Our Daily (G)races

Training to be the best wife, mom, runner, and person I can be each and every day....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

Let me start by saying that our neighbors do not give out very good candy. This is strictly my opinion.  Emma, Jonah, Samuel, and Elena were thrilled with their haul.  I was disappointed with the serious lack of chocolate and specifically M&M's.  What is up with that?  I guess it is a good thing!

Anyway, we had lots of fun.  I had to part with Emma.  Is she seriously old enough to trick or treat without me?  She went with her friend Ashlynn and her family.  I was so glad when she got home and finally someone had good chocolate!

The rest of us trick or treated with our neighbors.  The happen to have an almost 3 year old girl.  Carmendy and Elena love each other.  Their middle boy is the same age as Samuel; however, they are not playmates.  Nikolas is a medical needs boy who we love!  They also have a boy, Connor, who is almost 7 and in 1st grade with Jonah.  Perfect!  We have lots of fun with them. 

Connor as a Pokemon, Jonah as Batman, Nikolas as Woody, Samuel the carpenter, and Elena and Carmendy the princesses
Elena and Carmendy are off....

There were two fire trucks driving through the neighborhood giving out candy.  The kids LOVED that.  The fireman would stop the truck, talk with the kids, and give out candy.  It was like a dream come true for them.

After we finished collecting more candy than anyone needs, we hung outside to give away candy.  I purposefully bought candy I don't like case we had leftovers.  The kids sat in the back of the truck and gave away candy.  I think they like that as much as receiving candy!  Samuel almost fell asleep handing out the candy.  He was so tired!

Now everyone is tucked safely in bed and I have four buckets of this sitting on the counter!

A Wordless (almost) Halloween Pary

Today was the annual Halloween Party at Samuel's school.  I volunteered to help and took Elena with me.  It is always fun to see the cute kids dressed in costume!

Samuel's Pre-K class

very proud of his snake face paint
Here I am running again and loving life!
No party is complete without cookies!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Little Lion Man

The Mumford and Sons wrote this song and it was released in 2009.  I just downloaded over the weekend and listened to the entire song for the first time during my 18 miler on Saturday.  I liked the tune, but had not really listened to the words.

I must admit the words are slightly strange.  It would be quite interesting to know what inspired such a song.  Whatever it was I am glad it was written. 

Weep for yourself, my man,
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep little lion man,
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself,
Take all the courage you have left
Waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head

But it was not your fault but mine

And it was your heart on the line
I really f***** it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?

Didn't I, my dear

Tremble for yourself, my man,
You know that you have seen this all before
Tremble little lion man,
You'll never settle any of your scores
Your grace is wasted in your face,
Your boldness stands alone among the rank
Now learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck

But it was not your fault but mine

And it was your heart on the line
I really f***** it up this time
Didn't I, my dear?

I have no idea what it was about these lyrics.  I think it might have been because I felt chewed up and spit out after my 800's on Thursday.  My confidence was definitely not running high.  When I heard "take all the courage you have left" my brain said yes do that!  Then it said "waste it on fixing all the problems that you have made in your head" and I thought it is really in my head isn't?  Those two lines just picked me up at the right time.  It was a little wake up call to get over myself and just work and work some more.

I listened to it three times on repeat and gained courage each time. This will definitely be on my marathon playlist! If you have not heard this song, listen to it.  Just excuse the f-bomb which is repeated a few times!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A running first for me

Saturday morning I set out early for my 18 mile run.  I had to be finished in time for Samuel's soccer game at 9:45.  I left at 6:35 giving myself 3 hours to complete the run.

A cold front moved through early Friday morning so I ran in the cold.  I was so excited to put on running capris and a long sleeve shirt and my ear/handband/ponytail holder thing.  I do love cold weather running!

As is typical for me I set out all my stuff on Friday night, but there was a problem.  I could not find my iPod.  I was going to run mostly in the daylight and I was excited to have some music.  Since I could not find it...very frustrating by the way...I decided to run with my phone.  I have never ever run with my phone.  I don't like how big it is compared to my little iPod.  I kind of liked having it with me. 

Drew texted me about a hour into the run just to say good morning.  I loved that.  I texted him with 6 miles to go so he would know about what time I would arrive at the soccer fields.  It was nice to have the little bit of communication.   I also took pictures while running.  I have never done that before either and it was slightly comical.  I refused to stop running to snap a picture, but they turned out pretty well.

