Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Bunch of Sickos

Well things around here aren't exactly looking up.  Jack has been complaining heavily about his sore throat for three days and even though I doubted it was Strep I took him to the doctor today to be sure.  Turns out I was right and it's not Strep and I just spent a lot of money on a large useless Q-tip.  I swear the moment we got back from the doctor he started acting like a new kid.

In addition, Ella started throwing up at 1:30 in the morning last night and didn't stop until the wee hours of the morning.  She wound up sleeping away most of the day (from 10:30 to 4:00) and is unable to even keep down Tylenol.  Her temperature is 101 degrees so I gave her another dose and hopefully she can keep this one down.

I still feel pretty crappy with a sore throat, nagging cough and headache.  I feel run down and don't have any energy.  That might be due in part to the fact that I've been sitting around for two days doing nothing.  I did manage to fold some laundry today, but that was the extent of my activity.  I think sitting around moping makes me feel worse so I planned to go out today, but with a sick kid at home, I wasn't going anywhere.

I'm also missing Nicholas' first baseball scrimmage since I'm trapped in the house.  I don't like missing the kids' events, but I have to be mom to ALL the kids so that means Coach Dad gets to go to baseball and I stay home with the sickos.

I'm afraid there is a permanent dent in my "big chair" the size of my ass.  Like if I were ever lost with amnesia and they needed to identify that I was in fact myself they could "fit" me Cinderella style to the imprint in the chair.  "Yep, that's her.  Her butt imprints perfectly."  These are the things you think about when you've been trapped in the house for two days.  Or wait, are these just the things I think of?  Don't answer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Need a Hug

Ok here's the deal folks in nice bullet format:

  • I'm sick.  
  • I have a sore throat and clogged ears and today I feel like everything settled in my chest leaving me with a nagging cough.  
  • My butt left the couch for a total of about 30 minutes total today.  
  • I play too much words with friends.  (Nothing like an X on a triple letter making two separate words).
  • While I usually look to an illness for 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss, I find that my appetite is still through the roof today.  
  • Lying around all day should have made me feel better, but I felt worse.   I should have just gotten up and tried to do something.  
  • Every time I feel like I'm making strides in my training, I'm met with a setback.  
  • I realize my life could be worse... like a LOT worse.  
  • Tomorrow is another day. 
  • I might need a hug.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Mom Behind the Mom

Everyone this is my mom.  Her name is Chris.  Everyone say hi Mom of Mom Swim Bike Run.

When I was little I remember my mom exercising.  Mostly she walked, but I'm pretty sure she tried jazzercise a time or two.  She might have referred to herself as fat, but the truth was she absolutely was NOT fat.

1980 ish

1991 or 1992 I think.  
My mom is back row on the left end.  I'm front row on the right.  

My mom was pretty thin most of her life.  I remember through my teen years my mom always being active.  She would fish on the weekends ALL day.  She's stand and walk the lake for 8 hours and then play a mean game of backyard volleyball.  Once again, she did a lot of walking, but she was just up and about always doing something.

Over the years, my mom's life changed and so did her weight.

When my mom was in Austin last week, I think she got a little inspired.  It's so easy to live here and become inspired.  So many people are active, fit and the weather is absolutely gorgeous.  Who doesn't want to get out and about when it's nice?  I took my mom on a walk where she walked 2 miles.  It wasn't easy, but she did and she saw that she could.

She told me she had made up her mind to do something about her lifestyle.  She's been eating less and walking every day.  I hope that she'll keep it up.  I'll admit I've been having visions of seeing my mom become the woman that she used to be again.

To be honest, I don't think my mom even remembers her.  So I ask you mom, think back and remember the woman that you used to be.  It doesn't matter that you're 20 or even 30 years older, that woman is still in you.  The fighter, the woman that gets what she wants.  I believe in you and I know you can do it.  You're life on Earth isn't done just because you've seen your children grown and happy.  You've still got grandkids to shower with your love.

