Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spark

Well it certainly seems like Mother Nature is not on my team this year. Hopefully we can kiss and make up before races kick off or it could be a rough race season. My training hasn't been terrible in terms of mileage, in fact I've logged the most miles I ever have at this point in the season, but I've struggled to get my long runs in. Most have been a hodge podge of treadmill, trail, bike path and dirt road miles all smushed together throughout the day to total 20 miles. It's not perfect and definitely makes me nervous going into Quad Rocj that I don't have the endurance I need. Hopefully we've seen the last snow we have to measure in feet for the year! 

As nervous as I am I'm excited to get out there and see if I still have it at all. I feel like I have no idea how fast my legs will be able to keep pounding out uphills, how my new dairy free stomach will handle the race, and I'll be honest I have done a terrible job practicing nutrition. 

In the home front things have been crazy busy. The winter of sicknesses has continued and I'm ready to see the end to the snot faucets that have been turned on here for months now! I seriously think we're single handedly keeping Kleenex in business. Rob has started crawling which adds an element of....excitement...to our routines. It can definitely be hard sometimes watching how easily Rob learns new things when James struggled for months to get it. Literally one afternoon Rob just pushed himself to sit, over one leg not up the middle just like he'd been doing it all his life. I think we worked for 3 months to get James to push up any way he could and it certainly wasn't the prettiest most correct PT-wise push to sit you'd ever seen. But none-the-less it's still fun to watch Ribert explore and discover his new world now. 

James meanwhile had his annual Ds clinic visit. Overall he did great and everyone was so impressed with how well he was doing. We're going to increase his feeding therapy to weekly and maybe someday he'll eat something besides bread or maybe even actually chew some food. By the time we got to PT he was pretty exhausted though and only somewhat interested in riding a bike and a scooter. So Pat Winders asked if we should just do his run test because she knows he likes to run.  I agreed that it was probably a good idea. As soon as we took James into the hall and told him he could run his eyes lit up and all his energy returned. He beat the run time they're looking for by 4 seconds! Over a 75 ft dash that's a lot of time! And he didn't stop we ran throughout all the halls on the 2nd floor of Children's with Pat and I chasing behind as James laughed and ran eyes sparkling with excitement. She just looked at me after and said he really loves running, he just lights up when he's doing it. I don't ever want to push him to be a runner, but I guess it's in his blood. 










Monday, April 11, 2016

Sunshine Daydreamer

It's official this family thrives on sunshine! We are all much better people when we get our daily doses of vitamin D. April is the 3rd snowiest month in Colorado and it's a tease...70 one day 2 ft of snow the next. This week delivered nothing but sunshine. 




For me I always need to start my weeks out strong or they tend to fizzle before they even get started. So Monday at 4 am I charged my incline workout and then followed that with 6 min hill repeats that afternoon. All week was spent on trails trudging up and down Apex and Falcon. Dan and I did get 3 runs together which was awesome! We haven't had that for awhile. 



On Falcon Friday I finally got a solid long run in and am feeling much more confident about Quad Rock. Four more solid weeks of training and then taper time. It's still my first real race in what feels like forever so I need to make sure my head is on right as well as my legs being trained up. I think the positive thing is I have no real idea how I'll do so I'm focused less on the other competition and more on myself. If I can string together another good 3 weeks of training I'll be pretty stoked! 








Sunday, April 3, 2016

I Will Get It


Well last week's snow definitely put a damper on running this week! Of course it was only made worse by the mid-week snow! It was such a tease to see a few weeks if warm weather only to be slapped in the face with multiple feet of snow! 

Thursday I said screw it and threw on my microspikes to charge up Green Mountain. I actually found myself wishing it was colder so I was running on snow covered mud. I needed to get out to a trail that day, but man it was brutal conditions. I still hit some decent mileage for the week but it seemed like nearly every run was cut short so I'm still disappointed with myself and getting frustrated that my training will never get there. I'm usually pretty ok with my treadmill miles, but at this point I want to set the thing on fire! 

I even thought about getting away from 100s for a bit until I could get my training back where I need it to be. And Dan reminded me if I can't get my head in the right place I'll never make it out if Winfield. That it's not much more training than you need for a 50, but you need to be mentally all there. 
I mean really, what don't baby cow boots go with?