It was a beautiful morning with big cotton ball clouds.  I was just so happy to be running!

With about 3.5 miles to go I was semi attacked by this little thing.  It came up behind me and would not stop barking.  With such a small distance to go, the last thing I wanted to do was stop, but I had no choice.  I did not want it to follow me.  It probably took 2 minutes for the little thing to go away.

As I was one mile from home I was forced to hop in the sidewalk.  I was about to be run over by maybe 20-25 bikers.  I sneakily took this picture.  How one can bike with so many other people is beyond me.  I would cause a crash within minutes.

My run was awesomely successful.  I finished in 2:45 and felt really strong.  I know I could have run many more miles.  It was a great confidence boosting run.  During my first marathon training cycle I ran one 18 mile run.  The other was the Simulator so the paces are not comparable to just a regular long run.  Anyway on that run, I finished in 2:51.  I remember that run was tough.  My stomach hurt and I could barely run the last few miles.  A 6 minute improvement with lots left in the tank is just awesome. 

My splits were
9:51 (had to stop at home to get my water and ditch my second shirt)
9:38 --took my first GU
9:09--took 2nd GU
9:04--took 3rd GU
8:16--did not feel hard at all!            Average pace was 9:09!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Halloween Filled weekend

Oh my gosh I am tired.  This weekend was jammed pack full of fun in addition to a soccer game, running, and doing stuff around the house.  Thank goodness the kids go back to school tomorrow!!

Friday night Jonah's Cub Scout Pack hosted a Fall Festival.  Jonah is only a Tiger Scout, but all the scouts in the pack participated in the event.  Friday was our first cold night of the fall and the event was outside.  Thus, we did not stay long.  That was plenty fine with all of us.  The kids had played games, eaten treats, and received candy.  They were ready to go as well.

On Friday, the kids dressed as
Samuel the carpenter, Emma the gymnast, Elena the fairy, and Jonah the batman.  So cute!
Blurry I know, but so sweet of Emma to help Elena play the games
Elena doing what was most important...eating her candy.

Counting his loot!
On Saturday we attended our friends annual Halloween bash.  This year I decided on a theme for our family's costumes....the Duncans from "Good Luck Charlie".
Introducing Drew as Bob, me as Amy, Emma as Teddy, Elena as Charlie, Samuel as Gabe, and Jonah as PJ.  I think we look pretty good.  Well, not me.  I am definitely not meant to be a blond, but we look good as the Duncans.  Drew is under strict orders to regrow his go-tee. 

The food was very creative and super yummy!

I made spider PB crackers
Our friend Tami made these delicious treats!
I made this spider layer dip...yum!
Tami made this too!
The kids played two different games.  To get their attention I told them to put bubbles in their mouths.  Elena thought that was hilarious!  Samuel has the best time playing "pass the pumpkin"!

All the kiddos!
If that was not enough, then today we went to the Halloween Trunk or Treat at our church.  Emma wore her third costume of the Halloween season.  I might like this one the best!
A rainbow!
Elena tried her first ever cotton candy.  She was a little skeptical, but she ate it all.  Jonah loves cotton candy!

Elena had a blast on the slide.  Jonah loved pretending he was flying.  They of course got more candy then they need and played games.  I already have more candy in this house than we need.  Some of it might disappear tomorrow!

I wanted a group photo before we left.  Elena was a little disgusted that I was asking to take another picture!

Until Wed....who knows what they will dress up as on Halloween Night!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Random Weekly Things

Today officially begins Halloween Party mania for us.  We have a Scout party tonight.  Our friends are hosting their annual Halloween party tomorrow night.  Finally, on Sunday our church is having it annual "Trunk and Treat" Festival.  That is all before the big night of collecting more candy than people need!

I bought this for my costume.  I cannot believe I am going to be a blond!  Any guesses as to who I am going to be?

This is Drug Awareness week at Haude.  Each day Emma and Jonah could wear something silly to support the theme.  Monday was camo, Tuesday was silly socks, Wed was stripes, Thursday was PJ's and today was wear read.  Last year I sent Emma to school in pj's that no longer fit because I did not plan ahead.  Her pajama bottoms were more like capri's...oops!  This year I bought her a new pair.
Oh, and just so you don't think Emma and Jonah only do handstands when dressed in daytime clothing I took this picture.
Handstands of all types all the time at my house! 

