Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Howlin 5K and CAASA Step by Step 5K 2015 Race Recaps

On Halloween, D, Nick and I headed out to run our first race as a family. Up until this point, D's always stayed with one of my parents while we ran, but he was going to hang in the stroller this time. Lucky guy.

Official time was 21:40- 6:46, 6:52, 7:07 (ugh).

We ran another 5K in the rain the following week. This time, Nick's family joined us, which was awesome. D rode with Nick again and I tried to keep up with my high school coach for the whole race.

This time- 21:22 and I beat my coach!

These are the last races we'll be able to run this year due to travel. I'm so, so proud of myself for all the improvements I've made this season, even if they were mostly just because of time elapsed since giving birth, losing baby weight, and getting some miles in, versus real quality training. Could I be faster? This year has me excited to see what else I've got in me. 2016 was supposed to be the year of my return to marathons, but maybe I'll give 5ks another shot? To be determined.

We've known you for 9 months!

Dearest baby, you are so cool.
You clap (inconsistently), you wave (sorta), you cruise (when the thing you're cruising to is mom or dad).

You love apples, cucumbers, peas, avocado. 

This month was your first Halloween. Now, nighttime and socializing are not your favorite things, so we kept it low key. We went to a party the weekend prior and you hung out with some baby friends. You and dad were matching little Navy guys. My heart grew two sizes seeing you both in uniforms.

You're adjusting to riding in the stroller (you rode in the stroller while Daddy ran in 2 5K's this month!), and even riding in the car is not impossible anymore, given the right timing.

You are learning to love Kiwi, much to her dismay. We are teaching you "gentle pets" which is like trying to teach Kiwi to do calculus. You love grabbing things, including fur, so we have to be very careful when you're around her.

Your first time trying Ethiopian food. You enjoyed mesir wat. That's my boy.

I have so much to say, but no time to type because you are busy, busy, busy. You can climb stairs! Open cupboards and drawers! Ahh!

Although the days with you are get easier, the nights are not. You are challenging to get settled. I hope it's not because you're in pain or discomfort, but it's so hard to tell. Life would be 110% happy and joyful if you would sleep better. Right now we're at about 95%.

Keep growing, keep learning, keep making us laugh. You are the best thing we've ever done. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dreaming big

Subtitle: in which my blog title becomes relevant again.

Nick ran a 10 miler the other week. He crushed it, running sub-8 minute miles on a beautiful, sunny, cool morning. I volunteered, helping with some race setup and finish line logistics, but mostly I just thought about how much I wanted to be racing. The Year of 5Ks (tm) has been wildly successful, and exactly what I needed when taking care of a wee baby, but I miss running long. I want to take my current short distance speed, add endurance, and get my damn BQ in 2016. Damnit.

I have a very tentative plan to accomplish this: train hard for a fast half (tentatively the Alexandria half) in the late spring, assess my capabilities, then train for a late fall marathon (VERY tentatively Rehoboth marathon). This is all dependent on D of course. He still can't really be away from me for more than an hour without freaking out. However, he is getting more chill in the jogging stroller, so it's possible for me to run 3-5 miles most days. This means I can do everything but the long run with him in tow. Hopefully by spring, he can spend 1-2 hours away from me on the weekends.

In 2013, BQ seemed like a crazy unachievable dream. It still seems far off, but I am determined. This year of racing faster has also taught me about caring for my body. I have enjoyed running and "training" because I'm fueling myself better. That fuel might often consist of like 6 granola bars a day, because who has time for forks when baby is PULLING HIMSELF UP who gave you permission to do that!?!?, but I'm not asking my muscles to run on empty. I'm eating a ton because keeping my supply up for D has always been a priority, and as a side benefit, I've been running well. I'm also taking more days off from running and I weigh a bit more than I did the last time I was training. I'm in a way better place. I need to remember how good it feels to eat enough so i can get some fast times next year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

We've known you for 8 months!

Usually I start writing these posts as soon as I finish the previous one, but this month that didn't happen. We've been busy!

