Monday, April 30, 2012

My First Half Marathon

Throughout high school I would run 1-2 5K's a week during the summer and fall. I remember when I completed my first 10K I was so proud.  Well I have added a new distance to my name.  On Saturday (April 28, 2012) I successfully completed the Thanksgiving Point 1/2 marathon.

Leading up to this I was planning on training properly, but I let life get in the way.  Trying to run with 2 kids usually resulted in a few 3 mile run a week. Occasionally I would go a little farther.  I think I did a hand full of 4 mile runs.  I did do about two 6 mile runs, and one 9 mile run (that I walked the last 2 miles).  The two weeks prier to the race I ran a total of 3 times that resulted in 14 miles. Needless to say I didn't feel really confident going into the race. 

My goal for the race was to finish.  The race required that you maintain at least a 16 min/mile pace.  I figured if I ran the first 10 miles I would be able to walk the last 3 and be just fine.  I figured I would finish in less than 3 hours.

I told Troy although it would nice to have him there to cheer me on.  I didn't think it would be practical to have him get the two kids up before 6am and then entertain them while I was running.  I knew it would be sheer torture for the three of them.  So I was all alone at the race, but that was OK, because there were 2500 other CRAZY runners.

Driving up to the park I saw a sign that said "Marathon parking" with an arrow pointing forward.  Up to this point I hadn't really thought much of what I was about to do. But when I saw that sign.  I thought, "I'm really doing this."  I almost starting crying. I have had a goal to do one for many years, and I couldn't believe I was finally going to accomplish it.

After parking I went and picked up my race number and electronic chip.  The race started at 7am and at this point it was 6:15.  Since it was only about 35 degrees I decided to go listen to music in my car until it was closer to the starting of the race.  I waited until 6:45 and then headed over to the starting line.

They did what is called a choke start, and had people line up according to their self proclaimed speed. I got in near the 2:45 sign.  There I saw a girl I used to run with in high school.  We chatted a little until the start. Slowly the crowd moved forward.  Because of the chock start once I passed over the starting mat I was off.

The race provided pacers so I would know about how I was doing.  I ended up passing the 2:10 (9.55 mile pace) pacer. I figured I would stay in front of that pacer for as long as I could, but didn't expect to finish in front of that pacer.  The race started with a run around Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point and then went into their garden area and then all around the golf course before heading back to the same area the starting line was.  I LOVED running through the gardens. It was pretty and unique.  The golf course was OK at first, but after a few miles of running through greens I was pretty tired of the same old thing.  The course was really hilly, but the hills were short, and I guess because I'm used to pushing a double stroller while I'm running they didn't seem to effect me as much as the people I would pass :).

The race was really well staffed.  They had water/power aid ever 1 1/2 or 2 miles.  They also had GU, oranges, and bananas at about every other aid station.  I would switch off between power aid and water at the water stations, and then every 4 miles or so I would take a GU.  I learned after the first GU to not try and ingest it all at once, but rather nibble it from the pouch.  The first time I squeezed the whole pack of GU in my mouth and about gaged.  I would walk at each aid station until my water/Power aid was gone and then I would start running again.

As I hit mile 2 I thought . . ."There is no way I'm going to do this."  By mile 4 I was feeling really good.  At mile 6 I was thinking, "Man I wish I was doing a 10K.  At mile 7 I though, "SWEET . . .more than half way done."  At mile 8 I wanted to stop, but I knew I shouldn't, because if I did I would never be able to start again.  By mile 10 I was thinking, "I have NEVER run this far before."  At mile 11 my muscles were really tired, and were cramping.  At this point the 2:10 pacer still hadn't passed me so at this point I made it a goal to not let him pass me.  For the next two miles I just put one foot in front of another until I was about 1/2 mile from the finish and I could hear the pacer behind me saying something.  I looked back and there he was. I picked it up and decided to finish strong. 

At the finish line the race clock said 2:10.19. I then went into the sea of delicious after race snacks.  I got: chocolate milk, bottled water, great harvest bread, oranges, bananas, chocolate chip cookies, and white bean and ham soup.  I know I shouldn't have felt like eating, but it was so delicious.  I then checked my official race time and found out I had run it in 2 HOURS 8 MINUTES 19 SECONDS. I finished 512 out of 1109 finishers. And was 45 person in my division and the 265th female finisher.

