Our Daily (G)races

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rodeo Time

It is crazy rodeo time in Houston.  Since the end of February the news, the papers, everything are all about the rodeo.  It is a huge deal and I still find it kind of funny.  This was a totally new thing for me and Drew.  The kids on the other had love all things rodeo and beg to go every year.  Well, that did not happen this year, but they still were able to dress up for various activities at school.

Drew and I are not from Texas.  But, our kids are Texans and they love "Go Texan Day".  They wanted to know if we had "Go Texan Day" when we were little.  Um...no silly people.  That did not happen in Pennsylvania and Virginia....neither did "Go PA Day or Go VA Day" for that matter.  Some things are just special in Texas and this is one of those things.

On "Go Texan Day" Haude has a hoedown for the kids.  They dress in their best cowboy and cowgirl girl...hats too...and dance for moms and dads.  These dances have been practiced in PE class for weeks.  Like I said, it is a big deal.

A week later the Kindergarteners had rodeo day.  The afternoon was spent playing rodeo like games.  There is some learning involved such as the life of a cowboy and the Wild West.  But, really it is just a fun excuse to play fun games and the kids love it.

Finally, Elena's preschool has ponies come to ride.  Yep, a real pony and it is one of the year's highlights for Elena.  It has been for Emma, Jonah, and Samuel as well.  Elena loved dressing the part.

Rodeo fever ends this Sunday.  The kids were annoyed we did not go this year.  I think next year we will have to go to the real deal.  I might even break down and finally get cowgirl boots!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bastrop State Park

On Monday the weather was finally nice.  We were able to enjoy one park before we had to drive home.  We spent a portion of the morning and afternoon in Bastrop State Park.

Before I share our pictures I have to say that being in the park was very sad.  This park was severely damaged during the 2011 Texas wildfires.  Having looked up exactly how bad the fire was in the area I learned that the fire began in Bastrop on 9/4/11 and was not fully contained until 10/10/11.  By that time over 34,000 acres burnt including over half of the state park.  The part of the park we were in was hit hard.  The kids' minds were boggled by all the damage and why this forest looked so strange to them.  It was a great learning experience for them.

We hiked on the Red Trail which was a 1.6 mile hike through the burnt woods and along some ridges.  There was not a single area on our hike that had not been effected by the fires.  It was truly just so sad.  It was also encouraging to see some new ground growth and pine trees.  Despite the obvious damage to the forest, the paths have been fully restored and we had a great hike.  It was hilly and winding at times, which the kids loved.  The could jump across small streams and play on bridges.  They were in heaven!  Our hike ended at a lookout where we had lunch. 

A new tree
The bridges were very cool

We think this was a water fountain at some point
Elena had just fallen and was needing to rest

At the lookout point

Samuel used this tree branch as a see saw
Yes, his shirt says "my wife rocks" and I did buy it for him!
Elena thought maybe she should take a little nap before we left for home....

See the pile of rocks in the truck?  Jonah collected them on the hike and refused to leave any behind.  Just what we need are more rocks in our house.

Someday this park is going to be a "normal" kind of beautiful again....

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bastrop adventure day one

This past weekend we ventured to Bastrop for the weekend.  Jonah had a meet in San Marcos on Sunday so we decided to turn his meet into a little trip.

As for the meet, it was quite uneventful.  Jonah did not do well overall, but he did some things better than at previous meets.  First, he had his best vault score of the season.  Second, he had a good floor routine.  Third, he stayed on the high bar and did his kip. 

This meet was filled with quality gymnasts that we don't normally compete against.  These kids are quite good.  Jonah has the potential to be better than he is, but he has yet to get in that right mindset on a meet day.  He knows most of these boys will be at the state meet.  Time will tell if this motivates him to be better.

As part of our adventure we decided to have a little food tour through Central Texas.  The first two places we ate were recommended and they did not disappoint.  Both places had lines out the door.  Saturday night we ate at the Roadhouse in Bastrop.  This place is all about the hamburgers....all 7oz's of them.  It was worth feeling stuffed!

Sunday for lunch we ate at Black BBQ in Lockhart.  Texas BBQ has grown on me, but still not my favorite type of BBQ.  However, I will say that this food was yummy.  We all enjoyed our brisket, sausage, potatoes in many forms, and pickles.  All BBQ needs pickles according to us!

