddy, Charlie, from down the street got him a Bugsby doll and book which he really likes:

Ross with Bigsby.  This was my lazy way of sending a thank you to his friend - a new app :)
The Cashier's got him a book with legos where you build a different animal as you read each page.  The first night I built the animals for him.  Last night he put the animals together by himself.  (no picture of it - darn it)

I think as far as three year old birthdays go, Ross had a pretty darn good one.  Still hard to believe that my BABY is potty trained and three but I'm sure the fun is just beginning.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

MCM - the 'extended stay'

So, I kept my review of the marathon focused mostly on the actual "marathon" and not our trip for a reason. our trip ended up being quite the ordeal.  Our original travel plans had us leaving on Friday and returning on Monday late afternoon.  As we watched the forecast of Hurricane Sandy, we became a bit nervous that Monday afternoon would not happen due to weather.  On Saturday we made the call to move our flight up to Monday morning.  Feeling confident in our decision that we'd lose a few hours with my best friend, we'd at least make it home safe and sound.

On Saturday night I actually got to sleep pretty early in the hotel room but woke up once and checked my e-mail while I was awake (I think it was around 9:30/10:00).  I had an e-mail from United Airlines cancelling our Monday morning flight.  It just said our flight was cancelled, not offering us a different flight home.  I tried to call United but ended up on hold for over two hours.  It was after midnight and I had a marathon to run the next day, literally, so we gave up.

Yep, over two hours on hold the night before a marathon - at midnight - Do not try this at home!
Surprisingly I didn't even worry about our flight on Sunday morning or during my race.  By the time I finished my marathon we had an e-mail from United re-booking us on a Tuesday morning flight.  We kept an eye on the forecast with little assurance that Tuesday flights wouldn't be cancelled.  When Tuesday's flight WAS cancelled and again we weren't rebooked we called United and got through.  We had to decide between a Tuesday night flight out of Richmond (2 hour drive) or a chance at a Wednesday morning flight.  We decided to drive away from the storm and booked the Richmond flight.  Then we (and by we - I totally mean I) started calling and calling and calling looking for a rental car.  None.  Zilch.  Nada.  There was not a car to rent in the city.

This was Monday morning 10:55 am - yeah, we weren't going anywhere for a while
At this point I started getting pretty stressed out.  We had no plans for the boys passed Monday afternoon.  Alyssa who had stayed with the boys on Friday night said she could do Monday night but she was due to start another nanny job on Tuesday.  My mom could take all of the boys home with her Monday afternoon but the older two would miss school.  On top of that, Wednesday was Halloween and the boys had class parties and trick or treating.  We ended up sending Ross to Holton with my mom and Alyssa stayed with the older two (and said she could cover Tuesday night as well).

We called United AGAIN and told them we couldn't do the Richmond flight after all and needed to fly out of Dulles as originally planned.  They told us that all Wednesday flight options were now booked and they'd book us on a Thursday option.  I argued with the lady that we HAD to have Wednesday and she offered me a flight through Newark, NJ... ummm - apparently she didn't watch the news in India.  Eventually she found a Tuesday flight option through Charlotte and we took it.

Good thing we brought our Monopoly Deal.. we played several hands.  Here's Russ with the Hockey Ross point

So, we had a plan and a flight that seemed like it wouldn't be cancelled so I did my best to try and relax.  There is not a person in this world that gets me more than my BFF and I was stranded in her house.  Any other time I would pay an INSANE price for this to happen but I just kept worrying about items back home.  I had Ross with Grandma, Reid & Ryan with Alyssa, a neighbor taking our trash out, a neighbor watching the boys in the a.m. so Alyssa could get to work, a neighbor taking Reid to hockey practice, a neighbor looking up phone numbers for me so I could get my Halloween party volunteer items covered, two separate parents covering my volunteer items... it was insane and stressful.

3rd Grade Halloween party - funny story about getting the cheese and crackers tray covered.  I called this random stranger that also signed up for the same thing, asked her to double hers and I'd pay half.  I'm sure I caught her off guard and she thought I was a total loser but I explained my situation and she was super nice.  Then I started looking for her at the party to pay her back and it was a girl that I actually went to college with and knew rather well.. small world!!  They just moved into our elementary school area.

We were STRANDED with nothing better to do - Catherine and I went to the mall on Tuesday. 