You really began to move this month. You began scooting by pulling yourself with one arm, then doing The Worm to move forward, then sort of an all-fours movement, but still not textbook crawling. Whatever, you are moving around no problem! It is great and awful. I used to put you on your playmat and make breakfast, checking in on you every couple minutes. Now, if more than 30 seconds has passed since I looked at you, you're somewhere else entirely. Most likely trying to eat an electrical cord. Baby proofing. Yeah. You've also started to pull yourself up, with a little help. You'll crawl over and try and climb up my body, usually while whining. It is adorable and makes me feel very loved.

You met more family members this month! We traveled to New Jersey to see Nick's family and you met your aunt, uncle, and 2 more cousins. It wasn't the most relaxing visit, but everyone loved seeing you, you just didn't love all the attention.

Eating is going so much better! You have really taken to it. You aren't necessarily eating a large quantity, but you sure are moving some food around. You love potatoes, broccoli, green beans, and bread. You're also addicted to baby puffs and would eat them for an hour if we let you.

This was a month of activities! You had swim lessons, which you mostly dislike, music class, which you also dislike, and storytime, which, surprise, you barely tolerate. I really needed to leave the house, but all these things are a little much for you. We'll keep trying music and storytime, and maybe return to swim lessons in a few months.

This month we really settled into a nice routine as far as naps and awake time. As long as we stick to that, we can do most things, but once you begin you get tired, bedtime had better happen. It's hard being adorable for an extended period of time. I totally understand.

I wish I could bottle you up, Little Man. You are so active, inquisitive, and fun. Your soft little body relaxing into mine is a rare feeling these days, you are always on the go. It is so easy to get lost in the day to day survival and miss out on the wonder that is you- you growing and learning and becoming your own little person a little more each day. I try to take a step back more often and record the perfect soft squish of your cheeks, the dimples on your knuckles, the warmth of your belly and the little "ooo" sound you make when something intrigues you in my memory. These days are slipping by and I want to hold you like this forever. You are so loved.

(Where are the pictures? In a land where my phone and the computer don't both malfunction in the same week. I'll be back with more)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2015 Chaptico Classic 5K & Pet Day 5K Race Reports

Two, two, two reports in one.

We ran the next 5K event in the Grand Prix a couple weekends ago. It was one of the area's "big" races with about 350 participants. It takes place in a really pretty, farm-y area near our house. The 5K course is an out-and-back. This sounded like no big deal when I looked at the course map, but UGH it's disheartening to just run a long straight stretch.

Nick ran with me again, yay! We started out FAST. 7:05. I saw that tick by and was instantly worried. I was ahead of my high school cross country coach, who is historically faster than me. I think that may have contributed to the pace dropoff in the second part of the race. Or I was just grumpy that we'd run 1.5 miles out and now needed to run back. Grump.

Next 2 splits were both 7:25, plus 6:35 for the nubbin. I really could not dig deep and find anything in the last mile, I was doneskies. Lackluster run time was 22.50, which was good for 1st place in age group for me. I think I was third woman? When I asked my high school cross country coach why there weren't many fast women around, he said he wasn't sure. Um, the proper response is "Laurel, you're plenty fast! Go you!" Way to stroke my ego.

Why does my darling husband always look so fresh and strong and I look like I'm dying?

Two weeks later, we ran the Pet Day 5K. Dogs! Dogs, everywhere! This race was a bit of a mess from the start. There was quite a line for packet pickup (there are only 100 participants, why so much line?) and when we got to the front, we weren't registered. I still haven't determined whether it was my mistake or theirs, but either way I ended up running back to the car, getting the checkbook, and running back to write them a check. The whole time I was grumbling "I need to pee and feed my baby with my body you selfish people where are your priorities"  because I'm a super nice person when I feel pressed for time. Did I mention D had a huge butt explosion on the way there, too? And I was getting to see one of my best friends from high school for like 45 minutes at this race? I HAVE THINGS TO DO I AM IMPORTANT. 

Anyway. Things got settled and we lined up at the start. By "we," I mean, me, Nick, and the baby attached to me. The feeding was the last thing to be accomplished and was done at the last minute. D might argue that it wasn't done at all since I unceremoniously popped him off so I could go run. Poor baby always gets the short end of the boob. The race started super well... we passed a walker in the first 10 meters. Walker, you're doing it very wrong. 

