Our Daily (G)races

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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Our Summer Bucket List

Earlier this week I asked the kiddos what they wanted to hopefully do this summer.  I told them to be creative and to think about some things we have not done previously.  They did manage to come up with new ideas.  I think we will have a super memorable summer if we can fit in all these activities!  Wish me luck getting all this scheduled!

Go swimming
Go to the beach
Make ice cream with rock salt
Put Hot Hues in our hair
Make camp t-shirts
Have a girls only tea party (Elena's only suggestion!)
Make a hodge podge dinner
Eat ice cream for dinner
Go to a lazy river
Go to Galveston
Go to Splashtown
Go bowling
Go mini golfing
Play in sprinklers
Visit the Lego store
Take family bike rides
Fly kites
Have a picnic dinner at a park
See fireworks in person
Have parent-kiddo special dates
Make banana boats
Make a fire pit dinner
Visit a historical place
See a baseball game
Swim in a swimming hole
Visit an aquarium

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Berry Picking

Today was day three of "how much fun can I have with Samuel and Elena" this week.  They are going to a camp next week and then school is over for the summer on June 6th (cannot wait!).  Since this is the last week it will be just the three of us ever, I wanted to have many fun adventures!  After some discussion with Samuel and Elena yesterday we settled on berry picking.  Elena has been asking for strawberry pie...I don't know why....so we went to a place with blackberries and strawberries.

We picked blackberries last year and they tired out so fast.  They look so little!

This year there was lots of energy.  They carried their own buckets even when full.  They never fussed about the thorns on the blackberry bushes.  They did not complain about the heat or ask to leave one time.  I think it was the most perfect outing ever!

Two full buckets and two happy kiddos!
We picked more than I thought.  I will be baking a bunch in the coming weeks and freezing some of the blackberries.  Today we made a lemon blackberry sponge cake.  It is tart, but quite yummy!  This weekend Elena will get her strawberry pie!

My kitchen helpers too!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Splash Pad play fun

Samuel, Elena, and I went to a splash pad in The Woodlands today for the first time.  Well, it was the first time we went to this one.  I decided to go around lunch and that was a great decision.  I had less stuff to pack and all the other mothers were heading home for lunch.  So, the kids had some playmates, but it was not very full.  That also meant I could take lots and lots of pictures of just my sweet kiddos!

This sequence of events is funny and most of my time was spent laughing at them!

They especially loved this mushroom thing that created a little cave.

Elena thought she would be a little too funny at times...

Samuel was too busy running around for me to get any really comical pictures of him.  This picture is fun because it looks like he is holding a big bubble.

These two had lots of fun running around being silly!  I don't think I will come back to this splash pad because it is kind of small.  There are two more we plan to try in the coming weeks.  By then Emma and Jonah will be finished with school and everyone can join in on the fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Angel Run Half Marathon recap

I decided after I found out I could not run the Pittsburgh half at the beginning of May that I really still wanted to run a half before summer.  The choices in this area are pretty non-existent and the only one I could find was the Angel Run in Montgomery, TX.  It is about 45-60 minutes from the house depending on traffic and it was before summer.  So, I registered knowing it was going to be crazy hot.

I trained really well for this race in my opinion.  I ran lots of miles at my goal pace.  I felt really ready to finally PR, but I knew the chances of that were slim.  All my training was in cooler temps.  Summer arrived late in May this year which was good, but not for getting acclimated to running in hot, humid weather.  I knew race day was going to be very humid and quite warm.  I was right.  It was 92% humidity and about 75 at the start.  Thankfully it was overcast or I may have melted.

Several things went well for me.  It was a great decision to carry my own water.  There were not enough water stations.  I was able to take my GU without any issues!  I wore sunglasses for the first time.  With the exception of sweating more on my face because of them, I loved not fussing with a hat in the wind.

Several things were a challenge.  This was the first year for the event.  There was a 10K and a half.  We all started at the same time.  I started a little too fast (7:53 first mile) for the heat.  I slowed my pace quickly!  The course was so poorly marked.  I just cannot explain how bad it was.  I figured it was going to be a problem when I saw the mile markers at the starting line as we were getting ready to start....I mean like two minutes from starting!  When I could no longer see the guy ahead of me I just hoped I would go the correct way!  That is never good.  Near the finish I had to ask a cop which way to go.  That was just horrible!  As I said above, there were not enough water stations.  There was no course support at all and I mean none!  That was tough.  It was more like a training run than a race.  The course itself was hilly in my opinion.  I train in the land of the flat so continuous rolling hills are tough for me.  I like hills, but 13 miles of hills was hard and I did not expect it.  The hills were not killer high, but they just went on and on forever. 

As for the race, I knew I would not be able to hold my goal pace of 8 minute miles.  It was going to be too humid.  I hoped to hang between 8:15 and 8:30.  I did a pretty good job of that with the exception of during the long climbs.  The first mile was through a neighborhood and then downhill for almost a mile.

