Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gettin Fishy

This afternoon I really wanted to take Carter to the aquarium so I skipped out on running and headed straight for the aquarium after picking him up.  He was extra clingy, as he typically is after a day at daycare, so he wanted to be held pretty much the whole time which was fine by me.  I tried putting him down a couple times to see if he wanted to walk and he started fussing, "momma, momma, momma" over and over while clinging to my legs.  So I swooped him back up and carried him around to see all of the animals. 

Each time I take him to the aquarium I am amazed at how different the experience is.  He has a different favorite animal, he oohs and ahhs more excitedly, he points and babbles, and now even says some words and interacts with the animals.  As always he was transfixed with the jelly fish.  There's just something about them that is soothing and calming to watch.  Then we made it to the area with beavers and otters.  We initially stopped at the beaver tank and he was pretty non-plused.  Not due to lack of trying on the beaver's end.  One of the beavers is very friendly and likes to swim close to the glass, eyeballing his visitors.  We headed on to the otters and there was one otter out swimming and with furry.  It was in and out of the water, twirling around and moving with a speed many times that of the beaver's.  Carter was very impressed and even clapped for the otter.  It was adorable.
Watching the otter flip around in the water.
Clapping for the otter.
As we left the area we stopped to watch the beaver a little bit more.  This time Carter was much more interested.  He tracked the beaver back and forth in it's area.  I kept telling Carter, "Here comes the beaver, say hello," and waving at the beaver.  Carter started waving at the beaver as it swam by and even blew a few kisses.  It was the sweetest thing.  While we were watching the otter someone brought dinner in for the beavers.  They had chunks of apple.  I was telling Carter what they were eating and said yum.  After that he pointed at the apples the one beaver was eating and said yum a couple times.
Waving to the beaver as it swam by.
Little man continues to impress me with all the ways he grows and changes.  He is such a sweet and loving boy.  I love all the things he's picking up and how he mimics things he sees us do.  He now reaches up and "suds" his hair to wash it in the bath tub just like he's seen me do.  He smiles, waves, and blows kisses.  He will grab my keys off the stand in our entry way and walk to the door, holding the keys up to the door knob like he's going to lock or unlock the door.  He also has the idea of how to open doors as well as turn on faucets.  He will reach and do the motions, he just doesn't quite have the strength to execute just yet.  One of his favorite thing to do at daycare is play in the kitchen.  He grabs a skillet or bowl and a measuring spoon or spoon and pretends he is stirring food.  By far my favorite thing he's doing right now, other than giving kisses, is reading books.  He will sit with a book in his lap, turn the pages, and make sounds like he's reading.  He will even roar for the animals on the pages.  I look forward to what he picks up next as well as how our next experience at the aquarium will be different from the one we had today.
Watching the sting rays.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Get Busy Livin 5k and a PR!

This spring season I've become a little bit obsessed with breaking 21 minutes in the 5k.  I ran a 21:05 back in November and then followed that with a 21:20 on New Year's after some time off after my half-marathons.  I knew that I had the ability to run under 21 minutes, I just needed to focus on speed and the 5k rather than distance and the half-marathon.  After we had a miscarriage I turned my focus to running.  Running was something I could control and it was something to take my mind off what had happened.  Focusing on how fast I could run made the pain of no longer carrying a baby just a little bit easier to take.  The weekend after we found out I miscarried, my body was still going through the process when I ran the St. Patty's Day 5k in a surprising 21:53.  I was impressed I was able to run under 22 minutes after a month of easy running and with what my body was going through.  From the moment I finished that race I was desperate to run faster, to break 21 minutes, to have something to be excited about and proud of.  I had a little over a month of training before the Get Busy Livin 5k and I was dead set on running almost a minute faster.

Last weekend we ran the Autism Speaks 5k as a tune-up for this weekend.  It was the perfect test to see where I was and what I was capable of doing.  I knew it was going to be close when I finished that race in 21:01.  It was a flat course with few turns.  The Get Busy Livin 5k course makes the shape of a 9 in honor of Dylan Meier.  While that is great and an extremely neat and well executed idea there are tons of turns in the race and all runners know they slow you down immensely.  So I was nervous.  I had to break 21 minutes.  I needed it.  I felt like I needed a little accomplishment to add a bit more pep back into my step.

I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of rain.  I figured, no big deal, it will probably stop raining by the time the race starts.  I was sure it was at the latest 7 am since Carter had just woken up, but it was 7:40.  With just over an hour until race start, it was pouring rain.  We all got ready and Jeremy and I decided to run to the race as our warm-up.  We figured the rain would continue on through the race so we might as well go ahead and get wet.  We took off and it started raining even harder.  Buckets of rain were pouring down on us.  Then came the hail.  It was small and mostly harmless, but every once in a while one would zing you and it stung just a bit.  When we arrived everyone was hovered under tents to stay dry.  Jeremy and I were soaked and rain was squishing out of our shoes.  As I stood pinning my race number to my shirt the race director announced the start time would be delayed for about 30 minutes because the rain was supposed to pass us.  At this point I was cold, my legs felt like wet spaghetti noodles, and I had half an hour to wait until the race.  Jeremy and I decided to wait a little bit and then run another short warm-up.
Waiting out the rain after it had slowed down.

