So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Most Annoying Purchase Ever

It's not related to twins.
It's not related to triathlons.

It may also be the most random purchase:

We can also label it the most impractical purchase too.
First, it's see-though
and Second, it's too wide to fit through the doorway.

This is definitely what Alton Brown would tag as a "Unitasker" because there is only one thing that you can possibly do with this - wear it for its intended purpose. (and in case you dont know, because its not really intuitive, you are supposed to wear it under your skirt when you go square dancing).

Do I square dance?
No I do not.

And hence why this has become the most annoying purchase ever.

David is endlessly asking me to "put it away."
The problem is, put it away where?

It takes up my entire closet.
You cannot hang it on a hanger.
And no matter how hard I try, I cannot stuff it into a drawer.

So why did I buy this thing?
I saw it a garage sale for $3 and became instantly memorized by its extreme puffiness. It's like a tutu on crack, and when you put it on and twirl around, you feel graceful and magnificent - until you get dizzy and want to puke.

And then you take it off, walk away and forget about it until David tells you to put it away.

And I am sure that half of you have already made the joke that the place this thing belongs is the trash, but I just cannot bring myself to throw it away. As much as it annoys me, every time I look at it, I fall back in love with the way it transforms me into a flower.

At least I am not the only one who appreciates it:

Hayden always understands!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

It's been a busy, yet uneventful week for us.  I had a stomach bug for nearly 8 days, and work has kept me busy.  There are no races in my immediate future, but I am beginning to piece together my spring schedule.  Right now, I am thinking about 3 duathlons and 2 trail races.   I am bracing myself for what is always the shocking sticker price to sign up for these events.

Less if a sticker shock was Christmas. I managed to get everything at consignment shops and garage sales, including a Leapfrog learning system for only $4.  I am glad that I kept it cheap because the kids were less than enthused about opening gifts.  Don't get me wrong, they enjoyed the attention - but as little as they cared about unwrapping the gifts, they cared just as little about most the contents.

Due to time restraints, we did not get around to putting up our tree. However, the presents needed to be out somewhere so I tacked up some fake pine and some tinsel.  Look at me, I am crafty!!

Brenna got a bunch of books, a new pair of shoes, a fun puzzle for us to do together and a large coloring book with crayons:

However, her favorite thing were the stocking stuffers, which included high heels, a magnifying glass, bubbles that smell like grape, and a bouncy ball that lights up when it hits the floor.

Hayden got a ton of match box cars (as he didn't have enough), new shoes, flash cards that come on a ring so he can do them by himself and lots of books. But, only one book matters - Thomas Tells Time.   He got very excited when he unwrapped the present enough to see Thomas.  And he got extremely excited when he pulled back the paper to see that there was a clock:

Hayden really likes trains.
And he really likes clocks.


Everyone seemed satisfied, including our cat, Salty Poo. Of course I could not leave him out.
And, he may not look excited from behind, but trust me, he cannot wait to try on his new outfit.
Just don't tell him that it's really an outfit intended for a teddy bear.

Friday, December 16, 2011

And so it Continues.....

I was hoping that Brenna's overzealous attitude about getting dressed would turn out to be a short-lived phase. I was at least hoping, over many attempts, that she would throw me a bone and show me what she wanted to wear.

But ultimately, she doesn't want to wear anything.
Or, at least anything acceptable.

She will often throw a 10-minute tantrum because she wants me to put her overnight diaper back on. This pee-laden diaper often weighs 5 pounds and it smells like......pee.

I am willing to break just about any rule:
Brown shoes with black pants? Fine.
Stripes with plaid? Fine.
Shoes that do not match? Fine.
Her brother's sweatshirt that is 3 sizes too big? Fine.

But a wet overnight diaper that has been worn for 12 hours, and already removed and placed in the trash with last night's dinner scraps? Not fine.

Perhaps some of this is my fault for dressing her up in a leotard one too many times when she was younger...and seemingly oblivious. Perhaps she no longer trusts me, although I have promised her multiple times that she never needs to wear a leotard again. At the time, I just couldn't resist showing off those wonderful, chubby toddler legs. They are irresistible!

Ah, how I miss the days of dressing her in cute clothing.
And dressing her in 5 minutes.