Show my mom some love in the comments and we'll check back in on mom in a little bit.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Red Carpet Ready

In honor of Oscar night I'm posting my ONLY Oscar worthy performance.

Hair:  Highlights and cut by Tim Denham (Denham and Company).  Styled by moi.
Jewelry:  Necklace by Premier Designs.  Ring by Tiffany & Co. (I own them both... no loaners here)
Spray Tan:  Serene Hair Studio & Spa (I felt slightly violated after)
Dress: White House Black Market (on Sale for less than $50)

I hope I don't wind up on Joan's worst list or worse yet, Cooper's.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In the Shadow

When you have multiple kids, it is hard not to compare them to one another.  I try very hard to remember that each of my children are individuals and not one will be like the other.  However, there are going to naturally be some comparisons.  Additionally, when you have Nicholas as a sibling, you're probably going to be living up to some HUGE expectations.  Nicholas is annoyingly good at most everything he does.  Ok fine, so he can't hula hoop (like at all) and his singing makes glass shatter, but I think you know what I mean.  He's an excellent student, a natural athlete, polite, well-rounded young man, if I do say so myself.

While Nicholas is very regimented and particular, Ella is more of a carefree kind of girl.  I always refer to her as "fa la la la la" because she seems to have her head in the clouds a lot of the time.  Then every once in awhile she'll say something and I'll be like, "damn she is paying attention."  While I always look for Nicholas to be the best at everything he does, I don't exactly expect it out of Ella, but lately I've been asking myself why.

Why don't I demand more from Ella?  Am I short changing her?  I guess I was so preoccupied with NOT comparing her to her brother that I put less expectations on my little girl.

I was afraid to want too much for her because I never wanted to be disappointed.  I know that sounds horrible, but in my defense I just wanted Ella to be Ella and didn't want her to be in Nicholas' shadow.  Well, as it turns out she not living in Nicholas' shadow at all.  

This girl is thriving.  She's so well behaved, she's polite and kind and has a LOT of friends.  She's a little social butterfly and everyone seems to love Ella (adults and children alike).

She's a beautiful dancer....

... an awesome soccer player (hello 7 goals today)...

....and most recently has become one of the newest members of the QUEST (gifted) program at her school.

I'm sorry Ella for not realizing that you could be your own person and be just as great as your brother, but just in a different way.  I promise to never short change you, to always push you to your fullest potential and remember to love you just for who you are-- and that's a pretty incredible young lady.

And then there's Jack.... don't even get me started.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Always be my Babies

Yesterday the kids got out of school for a half day (some teacher in service thing) so we went to the park for the afternoon.  Well there were a million other moms who had the same idea so I ran into a lot of friends.  One happened to be a girl I hadn't seen in awhile and I hadn't seen her daughter in about 6 or 7 months.  When I saw her my jaw hit the floor because she had grown so much in that time.

When the growing is right under our noses, I don't think we really notice.  Of course we know our kids grow and change, but we can't see it the way other people do.  So I thought I'd do a little comparison  and see how much my kids have really changed.





I like looking at all the changes from year to year.  What a difference one year can make.  Every year, the cheeks get a little less full and my "babies" become less babyish.  In fact, I look at them now and I can't call any of them babies any more.  

To be honest, I'd love to go back in time and start all over again.  Knowing what I know now, I'd cherish each and every moment a little more.  I spend a little more time cherishing the little things.  I'd soak in all the memories so they weren't so easily erased from my mind.  

Inevitably, I'd still arrive at this point.  The point where my babies aren't babies any more, the point where my kids need me a little less each day, the point where the amaze me and make me proud to be their mother.  

There is only one thing I can do.  I can continue to love them, cherish them, and watch them grow and flourish into the wonderful people I know they'll become and I know, in my heart, they'll always be my babies.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Run Fast with Less Lard

If you recall back in November I made a proclamation that I was setting out to get a half marathon personal record (PR).  I made a training plan and set out with the best of intentions.  Then, life happened.  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I had a really hard time getting in workouts and did NOT do the work I needed to get a PR.