Mile 1:  7:53
Mile 2:  8:18
Mile 3:  8:17

The climbs started around 2.5 miles and continued pretty much for the rest of the race.  There were some longer climbs at times and really no flat stretches.

Mile 4:  8:13---the 10K turnaround was somewhere after mile 4 and I took a GU
Mile 5:  8:11---running all by myself for the rest of the race
Mile 6:  8:44---climbing!
Mile 7:  8:45---still climbing and not really knowing when I would be turning around
Mile 8:  8:21---the turnaround point was about mile 8 and I finally saw some people heading out to the turnaround.  It was nice to hear things like...."you're 1st female, good job".  I relished that knowing it would probably never happen again.

By this point I was really tired and hot.  I dumped the water at the turnaround on me and that helped cool off some.  It was a little windier on the way back.  I just kept trying to remind myself that I wanted to finish strong and in first.  Just keep running was all I told myself!

Mile 9:  8:17---took my last GU at 9.5 miles
Mile 10:  8:47---last big climb
Mile 11:  8:32---trying to will myself to run faster as the gradual climbing continued
Mile 12:  8:32---still climbing for half of the mile and then it got somewhat level!
Mile 13:  8:07---the signage was so poor and this was horribly frustrating for me.  I was unsure where to go and then two girls ran in front of me near the finish.  I had to slow down and run around them.  I am pretty sure the look on my face was pure disgust because I know my thoughts were.
Mile 13.1  6:23 average pace to finish  

My Garmin had my time at 1:49.03.  My official time was 1:49.02.  I had the course a little short and so did the winner.  However, everyone else had it a little long so who knows.  I think if it had been marked better there might not have been such a discrepancy.  I think I still would have run a PR.  As it stands, it is a 20 second PR for me!
totally soaked from water and sweat!
lovely post race self portrait!
I finished 1st female in the half marathon and 5th finisher overall.  The winner of the half missed the 10K turnaround (probably because the signage was so poor) and still won the half.  He was blazing fast!  I was really proud of my effort and for winning.  It is pretty funny because my time is nothing great, but I was the fastest in this group of women on this day.  I am thankful for that and will always remember that one time that I won!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day weekend

We had a busy, busy weekend, but it was relaxing as well.  It all started with Samuel's graduation from preschool on Friday.  Saturday I ran a half marathon in Montgomery (more on that later).  It was only 45-60 minutes away, but we decided I would go by myself.  Because the boys had baseball at noon, the timing was a little tight.  I with they all could of come for a couple of reasons.  When I first arrived at the school, I found this wonderful patriotic garden.  It was so pretty and I immediately wanted Haude to have one as well. 

Each flower box/garden was filled with plants or flowers or both.  Then each box was labeled with some word associated with freedom such as a branch of the military, peace, brotherhood, etc.  Each box had a sign with a teacher's name on it so it was obvious that each class had it own little garden.  What a great idea!  It was so pretty and so done.  I just loved it.

After the race, I headed home for baseball...so very American on Memorial Day weekend.  The best part about baseball now is that it is starting to resemble a real game.  All the team boys are better at understanding run fast to first after hitting the ball, please touch the base, and throw the ball to 1st base after fielding it.  Elena continues to entertain herself with something.  This week it was this....
blowing the dandelions
play in the grass
Of course, we did tons of swimming on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  We also did lots of visiting with our friends!

Riding to the pool and taking the corner a little too fast!

By Monday afternoon everyone was tired and ready for some rest especially Elena. 
Her second nap of the weekend....unheard of for Elena!
Emma made us to some banana chocolate chip muffins.  They were really yummy and a great treat to have after swimming.

It was a fun weekend to be with family and friends.  We are all so ready for summer....8 days and counting!

Samuel graduates from Preschool

Last Friday Samuel became a preschool graduate.  It was such a bittersweet moment.  There is nothing better than watching my kiddos get older and become such amazing people.  But, at the same time it is hard to watch the baby, toddler, preschool part fade into the past.  They really do grow up so fast!

Samuel was ready for this moment.  He loved his teachers and classmates.
Samuel and Ms. Megan
Samuel and Ms. Sue
But, he is excited for the next challenge.  He is ready for no naps after lunch, to ride the bus, to be a part of the big kid stuff.  He was very proud!

This sweet face began his last day of preschool last August....

Now this older, bigger Samuel ended his days at preschool....
The graduation ceremony was short and wonderful.  After the welcome, the children introduced themselves and stated what he/she wants to be when the grow up.  Samuel said "My name is Samuel Keath Mann.  I am 5 years old and when I grow up I want to be a hunter!"

They sang some songs, received their diplomas, we watched a slideshow, and Ms. Megan read a poem.  Of course I cried and of course Samuel was all smiles.  After the ceremony there was a reception with cookies and cake.

The graduates also received their gifts!

I just love these books.  They are a great memory of the year!
Drew and I are so proud of Samuel and we know he will shine in Kindergarten!

For the last time....
 To celebrate Samuel's big day I made graduation caps for dessert.  I got the idea on this blog...
here.  They were super yummy.