Sometimes I am tempted not to leave the house to avoid the whole debacle, but then I am letting a two-year old run our lives.

For example, we had our weekly playdate on Thursday at Toy Town. I wanted to go see my friends, and Hayden wanted to go play with the train.

Luckily, David was home to help with the dressing. Brenna shows less resistance with him, and he is better at holding her down. Also, it allowed me to capture this video.
When I was pregnant, I read the 11-steps for preparing for motherhood. Only now do I truly understand number 5:
Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sally Meyerhoff 5K - Sub 20 race report

I figured if there was a good place to run a sub20 5K, this was the race. Sally was a local athlete and a few years younger than me. I distinctly remember when she joined the high school cross-country circuit. My coach told us that < insert local highschool > had a new faster runner, even faster than Sara Gorton. I hadnt realized that people were physically capable of running faster than Sara.

I never ran with Sally but I saw her (at the finish) of many local races. I always thought it was cool how I could see her in real life, and then turn my TV on and see her pink socks on my television.

One night earlier this year, I fell asleep while watching the local news. David woke me up to inform me that the "runner girl I liked" had been hit by a car while riding her bike and died.

I had a few emotions.
Although her running career which much faster, it mimicked my own as she went from cross country runner to marathon runner to triathlete. As much as admired her, I also related to her, and it was hard not to think - Wow, that could have so easily been me.

I never get on my bike and not think about Sally.
She reminded me that none of us, even the best of us, are invincible.

She was so talented and amazing and it is so unfair that her life was cut short. But in her short time she was able inspire runners everywhere, which is why 1000 people showed up this morning to run in her honor. And some of these people were FAST.

My original plan was to pace myself a steady 6:20. I knew the Banditos would be there, along with some professionals. I didnt want to get caught up in their race and lose sight of my own.
But on the morning of race day I learned that it was not a chipped timed race - so I had to re-strategize. I didn't want to start in the back and be stuck behind slower people, but I also didn't want to start in the front and be that slow person.

So the new plan became 6:10/6:20/6:30 splits for a 6:20 average.

The start was not nearly as fast as I anticipated - I didn't need to sprint nor did I get trampled. I found my groove early on and passed Mile 1 in 6:16.
It was a little quick, but also right on par with recent mile repeats and I decided that I was going to keep that pace. For Mile 2, we had the option of running on a sidewalk, or the corresponding road. I started on the sidewalk:
but I didnt like the constant dips so I switched to the road. This is where I failed to notice that there were rather large speed bumps.

And I tripped.

I did not fall but I stumbled forward and while catching myself, my leg hit the ground in a very awkward position. I felt my hamstring twist from the back of my leg to my groin.
"Oh my God!" someone exclaimed behind me.
"Are you OK??" someone else asked.

Dang it , I said in my head. They are talking to me.

I didn't know if I was okay, or if I should stop.
I spent the remainder of Mile 2 thinking about it, and asked myself, What would Sally Do?

I had no idea what Sally would do and passed Mile 2 in 6:17.

At that point, my sub-20 is in the bag and there is only one more mile left. I decide to keep running.
My right leg hurt and I knew I was limping.

This, of course, slowed me down. At one point I looked down and I was running a 7-minute mile!! My sub-20 was slipping away and I spent the rest of the race getting my pace back down.
Mile 3, which seemed to never end, took me 6:28.

I sprinted the .12 to the finish, if you want to call it a "sprint" for a 19:40 finish:

My average pace = 6:20, right what I originally wanted.
I am pleased about that.
I am less pleased about my leg.

The minute I stopped running, the pain intensified.
I looked for a medic. There was not one.
I looked for a massage table. There was not one.
I looked for ice. There was none.

So I hobbled around for 30 minutes,
ate some IB profin,
cried a little,
talked to friends,
and drank diet coke.

Eventually, the pain went away and I am hoping everything feels okay tomorrow. I will update next week, and resume posting adorable token pictures of the twins.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Compromising with a 2-year old

I realize that there has been a break in my posting -I assure you that its not do to laziness, or lack of twins-and-triathlon related things to talk about.

We have been busy.
Primarily, busy getting dressed.

Something that should theoretically take 4 minutes took an HOUR AND 40 MINUTES the other day. How does one leave the house when it takes nearly two hours to put on a pair of shoes, pants and shirt? Well, they dont.