Despite that being true, I actually did set a PR at the 3M half marathon at the end of January.

I finished just 40 seconds faster than my previous PR on a fast, downhill course.  I know my PR was due mostly to the generosity of this course.  Therefore, I just can't help but wonder what could happen if I actually DID do the training to get better, stronger and faster.  

And thus operation get Susan a PR begins AGAIN and I think I have a lot better chance of succeeding this time.  Basically the plan is pretty much the same, but I'll lay it all out for you again. 

Monday:  Body Pump and 3 miles
Tuesday:  Hills/speed
Wednesday:  Body Pump and 3 miles 
Thursday:  Core and more and tempo run 
Friday:  Cycle
Saturday:  Off
Sunday:  Long run 

You can see my specific training plan here.  I have 10 weeks until I'll be running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  My previous time on this course is 2:09, but I'm hoping I can do it faster than any race I've done before and finish in less than 2:08.   It's not going to be easy because this is a hillier course and when I ran it last time I weighed about 10 lbs less.  

I'll be running with my friend Tracey who can typically run a 1:55ish half marathon.  I hope she'll help push me to my new personal best.  I can't expect Tracey to do all the work for me, so I'll have to put in the effort here with my training.  I hope Tracey's up for a lot of huffing and puffing and possibly some swearing.

So there you have it.  Operation lose some weight so I don't have as much lard to haul around and get a new PR have begun.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bye Bye Mama

Last day with mama!

We've been having a really great time shopping, eating and shopping and eating and playing with the kids and shopping and eating.

Normal workouts begin tomorrow, until then I'm enjoying the last evening with my mama before she leaves.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Austin Half Marathon Race Recap: Part II

Let's see, where did I leave off yesterday?   Oh yes, we finished the half marathon in great spirits while Bianca and Karla managed to cheer us through the finish and meet us at the end.  Seeing as George wasn't there at the finish (he was out of town) it was nice to have someone there cheering us on.  What better ladies than these two?  

They waited a LONG time for us to finish and they were freezing and just wanted to get to the car to change clothes.  That's what you get for being so fast ladies.  Hahaha.  Karla is sickening fast, but ran this race for fun with Bianca and helped Bianca to a new sub-2:00 PR.  Both of you ladies inspire me!  I appreciate you hanging around to cheer myself and Kelley in.  

It took a long time for me to get through the finishers' shoot and get my official finisher picture and all.  By the time I did all of that, I tracked Julie and saw that she had already passed the 12 mile mark.  I knew there was no way I could make it back down through the crowds to see her finish.  Just as I thought I might attempt it, I got a text from Julie saying she'd finished.  I felt VERY badly that I wasn't there cheering for her.  That's what I get for starting 20 minutes behind the gun!  Sorry Julie.  I don't think Julie REALLY minded because her goal for the marathon was to do better than she did last year and she did that by nearly 8 minutes.  

As you can see, we did manage to make it back to the car and change our clothes.  We had to put on our official "honey badger" t-shirts.  If you haven't seen the honey badger video you can look at it here.  Be forewarned, it is kind of nasty.  If you don't want to watch it, I'll give you the gist.  Honey Badger is a badass animal who doesn't take anyone's $#^%.  He does what he wants, goes against the odds and always prevails.  Honey badger just don't care!  My friends Jennifer and Shannon adopted the honey badger as their marathon training mascot and had shirts made for all of us.  26.2?  Honey Badger don't care.  I love it!

After changing and having a little food, we headed back to the finish line to wait for Jennifer and Shannon to finish their marathon.  We stood just in front of the capital heading into the last turn just before the last 300 yards or so of the marathon.

