Sunday, February 20, 2011

IMS Arizona Half Marathon 2011

Shannon is keeping Lilah busy this afternoon and I am literally parked in the recliner so it seemed like as good a time as any to write about my day.  It wasn't a typical day for sure and I am sure that it won't last too much longer either because I am WIPED OUT.

The morning started about 5:15 when Lilah muttering over the monitors woke me up with a start.  There was no way I was going back to sleep.  It was time to get up and get dressed.  The butterflies started almost as soon as my feet hit the ground.  My carefully planned (non-chaffing) outfit was carefully set out and ready to go.  I got dressed, made a protein shake (which was all I could stomach) and let Shannon know I was leaving.  I took the truck because I figured of all our vehicles it was the one I could leave the keys in the ignition (which I didn't by the way) and it would still be there when I got back.  The windshield wipers don't work well, and it was covered in rain that had passed recently.  So I could barely see as all the windows fogged up.  I pulled into the parking lot of Westgate at 6:30 and found the buses to take me to the start line.  I was barely off the bus when I ran into the mommas, friends that would be running the race too.  It was nice to hear some friendly banter to help with the butterflies, but I was having a hard time not focusing on what was about to happen.  8:01 on my watch the gun goes off and we are on our way.

The first mile I kept checking my pace.   I am really bad about starting fast and I wanted to take it slow.  Watching all the people sprint past me and then see them walking a few miles later made my morning.  Slow and steady, keep the pace, go forever kept going through my mind.  The few sprinkles we felt at the start line got harder and harder until we were running through steady rain.  It lasted from mile 2 to 4 but wasn't very cold rain and it was still, no wind.  I enjoyed it.   Mile 6 we hit the long stretch and the motivation came from the LONG line of runners stretched out in front of me.  Mile 7 was a rough one.  My knee was acting up, my ankle was starting to hurt.  The doubt sunk in for a minute.  Uh oh, only half way!  But then a cheering friend picked me up and the next couple of miles I just bared down and kept my feet going to the beat of the music in my ears.  Mile 10 was a bit of a wall.  I don't think it was any worse than the mile before it but I had not run more than 10 before in my life.  Could I do those extra 3?  I just need keep moving.  Mile 11 is getting harder and harder.  Both my ankles were feeling like some sort of cramping was going on so it just made sense not to stop and let that happen.  Then the worst.  A cold burst of air.  A few drops of rain.  All the sudden a strong wind cutting across me, my number was whipping around, and the rain started coming down harder and harder.  I put my hands out, not hail, but not rain - sleet?  Cold.  But numbing.  Hard to feel my legs now.  Keep going!  Mile 12 - one more to go!  A bridge.  A big, long tall bridge over the freeway.   Wow, I wasn't sure my legs were actually moving as I headed up.  Finally, downhill.  And into Westgate center.  Around the corner.  Ah, there's my support...Shannon and Lilah cheering me on the last little bit.  Turn one more corner.  The finish line.  Push, almost there, keep going legs.....YEAH!  A few tears.  Huge relief.  I did it.  The thing that has been haunting me for a couple months now is over and I did a good job.  2 hours, 23 minutes and under 11 minute miles on average.  

Now I am home, after a hot shower, and dreading the next time I might have to stand up and walk somewhere.  My legs are aching, mostly my knee and muscles surrounding it and my ankles.  Do I want to do that again? I don't know right now.  But I do know that memory of pain fades faster than the feeling of accomplishment so I guess we will see how I am feeling in a year.  

Tired of the rain - what are we waiting for?

Best cheerleader ever

My legs look like the are barely moving here- oh yeah, they were!

My arms still worked though


The picture that matters the most!

For fun - the route as mapped by my running watch.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Long time, no motivation, until now.