First mile ticked off in 6:47. Say whaaaa? I was pretty sure that was bad news, but you can't unrun a mile, so we kept on trucking. Nick was with me again, he's the best. I didn't even check my times for the next 2 miles (7:14, 7:18, 6:56 for the nubbin) because I was very focused on not dying. It was a hard run for me, and somewhere around 2.4 miles I just gave up. I was well ahead of all the other women and my (oxygen deprived) calculations determined that I was NOT going to PR (pre-pregnancy PR is 22:24). I said screw it and stopped trying. But Nick wouldn't have it and he encouraged me really well. We finished strong(ish) and I was amazed/confused to see 22:00 on the clock. Say whaaaa? (again). But mile 2 brain said I was going to finish in 23 minutes! Next thought (really) "ugh, a new PR?! I have to try hard at every race now!" 

I got first woman, Nick was 2nd in his age group, it rained, D freaked out (early wakeup + time without mom and dad = grouchy baby). I got to visit with my friend (HI MEGAN!) for a bit, collect a super cute medal, and head home.

22 minutes? I guess I need a new goal? Yikes. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

We've known you for 7 months!

This month had so many firsts! You got to see your new pediatrician for the first time. He held you and flew you around while making airplane noises. That warmed my heart! I think we'll stick with this one (finding a doc for you has been an adventure... I might write about it someday). The doctor gave you clearance to start complementary foods a.k.a "solids." You have eaten a ton of foods. I lost track because you pretty much like everything we give you, which is super fun.

You don't particularly like your high chair, so eating is challenging especially once you tire of being in the chair. We tried to get you to love eating but after the first week it became apparent you are not a fan just yet, plus your tongue thrust reflex is still quite strong, so we took some time off. When we tried again a few weeks later you were way more into eating. Hooray!

 You're very funny with random bits of food, like a lemon slice I gave you at Panera. That was awesome and you happily chowed down on it for several minutes, devouring the flesh. You didn't even do the cute wincing thing the Internet would have you believe all babies do when tasting lemon. You also enjoy nomming on carrots. It soothes your teething pain.

Speaking of teething... yikes. That's been a real challenge. Midway through the month, we started noticing some firmness behind your lower gums. Teeth! Long-awaited teeth! By the end of the month you had one tooth all the way through and another one most of the way through. So cute, but so painful. Your nighttime sleep has been particularly bad because of the teeth.

You also got clearance for riding in the jogging stroller. I was so excited about this! It means more runs for me, more outside time for both of us (the Ergo is toasty unless it's before 10am, and other wraps aren't sturdy enough for long walks), and just more freedom. Well, you weren't having it. I tried to take you at naptime and it was an epic failure. At my mom's suggestion, I tried shorter runs, close to home. I also timed them to start just when you've woken from a nap. Success! We worked our way up to 3 miles at a time. It's not particularly exciting to run the same mile loop behind the house, but it's working for us for now until I get brave enough to venture farther. 

You have grown to love the water! You love bathtime in the sink and you also went to the pool for the first time. It was really fun. You didn't quite know what to do, but you enjoyed sitting on my lap in the infant pool and splashing around. You're just the cutest baby ever. You have gone to 2 swim lessons so far. The first one was pretty fun, the second was... Not so much. Getting your head wet is not always your favorite.

You had professional photos taken for your 6 month "birthday" plus I had photos taken to capture our breastfeeding relationship- August was Breastfeeding Month, apparently. The pictures came out amazing. You were not super happy at either shoot, but they got some really good shots and captured your silly personality. 
Can you even? I cannot.

You are the reason they make tag toys for babies. On any toy, you will play with it in the normal way, but once you find the tags it's game over. You will gently chew/suck on them. You do the same with my phone if you get the chance, you are obsessed. 

I hope no one else is running for mom of the year, because here I go... This month, I started to like staying home with you. It took 7 months, but you are now mostly a joy to spend the day with. Watching you learn is incredibly rewarding, and everyday you change a little. It's amazing to watch and I feel so lucky I get to spend so much time with you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Popping in

A year ago, I looked like this and thought it was glaringly obvious I was pregnant.
I seriously thought everyone was staring at my belly, speculating about its contents. THERE WAS NO BELLY. 

Now, my 14 weeks pregnant "belly" has turned into this sweet little fellow. 

First time at the pool!!

What a difference a year makes...