Our Daily (G)races

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

Friday, March 27, 2015

The cast is gone and baseball is in full swing

It has been one week exactly since Jonah's cast came off for good!  He has at home exercises to do and he isn't allowed any full impact activities for at least two more weeks.  His crazy ankle is still swollen and bruised.  More healing needs to occur out of the cast. Almost immediately Drew and I realized that we had no clue...not one little clue as to how sad Jonah has been since he hurt his ankle.  And especially since he had the cast put on February 4th.  He is smiling more, laughing more, talking more with us, eating more, and way less grouchy.  Welcome back Jonah!

Is that not the happiest face!!!!
Elena and I spent tons of time watching Samuel practice his baseball skills this week.  Monday we were at the field for two hours.  Samuel is attending a 2 hour camp each Wednesday for the next many weeks.  It was a great evening and we had fun.

Thursday was a different story because it was cold.  Well, not really cold, but it was super windy and it felt cold.  Seriously, it had been in the low 80's on Wednesday so it felt cold to me!
Snuggled in a blanket for 90 minutes of practice

Tuesday it was finally time for Kim's birthday lunch.  As we always do, lunch was full of great conversation and fun.  Happy Birthday Kim!

Tuesday night we all made it to a mid week Rice baseball game.  That was an unexpected treat in our week.  It started out lovely, but again with the wind and it was chilly.  Jonah being so sweet gave me his sweatshirt.  He is getting too big because it wasn't too small for me.  When he was chilly I wasn't so sweet because I wouldn't give it back.  I snuggled with his instead.  That is sweet right?

Because it was so beautiful on Wednesday Elena, Carmendy, and I spent the afternoon at the park.  Elena likes this park because it has monkey bars, swings, sand, and ducks to feed.  What more could a 5 year old girl want??!!

Elena can go all the way across the monkey bars....blows my mind each time I watch her do it.

Last night the sunset was pretty.  I wish I lived somewhere open so I could see it all, but nope.  Trees, wires, and houses are always in the way.  Still so pretty!

Another great, but busy week at our house.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Have a great weekend friends!!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

St. Paddy's Half Marathon

Today was race day for me.  It is only the 5th time I have raced in the past twelve months.  Two times I ran with Susan.  Three times for just me.  And, finally for the first time in eleven months I had a great personal race.  Today felt like a big clap on the back for me and a huge sigh of relief.

I haven't written at all about running and/or even talked with it much at all with my friends.  I continue think that most people could care less about my early morning runs.  But I do very much.  The few people that hear about my runs are super important to me and I value their support and help tons!  I have been running 5 days a week consistently since coming back from my stress fracture which means 4 months. I finally within the past month feel like I am back in good running shape.  It has been a journey emotionally and physically for me.  Within the past 6 weeks I have started running really fun speed workouts each Wednesday and I know they helped me today.  Each of those workouts was challenging to me in a new way and pushed me to run fast when tired.  All the work pays off eventually and today was the day for me!

I have spent a good bit of time in the last month working on my mental toughness about much as my running.  I hate to fail.  I am not a big risk taker at all.  Those two things don't mix well when I have big goals I want to accomplish.  I may now be 40, but I know that I have some great for me running left in me!  So to achieve big goals I have to be brave.  Therein lies the need to be mentally stronger!  So, I spent some time searching out quotes that motivated me and spoke to me.  Things I could remember when I was running. I also spent time reading about people who inspire me.  It all kept me in the game today.
 After the crap half I ran in February this became my personal mantra.  It is good to know your opponent. 

Today this was me....I was all in for a personal best time today.  Simple stuff really!  And finally...

I couldn't be more "in like" with this if I tried.  I gave this quote to a friend of mine on a bracelet recently and I may have to return the favor to myself!   Susan reminded me of this last night and we both did a little flying today.  So, so, so true!

All week I was worried about the weather.  It was supposed to rain this morning and that meant humid as well.  I decided mid-week I couldn't care less about the weather. I can't control it at all.  I could only control my attitude about it.  It was not going to bother me.  Even with that positive I don't give a crap attitude I was super happy that the rain blew through yesterday and it was just cloudy and humid this morning.  Way better!

The race started on time at 7:15.  It was an out and back course with a little loop in the middle.  It was flat, well marked, and well supported with drink stations.  Everything about this race was well organized.  It was also small which I like.  Crowds at races are not my thing so 795 people is good with me. 

The first three miles were pretty fast for me (8:09, 8:09, 8:15), but I felt like crap.  My left shin hurt so badly and I thought repeatedly about wanting to cut off my leg, but realized that wouldn't be good for my running. It has been a little off this past week, but I was hoping it would be good today.  Finally by mile 4 (8:09) everything felt good and I was so thankful. 

Mile 5 felt like a disaster and it was.  I knew I was off pace, but didn't see my watch in time to know my split (8:25).  That mile still haunts me, but oh well now.  I knew by mile 7 that I was going to PR today.   I was thinking I could squeak in under 1:48 if I kept up my effort.  There was not one single second of doubt that I would finish strong today.  I just knew it was going to happen and that carried me through those last two miles.  Miles 6-10 were pretty consistent (8:13, 8:15, 8:08, 8:15, 8:05). 

The 8:15 mile annoyed me to no end and I worked hard to keep out of the teens.  Right after mile 10 I heard a timer call out 1:49 finish time.  I almost had a heart attack.  I was shocked I was so slow and that my running math was so bad.  I decided she had to be wrong.  I don't know what she was talking about because at that point I was thinking a 1:47.30 was really possible for me.  I am so thankful I didn't let that discourage me.  Mile 11 felt pretty good (8:08). 