Ready for the race.  Our BOB rain cover is so worth it and once again kept Carter dry!
As we ran our warm-up my legs felt all wobbly and I didn't feel very strong.  Jeremy and I joked that we hoped it would stay dry for the race start and then start raining to even the playing field, but it didn't.  We made our way back to the starting line to see everyone lined up underneath the start sign.  Dad nervously told us we better hurry over as they were getting ready to start the race.  We jogged over and stood for quite a while before they shot the starting gun.  As we took off my legs still felt all funky, but I was confident.  I knew I could rock 6:45 pace so I focused on that.  The first mile we ran through a few puddles and some mud.  I was pleased to see my first mile was 6:44.  My plan was to push the 2nd mile as much as I could and maintain my pace.  The 2nd mile is always the hardest.  Nearing the 2 mile mark I caught up to the 2nd overall female and my watch chimed showing another 6:44 mile.  Soon after the 2nd mile I ran up next to the 1st female runner.  She looked over, saw I was a female, and sped up.  I focused on my pace and kept my "beat 21 mantra" going in my head.  I pushed as hard as I could knowing every second mattered.

With about a half mile to go I pulled ahead of the 1st female and hit mile 3 in 6:40.  The race finishes on the football field Dylan played on in high school and you take a sharp turn into the stadium.  I tried to sling shot around the turn as quickly as I could and sprinted across the turf.  As I crossed the finish line I was confident I broke 21 minutes.  Each of my 3 miles was under 6:45 and I knew I ran a strong finish, but I pushed the lap button on my watch and saw 21:00 pop up as my finishing time.  I was disappointed, but I also knew I didn't stop my watch right as I crossed the finish line and my watch showed the distance as 3.14 miles.  I anxiously awaited the race results and was thrilled to see my official finishing time was 20:59!  I don't care if it was only 1 second under 21 minutes, it was under 21 minutes and that's all I needed!  It may have been a small victory, but it was my victory and it was exactly what I needed.  I knew all the turns had significantly slowed me down.  I would look down on a straight segment and my pace was 6:35.  Then I'd turn a corner and look down to see my pace had slowed to 6:55.  Even with that slowing me down I ran my fastest 5k time since meeting Ty.  I'm calling it a PR and enjoying what comes with setting a personal best!  Jeremy and I ran a cool down.  We jogged back to mom, dad, and Carter who were walking the race.  It was fun to walk with them and to watch Carter taking everything in.
Mom snapped a picture of us on our cool down.
My friend, Erin, photo bombed so mom had her get in the next picture.

We stayed for the awards ceremony.  Jeremy finished 2nd overall in 19:01, just 7 seconds behind the top finisher, and I was the top female finisher (16th overall).  We both received plaques and a free pair of Nike shoes.  Thomas was 40th overall and 19th in his age group with a time of 23:38.  Ty finished in 26:24, just 50 seconds off his PR from the Aquarium Run last year.
Carter was inspired and wanted to run!
Ty, Thomas, and Thomas' old neighbor waiting for the awards ceremony.
Linking up with Ashley, who rocked a half-marathon this weekend, for Move it Monday:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend we headed to my parents' house to run the Get Busy Livin 5k on Saturday morning.  Read more on why the race is so special to us here.  Thomas spent the night with us Thursday night for an interview in a town about 15 minutes from our house he had on Friday morning.  He and Jeremy went to lunch after his interview and then headed out shortly after.  Ty, Carter, Harper, and I left after work.  As we were leaving Ty checked the mail and saw a package addressed to me.  He tossed it across the seat to me and told me I could open it on our drive.  I was so excited to open it and discover a CD, t-shirt, and autographed Mother's Day card from my favorite musician, Ben Harper!  Ty had ordered it for me as a Mother's Day gift and hadn't realized what it was.  I was extremely excited and pumped up.  Then I called Thomas to get more details on his interview only to find out they had already called him to offer him the job!  Talk about an amazing start to our weekend!  Carter did a great job in the car and even "read" a book out loud making animals noises as he turned the page.
Autographs of Ben Harper and Ellen Harper, his mom, on my Mother's Day card.

Saturday morning Carter woke up early and came to bed with us.  Once in bed with us he slept until 7:40!  Then we all got up for the race.  More on that to come later.  The official results haven't been posted yet.  We had a relaxing day playing around the house.  Mom, dad, and Ty went to garage sales during Carter's nap and came home with some toys for him.  It warmed up into the 80's so we pulled out the baby pool and filled it with water from the hose mixed with warm water from inside.  We all sat around and watched Carter play.  A good friend and co-worker from my first job stopped by to see us and catch up.  It was so good to see her and I couldn't believe it had been a whole year since the last time we had seen each other.  She was very impressed with what a sweet, snuggly boy Carter is!  We ended the evening grilling out and playing yard games.
Playing with a tee grammy and grampy got at a yard sale.

Ready to try out his new swim gear from his great grandparents.

Carter can't say he doesn't get tons of attention!

My snuggle bug wanted hugs.

This morning Ty got up with Carter and I slept in.  I had started feeling yucky Saturday night and woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck.  My head was foggy, my body ached, and I was exhausted.  I felt like I'd run a half-marathon, not a 5k, the day before.  Mom, dad, and I took Carter on a walk and stopped off at the park to play.  Unfortunately none of us had grabbed our cameras or our phones, so we didn't get any pictures.  Carter loved climbing up the stairs to the slide and laughed when he rode down the big tornado slide.  The walk didn't help with my soreness like I'd hoped, so I went on a short run while Carter took his nap.  My run helped a bit with the stiffness, but I was still exhausted and sore so we had a lazy afternoon.  When Carter woke up from his nap he laid between me and Thomas on the air mattress, playing and climbing over us.  We had dinner and then headed for home.  Jeremy rode home with us and his cats were in the back in their carriers.  One of his cats escaped his carrier much to Carter's surprise and excitement.  He was all over the car and at one point even ended up on Ty's lap.  We had a great weekend filled with family and fun.  With how I've felt today, I already need another weekend and tomorrow is Monday, ick!
Pointing and laughing at Agent Smith out of his carrier.