Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Soccer Practice

With only two big weeks left of training this was a make or break it week. I survived the last day of daycare being closed as well as the getting James used to the new facility. That was no easy task either. Drop-off has always been easy so to now have the kid who was laying in the hallway crying was tough. Every morning I felt like I was in a panic searching for the closest teacher James would recognize. They were awesome with him and by the end of the week the meltdowns had been significantly minimized. 

And as much as my heart broke to do it I took Robert in for his first day of daycare as well. I wanted to get him a bit used to it...although since he is so unimpressed with anything these days I wasn't really sure he would even care if he was somewhere else. But I needed to get in a real long run on trails and so I dropped him off and scurried out of there before I could change my mind. 

I was halfway up the trail at Apex when I realized I had not actually told Sandra I was free. I was also already bored at the thought of 30 miles by myself doing loops at Apex. Thankfully it had been months since I had run there. Which by the way amazing what can happen in a few months. The new parking lot and bathrooms were open and honestly you could curl up on the bathroom floor for a nap and not worry about what disease you might catch. This is aside from the fact that the toilets flush and there are water fountains and a bottle filler! Are you kidding me? Almost too fancy for us trail runners! So anyways thankfully Sandra was able to meet me for the last 7+ miles to save me from my boredom. But I was super thankful to be out on the trails and feel pretty good. I did 17 on Wednesday so to feel good after a 30 on Friday made me feel like I might be able to pull off Run Rabbit.

I was also able to catch a smile from Robert although don't let him know because he apparently wants to maintain his "grumps" nickname for the foreseable future. 

James also really wants Robert to be a playmate...enough of the baby stuff already. Although I'm getting worried that Robert is going to be 6'5" and 20 years old and James will still be calling him "BABEEEE"!

I've been so excited to see James finally progress with pretend play. On Monday while I was feeding Robert James brought this small figurine up to me and pretended to feed it...on me...hmmm...then he kissed him covered him with a blanket, more like buried, but it counts and said "shhhh" and signed elephant sleeping. He's also learning to play the banjo. I am very thankful Uncle TJ bought the plush version of the banjo...

Week August 24 - 31

Miles: 74.3
Hours: 12.5

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Beast

The only way to describe this week is it was a beast. I'm tired thinking about it! It actually might have been the best mental training possible. Running 100 miles has nothing on what it took just to stay alive this week. Monday through Wednesday seemed like a dream. Just easy days with Robert. And then came Thursday...daycare closed. James' daycare moved to a new facility so they had to shutdown from Thurs until Tuesday. That meant 5 days of me with both boys. It was honestly the hardest thing I've ever done...and that's not just because I was left pushing a 70+lb B.O.B. to get my runs in. 
Night hike

The double B.O.B. is a Beast in it's own right. That's the only way to explain it. As I heaved that damn thing up Mt Carbon I just kept reminding myself how easy it would make running up the ski hill in a couple weeks seem. But we did have fun. We played at the lake on our run, we rode our bikes, painted, baked cookies...okay yes anything possible to  keep the monster busy. I absolutely love James' energy, but if only I could contain it or channel it and use it at appropriate times. Balancing an infant and a James is a ridiculous task. But watching James love on Robert and want to be able to play with him was worth all the exhaustion, headaches and tears. 

Friday my legs were screaming from the 16 miles I'd run over the past couple days with the Beast so when Dan called to say he was coming home early to go camping for the weekend I was thrilled to have an excuse for some short runs. But let me tell you camping for the first time with an infant and a James is no easy task. 

All worth the hell of both boys at home

Training-wise it was a bit of a disappointing week since I wasn't able to get in a long run. While Pike's was a long run in terms of time on feet I'm definitely a bit worried about two weeks in a row without a real long run. I still have a couple more weeks and my overall mileage wasn't too bad so hopefully it will all come together before I have to start tapering. 

Week August 17 - 23

Miles: 54.5
Hours: 9.5
A little driveway art

They got to go nuts in the old classroom before they moved

Insisted on wearing his backpack for our after dinner hike

The Beast

Dinner getting used to the camper

Yes, I built a sandbox at the camp site for James

Leadville weekend!!!!

Camp site

Sunday, August 23, 2015

PIke's Peak Ascent Race Report

Since I didn't get into Leadville Dan and I decided this was our opportunity to run the iconic Pike's Peak races. Dan was going to end his season with the marathon and I'd start mine with the ascent. Dan has been rehabbing his knee since Never Summer and while he most likely could have finished the race...slowly...he decided it was best if he didn't run. He would have finished only to not run for 6 weeks or so while he started his knee rehab over. It just wasn't worth it. So that left me to run the ascent.

I worried all week I wasn't ready for a race like this. Would my legs hold up? Did I have the endurance? The speed? Would my stomach hold up? What I didn't ask was if I was ready to race? I kept telling myself this is a training run? It will help with Run Rabbit. But I never prepared myself to actually race. As it turns out the months off of racing left my racing mindset just as out of shape as my body. 
This is what happens when Dad watches the boys!