It was amazing to stand at that spot and watch the emotions of all the people finishing a marathon.  You see so many different types of emotions.  You see people laugh, cry, sprint, walk, limp.  Whatever you can think of, I probably saw it.  There were times I welled up with tears remembering my own journey and empathizing with everyone finishing 26.2 miles.  It was an amazing feeling being on the other side of the fence.   When we finally saw Jennifer and Shannon coming we screamed, waved and cheered and it was awesome to see them finishing strong.

Only one honey badger pictured... sorry Shannon, not much I can do with an iPhone 

We met up with the girls at the end of the finishers' chute and it was amazing to see the outpouring of love for Jennifer and Shannon.  There were honey badger shirts everywhere.  

We finished off our marathon day with a brunch in honor of Jennifer and Shannon.  When you've trained for something for 6 months, trust me you deserve a celebration in the end.  Congratulations to ALL my honey badger friends and thanks to everyone for a great day.  26.2 miles?  Honey badger don't care!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Austin Half Marathon Race Recap

What an awesome day!  I couldn't be happier with the outcome, but let me start at the beginning.  

I went to bed nice and early last night (9:30 pm) so when the alarm went off at 4:51 am I wasn't too angry.  I snoozed once (as per usual) and was up at 5:00 am sharp.  I fueled with a piece of peanut butter bread and a glass of Sunny D.  What?  I didn't have any Gatorade (my normal pre-race drink).  

We arrived at the capital after a potty break by 6:30 ish.  I tried to hook up with fellow Austinites and blog friends Amanda and Jennifer, but the place was packed and I never got to say hello.   Even without my well wishes, both ladies finished well before I.  RUDE ladies, just rude!  

I wasn't without company as I arrived with Julie, Bianca, Karla and Kelley.

I thought I was going to have to run this race alone.  I had texted Kelley about running this race WITH her, but apparently, due to modern technology, both of us missed text messages and thought the other didn't want to run with each other.  So today I decided to do what I wanted to do all along (run with a friend) and I decided to run with Kelley and hopefully push her to a PR (I'm not sure she knew that was my plan).

Anyway, we "dropped off" Karla and Bianca in the 9:00 corals and we headed back to the "cheap seats".  Ha!  As soon as we got there Kelley and I both felt the urge to use the restroom again.  So we said goodbye to Julie and headed to the porta potties.  When we got there the wheel chair races were being released and the lines for the bathrooms were HUGE.  Soon enough the gun was sounding the start of the race and we were nowhere near our turn.   Typically during a marathon it will take me 20 to 25 minutes to cross the start mat so I figured we had plenty of time.  When there were just about 8 people in front of us, the number of people heading to the start mat seemed to be dwindling, but we were so close to our turn, we decided to stay.  By the time we finished and headed out the announcer was stating, "if you are running the marathon or half marathon you should have already crossed the start mat."  Whoopsie.  We started 21:47 after the official start.

What a way to start a race, we spent a lot of time passing people including a lot of lackadaisical walkers.  Nevertheless, by the third mile we were in a nice groove and caught up to runners who were running more our speed.

The Austin marathon and half marathon course are challenging hilly courses, but I felt like I was running the hills pretty well.  They were not as hard as I remembered them to be last year when I ran the marathon. Running hills calls on different muscles, which I actually prefer and we were having a good time (well I think WE were, I know I was).

This race went by so quickly, it's kind of hard for me to recall all the bits and pieces.  I was having a great time just enjoying the scenery, reading all the signs and listening to all the people cheer.  Before I knew it, we were at mile 6 and totally cruising.

We had gotten through a lot of the hills and were headed into a beautiful view and an equally beautiful downhill.

We were happy.

Kelly had told me around mile 5 she'd like to take her Gu and that maybe she'd walk while she ate, but she never did.  She just kept plugging away despite her knee and her lungs (upper respiratory problems) not feeling 100%.  So, when mile 10 came along and Kelley told me she wanted to walk, I wasn't surprised but I told her she couldn't.  Haha.  I asked her why she needed to walk and tried to convince her to push through her physical pain.  She and I both knew she had it in her mind to do it, she just needed to get her body to cooperate.  I wanted her so badly to finish strong and with no regrets.

