Sunday, April 29, 2007

#39= #1 (oh yeah, #38, too)

Yesterday was Hot Wheels first kids race at the local 5K. It was also Superdad's first 5K, along with his brother. Everyone had a great time. Superdad came in with quite a respectable 26:13, he was thinking it would be closer to 30 minutes so he was pretty happy. It was sort of funny at the starting line, the boys high fived dad before he took off and then we heard the start. As soon as Superdad started running, Superman broke into tears and wanted to chase him. For about 5 minutes he cried "I miss daddy" as we walked over to the playground where he was finally consoled by a ride on the see saw. The finish of the 5K was a little less than 200m on the track, so it was a good spectator finish, about 20 minutes after the race started all the boys headed over to the finish line and really enjoyed watching the runners come in. It was nice to see, people from 10-70+ years old were in this local event and everyone seemed to do very well. There were a little less than 150 people in the race and many were multiple family members running together. I was really amazed at some of the kids 10-12 years old coming in under 22 minutes! They were fast. I'm looking forward to running next year, although right now 30 minutes sounds like what would be a reasonable goal for me. Maybe some day I'll give Superdad a run for his money, but it will be a while.

Then the highlight of our day, the kids races. When they asked for all the kids 4 and under, only two lined up. The little girl was saying she's almost five so Hot Wheels was the youngest out there. When they saw it was only 2 kids they asked for 5 and 6 year olds to line up as well. There were either 6 or 7 kids in the race. They announced that parents could run with the kids. My nephew wanted his dad to run with him and we asked Hot Wheels if he wanted one of us to run with him. His response was "No thank you. I'll go by myself." He was the only kid out there that didn't run with a parent and I was so proud of him I could have burst. He ran the full quarter mile lap of the track without stopping once. I was at the start and then at the 200m mark (fortunately I made it across the muddy field without falling on my ample butt) he came along and puffed "Mom, I'm getting tired here." I told him he was almost done and he never stopped, right through to the finish line where he got his medal and gave me a big hug. The little girl that won his race was amazingly fast for a 5 or 6 year-old, we think Hot Wheels took somewhere between 2:30-3:00 for his lap and he came in third- not too far behind his five-year-old cousin. To see the look of concentration on his face out there just astonished me. I didn't think he'd be able to stay focused and keep running on his own out there for an entire lap, but he sure did it. He's got a rather unorthodox style to it, it looked like he was going to fall forward any second, but he didn't. He can't wait to wear his medal to school this week and show his friends. We checked with his teacher at church this morning and she said that should be fine, he's very proud of himself, as he should be. Next year we'll see if Superman can do it, he couldn't now but we've got a year to get ready.

Sadly for Hot Wheels, he may have inherited my tendency towards gastro-intestinal distress following races. It was a tough afternoon for him, maybe he'll need the pre-race Immodium as well. Poor guy.

On a personal note, this cold has completely got me knocked down. It's been almost a week now and I've been 'sleeping' on the couch at night so I can sit up and breathe. I've had a cough since Wednesday that's forceful enough that I feel like I've pulled all the muscles from my waist to my collarbone. I had intended to get back to the pool this week, with only six weeks until my swim leg, but that's just not happening. This half mile swim might be the least practiced event I'll ever have. The good part is that my team is only entering so that one of our members can get a triathlon under her belt as a team member rather than solo, neither of the other two women are ultra-competitive. Or at least, they're very understanding that I'm not likely to win the leg or anything. Between the first trimester morning sickness and the nearly constant colds since the last week of January, I suspect that Critter here has it in for me, quite a few people have commented that it's likely a girl for all this trouble he or she is causing me. Only 106 days until we find out!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mom moment

Some of the fun times we've been having at our house recently. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Random ramble

I've been thinking some lately about how I named this blog and intended it's content to be triathlon related. And yet, I don't really do triathlons. Not right now anyway, and there are days where I wonder whether I'll even get beyond the occasional sprint distance race. I really have nothing of value to offer in the triathlon forum, I'm just a pregnant lady trying to not get too fat over the next 16 weeks (but yes, today I bought a mixed berry pie) and then I'll be a nursing mom (which made running pretty uncomfortable last time) trying to lose the baby weight. Would I love to do something like an Ironman race someday? Sure. But the earliest I see something of that magnitude working it's way into my life is approximately 2016. Even then, how would I really work it out so I still had time to spend with the kids, husband and work? Maybe I never will. I'm in awe of how some people are able to do it while balancing things so well and then I've seen some things that make me wonder how people could skew their lives so completely over something that's really extra in life, not essential. Maybe it's just that it's not essential to me. I realize that could also change with time.