Maybe that's also what James has been trying to tell me all week as well. Of course he's not helping with his toddler-paced way of life. This week everything has literally been mama I will get it. Seriously how can I say no to a five word sentence and the little dude's fierce desire for independence? I put on his shirt only te receive a no mama I will get it. So shirt off, roll it up put it in his hands and watch him pull it over his head and then fish for the arm holes. Then pants and socks and shoes and coat. I appreciate the message and his desire to do it himself, but goodness things take forever these days! But at the end of it, that crazy toothed grin is plastered on his face as he admires his work with a I did it! Once again James I'm going to listen to your toddler wisdom and hopefully come August there will be to huge smiles saying I did it!
boys and their trucks

I would choose a piezometer to have James run to!

family fun run!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Baby Cows and Pockets

Keepin' it real
Lately my life seems to revolve mostly around baby cows. I mean who doesn't love a cute baby cow, but I'm pretty sure James thinks he's getting a baby cow for his birthday. He's apparently well on his way to learning about disappointment and my failure as a mom. We are not getting James a baby cow for his birthday. The obsession started because I refuse to let him watch cartoons or kids shows in the mornings or before nap. So when I need to calm him down and drink his milk I let him watch cooking or home improvement shows. My theory was he would never like them and wouldn't get hooked on TV. Backfire. For awhile we were obsessed with Pioneer Woman, but we got over that and were had switched to Fixer Upper, mostly because I have a secret obsession with that show and really want Joanna to come decorate my house. Well one week this new episode was on...as soon as James saw the kids feeding the baby cows he was obsessed! Now nearly every waking moment is spent talking about baby cows. We only want to wear our night diapers because they have sheep on them and he thinks they look like baby cows.Needless to say I've been on a hunt for toddler underwear with baby cows in the hopes that they'll make him want to wear them. 

Snow days call for a trip to Big R to buy baby cow boots 
In between watching the feeding of baby cows I have been trying to get in some training. This is the most structured training I've done since college and I'm just hoping it'll pay off. I've added 4 am hikes on the treadmill at 15% incline a couple days a week, home pilates routines, more hip exercises and have been trying to keep my mileage above 50 mpw, really I'd like to be more like 60-75, but that just hasn't been happening. And the consistency looks more like a toddlers emotions. I can't say it's all been pretty, but I've been mostly able to stick with it. Rob was sick again last week so my mileage was back in the hole. I was hoping the longer days would help with training, but the sunshine was quickly replaced with multiple feet of snow.

Overall I feel like having two kids is absolutely insane and I was way less prepared than I was going from zero to one. But I'm slowly adjusting and when Rob's not sick and actually sleeps I can get a fairly good routine going. He's also finally started to roll...I swear this kid is so lazy. He's just starting to think maybe being mobile wouldn't be so bad. One of these days he'll get there, but I'm not pushing it. James meanwhile is on fire. His sentences have become sentences like "Mama, get it" "Get ball Daddy" "I want Roar please" sound just like any other toddler eh? And he recently discovered pockets which by the way are frickin' amazing! Who knew? You can stick your hands in them, you can fill mom's pockets with loads of goodness, the options are really endless. 
because why not?


Trust me dude we all feel the same way at this point

It seemed more like Christmas than Easter anyways

More snow day small town fun

Mama said no candy...

Cheese

Bro hug


James ate his first bite of cake...but don't expect him to actually touch it...



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spring Fever

It finally felt like we've broken through that winter barrier and dirt has returned to the front range. I know there is plenty more snow in our future this year, but at least now its the kind that will actually go away after a day or two. It felt really good to get in a solid week of trail running as well. Conditions aren't perfect, but seriously who am I to complain about a few patches of mud and ice!

I've continued with my early morning 15% grade treadmill hikes, my mileage is consistently higher this time of year than it ever has been before, and I finally got a legitimate long trail run, Falcon Fridays are back! This week I was able to get over 10,000 ft of vert which is the first time that's happened in quite awhile. Overall I really feel like my training has been going well. This is the first time I've stuck to a structured training plan so we'll see how it goes. I feel like I'm running better than I have been, but Quad Rock will really be the first test to see if it pays off or not. 


Its no secret that its been a struggle to balance work, life, kids, running, all of it, but I feel like I've been making progress and getting things somewhat settled. Of course now I feel like with the coming of spring also comes the spring cleaning, mostly the yard, and I'm sure I'll be falling behind again here soon. But for the moment I feel almost caught up which is where I want to be heading into the main training season. 


On the home front I've finally gotten James into private OT. After 5 months on one waiting list I finally found another good program that takes insurance and has openings! Score one for the good guys! I'm excited and I really think this will help a ton! At least I'm hopeful. Especially because James' behavior has become more challenging. I knew this was coming and I know its common with Ds, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I started working with his teachers quite a bit and we've implemented some new strategies to try to make him more successful at school. He is talking a ton, using lots of 2-3 word sentences, making requests, telling you what he wants and doesn't want so its definitely an exciting time for him. Oh and he learned to jump...lord help us on that one! We pretty much have to jump every where we go now. Its cute, but makes forward progress excruciatingly slow!

Robert is growing into his own as well. Dude finally learned to roll, it wasn't something I was worried about because he was doing more advanced skills like sitting, but just funny how lazy he was! Once he realized the joy of rolling you could see the wheels spin like "oh I don't have to just lay here all the time" and he's definitely trying to move himself into new positions and is thinking about maybe crawling at some point in the maybe not near but not-to-far future. 

