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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Started Another Year.

When I posted my last entry, I was 30 years old.
As I type this entry, I am 31 years old.

My birthday falls on Thanksgiving every 5 years.  Otherwise, it tends to be the day before or after, but this year it was not until Sunday!  Due to the unusual situation, we did not celebrate my birthday on Thanksgiving.  For the first time in a very very long time, I ate pumpkin pie instead of birthday cake.

I like pumpkin pie.

Despite my old age, I decided that it would be cute to dress up like my three year old daughter.  I think we sorta maybe pulled it off as a team, but only due to her charm and skeptical willingness.

At bedtime, I noticed Hayden shivering.  In true mom-style, I checked his forehead. Sure enough, his skin was burning.

He spent the next 3 days sipping children's Advil, sleeping, and developing a weird body odor.

I hated to see him sick but it did give me the opportunity to spend some quality time with Brenna.  We went out for breakfast.  We went shopping.  We went out for ice cream.

We eat ice cream very often, however, we do so as a team.

I like this because it makes us practice sharing.  And patience.

But since it was just the two of us, I ordered us each our own cone.

I think it rocked her little world to have that much ice cream promised to only her tongue.

By the time my birthday rolled around, Hayden was showing signs of his non-sick self but the rest of us were not feeling up to par.   Every year, I run on my birthday though.  And this year was not going to be an exception.

I met my running club at 7am for 13 miles at a brisk 7:26 average - I felt pretty good.  But then I got home, showered, and collapsed on the bed.  I no longer felt so good.

But this is the glorious thing about your birthday - you don't have to get out of bed! 
I rolled over, turned on the TV and watched Project Runway.
And then another episode of Project Runway.
And then I watched some other guilty pleasures shows that I won't even mention.

Earlier that week, David asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and I told him, "Nothing."  I sincerely meant it.  And "nothing" is exactly what I did.  It was perfect.

I ended the day with a delicious dinner, two cucumber margaritas, and 2 humongous hugs.

I think I am ready for 31.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Still not an Ironman

Every year I spectate the local Ironman.  I usually know a handful of people participating.

Every year I  find it to be an interesting phenomenon how people cheer on the Ironman and think to themselves, “This is something I want to do.”

Maybe it looks like fun for the first few hours.  The energy and excitement at an Ironman start is surreal.  But, it is also cold and crowded.  I was happy that I was warm and dry and running instead.

By the middle of the day, people are starting the marathon and seem sincerely happy to be off their bikes (after 5-7 hours of cycling, who wouldn’t be happy?)  For the third year in a row, we trekked around in the jogging stroller, clapping our hands.  The kids were finally capable of saying things like, "Good job!" "Way to Go!"
It’s tricky to cheer with the stroller because I feel like we can only run against the crowd – even during an Ironman, people don’t like to be passed by a woman pushing a double stroller.

We did the same loop as last year, stopping repeatedly for some recovery.

After awhile, Brenna finished her lollipop.  Yes, yes...we moved on from cheerios to candy.  BUT, it was a dum-dum, which is almost too small to even be considered a real lollipop.  Right?
And shortly after, with a little help, Hayden finished his.

After that, I let them loose to play at the park with my Dad.

At this point, there is no "maybe" - the race does not look fun.  It looks miserable.  And tormenting.

People are limping and hobbling.  I can practically see the lactic acid pulsing through their legs.  Imagine that you are lost and walking through the desert: thirsty yet bloated, hungry yet nauseous, tired yet unable to sit down, sleepy yet unable to sleep.

You want to run up and hug them.
I watched one of my friends stagger through a water station during her last loop of the run.  She tripped but caught herself, stood in a daze for a few seconds, grabbed a water cup from the aid station and poured it on her head. (My better instinct told me she did not want a hug).  Now, if that was me, I probably would have sat and cried.  Or called a cab.  But instead, she looked up and continued to run.

I guess that is the difference between me and an Ironman.

Although, I will never say never.
At one point, I was sure I would never like coffee.
At one point, I was sure I would never be watching MTV shows when I was 30 years old.
At one point, I was sure I would never bribe my kids with free cookies at the grocery store.
So sure, I can say I will never be crazy enough to put myself through such a grueling chain of events - but who knows, maybe one day I will get bored and decide I want a new red tattoo.

