Our Daily (G)races

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

Sunday, November 24, 2013

HMSA Classical 25K

A running skirt
A long sleeve shirt with thumb holes
Socks and running shoes
Nano and earbuds
Water bottle
3 GU
3 rubber bands
ear/head band
race number and pins
two running bracelets
change for clothes for after the race

That is everything I laid out last night before I went to bed.  As always, Drew looked at the parking map and told me the best way to get to my destination in downtown Houston.  I ate my normal pre-race meal....two pieces of toast with peanut butter and a tiny bit of jelly.  I got my stuff gathered and off I went.  I ate my banana 30 minutes before we started and drank all my pre-race water.

I had the best race number ever.  It was 97.  I smiled when I saw it.  1997 was a great year for me.  I graduated from college.  Drew and I got married.  We moved into our first and cutest apartment in Charleston.  I knew 97 would be a good number for me today!

I did not arrive at the start line in time to get a good spot because I was so unbelievably cold.  It has to be really, really cold for me to wear pants and today was not that.  Waiting for 30 minutes wearing a running skirt was brutal. It was cold at 44 degrees with a wind chill of 36 degrees.  The wind was crazy gusting to 20 mph.  I was shaking uncontrollably waiting for the start.  Even then I was worried I would be too warm and I was at times, but overall I think I was dressed appropriately for the weather.

The course was 3 loops of 5+ miles each.  I thought the course was short.  It should have been 15.6 miles and my watch had 15.47 at the finish.  That little bit of difference if always debatable so I am not worried about it.  I have never run this distance before, but I loved it.  This and the half are just so fun to run!

The out portion of the loops was nice because the wind was at my back.  Coming home for 2.5 or so miles was brutal at times.  The wind was strong all day and much harder on the hills.  The course was on the parkway so there was lots of overpasses, but I like hills.  I thought this was great when it was not too windy.

The plan for the first loop was to run an 8:45 pace.  Unfortunately because I lined up late and my first mile was slow.  I did not want to waste too much energy weaving in and out of people so I ended up with a 9:40 miles...yikes!  The next four were much better as the crowd thinned some.  Miles 2-5 were 8:40, 8:47, 8:37, 8:54.

The next five miles were to be run around 8:30.  I was feeling good and was not worried about increasing my pace at all.  Miles 6-10 were 8:27, 8:28, 8:25, 8:26, 8:33.

I had a goal time in mind for this race.  I thought it was possible, but I was not totally sure because it was a new distance.  I also knew I had to pick it up bigtime if I wanted to run that time.  I felt great...really great.  So, I decided to run 8:00 miles if possible.  The last few miles passed so quickly and honestly I wish I had picked up my pace sooner.  Live and learn.  The last 5 miles were
8:06, 8:05, 8:05, 8:01, 8:01 and a 7:25 pace for the last .47 mile.  My watch had 2:10.43 and my unofficial time was 2:10.37.

My goal time was 2:10!  I wish I could rerun that first mile.  Still, I could not be happier with today.  This is my first race since I injured my hip.  It is also my only race before the marathon in 8 weeks.  I feel like I have made great progress in the past 8 weeks.  I am starting to feel faster again.  I think I can get even faster in the next 8 weeks.  I feel like a much stronger runner this fall.

I am my own worst enemy.  Friends and family have much more confidence in my abilities than I do at times.  I believed I could run a good race today.  I feel like I did.  I kept reminding myself of a great quote from one of my all-time favorite Penn State football players...

"There is honor and worthy achievement in proving wrong the myth of impossibility"
Matt McGloin

I am the one who thinks achieving my running goals are impossible or close to it.  Today I wanted them to be possible so I kept repeating those words.  They were a great reminder today and I believe them to be so true!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Growing up too fast

Everyone says they grow up so fast.  Everyone.  And, everyone is right.

Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade

 2nd and 3rd grade...she changed so much

4th and 5th grade....she looks so much more grown up to me this year.

Then there is Jonah....
Toddler, 2 year old room, and three year old room

Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade...I guess the thug look started last year.

Now he looks so grown up in 2nd grade

And Samuel
Last year in Pre-K and now in Kindergarten...he is just too cute!

Finally Elena, who just started preschool school this year so I don't have any formal pictures of her.  So, the first one is from last November and the second is from this morning...

I swear the next time I blink they will be in high school....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Emma's State Meet

Saturday was Emma's last meet as a level 3 gymnast.  And, she went out with a bang at the South State meet.  Emma has come a long way this season.  So have I.  She has learned that to be good and to do well she has to work hard.  She has learned that excuses will get her nowhere fast.  I have learned how to manage my over-controlling need to push her harder and we have found a middle ground. 

