Friday, October 31, 2008

Official Results

A week later I'm still bragging...bear with me. I haven't taken a fast step since last Saturday (this cold has grounded me good) so this is all the running glory I have:
Chip time: 1:57:48/Gun time: 1:59;15
149 overall (out of 489 women) and 33rd in my age group (out of 90)
I'm slightly above average and not as fast as a lot of age comrades...
See my official finish picture by typing in my bib # 507 at

Monday, October 27, 2008

Half Good

I did it! In 1:59:11. I skidded over the finish line just in time to make my sub-2 hour secret goal. Despite a week plagued with bad omens (there even was a black cat, I kid you not) and a nasty cold, once my feet found their rhythm, I just cruised along feeling good in the cool rain. Greenville is a beautiful city with a stunning river front that looks stylish even in the rain.
The Good:
- Gus' exhuberant waving at everyone at the start...they should have just handed him the starting gun, he was a hit with everyone around me and I could barely contain my Mommie-pride
- Jacob changing a run-down battery in the truck at 5:30 in the morning, in the rain. My bad, I had left the key in the ignition in the on position the night before. He janked the battery out of the Jeepster and dropped it into the truck in under 10 minutes...all in the dark and drizzly rain. This man could perform open heart surgery with a wrench and a Swiss Army knife.
- Plenty of water stations and even sandwiches at the end. And a great dry-fit racing T-shirt.
- Feeling strong and smooth in my running despite all the snot slopping around in my sinuses
- You have to race in the South to see this: Femal runners completely done up. And I mean done UP. I don't think I spent this much time on my appearance on my wedding day. These women wear color-coordinated outfits and foundation, mascara, lipstick, eyeliner...the whole nine yards...I think I even smelled hairspray at the starting line. Their hair may be in a ponytail, but it's a coiffed one. Only in the South.
The Annoying:
- The lady at mile 7 with the ice cubes sloshing around in her took me a good mile to shake her and her noisy load...why people burden themselves when there is water every two miles, I don't know.
- Another lady at mile 11 carrying what sounded like her entire household and some change in a HUGE fanny pack. The ruckus had everyone scrambling around her away from her. Not only must she be deaf from all the rattling, but blind. "Hey lady, fanny packs are so OUT...and fanny packs with a Hawaiian theme are a low misdemeanor."
- The guy with the crazy knee socks who glued himself to my heels around mile 9 and stayed there...only to pass me on the downhills while spitting in front of my shoes...then I'd catch him again. He finished behind me though. Socks got soaked and sank him.
The Ugly:
- The sight of a tampoon string...some shorts are just too tiny to be pulled off - no pun intended
- The lady who stumbled next to me sobbing during an early mile. I was just about to talk to her when she stopped to talk to a helper at a water station. I hope she is OK.
- Lots of chaffing...even vaseline starts to slide in a steady downpour
The Funny:
- A bunch of winos hanging out in front of a liquor store in a lesser part of town. They looked so perplexed watching us go by, it made me laugh. Runners in a race are a crazy sight.
- The lady with a double jogging stoller, who passed us light-footed like an antelope on one of the last uphills. A type-A runner behind me, kept saying "don't look, don't look" but she was hard to overlook. I figured she hadn't gotten up at 5 a.m. to run 13 miles...

My next race will be OUR next race. I'm vowing to take Gus on his first race in the stroller and maybe I'll even manage to talk my driveway-heart-surgeon husband into it. He can do anything!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Running - my mouth mostly

I'm running another half-marathon this weekend.

It's my fourth if my memory serves me right (Ed? Heather?). It's a distance that has fit me well since I ran my first one around the Boulder Reservoir about five years ago...I love everything about 13.1 miles - it has always seemed far to me, but not too far. My one marathon, qualifies me to say this: a marathon is VERY far.

When I signed up back in the summer heat of July, I was chasing a haughty fantasy of how this would be my "comeback celebration," my "baby, I'm back with a sub-2 hour PR, despite my baby," my "a toddler conditions you" kind of race...

I printed out a personalized training plan, purchased a new pair of running shoes, loaded up my iPod with hours of podcasts and began to plot my weekly "long runs" around Brevard.