This week was also another low-sensory morning at the Children's Museum, which is quickly growing to one of our favorite things. This time James remembered where we were an opened up a bit quicker and Rob was able to participate in more things so it was fun watching both of them explore the exhibits in their own ways. Of course as we were getting ready to leave the museum had just opened up to the general public and I realized just how important these low sensory mornings are. I took James up to the art studio to pick up our art that had dried and coming back down he freaked out about being on the stairs with other kids. He didn't throw a tantrum or cry, just sat at the top of the stairs shaking his head furiously until no one was on them anymore...then we walked down like nothing had happened. He never would have been able to launch rockets because even on low sensory day getting to the back by the rocket launcher is a struggle with the noise. But once we got back there and were all by ourselves launching rocket after rocket he was in heaven. Had it have been crowded he would never have explored the Big Backyard or Box Canyon, he would have sat in the corner covering his ears and crying. So I am so grateful they do these days so James and others like him can explore and enjoy this amazing museum like any other kid. 

And of course in our true family fashion we left the museum, did a quick shoe change and went for a stroller run before we got home!  A successful day for all of us!










Thursday, March 3, 2016

Surf City

I'm not sure I have ever been more excited to get on a plane with a toddler and a newborn, but last week we boarded that beautiful tube that would take us west out of the blizzard. A few hours and about 3000 episodes of Tumble Leaf later we touched down in sunny southern California. It was cold by Californian's standards as they were bundled in hoodies, beanies and boots, but the 60F we landed in was a welcome reprise to us. 


The house we rented was right off the bike path that led to the beach and right around the corner from Trader Joe's. This is a deadly combination by the way. My marathon taper was basically non-existent as we logged quite a few miles running to the beach or along the beach or through the park next to our house. All in all it was a typical relaxing-to-us vacation. It was good to relax, rejuvenate and just spend some time with the boys. 

Before we left I had sworn to everyone we were not going to Disneyland...nope, no way...and then a friend offered us free tickets and somehow we ended up there. For Disney it was relatively uncrowded and we had gotten there early so James did fairly well. Once we got through the crowded front and found a quiet little corner he started to relax. And then Dan took him on Dumbo...and like any typical kid when he realized he had to get off it was a complete meltdown. I was so damn excited to see that kid on the ride though, probably one of the highlights of the trip. I could tell he was nervous at first, but as we went around he got more and more excited. And when he saw Robert and I watching him he pointed and shouted "mamababy"! We survived Disneyland and it was great to see some old friends as well. 



Dan had convinced me to go to Southern California by offering to let me have a luxurious 3.5 hr to myself in the form of the Surf City marathon. I basically had 4 weeks of training and no tapering since after all this was a runcation. I don't necessarily recommend this training plan, but I actually have been doing fairly well getting workouts and miles in. My long runs were what we're lacking so my endurance past 18 or 20 miles was questionable. I felt good about running strong up until then and after that it was just hang on as long as I could. My goal for this race was not to PR, it was to run as steady a pace as possible. Now what pace I could actually maintain for 26 miles was unclear. I decided to try to maintain a pace similar to what I ran at Chicago. 

For a race that was in its 20th year I was a bit disappointed at the lack or organization. They had run out of women's shirts smaller than a large and seemed utterly confused when I asked for an XS. Finally someone figured out to have us fill out a form with promises of sending them to us in a couple weeks. Then I asked if there was a gear check only to receive a blank stare and be told I'm just a volunteer. While I don't expect volunteers to know everything I do expect that the RD makes sure volunteers know who to send people to with questions. 

The race went pretty much as planned. I ran the 2.2 miles to the shuttle and then took the shuttle to the start, dropped off my gear and got ready to start. I lined up cautiously with the 3:30 pace group still unsure how this would play out and when I crossed that start line and started running I tried to hold to a 7:40 pace. I easily cruised down the PCH holding pace and then turned right for a loop through town. The next five miles or so we're a bit hilly. I'd say rolling hills, but if you're used to flat marathon courses there were some decent hills. Then we turned back onto the PCH and I was happy to still be maintaining my pace within a few seconds. It still seemed easy as well. Then back down the PCH before turning into the bike path to head back out. The headwinds were pretty strong in this section but I was still feeling really good. I had caught up to the 3:20 pace group and thought I'd stick with them until around mile 22. But their pace seemed way to slow for a 3:20 group so after a mile I left them to do my own thing. If see the pacers fly by a few miles later flustered about how off pace they were. Well I held on until mile 23 and then my legs filled with cement and my pace slowed but I made sure to keep it below an 8 min pace and I was still passing people so I felt good. I think I passed 3 women in the last couple miles as they faded fast. Back on the PCH to the finish line I passed my boys and gave high 5s all the way to the finish line. It was a great atmosphere, I felt great and was pushing hard. Good thing too because I ended up taking 5th by 3 seconds based on chip time. Since the girl I beat had a much faster guntime I had no idea how close we actually were. 

Cap off the trip with a Broncos win Sunday night and then one last stroller run through the park on Monday and it was a pretty successful family vacation. 

A trip to California is never complete without some In and Out Burger 
and certainly not complete without an unplanned trip to Disneyland