Well, I knew the pressure would be off a little not having Lilah's blog book motivating me to blog often.  It feels like forever since I have sat down to write something profound.  But every time I think I should, I have trouble coming up with some theme, or clever idea to get me started.  This has been a horrible winter for sickness for me and Lilah.  Shannon seems to be catching things here and there but never as bad.  Lilah's poor little nose has been running so much that I should have bought stock in Boogie Wipes.  And I just keep rotating between flu and cold.  I am ready to start feeling better, and have no choice but to feel better.  Because here I am, one day before the half marathon that is surely going to kick my butt.  But I will discuss my survival (or not) of that event when it is over. Needless to say, constant whining around our house, combined with lack of exercise and not much adult interaction has put me into a funk.   And I hate funks.  So this is where the story gets happy.

Luckily in the middle of all of this, a weekend in Tahoe with (some of) my best friends from college.  Last weekend we rented a cabin in Truckee and headed to snow.  I love getting together with my college "family."  It is so easy and comfortable, and a place to just be myself.  Which I don't think I have allowed myself to do in a long time.  However, there were some definite and noticeable changes with this visit.  Namely the cries of little ones.  Three babies, all under 18 months, in the same house for an extended weekend.  Hilary and Jeff and Tegan (9 mos) and Kevin, Van, and Makenzie (17 mos)  made the trip up from the Bay Area. And poor Sara and Aub, down from Portland, were in the middle of the chaos and trying to find the humor in an endless stream of meltdowns. Can you say GOOD birth control ;)  Luckily none of  the kids seemed to reach breaking point at the same time, so it was usually just one kid at a time that was being hustled off to try and get down for a nap or bed.

The worst part of the whole experience was realizing that my child was the brat of the group.  Both Tegan and Mak have spent a lot of time around other kids and apparently I have been lax with Lilah and getting her playing with other kids because she not only did not want to share but she didn't want the other two to have any toys, sit on stairs she might sit on, stand and hold any chair or ottoman that she might need to use, and would get very angry when they weren't following her very vocal demands.  But she finally started to relax a little just as it was time to pack up and go home.

The snow condition were not great.  They hadn't had a fresh storm in awhile and it was warm and sunny.  So it was icy, packed snow.  Nothing powdery about it.   The snowboarders made it up to Northstar one day and stayed on the groomed runs.  They came back a little sore and feeling like that they hadn't been in a few years.  But had a great day.  The kids got out and played in the back yard a little but it was icy and hurt when they fell down, so they would only be out for a few minutes at a time.  And there was the fateful cross country trip that was worthy of the camera crew for Jackass.  We decided to go to the local center that was only a few miles from the house.  It is a well know cross country center, but unknown to me was on the side of a hill.  (Hills, or lack there of, are why I cross country ski and NOT downhill).  After trying to pull ourselves up the hills in the icy conditions, we didn't quite reach the top when we tried to turn around and go back down.  Needless to say we came off the mountain with some glorious crashes to give some aches and pains, (hopefully Sara's tail bone has recovered), the first aid snowmobile guy's help to get Hilary off the ground, and I was walking with Lilah on my back while the others carried my skis back to the lodge.

And now for the best part, the pictures.
Lilah's first experience with snow, she was indifferent :)

Tegan was always smiling

"Hey, whatcha got up there?"

The Babysitter and her brood

The Snowbunnies

Jeff and Kevin - grill masters

The girls enjoy some relaxing and wine

The fateful cross country crew

Lilah after her first fall on Daddy's back - not too happy

A rare moment of calm playing

Hilary and Tegan

Lilah, Tegan, Makenzie

Sara in the kitchen again - thanks for all the yummy meals.
The Happy Cabiners

Thank you friends for meeting us in Tahoe.  It was a wonderful trip and worth the lack of sickness recovery, extra bugs at our house!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

For Lilah's Grandmas

When you are having a bad day here is a video of your champion spaghetti eater to make you laugh...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Sunshine

So I could probably blame Lilah for the enormous pile of oats on my floor this evening, but I won't.  I am a klutz.  And I could blame Lilah for the fact that there are oats spread through the entire house, but I won't.  I probably should have cleaned it up immediately.  It was just too darn cute to watch her first play in them and then help me try and clean them up.  I think I need to get her a smaller broom.  I love my baby!