Three-and-one-half months later I'm much more humble about my goals. Yes, I faithfully logged my miles (Thank you, Jacob for waking up every Saturday with Gus and taking care of him) and I'm fairly confident that baring any injury I can last the distance, but I'm also pretty sure that I will slog along at my tried-and-proven, snail-like 10 min./mile pace and come in somewhere between my previous 2:10 to 2:20 PRs.

Another race, another lesson. Yes, it's a comeback of sorts, and no, I didn't lose those last 5 lbs., because that would have meant Gus could eat all the string cheese, while I run for hours. Nothing ever came of those ambitious plans to regularly do serious fartleks and tempo runs as I had vowed back in the summer. That would have required me to leave Gus behind and run either in the evening or really early in the morning. Both concessions I've found myself unwilling to make. After all, Gus loves a good "stroll" around town, and I, in turn, am motivated to go with my biggest fan, who cheers me on wherever we go.

Seldom do I stretch the way I ought to, because Gus has little interest in stretching routines. He is much more into making a human pile - with him on top.
And no, I did not "charge up" any hills like my training plan (where did it go?) recommended - "charging anywhere" with a jogging stroller and a 20-plus pound passenger is pretty impossible, if you ask me.
So this Saturday, send me a little prayer or a thought - I think I could use it - somewhere between mile 9 and 11.
I may not be fast, but I'll have fun and I'll look forward to seeing my two biggest fans at the finishing line.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Moving on...

"Oh my, he must keep you running all day long," or "I bet he runs you ragged, doesn't he?"

That's just two of the most common commentaries we get when Gus and I are out in public - usually at the grocery store, the post office or the playground or somewhere in between.

And it's true, sitting down takes effort on my part, because Gus keeps going and that means most of the time, he moves on - out of my sight and unless I can muster the energy to get up, I have to plain trust that he won't eat dirt (he has), swallow some poisenous chemical (I'm glad I use an all-natural dishwasher detergent consisting of coconut shreds), or scale a 10-foot fence (he doesn't care how high, he just starts from the bottom up).

Yes, most of the time, I bounce out of my seat pretty quickly to put my mind at ease...although I'm learning to let Gus go off on his own little adventures...I sneak up on him only to watch him from a clandestine perch as he gurgles and babbles his way through some highly complicated scenario involving a pebble and the shed door...or as he dances with equal parts emotion and zeal to the radio, while thoughtfully chewing on a lipbalm container...

But what he really likes to do, ever since he's learned to move through life on two feet, is to be near me (or Jacob or his favorite playmate of the moment). It's true he keeps me moving, but just this morning as I handled four loads of laundry and tried to clean up our kitchen, I noticed that Gus likes to be in the same room with as I move from bathroom to bedroom and outdoors to the clothesline, he's that sweet pitter-patter of his little sneakered feet that I hear almost all the time behind me. He doesn't seem to mind to let go of one toy or activity to follow me to another location, where he picks up a new thing or game, only to abandon that, too, to come and sit in front of the washer with me as I unload laundry. Then it's back outside, where I hang laundry and he scares the neighbor dog with a shrieky falsetto song only outdone by his charismatic waving of a deep gold oak's an impressive interpretive dance...although Sasha, the scaredy-cat German Shepherd, appears overwhelmed.
I tell you, this kid is so much fun to watch.

So, yes. We move a lot. Though mostly together, because things have to be done, and new knowledge has to be uncovered. I do sometimes want to just sit and let him go at it alone, but Gus never seems to want to stay behind far behind.
So who is running whom ragged?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This one's for Granna!

Remember how impossibly big this footie-pj looked to us last fall? Gus was just a little bean, sleeping most days and nights and this sweet little outfit loomed large hanging between his teeny onsies and overalls...

Well that was a long time ago, apparently.

Yesterday evening we put the pj on and Gus has been strutting around ever since. Daddy thinks it's a little tight around the butt, but Momma disagrees. It just shows off Gus' diapered bum in a sleek siluette.