Friday, November 16, 2012

We've been doing things.

I've been meaning to post for the past week - I always have a thought for a new blog entry, but by the time I have am moment to sit down and write, the thought is lost in the past and no longer seems relevant.

So, what have we been doing that has kept me so busy?

Finally, the weather has cooled down enough for us to go outside in the middle of the day.  It happened overnight.  Last Wednesday, the high was 91 - certainly more suitable than 101 or 110, but still a bit warm for lunchtime frolicking.  A coldfront or something swept through and by Saturday, the high dropped to a chilly 63.  Since then, it has stabilized at a splendid 70.

The kids really like food, so there is usually a picnic involved in the things we do.  We have been having picnics all over town.  I try to pick interesting places.  For example, next to the zoo there are some very novice hiking  trails, perfect for clumsy kids.  I am not a huge hiking fan, but just like you cannot run until you can walk, You must hike before you can trail run.

A week later, we advanced to slightly more technical trails that even had a hill:
 And a downhill.

We've seen many interesting things, but nothing was more amazing than this tire:

Hayden even felt so competent in his hiking skills that he declared he no longer needed a trail to follow.

We have also been picnicking at parks and at lakes.  Yesterday we had a picnic at Tempe Town Lake and found ourselves submerged at the Ironman expo. 

Time certainly does fly when you are busy having picnics.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Duathlons and Trick-or-Treating

These things having nothing in common except for they sound like they should be assuredly awesome but yet somehow fall appallingly short.

The duathlon sounds like a dream to me - no swimming? running twice?  On paper, it's a race specifically designed for my strengths!  But in reality, they suck (as evidenced here and here and here).

I decided to try one more time.  This race was a short race:  1.5 mile run / 10.5 mile bike / 3 mile run.  I didn't train for it since those are such comfortable distances.  The race did not go badly - I finished under an hour and won.  And when I say "won", I mean that quite literally as I finished before all the men, too.  But, before you start a slow clap, let me just add that there were only 24 other people in the race.  The 211 other people did the triathlon - which involved a 400-meter swim in a lap pool.
However, it took me 9 minutes to run 1.5 miles, and it took most of them between 6-9 minutes to do the swim, and I still was the second overall-person finisher.

Being the "best" at a particular event, however, is not the same as doing your best.  And, I had difficulty deciphering if I was pleased with my performance.  Both runs were slower than I expected, however they were unexpectedly on trails.  My bike was also slower, however there was wind.  Trails and winds inevitably slow you down and it always begs the question, Am I making an excuse?  Could I have gone faster?

But all that aside - I found the race challenging.  Maybe the trails and the wind played a role in that, but I think in the end, it is the simple fact that duathlons are hard.

Look, I don't like swimming per say, but the progression of the triathlon makes sense.  The swim is a good warm up for the bike and the bike is a good warm up for the run.  As much as I love to run, I don't love the way my legs feel after I already ran once.  I want to love it so I am sure I will eventually try to love it again.

Jumping to the completely unrelated subject of trick-or-treating, this sounds like a dream for my kids - up past bedtime?  dressed in a cool costume?  FREE CANDY?  Theoretically, it should be one of the best days in their life.  Realistically, it was filled with tantrums and tears.

First, Brenna refused to wear her costume.  She had numerous costumes to choose from that she enjoyed wearing during the pre-Halloween her dinosaur costume, fairy costume and princess costume:

After begging her to get to dressed,
threatening her to get dressed,
not allowing her outside until she got dressed,
we finally gave in and allowed her trick-or-treat sans costume.  Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to make the screaming stop.

Hayden wanted to put on his costume but did not want to trick-or-treat.  After only two houses, he requested to go home.  I convinced him to go around the block, which he did....very very slowly.  Not only did he walk at a snails pace, he kept tripping and spilling his candy.
After 30 minutes, Dad carried him home.
 I am not sure the kids totally understood the concept of trick-or-treating.  Even though we only covered a single block, every house was generous and we accumulated a decent stash of chocolates, fruity candies and Twizzlers.  Yet, my kids have not ASKED FOR A SINGLE PIECE.

Part of me gives them the side-eye as I question, Are these really my spawn?
And part of me wants to hug them and kiss them because now this big bag of candy is undoubtedly mine and I don't even have to steal it.