Russ wasn't minding the trip at all - Catherine cooked us dinner every night and she's a GOOD cook!!  
But we all survived!!  Russ and I arrived at KCI at 1:05, got our car out of economy parking and drove home.  As soon as we got home I took a quick shower and went to the boys' school.  I made it there by 2:20!!  I saw Ryan in the Halloween parade and then Reid in his classroom.  While I was doing the school parties, Russ met Grandpa Jerry in Lawrence to pick up Ross.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon 2012

* The numbers (cause I'm a numbers girl):
4:53:44 – 26.48
1 – 10:48, 2 – 10:47, 3 – 10:45, 4 – 10:09, 5 – 11:13,
6 – 10:21, 7 – 11:00, 8 – 10:08, 9 – 10:06, 10 – 10:21,
11 – 10:20, 12 – 10:25, 13 – 10:13, 14 – 14:46, 15 – 10:18,
16 – 10:28, 17 – 11:22, 18 – 13:01, 19 – 10:44, 20 – 11:39,
21 – 11:30, 22 – 11:27, 23 – 11:16, 24 – 12:19, 25 – 12:03,
26 – 10:57, 0.48 - 10:56

(26.2 - official chip time - 4:53:42)

10K split - 1:06:46 (10:45 pace)
20K split - 2:11:32 (10:35 pace)
30K split - 3:25:19 (11:01 pace)
40K split - 4:38:48 (11:13 pace)
Finish - 4:53:42 (11:12 pace)

Had everything laid out and ready the night before, planned for rain - hoped for none
Osprey flyover before the start

The details:
I lined up around the 5:00 completion time knowing I was shooting for 4:45 but wanted to start a bit slower to warm up.  The legs felt heavy the first two miles and I just kept telling myself to wait until mile 3 before I made any judgments.  Of course by mile 4 they were feeling great.  My splits were faster than my pace band but I was running very relaxed so I tried not to glance at my Garmin much at all.  I was surprised that by mile 5 we were still pretty congested and I was having to weave quite a bit.  Started wishing I would have started a little further up in the corrals.

Decided to turn my music on at mile 6 and managed to drop my iPhone and shatter the back of it.  Oops.  Still worked though!  Typically music gives me a headache while I run but I was glad I had brought it.  Actually didn't turn it off the rest of the race.  Really got in a groove and the miles were flying by until mile 13 and then I started having stomach trouble.  Decided I was too early in the race to tough it out so I stopped and waited for a port a potty.  Wasted about 4 minutes with the stop (hence the 14:46 split).

Jefferson Memorial - The first picture I decided to stop and take - somewhere around mile 16 I think.  Lots of people were stopping to take it and it was a beautiful view.
Mile 13 through mile 17 were into a pretty good head wind and I started getting a bit more fatigued but still running solid.  I saw Russ & Catherine for the first time around mile 18 so I stopped and said hi and drank some water (a lot)... I started slowing a bit and trying to enjoy the race a bit more - took a few pictures, etc.  Saw Russ & Cath again sometime (don't remember where) and was starting to really hurt by that point so didn't stop too long.  By mile 22 I was really hurting and walking a lot.  I'd let myself walk a minute or longer and then I'd run until my average pace showed under 12 minutes before I would walk again.  I was trying to do the math in my head to see how slow I could go and still PR.  I knew by this point that 4:45 was out of my sights but I thought I could get a 4:55 or so.

The first time I saw Russ & Catherine.  I think it was around mile 18 - can't quite remember; still feeling good here

The Capital - Another good picture and I was getting tired so I thought that taking some pictures might add some fun to the race.
Mile 20 - also known as the halfway point of a marathon
I saw Russ and Catherine one more time at the mile 26 mile marker and got a little spurt of energy.  It didn't last long - the final hill to the finish was steep and I WANTED to run it all but had to walk it some :(

Right at mile 26 - I felt exactly like I look in this picture but I was happy to be able to see the finish area

It's supposed to be a big deal to get your medal from a Marine so I took a picture of mine before the girl behind me offered to take my picture with him.

Me at the finish line.  
After the race we walked a couple of blocks one way to meet up and then many blocks back the other way to hit a metro stop.  We were walking pretty fast and I was feeling miserable.  I seriously thought I might throw up a few times but I didn't want to be a wimp so I kept on walking.  We took the metro back to the stop by our hotel and Russ walked the couple of blocks over to the hotel to get our bags while Cath and I stayed at the metro stop.  I found a chair and sat for 10 minutes or so and started to feel better.  When Russ returned we hit the metro to Cath's house and a warm shower!!  I didn't eat much all day Sunday but felt okay energy wise, never needed a nap.

On the train back to Catherine's - My Sherpa

By Monday I was sore but not miserable and I think all of the walking really helped me in recovery.  By Tuesday I felt pretty much recovered.  It's now Friday and I don't feel like I ran a marathon at all.  I'm forcing myself a little down time after such a long, hard training period.  I've taken this whole week off and I'm going to go back in slowly next week with running only.  One more week of no weights.  I am pacing a half marathon in two weeks so I've got to get some miles in starting next weekend.  Then I'm officially in my "off season" focusing on strength and weight loss and planning out my spring season and next year's marathon.  That's right - I'm officially addicted!!