Sunday night for dinner we decided on Mexican and ate at La Hacienda.  I think I had the best salad I've ever eaten.  It was really amazing.  All the kids loved their food and so did Drew.  We did not go hungry!

The end of our food tour was at Buc-ee's, which is legendary in Texas.  For all our northern friends, it is like Sheetz or Wawa on steroids with the absolute cleanest bathrooms you will ever find.  We got sandwiches for our picnic lunch on Monday.  I am pretty sure that I don't need to eat this week or I need to run more.  So, if anyone goes to Central Texas eat at all of these places!

Besides the gymnastics meet, we had planned on spending our free time at the many state and city parks in the area.  Austin and Bastrop have great parks.  Well, the weather on Sunday was cold and rainy so we had to decide on an alternative plan.  Being a little crazy we took the kids to Cabela's and spent 2.5 hours there!  Elena, Samuel, and Jonah were so happy to see all the animals, play in tents, walk through the aquarium, shoot guns (a Duck Dynasty game), and just look at all the stuff in Cabela's.  It is quite the store!

We all thought this was awesome and it was comfy too!

We missed our Emma and were wishing for sun.  But, we made the most of Sunday and it was fun!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Woodlands Half Marathon

This past Saturday I ran The Woodlands Half Marathon.  This was the first time I ran the half.  I ran the full the previous two years with a good and a bad experience.  This was another bad experience.  I think I may be passing on this race next year.

I have to say that my heart was not in this race.  I barely thought about it all week. I did not know what I was going to wear until right before I went to bed.  This is so not me.  I thought about my goal and know that I am capable of running a 1:48.  But, I did not feel in my heart that I was going to do it.  I am not sure if it was because I was/am still feeling mentally tired from the marathon.  I am beginning to wonder when this hangover will pass.  Or, if I just did not care because of everything else going on that day.  Whatever, it was, the race was a disaster for me

For starters, my body just did not show up.  My legs which were quite rested from an easy week of running hurt almost from the get go.  It was like a mile 20 of a marathon hurt at the beginning of a half...not good at all.  The weather was crap and that is being kind.  I hate humidity and on Saturday it was 70 and drizzling.  Just freakin' great.  I also hate rain whether I am running or not.  To say it was humid is an understatement.  And my mind...it was finished with the race by mile 4.  If I could have gotten to my car quicker than having to finish I would have taken my first DNF.  Honestly, my only motivation to finish was Jonah.  I knew I had a limited time to drive to his meet in Bryan, Texas.

Each mile after mile 3 was a battle for me mentally and physically.  I hated the course.  I detest running on theWoodlands Parkway and I think that is the main reason I won't run this race again.  Running along a major road with nothing to look at is just so boring.  There were hardly any spectators along the most of the course and that was probably because of the rain. 

My splits gradually got slower and I did not care.  That is just awful in a race so I just ran to finish.  I had no time goal in mind after mile 4.  I just wanted to be done.  By mile 10 I felt some motivation return.  I kept telling myself it is just a 5K.  My pace picked up some and I was able to finish with a respectable time of 1:54.35.  It is one of my slowest half marathons ever.  So freaking frustrating when this is my favorite distance to run.  It is over quickly. The body recovers quickly.  The distance is just fun, but I can't seem to get my stuff together to run a good half.  It has been forever since that happened and that makes me mad.
Even the medal is ugly, but it sure is heavy
So, it was not my day.  I literally finished, grabbed my medal, got a picture taken, grabbed some water and walked to my car.  I barely stretched and then I made the 90 minute drive to the gymnastics meet.  I was disappointed with my race, but I was not going to disappoint Jonah by being late.

Jonah had a decent meet and placed well on four events.  His HB was a disaster because he lost his grip on the bar.  I think my heart literally stopped watching his routine.  I am still amazed he hung on and more that his shoulder did not hurt at all!

I was super proud of his 2nd place on floor and 8th AA despite his horrible HB score.  I was also pleased at least one of us had a good day!

I am finished with races for a while as I train for the Pittsburgh Marathon in May.  Jonah has     three more meets.  It is going to be a busy couple of months for us!