And it they have to, they leave like this:

And I sure the optimist inside of you assumes she has shoes on both feet.

I didnt really mind taking her place half dressed.
I didnt mind taking her running in just a diaper.

Until this happened:

People often don't realize how cold Arizona gets in the winter! A little chill doesn't bother me but it really complicated the matters. Because now not only did Brenna have to get dressed, she had to get dressed in weather appropriate clothing. This means that all her pretty pink skirts, and flowered tank tops were pulled from rotation.

I sympathized. I love pretty pink skirts, too!
So I attempted compromise.

When Brenna refused the outfit I selected each morning, I prompted her to go into her room and pick out an outfit. "Go pick out your outfit, Brenna! Show me what you want to wear today." She shows excitement about getting the responsibility of picking out her clothing - she dashes into her room with a big grin on her face.

But 20 minutes later when I check on her, I find this:

It's almost like she starts the process and then forgets what she is doing. So I sit down in the middle of her mess and start picking up items:
Do you want to wear this? I hold out a pair of black leggings.
She shakes her head no.
Do you want to wear this? I hold out a pair of jeans.
She shakes her head no.

I do this for EVERY thing she owns. And at the end, she is laughing and I am crying and we are no closer to leaving the house as we were an hour ago.

This begs the question, can you compromise with a 2-year old?

When it comes to clothing, I say no.

And, until she learns how to take that complicated sweatshirt off, I will win.

Ah, motherhood.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Trot and Turning 30

The turkey trot went very well this morning - The kids (and I) beat our last 5K time by 20 seconds!

I woke everyone up by singing, "It's Race Day, It's Race Day!"
Some were not that excited to wake up.

Others could not wait to get in the stroller.

We got to the race, warmed up, and found a spot on the start line. My plan was as soon as I ran over the timing mat, to move all the way to the right. The most important part of this plan was to keep up with the fast starters so I would not get in anyone's way.

And the start WAS fast. It is a lot harder to accelerate quickly when pushing 110 pounds. I eyed my Garmin as the pace dipped into the 640s, the 630s, the 620s and the 610s. Were people really going to keep this up?

The answer was - no.
Except for the winners (Katie Ellis!!) of course. The rest of us found ourselves in our pace groups at around a half a mile. My group included a few men, and two strong-looking women. We passed Mile 1 in 6:36.
I let the other women pace and concentrated on not breathing hard. At around Mile 1.5, Brenna became fussy. I passed her a banana.

We passed Mile 2 in 6:32. My legs felt great but my arms were burning. This is getting hard.

Somewhere in Mile 2, I found my groove. I pushed past the other women and passed Mile 3 in 6:28. I kicked it up for a sprint to the finish (.15...why is there always an extra .05??) for a final time of 20:32. The announcer made a big deal about our finish, and people at the finish line told me how awesome I was.
Look, I wont lie about it - who doesnt enjoy their ego stroked now and then?

Also at the finish, I found my friend and long-time running partner, Dan:

David ran the race too (in 31 minutes with no training!) and that was a special treat for all of us:

It's always nice to PR but it's especially nice to PR on the last day of your youth.

I turn 30 tomorrow.

I have mixed feelings about it.
On one hand, look at all the glorious things in my life.
On the other hand, I am old.

OK, OK...before everyone over 30 gets offended, let me explain that I know 30 is not "old." But lets be real, it also is not "young". I struggle with the idea of no longer being young.

I've never dealt with aging gracefully. I think this goes back to my aforementioned dislike for change. Aging = new stage of life = different.
When I was 17, going on 18, I got a tattoo in an attempt to forever hold on to my childhood. I added to that tattoo in an even lamer attempt to foever hold onto my youth.

I also got a second tattoo - I love this one because its totally me at any age.

My whole life has been setting deadlines for things to do before I am "old"...
buy a house before I am 30.
get married before I am 30.
have a career before I am 30.
have a kid before I am 30.

So now that I am 30, and I have reached all my life goals....

And that is where I struggle.
It's a lot easier to look at where I have been.

And I must say, its been pretty damn good this far.

THE Oreo:

Old school Salty Poo

Lots of races and 2 BQs

Learning to bike

First time in a wetsuit. Wore it backwards.