I've already got a first race planned for next season, though. It's an annual local 5K, the same one Hot Wheels and Superdad are going to race at next Saturday. The baby will be about 8 months old by then, surely I can manage to plod through a measly 3.1 miles. Then there's a sprint tri in August at work, I'm planning to volunteer this year and then return to race it next year. Maybe I can improve on my second-to-last finish from last season, but maybe not. And really, that's fine with me. I think what I'm really lacking is the competitive gene. What is it that keeps me from wanting to push myself? Again, I'm not much for introspective thought lately, so I'm not too worried about it.

I do know that the first 3 days of spring have wiped the boys out and I'm so glad we've had this time together. After a couple hours with dad at the park on Thursday, our long day outside yesterday and then an afternoon with me, grandma and grandpa today at the park, they're both snoring away on the couch, the wonderful breeze coming through the curtains on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon at almost 70 degrees. I guess this is just where I'm at right now. If training for a sprint tri, or maybe an Olympic, is something I can do while maintaining my current work-family-training balance with time, great. If not, triathlons aren't going anywhere before the kids are grown and on their own. For now I'm content to be a wannabe triathlete, but I don't really wannabe anywhere other than where I'm at.

And yes, I am feeling better, thanks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The perfect day

It was actually a decent week overall, I had three really good workouts and then 2 unscheduled days off. But, such is life with two young kids that don't often sleep well, so I'll focus on the 3 good workouts and keep it at that.

The weather most of the week was awful, which was unfortunate for many families that had kids home on April vacation. However, yesterday afternoon and today were gorgeous. I decided to take a half vacation day, especially since work has been a bit depressing and stressful lately, with a round of layoffs last week and another one expected next week. We headed off to the state park with the boys and spent about an hour and a half on the beach. At first they didn't like the idea of getting their feet wet, but once I took off my shoes and they saw me get my feet wet, well, they couldn't get enough of it. Of course even with their jeans rolled up to their knees they ended up soaked, but it was great to see how much fun they were having running into, and away from, the very small waves that come ashore at our beaches. We had to run to the grocery store and stop by the registration office for Hot Wheels' kids race next Saturday. Superdad has decided to run the 5K as well and his brother's going to run, too, and our 5-year old nephew will run the kids race with Hot Wheels. We got home, grilled some chicken (marinated in a chili pepper and pineapple marinade we bought at Target from Archer Farms- excellent stuff!), with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Then we took the dogs out for a walk around the neighborhood and finished it all off with a water pistol fight in the yard, which turned into an everyone-get-mom affair. Just the perfect day. The boys are relaxing with a little classic Tom and Jerry before heading off to bed.

There are only six weeks left before my triathlon swim. I'm planning to hit the pool faithfully on Tuesdays and Fridays between now and then. That's the plan, anyway. Now that the weather's getting a little warmer, maybe I'll be more in the mood to swim than I have been as of late. I'm bummed that my mini lap counter is still on backorder, but it should be here in a few weeks.

Pregnancy status: 114 days to go

Saturday, April 14, 2007


That's about the only way I can describe how I'm feeling. I didn't have anything of consequence to say this week, the funeral on Tuesday was nice for a funeral. It was fun to see a lot of family I haven't seen in years although there were obviously some tough times. Watching my grandmother say good-bye to her oldest daughter was very sad. She has so much faith, though, she was strong through the whole thing and kept reminding us how happy she is that my grandfather now has his daughter with him. She's survived her husband by almost 11 years and now her oldest daughter as well, it doesn't seem fair. It was also tough seeing my aunt's grandchildren saying good-bye. She has four grand-daughters ages 13, 12, 9 and 7. The poor girls were inconsolable on the way out of the church after the service, I think that was more upsetting to everyone than anything else. On a side note, the priest celebrating the funeral mass actually answered his cell phone during the service! His phone rang during one of the readings and he left the sanctuary to answer it in another room. My cousins were a bit outraged.