Then there is this.  It is perhaps Samuel's favorite toy and Elena really likes it too.  I just wish it wasn't so messy, but it does provide hours of entertainment!
Play dough of course!
Finally, Jonah had his 7 year well check up this week (55lbs and 4'2").  He also got his flu shot.  He cried like a 2 year old.  Elena said "that hurt" when she received her shot.  Go figure!  Samuel opted for the nose spray...smart boy!  While waiting, Jonah read to Elena and Samuel.  I LOVE having two readers in the house.  It is so helpful at times!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Battling through the 800's

Let me begin by saying running is relative to the runner.  All my thoughts on running are only specific to me!  What I think is fast, or awesome, or hard, or crappy, or whatever is all about me and my running.  It is only about what I want to achieve, hope to achieve, or maybe did not achieve.  I think the same is true in real life too!

So, with that said, today my workout was 10 x 800's.  For any non-runners, I ran a half mile with a rest period lasting as long as it took me to run the 800.  The rest periods were approximately 3/10ths of a mile because I was barely moving for some of them.

I was nervous about this workout.  I had a lot riding on the outcome.  Am I fit?  How fit am I?  Can I really run that many repeats in the dark and not lose my mind?  How would this go? So many questions filled my head and I let them get to me. 

My goal time was 3:40 or better. 

My actual times were 3:40, 3:35, 3:35, 3:39, 3:41, 3:39, 3:34, 3:41, 3:36, 3:40.

These are not the fastest 800's I have run, but this is most I have run.  That thought was totally lost on me this morning when I felt like I was failing.  I was miserable and battled for each and every 800 to be under 3:40.  I was ready to quit after the first one.  After two I started thinking I was 1/5 of the way finished.  Wow!  That is many more to go.  After three it was I am 1/3 finished kind of.  I barely made it to fine.  I made a deal that I could do 7.  That would be the most ever for me.  I made it to seven, which was strangely my fastest.  Then my thoughts were simply "Just one more".  I made it to 10 and felt defeated.

How is it possible to feel defeated when I just did something successfully that I have never done before?  It is possible because I wanted the splits to be faster!  I was tired and feeling like something won besides me.

That kind of thinking will not get me across the finished line on marathon day.  It just won't happen. I need to be mentally strong and I am just not.  I spent 9 800's today screaming at myself in my head....

"you can do this"
"what is your problem...run!"
"I am in charge of this"
"don't be a baby"

And the list could go on and on!  It took some reminding from my coach to help me realize I did a great thing today.  I will benefit from today and I MUST give myself credit for my effort. 

Just wanted to remind you of all that you have accomplished. I didn't want you to underestimate any aspect of the workout or the work you did.

I am pretty fit.  The workout proved that.  I could probably run a marathon tomorrow, but I won't be doing that!  I have made great strides since I resumed running in August.  I am winning this fitness battle....physically!  If my head could now just get in the game and be willing to WIN!

You must do the thing you think you cannot do!
Eleanor Roosevelt

Smart Lady!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

Emma and Jonah are gymnasts.  That means we spend a lot of time at the gym.  It also means I rarely see their faces.  The spend so much time upside at home it is nuts!  Sunday at our family outing they could not help themselves....handstands everywhere.  So, I could not help myself and asked them to do handstands at the same time.  This is my life...

Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of these two doing handstands? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Running a Double

Yep, I did that on Saturday.  I ran a double which I have never ever done before.  Guess what?  It wasn't too bad and I could see myself doing it again at some point in the future.  Guess what else?  I won't be doing it anytime soon though!

I ran 8 miles Saturday morning per my plan.  I took it pretty easy and finished in 1:14.  Because I overslept and Drew had to leave at 7am for a choir retreat I only had time to run 4.35 miles outside.  I came home and quickly hopped on the treadmill.    My mile times outside were 9:19, 9:07, 9:13, 9:14, and 9:05 pace for last .35 mile.  I changed my treadmill pace to be between 9:13 and 8:41 strictly for variety.  Basically it was a pretty evenly paced run for a 9:13 average.