I walked around for awhile, stretched, and then headed home.   When I got home I told Troy how it went, took a shower, went shopping and then came home and then took a nap.  I wasn't really tired, but my leg muscles were and it hurt to sit, stand, or walk so I figured if I laid on my stomach and took a nap it would give them a little rest.  It felt nice.

In the end I really enjoyed the experience.  I would like to do it again in the future.  The weather was great.  I also learned that I CAN DO IT!  I was once again reminded that I love to race, because it reminds me that I'm not the only crazy person out there that likes to run.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parker - 3 years old!!!

Love the green smoothie uni-brow and stache

Lov'n the snow

Lov'n the warmth even better

This year Parker really understood what a birthday was. It was so fun to see his eyes light up when he realized everyone was singing to HIM!! When I asked him what kind of a cake he wanted he said, "White and green." He didn't mind I got a little carried away with color.

He must have really liked the cake because he hardly ever uses his hands to eat

At his 3 year check up he was 37 in and 32lbs.

Parker has been talking more. In public, I'm reminded that I know two languages, English and Parkerese. I do a lot of translating, but I think he is getting clearer, and his vocab is increasing. Sometimes his words are a little off like when he calls band aids - rubber bands, or apple sauce - sauce sauce sauce, or a magnifying glass - sun glass. It has been really fun knowing what he says.

Parker has started to like books more and more. Some of his favorites are his Frog and Toad and Curious George books, Are You My Mother?, and Danny and the Dinosaur. He could sit and listen to story after story if I let him. We recently got a Dr Seuss collection book from the library. I read him, If I Ran The Zoo, It was a rather long story, and I thought it was weird, but when I got done he said, "That was a fun story."

He know about half of the alphabet by sight. I sing the ABC song every time he washes his hands, but for the most part he just stares at me.

He can now consistently to count to 2 and occasionally 3 (I know brilliant). I recently started singing 5 Little Monkeys with him, and he fell in love with it so maybe we'll make some progress with numbers soon.

He knows a few colors - Black, White, and Orange. For the longest time I wondered if he wasn't colorblind, because he always got black and white right, but he called everything else pink. We got a game for Christmas that required him to match colors, and he could do that fine so I decided that wasn't the reason for his color confusion.

Parker loves Play do, cars, trains, blocks, Lego's and puzzles.

We also started playing some games together. He has a firm grasp of turning taking and is starting to understand following the rules of the games. The games we play are simple, and I often alter the rules so he can play with little help.

Now that it is getting warmer I'm reminded once again of his LOVE for rocks and sticks. I think our house is slowly filling up with them.

He is AFRAID of heights - a few weeks ago we were in the church parking lot and he started walking over a storm drain and literally froze with fear as he was over it. It was so funny, hopefully he didn't see me laughing as he was struggling with this fear.

He has spider radar and can find the smallest spider. He will then come running to tell me to kill it. Luckily usually the ones he notices are so small even I can tackle them.

Parker loves to play at the playground. He loves to climb, slide, swing, and jump. However it is always more fun when another kid is there. Often we are the only ones there and it gets pretty boring after awhile. We go a few times a week. I works out well that I'm training for a 1/2 marathon and only find it fair that we stop and play at the park during my runs.

On a typical day Parker will eat: a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, a bowl of apple sauce, a whole peanut butter and honey sandwich, an apple, one bite of dinner (unless it is pizza in which case he will eat 2 pieces) and 3-4 glasses of milk.

He is also potty training - it is going good. He is to a point where he will tell me when he needs to go, but still needs/wants help in the bathroom. The problems are going poop in the potty, and going when he is playing outside. I finally found a way to explain the difference between pee and poop to him. He would always say, "I poop again." whenever he would go, but he would only pee in the toilet. Well yesterday I started calling pee - yellow poop, and poop - brown or big poop. I think that will help. He has been really good about going pee, he even has days of no accidents. I haven't tackled night training yet, but he's often fine for nap time, so I'm hopeful for night training.

Parker is 3 and with that comes a lot of frustrations as well. For discipline He responds well to timeouts and counting to 3.