I made it to the gym three times, nothing great to report there. Spin class is back this session on Thursday mornings and that's always a tough workout. Other than that we were hit with another round of lay-offs at work this week and I'm likely to be shuffled in with a new boss and new responsibilities within the next couple weeks. On one hand I'm looking forward to the change and new challenge, on the other hand, it's not really my best time for adjusting well to changes. My brain's a bit scattered lately, but I'll get through.

Today we're celebrating Hot Wheels' birthday with my husband's side of the family so the six cousins will all have fun playing together. We'll have baseball and tetherball outside and other outdoor toys before we come inside and eat the delicious cake! I might be posting less often if I don't have much to say, I'll still be around, though, and you never know when the mood might strike me to share all the mundane stuff going on here.

Pregnancy status: 120 days to go.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A week of highs and lows

Earlier this week we celebrated Hot Wheels' fourth birthday. The night before, after the kids went to bed, I decorated the house with numerous birthday decorations. Including 15 2-foot metallic streamer type decorations with different pieces hanging from the bottom that look like hats, cakes, balloons, stars, etc. I realized that our ceiling paint is not amenable to sticking scotch tape so I had to settle for doorways and items to hang them from. This makes the ones in the doorway a bit low if you're over 40 inches tall, as two of the house occupants are. Anyway, it's worth it because Hot Wheels was very excited when I called from work to wish him a happy birthday. In a couple days we'll take them down again until Superman turns three. We went to Chuck E Cheese's for lunch and invited one of Hot Wheels' friends from school along with his mother. The kids all had fun playing the games and then we came home and Hot Wheels opened his gifts. He got the ESPN Better Batter set, which is really cool. He also got a set of Star Wars books and 2 new lightsabers that light up and make cool noises. We all had a sword fight since we now have 4 lightsabers and then we played baseball in the family room for an hour or so. It was a great day. I love that the boys are getting old enough that some of their toys are really fun. Before he went to sleep I told Hot Wheels about the day he was born, he likes to hear about it, and how when he was born he gave us the best present ever, our new names- mom and dad. He thinks it's cool that he's the one that made us mom and dad, although he doesn't get to concept that we were ever anything else. It's funny to think about.

That was clearly the highlight of the week. The low point would be this morning when I learned that my aunt passed away due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was only 66 years old and she was such a social and vibrant woman that it was really sad to see what this disease robbed her of over the past few years. I am sorry for my mother, it's her older sister, because she arrived at the nursing home only a couple hours after she had passed away. I know she really wanted a chance to say good bye, whether my aunt would have been aware of her presence or not I'm not sure, but I think it would have brought her some closure. It's also especially sad for my grandmother who has now outlived her husband and oldest child. She's a strong woman, my grandmother, still living on her own at almost 89 years old. Guess I'll be making a trip for the funeral this week. It will be nice to see family that I haven't seen since our wedding, but too bad that it's not under better circumstances.

Nutritionally another bomb of a week. My workouts were off (see the ugliest mile) and I guess I decided this week that I should eat everything in sight, including birthday cupcakes, more cherry pie and a piece of carrot cake at lunch. I hope it's a phase. If it's not I'll be outgrowing my maternity pants pretty soon. Whatever, I'm just going to take things easy for a couple days and then worry about getting back into the normal swing of things. Maybe I'm on a hormone overload week. I guess it happens when a parasite Critter is aboard.

Pregnancy status: 21 weeks, 5 days. 128 days to go.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The ugliest mile

I was awake before the alarm went off, a good sign that I'm ready to get up. But I was so comfortable I just stayed in bed for about 10 minutes, Critter was awake and rolling around so I poked and he or she kicked for a few minutes just to say good morning.