I decided around 9:30 that I was going to run a double.  I am really sick of running in the dark.  I am really ready for the time change!  So, I focused all day on hydrating well and eating the right foods.  I also took about a 15 minute nap.  I had hoped for longer, but my kiddos felt the need to continue waking me....annoying, but I was the only parent at home!

At 5pm I left for my 10 mile run. I figured I would run 10 minute miles and just take it easy.  It was not hot or humid.  It was pretty windy at times.  I was able to listen to music.  I was just planning on enjoying the run....no pressure!  I was totally shocked when my watched beeped at mile 1 in 9:10.  Wow, it did not hurt and I just continued to focus on staying comfortable.  My mile splits were 9:10, 9:11, 9:17, 9:08, 9:09, 9:24, 9:20, 9:08, 9:08, 9:08, and 8:22 pace for last .6 mile.   My two slowest miles were directly into the wind for most of those miles.  It felt a little brutal at times. 

I ran 10.6 miles faster than I ran 8 miles just that morning. My average pace was 9:09.  I was totally shocked.  I was tired at the end, but decided it was then the time to push instead of backing off the pace.  I won't feel fresh at the end of the marathon.  I worked hard to get close to marathon pace (hopeful pace) and I did.  I was pretty happy when I got home!

I have not run at all for two days.  I am back at it tomorrow.  I feel ready!  I have a big week of running.  It is perhaps my biggest week of running ever and I am nervous and excited.  Tuesday is 4 miles, Wednesday is 6 miles, Thursday I will run 10x800's, a 9 miler on Saturday, and 20 miles on Sunday.  Yikes!

There is a lot riding on my sprints on Thursday. I am half way to my second marathon.  That means I only have 8 more weeks of serious running to be goal ready.  It is now time to go big or go home and I really mean it!  I am all in for this!

My coach told me that I am "strong and capable" but "have to be smart".  Now is the time!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Afternoon in the Park

Today we decided to have a family fun day.  Drew was gone for most of Saturday at a choir retreat and we wanted today to be memory-filled and not just football-filled!  I convinced Drew that we should go to Sunday Afternoon in the Park at Burroughs Park.  It is a free event sponsored by Harris County Parks and it was lots of fun.  Burroughs Park is one of my favorites in this area and I am often too lazy to go there with the kids.  The 30 minute drive is a drag when there a so many parks within 10 minutes of our house.  But, today needed to be special so off we went!

The only bad thing bad about today was the heat.  Summer has returned so despite the fall festival theme, it did not feel like fall at all!  Try high 80's....ugh!  Other than that we had a blast!

Since we are a little crazy at times we could not arrive as a family.  Drew rode yesterday in the hill country and was hoping for another ride today.  We decided that he could ride to the park and we would meet him.  It worked out perfectly.  We parked five minutes before he arrived, changed, and the fun began.

Of course I was camera ready to snap a picture!

There were lots of things to do, but with the heat we tried to keep it simple.  We did a pumpkin patch activity and even then only half of it.  We finished decorating the pumpkins at home in the air conditioning. 
Working on attaching the hair
Jonah and Samuel's finished project
Elena and Emma's finished pumpkins!
We ate snow cones.  That is the perfect treat on a hot day!

The kids played on the various park play sets. 

We walked around looking at all the silliness and took some fun pictures.

Silly faces
Smiling faces
Pumpkin heads

They had their faces painted and listened to a puppet theater story...The Three Little Pigs.

Perhaps the coolest part of the afternoon was watching the Memorial Hermann Life Flight Helicopter land.  It was amazing to watch it land in such a small area.  The wind created by it was crazy!  We were probably 40 or so feet away as it landed!  The boys and Elena toured it.  Emma was too hot and opted for the shade.  Those three also toured a fire truck.  Emma again said no.  She was tired. 

Of course, being in the country we were taken to and from the parking lot on a tractor pulled wagon.  What fun for the kids to sit on hay!  Seriously, you would have thought I gave them tons of candy.  They just loved it!
Hot and sweaty and

ready to go home!
Emma was tired and hot!
All in all we had a great time.  At dinner Drew asked the kiddos their favorite part of the afternoon and Jonah said, "pretty much everything"!  That made us both so happy!