This is the kind of outfit every woman dreams to have. The kind that makes you feel good enough to romp around in, do some housework in and still feel flashy enough to pose for a closeup.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Gentle fall

Fall is here in Brevard, the season came gently with a few soft rains, a cooler breeze and a lacey haze of morning fog that lifts to a splendid kaleidoscope of rustly leaves in brilliant shades of gold...yesterday it hit me. Fall is here. This is the season I remember so vividly from last year when parenthood was still so new it was barely real. I remember waving brightly colored leaves in front of Gus' pinched infant face and telling him about the sweet smells of rotting things. I also remember how profoundly tired I was - though excited at the same time too - I'm glad I get more sleep these days...

I'm no fan of fall. Never have been. I love summer and winter (well. winter in places with a decent chance at snow) for being such ctark seasons. There is a contrast. Bikini or tobagon. You know what you're in for. Clean and simple, that's how I like it.
Spring and fall have always thrown me for a loop. They are more complicated, thriving on sublety on hues and shades a little different each day. Too fluid for me. I always feel a little lost - especially trying to do the every-day chores, while the weather is doing this or that...

But we've had a couple of brilliantly bright gorgeous days here in the tree-y mountains of North Carolina (I'm convinced this is where God came to create trees...and he kept all of them) and I have been fortunate enough to get out into our vast Pisgah Forest and enjoy a couple of idyllic hikes with Gus and some peaceful runs all on my own.

Whenever I'm in it, I adore it, despite my preference for the next season over. I get wrapped up in this annual carnival of colors and smells and get swept up in it...and that's when I understand why some people are fond of saying "when the circus comes to town, you ought to go."
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let the sunshine in...

I love these two pictures that I snapped the other morning...the sun just hit our office nook in that beautiful moody way that only a grey fall morning in North Carolina can...they're intended to show off the sweater-sleeve pants that I made, but really they show off a new side of Gus that has just started to shine through - his observant, mildly bemused side - an expression tht is a hallmark of his Dad, who is a great quiet observer...more and more often I catch Gus just sitting or standing there looking at me as I prattle on about this or that...and my breath catches because he so much reminds me of's like seeing double...though he isn't just a copy of his Dad, I see his Dad reinterpreted in him...the same is probably true for how he is partly me, but I would have a harder time seeing that...

He is such a wonderful, inquisitive child, always ready to love and laugh...I continue to learn from him.

...oh and he is working on the use and meaning of his first two words...I'm proud to say that one is English and the other German, "hot" and "heiss" they are used to keep him from touching our wood-burning stove...but they also work for all things bright and lights...

He is a warm ray of sunshine to me. Every day. Regardless of what the weather holds in store outside.
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Goodies

Thank you, Auntie Leah, I love my new cube...and Momma is so impressed with your creative sewing's cuddly and durable...the perfect little punching bag for a rough toddler...
and this cool T-shirt also came in the birthday bag...Gus is feeling his inner Rockstar as you can see...thank you to Auntie Leah, Uncle Andy and Cousin Edward...we (especially Momma) love the new duds...and Johnny Cash IS our favorite...
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With the news on the radio nothing but depressing, we've especially enjoyed getting some packages full of goodies...first my Mami (Groma) sent a box filled with chocolate and a special topper for Gus that his Uncle Dominic made. Gus loves this topper and uses it for everything except for spinning...thank you for making it for him! favorite is the pair of overalls that my Mom sewed...they are a close ringer for the pair we got from my friend Brynn, which have quickly become my favorites...aren't they cute? My Mom is a very talented seamstress...I've ordered two more pairs...she can't say no to a picture this cute, can you, Mami?

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pants...on fire!

My friend Brynn linked me to this fabulous idea to make cute little pants out of old sweaters...super easy and wicked fast...I rushed to the thrift store, unearthed my sewing machine and got is my first batch...I'll get a picture of Gus in the boy's version just as soon as he needs an outfit change... here is the link
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A few more of my favorite shots...

Getting ready for our morning stroller-run...yep, Gus likes to go fast...

I snapped and Gus decided to put on an act worthy of the circus...all on four wheels that keep moving thanks to the slant of our 108-year-old house...

After a particularly good morning run this week...
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Bye, bye baby!

It's the refrain playing in my head these days: "bye, bye baby" (not the Backstreet Boys' version) and it rings true every time I look at Gus, there is so little baby left and so much toddler in every move, expression and gesture of his.

He wants to be fast, independent, fearless, play hard and most of all he wants his own set of wheels (hence the Red Flyer wagon and Daddy's skateboard).

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