I approached the treadmill, the one under the TV with ESPN, hoping for a good Sportscenter to keep my occupied for a while. Enter weight: ugghh, weight. Oh well, at least I get credit for burning more calories now that I'm trying to move more weight over that distance. Enter speed: 6.0mph- I can still do a 10-minute mile, sure. Go.

The first 2 minutes are always awful, I know that. Usually by about 4 minutes, things improve. At six minutes, I needed to take the towel that had been covering the display off to wipe my face. SIX? That's it? Maybe the display is broken and it's really supposed to be sixteen. No? Crap. Alright 4 more minutes, I can do it. Heart rate check- 165 a little high for only six minutes in. I usually leave the display covered while running but I watched just about every second of the next 4 minutes tick by. At 10:00, 1.0 mile I was done. Heart rate- 170- yeah that's high. Down to 4.0mph, I can walk for 20 minutes, no problem. Between Critter bouncing on my bladder like a trampoline, my heart rate at 170 after only 10 minutes and the fact that I felt like a giant pear trying to shuffle along on the treadmill, it just wasn't happening this morning. I walked an additional mile at 4.0mph but even that seemed harder than usual. An ugly, short workout this morning, but at least that's 200+ calories out for the day that I wouldn't have worked off if I had stayed in bed. (did that yesterday)

There's a bowl of cereal calling my name.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Outdoors and tag sale season

What a great week it was to live around here. Every day last week we were outside at a school playground, park or beach. Except one afternoon when we went to play at the house of some friends. Yesterday we went to the best playground, over near grandma's house. It's at a school and the set-up is awesome. It's a circle with openings at opposite ends- well, I know a circle has no ends, they're just opposite each other. The circle part is a wood-like deck system and every 10 feet or so there is a slide, tunnel or other climber that the kids can take. In the middle of the circle is a rubber like trail surrounded by woodchips with some park benches perfect for moms. The best thing about this playground is that for people watching more than one child, there's nothing that would lead them to take off in opposite directions, as they always seem to do. We were there over an hour and then we went back to grandma's house and the kids ran around for another hour chasing bubbles, balls and other available amusements. Superman was awake for all of 45 seconds on our way home before conking out for a nap over an hour and half long.

Today we went out to the favorite new trail in the woods for another exploring trip. For 2 boys that have such varied interests, we're lucky that they both enjoy these little expeditions as much as they do. We followed a bumblebee, watched water striders on the stream, found the best twisty vines in the woods and took our own version of a path to get where we wanted to go. It was fun and tired them out after an hour and a half. Superman fell asleep while I was carrying him home and took a quick nap.

Yesterday also marked what I think may be the start of tag sale season. In case tag sale is a regional term- it's also garage sale, yard sale and rummage sale season. We hit 2 tag sales yesterday, both hosted by schools. We hit the jackpot on kids books, always my favorite section, at the second tag sale they were 12 for a dollar and we found Berenstain Bears, Franklin, Hot Wheels and Star Wars. The kids got a bunch of junk, but it was a box for 50 cents at one tag sale and a bag for a dollar at the other tag sale. Even if they only play with the stuff until Tuesday, we'll just throw it in the attic until we have a tag sale of our own. I abhor pack rat behavior except when it comes to the kid stuff and books, I guess. I love buying them books. While they do have a lot of toys, I don't mind buying small stuff. Tonight we're playing with Marble Works. It's an awesome track system that we set up so the marbles race through tunnels, down chutes, over jumps and to the finish. It's great for them to see how to set up stuff like that even though they're not quite old enough to make their own tracks yet. Of course they just like to race the marbles through the tracks that we make. Right now, Superman is sending marbles through the tracks and Hot Wheels is playing with his cars on a Little Tikes race track mountain that we picked up at a tag sale last year.
Nothing training related to report. It was an okay week. This coming week is the break between class sessions at the gym, so I might sleep in a bit for a couple days. It's birthday/Easter/my sister visiting week so we'll be busy.

Pregnancy status: 21 weeks, 133 to go.