I started running just ahead of her hoping to give her some space and allow her to decide what was best for her.  That's when Kelley spotted the "honey badgers", my friends Jennifer and Shannon who were running the full marathon.

Unfortunately, we were almost to the marathon split and while Jennifer and Shannon were turning left, we lucky half marathoners were heading right, and we didn't get much time to chat.  I was happy that the girls looked GREAT and knew they'd finish strong!

I can't lie, it was pretty nice going right knowing I had about 3 miles left and not 16 miles.

I could tell at this point that Kelley was in a lot of physical pain and I knew there were 3 tough hills left (with the two worst of the whole course).  I was the "time keeper" and knew Kelley had it within her reach to PR.  I hoped that I could push her even more and hopefully beat her previous record by 2 full minutes (I was looking for a 2:20 finish).

Kelley powered up the hills and we were making some great time.  We were less than a half mile from the finish when I glanced back at Kelley and saw a look of horror on her face as her knee buckled.   Kelley limped a few steps, but I could tell she had made the decision to finish strong and power through.  She asked me to say something to take her mind off of things and I froze under pressure.  I don't know what I said, but I'm sure it wasn't the right thing.  Soon enough though, Kelley spotted her family and it was just the push she needed to power through the last .25 miles and finish in 2:20:51.  Booyah!  PR accomplished for Kelley!

I knew I would never PR on this course today so I was really looking to run this race for fun.  When I blogged last night I said I wanted to run the half in 2:15, but that was before I was running with Kelley.  I much rather have run a 2:20:51 WITH Kelley than any other non PR time by myself.  Racing for me is a lot of things, but sometimes it's about having fun and today was exactly what I wanted!  Thanks Kelley!

To be continued..... 
Part II tomorrow

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Austin Half Marathon Packet Pickup

Here I am on the eve of running the Livestrong Austin Half Marathon and I feel like I don't even know what I'm doing.  I don't know who, if anyone, I am running with,  what pace I'm running,  if I want to run fast or slow, if I can do anywhere close to what I did a few weeks ago or if I even want to.  Ugh!  I guess I have about 11 hours to decide.  I think I'll sleep on it.

In the meantime, here's what I do know:

These girls decided to run and registered TODAY.

We all got our bibs.

I'm glad I'm not running the full, like the crazy ladies with the green bibs.  Ha!

I more than effectively carb loaded with my friends and family.

Sitting next to Julie for a pic was not a good idea today for the self esteem.  Looking good JuJu, looking good.

Whoever said running wasn't an expensive sport, clearly hasn't met me.  Look at all this stuff just to run 13.1 miles.

I've gone through all the motions of getting myself physically ready, now I just need to wrap my head around this and get in the game.  2:15 or bust (guess I didn't have to sleep on it after all).  Eek!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Austin Marathon Anniversary

I can hardly believe that a whole year has passed since I went to pick up my first marathon bib!

Clearly I was very excited and extremely nervous with anticipation.   I had no idea what to REALLY expect.  26.2 miles was unknown territory.

It was my first race I ran with Julie and now we've probably run a dozen "together" (we always run our own races, but go together).

Running the race was tough (I won't lie), but what I'm most proud of is what I went through to get there (and it was a lot).  I also ran the race all alone, I didn't see anyone I knew along the course (nor did I high five any bananas).  It was just me, myself and I.  I did it!  No one else.

When I crossed the finish line, I was incredibly happy and extremely proud.

I even managed to make my stretch goal of finishing in under five hours (my only real goal was to just finish).

In just three days, I'll be out on that course again, this time running just 13.1 miles, and I hope the ending is as sweet!

Can't wait to see you again, Austin!