This was a tough meet.  There were girls there from all over the state from Beaumont to Tyler to San Antonio.  The scoring was tough and nit picky.  But, the thing was all the girls were good.  There were some that really stood out in the bunch, but most were so close in skill that being picky as judge was necessary.  Emma new this would be a tough meet and she was worried about not being good enough.  All I told her was that she qualified so she earned her spot.  She had worked hard.  She met her goal of qualifying for the state meet so just have fun and do the best she could. I told her to be "I'mpossible".   I don't know if she or I felt more pressure.  Being the mom of an athlete is hard.

Emma has earned higher scores at other meets.  She performed better routines at some meets, but overall she put it all out there on Saturday and beautiful.  She finally did all the skills well on the bars.  She was definitely tentative on beam and that hurt her.  She did well on floor and was amazing on vault.

She earned her highest AA of the season and finished in 8th overall in her division.  So, so proud of her.  She was worried she would not place at all...silly girl!!

Emma is there....I promise!
Emma has always loved vaulting and it pretty good at it.  Unfortunately it has never come together for her at a meet.  Well, it did on Saturday.  She recently moved her steps and I think that helped give her more power and certainly more speed.  She received a 9.7!  And, that only earned her 7th place in her division.  The competition was fierce!

That is Emma sitting on the ground with her score on the board. I did not even know she was sitting there when I took the picture!  When Emma saw her score she took a picture with her camera as well.  I just loved seeing her so happy!

Emma and some of her teammates
Emma's BFF Ashlynn came to the meet with us!
Emma's team did great.  There was a South State champion and runner-up in another division and many individual place medals.  All the girls start training for level 4 today.  Emma is so excited!  On to bigger and better skills!!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

RV and a football game

This past weekend we traveled in style to Fort Worth for the TCU-WVU football game.  By style, I mean a huge RV.  The kids were so excited when they saw it and to be perfectly honest so was I.  I thought Drew had rented a camper, but this was no camper.  We had more room than needed and it was perfect for our football getaway weekend!

Drew and I used to go to Penn State football games all the time.  Pretty much we never missed a home game for 5 years and even longer than that for me.  Obviously after we moved to Texas that changed.  We have not been to a PSU game in over 4 years and Elena has never been which is a total shame.  It will happen and I think soon!  Anyway, I love college football and game days are just so exciting to me.  Some of this love is being nurtured in my kiddos and I am so thankful.  So, to say that I was excited to finally tailgate at a football again was a huge understatement.  Despite being diehard PSU fans, we also love WVU, but not as much.  Drew went to grad school there and we also lived in WV for a while.  Now that they are in BIG 12 we can see them play every once in a while.

We drove up on Friday night and arrived late.  Saturday was a quick night's sleep away and we made the most of our day.  I decided to do my long run Saturday morning (15 miles) and it was the BEST run I have had in months and months.  If I could have bottled up my run I would have done it in a second.  I loved running around the TCU campus.  It was filled with energy because of the game.  Running through new and lovely neighborhoods was fun for me.  And, I loved running the hills.  I know it is crazy, but I miss hill running.  I took these pictures and would have taken more if my dumb phone had not frozen up on me.

Our friends Pam and Thomas and their two boys Lance and Greg came up for the game as well.  They arrived just before lunch.  We filled our time before the game doing all the fun tailgate kind of stuff...drinking beer, eating too much food, watching football on TV, and watching the kids play in the parking lot.  It was tons of fun.  The memories are just great from the past and the ones we made on Saturday.

We took a shuttle to the game which was a new experience, but super easy and convenient.  Our seats were crazy high up and it was pretty chilly.  I still don't know how Jonah survived the afternoon without freezing.  I also don't understand how the stadium was not full on such an amazing day.  The weather was picture perfect for football. 

Before the game started
Kick-off...always my favorite moment of the game

A post touchdown celebration

By the 4th quarter it seemed like WVU was finally going to win the game.  It was kind of cold and the kids were done.  So, we decided it was time to leave and that is when TCU decided to tie up the game.  Well, we weren't leaving then because the game was going into OT.  The kids were annoyed and someday they will understand.  By that time we were at field level and had the best view for OT.  Of course, WVU pulled it out....just barely, but a win is a win!
Missed OT because she was asleep
All ready for the game winning kick...
And the victory celebration...final score 30-27!

We spent the night again on Saturday and spent Sunday morning walking around the TCU campus.  It is really a nice campus.  We all enjoyed our time there.  Jonah was a little weirded out by all the purple...or a girl color as he would say.

We can't go anywhere without handstands being done!
The campus had great trees and the kids loved climbing in them.

My favorite people walking around the town

Despite being really tired when we arrived home on Sunday, I know everyone had the best weekend.  The kids were sad to say good-bye to the RV on Monday morning.  They keep asking to take another trip.  Being at a college football game again was awesome.  I did not realize how much I missed it until Saturday.  This will definitely become a priority for our family each fall.  I want my kids to have all these wonderful football tailgating memories like I do.  And, to make the weekend even better Emma managed to take my favorite picture ever of me and Drew.  Picture perfect all the way around!