The last two miles were the hardest as they always are.  I figured I had nothing to lose and just pushed hard. I had been running back and forth with the same guy all race long and I really wanted to pass him for good.  Around 11.5 I did, but could hear him behind me the rest of the way.  He was a good motivator to keep pushing all the way to the finish.  He did not pass me again.  Mile 12 was 8:06 and mile 13 was 7:57.  I ran the last tenth at a 7:08 pace.  The last two miles being two of my fastest make me beyond happy!  My official time was 1:47.09.  I was 4/72 in my AG so not too bad.

I finished and started crying.  I cried for those 9 seconds I lost in mile 5.  I hate that so much.  Just hate it.  I also cried because I had no one to share in my moment.  I ran a 1 minute 51 second PR and it was just me, myself, and I.  Then I got over myself and decided to get some green beer to celebrate that huge PR!
It wasn't good beer or a good pour, but it still tasted good enough
Pretty cool statue at the Sugar Land Town Square
Cheers to me!
So there you have it.  The very long recap of my 13.1.  This is definitely my sweet for the day! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Break in pictures

Spring Break was last week and I miss it.  I like schedules, but I liked the laziness of our week too.  We had a great week despite the craptastic weather.  I think it rained almost every day until Saturday.  That was quite the bummer, but we still managed to have some fun adventures. 

Monday was a downer day for Jonah because we learned he had two more weeks in the cast.  The bright side was a cool camo cast.

I obviously did not provide enough entertainment for them on Monday because this happened...

Wednesday we went to Tomball for a little retail therapy.  It was a dreary day, but we made the most of it.  Everyone walked away with a little treasure.  I love that my kids like antiques and get excited about looking at "old" stuff!

I went to the rodeo that evening with Kim.  We had fun watching the cowboys and Brantley Gilbert. 

Again it was raining on Thursday, but we decided to go have lunch in Brenham anyway.  It wasn't raining there, but it was super windy and chilly.  Because of the wind there weren't any planes taking off and landing at the airport.  The good news was lunch.  It is always pretty yummy at the airport diner. 

After lunch we went to Independence at Emma's request.  It is the sight of some historic buildings, a great field filled with bluebonnets (or will be in a few weeks), and huge climbing trees.  That is a favorite.

The cast didn't stop Jonah from climbing

There were a few bluebonnets

Happy Anniversary to Mammy and Pappy
Friday we actually saw some blue sky.  I am pretty sure we all almost forgot what that was after almost a week of horrible weather!  We went to a crawfish boil Friday afternoon.  Oh was it yummy!  Samuel and Emma really liked it.  Jonah and Elena preferred the chicken fingers from Cane's.  Crazy kids don't know what they are missing!  Then we went to a baseball game.  It was a lovely evening for a Rice victory.

Brussel sprouts instead of corn on the cob are my new favorite!

Saturday it was sunny and warm....FINALLY!  It was a beautiful day for some baseball and we enjoyed our time on the hill.

Sunday was more baseball....I think there is a theme here!  We went to Rice again and Samuel watched the game from his favorite place...the fence.  I am pretty sure I could do a picture blog all about the games Samuel has watched from the fence.  I don't know why we get him a seat!

The highlight of the weekend was finally getting to watch Samuel's team play a baseball game.  All the rainy weather has resulted in many cancelled practices and games.  It was so fun to watch 6 and 7 year old boys play this very simple and complicated game.  And, I do think I have the most handsome boy on the diamond!

My cute Knight had a blast despite losing.  He had a great play at 3rd.  Played first, pitcher, and outfield too.  He also got on base several times.  He is definitely my ball boy!

So, now we are back to reality and it is still raining.  Ugh....spring has sprung a leak!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rodeoing for the last time

Last night we ventured to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for the last time this year.  I have been three times, Drew has gone twice, and last night we finally took the kids.  Elena has been so excited for weeks.  She kept asking when we were going to the "radio" despite us repeatedly telling her it was the rodeo.

Finally we had perfect weather.  It was a beautiful, sunny day.  Everyone looked very "Texas" except for poor Jonah who is still sporting his camo cast.  The only thing he can wear is athletic pants and shorts.  He was a little bummed!  Friday that cast comes off for good we hope!!!

We arrived in time for the kids to walk through the ag building and see all the animals.  We saw calves born yesterday morning, baby pigs, and chicks in the process of being born.  Elena was thrilled to see all the animals.  The boys did their own thing with Drew so no pictures of their adventures, but they said it was fun.
My little cowgirl

The kids really enjoyed the rodeo action.  This was the first time any of them had been to the rodeo and I don't think it will be the last.  I think the calf scramble and bull riding was a favorite.  But, the mutton bustin was pretty popular with them as well.
Wagon Races...my personal favorite

Such a cute cowboy!
Dierks Bentley was the performer last night and he was really good.  His energy was awesome!  He climbed into the audience during one song!  The kids knew a bunch of his songs so they were well entertained.  So, a great concert plus fireworks kept them happy and entertained all night long!
Here comes the stage
Opening fireworks

Jonah loved all the guitar playing!
Mammy and Pappy enjoying the concert
Cell phone "lighters" during "HOME"....awesome sight! Love this song!
I had tons of fun going to the rodeo with Drew and with Kim, but I especially loved going with my family. Their need to eat everything in sight made me a little crazy, but the excitement and awe on their faces during the rodeo, the concert, or walking through the exhibition hall made the night one to remember.  It was fun to watch them sing along to the songs and to cheer for the cowboys and cowgirls.  It is a blessing to be able to share this Houston tradition with my kiddos, Mammy, and Pappy!  So very thankful....

Yep...Samuel was chewing gum.