More old-school Salty Poo

Getting Married

Cutting off a chunk of my finger and not being too grossed out to take a picturePhotobucket

Congress. We should have known one day Salty Poo would kill him but I never expected to see his body come out of the garbage disposal when I ran the dishwasher.

And of course,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jogging Stroller Session #5 - Fast, but we're no Ironman

Jogging Stroller Session #5: Mile repeats.
You must have known these were coming! Each one was followed by a .1 sprint.

Mile 1: 6:26 (+ 37 sec sprint)
Mile 2: 6:21 (+ 38 sec sprint)
Mile 3: 6:18) (+37 sec sprint)

Also did a short ladder :.1x2, .2, .1x2 - all sub620.

Call me crazy but I actually think that I could possibly break 20 minutes on the 5K with the double jogging stroller. Can I really be faster with the stroller?

Unfortunately, I dont think this turkey trot will be the right race for us to find out. I made a point to find a family-oriented race with a very wide road, but I think it may be too large. One of the largest rules of racing is to respect other runners - there are limitations since we are so wide. I dont want to run anyone over. Hopefully there will be enough room for us to run our pace on the outer edge of the course.

Although I do think a 6:18 mile is impressive, it is nothing compared to the amazing athletes we witnessed at the Arizona Ironman. I am so proud to say that many of these athletes are my friends, and that I had the priveledge to train with them.

For those who do not know, an Ironman is a 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26 mile run. Yes, all in the same day!
Why do people do this? I have no idea.

We arrived at the race at 3pm to watch the professionals finish. I missed the first male, but we arrived in time for the first woman. So we waited.
and waited:
and waited:

and then finally, we saw her! For like two seconds.
You see that blur? That is her.

After that, we ran the Ironman running course and cheered on all the athletes. A lot of them said to me, "now THAT is a workout" or "wow, you are awesome!"
Um, me? Um, I did not just bike 112 miles!!!

Everyone was too nice and we had a wonderful time.
Unfortunately, the kids started whining after only 6 miles. I managed to bribe them for a little extra time with cheerios, though. I could have stayed out there all night.

Congrats to all the participants!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jogging Stroller Sessions #3 and #4

This is my first time using Blogger's new interface. So excuse me if I get a little excited over some of the NEW things that I can do without having to bust out my college HTML book.

Jogging Stroller Session #3: Speed Intervals (800/1200/800/1200/800/400x2), 7 miles
800 #1 - 3:22 (still warming up)
1200 #1 - 4:55 (6:34 pace)
800 #2 - 3:15
1200 #2 - 4:57 (6:36 pace)
800 #3 - 3:16
400 #1 - 1:36 (6:24 pace)
400 #2 - 1:35 (6:24 pace)

I need a sub 6:42 pace in order for the kids to PR.   So on paper, these paces look spot on. But in my head, I feel rather done. Tired. Burnt out.

I want to train. I like training.
But the pressure to constantly do better is exhausting.

So I took a different approach with Session #4: Hills.
I have gotten into this very nice routine of doing playdates on Thursdays at this adorable place called Toy Town. It's very similar to Imagination Ave (aka the Imaginarium) except that it has very cool rules:

It's kind of nice to have other "mom" friends. And the kids play independently for hoursHayden loves the train-set:

and Brenna loves being a 1950s housewife.  Trust me, she has never seen me in the kitchen wearing high heels!

The icing on the cake is that Toy Town hugs the base of South Mountain.  After the kids get worn out, I put them in the jogging stroller for lunch. It's perfect.  But it's hilly.

One nice thing about the Garmin is that you can choose what information you want to see, and what information you dont want to see.  If you are like me and enjoy intervals, sometimes its nice to just use the stopwatch and not stress about your pace.

It still records that information if you want to look at it at the end. And yes, that is sparkly text!

Anyway, here the workout:
12 minute warm-up
4 min @ tempo pace x 4 (1 min RI) up a long gradual hill
5 min of hill repeats
2 min @ 5K pace x 4 (20 sec RI) of rolling hills
10 min cool down
= 55 minutes, and 7.2 miles...not too shabby for a bunch of hills and a slight breeze!
and I must say, I loved doing the whole run without knowing my pace.   I see more of these in my future.

As for Blogger's new interface, I cant say that I love it.  But then again, I never love change.