The only thing I read about the course was not to waste your energy passing in the Ws and not to redline there. I took this to heart a bit more than I should have. I'm not sure my heart rate ever broke 100, I was never out of breath, my stomach never went south and all I kept thinking was "man I'd really like to be running more". Needless to say my performance was seriously sub-par for my capabilities. I was really disappointed at the end of the race. But really I have no one to blame but myself for not being mentally race ready. It was a good experience though. I know I need to work on my mindset before Run Rabbit or I'll end up with the same results. The good thing was at the end of the race, at over 13k feet my legs felt amazing! I started powering uphill more with no fatigue. Hell I chugged a PBR with a quarter mile left, at that point I figured why not, and then sprinted into the finish. So I know my legs have it. I know I'm strong enough for Run Rabbit the biggest question is endurance. 

Overall though it was a fun and very well organized race. I didn't run well, but I learned a lot that will better prepare me for Run Rabbit and I dusted off the cobwebs. Better to have a lackluster race at Pikes than RRR right? Now it's time to step up the training and get serious...both mentally and physically. 

Week August 10 - 16

Miles: 59.0
Hours: 12.5

Thursday, August 13, 2015

White Shoe Boxes

Last Friday I sat in the back of my Uncle's car next to Robert and listened as the lyrics heaven let your light shine on me played on the radio. We were heading to celebrate her amazing life and the legacy she was leaving behind. I couldn't help but think that I was pretty sure my Gram's light was shining down on me at that moment. I can only hope that I can reflect some of Gram's light onto others. 

Little Grammy as we so affectionately called her outlasted everyone living to 97! That's a full life and a life that will be very missed. She was honestly the sweetest, nicest woman you could possibly ever meet. She not only never said a bad word about anyone, but she always saw the best in them. I'm not nearly that good of a person, but maybe if I try I can be half as nice, that would still be pretty much up there on the sweet scale. 

The one thing she taught me above all others though was love. My Grandpa passed away long before I was even born. But as long as I knew my Gram's she always wore her wedding ring. I don't think I've ever known another widow to wear their wedding ring every day for 46 years. That's true love. I might not have known my Grandpa but he must have been a pretty special man for her to never even think twice about finding love again. And they must have had a special relationship for her to feel that way. I look to her for guidance on days when Dan or I are being particularly 'awesome' and I need that little reminder about true love. She is a strong and amazing woman. 

Though she be little she is fierce 

Every year a couple weeks before Christmas a white shoe box would arrive in the mail. Inside the box was perfectly folded sheets of wax paper protecting these delicate cookies. My favorites were these little butter cookies with raspberry jam. I have tried a million times to make these cookies and I can't even get close. Gram's were perfectly pale, the jelly perfectly cooked and they never spread out, there were literally the perfect cookie. Mine are always slight odd shaped and golden brown around the edges. Maybe in another 60 years I'll have them perfected. I'll never forget that white shoe box that was packed full of Gram's was my favorite part of Christmas.

I'll never make perfect cookies like Grams, my apple pie will never be as flaky, my tomatoes never as plump and my grass never as green, but I will try every day to show my family as much love as she showed me.

Week August 3 - 9

Miles: 52.5
Hours: 9.5

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Kazoo Bands and Badasses

After last weeks dismal miles I was in a panic to get my training back on track. I feel like the days are ticking by toward Run Rabbit and a long run hasn't happened since Cheyenne. So this week I made it my priority to run and get in my miles at any cost. I hit the treadmill with a vengeance at the beginning of the week. Tempo runs, incline workouts, speed workouts, all followed by hiking with the boys afterwards. I figure pushing a double B.O.B. up the mini mountain in our neighborhood has got to count for something. My legs certainly would tell you it counts!
Top of Mt Pritchard lap 10!

Thursday was my best bet for a long run. So I loaded Robert into the B.O.B. and trudged up our mini mountain...10 laps for 20 miles and 3500 ft of vertical, one feeding break and one mention of a crazy neighbor. Seriously one older man came chasing me down on his moped to ask what I was doing. Yes, I'm your crazy neighbor who is training for a 100 mile race by running this 2 mile loop. Someday I'm sure I'll be that old neighbor watching the young kids from the porch and thinking they must all be crazy.

The crazy neighbor was quickly forgotten though when Sunday I was pushing James up Mt Carbon and a guy came up from behind calling out "wow, you're a badass running like that". I think badass is a much better way to close the week than crazy neighbor so I'm sticking with it. 

James raced his Ironkids event on Saturday, although I was a bit disappointed that they changed the format from last year so it was just a fun run. No bike. We've been working so hard on the Strider bike to get him ready. Oh well, we'll find another race for him to rock his bike at. 

In other news James learned to play the kazoo at Adam's Camp...he hasn't stopped playing it either. And Robert's starting to let out a couple smiles, but mostly just grunts his disapproval at us. I'm pretty sure he's siding with my neighbor that I'm more crazy than badass.

Week July 27 - August 2

Miles: 64.5
Hours: 10

Post race celebration!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adam's Camp 2015 Race Report

This past week we were back to Adam's Camp. I was selfishly a bit worried about my running and how in the hell I was going to handle two kids all myself. The week before I had just begun to feel like I was getting my running legs back and my mileage up when Adam's Camp week hit, which was going to mean a 0 was entirely possible. But it's Adam's Camp and is so good for James so I had to just be willing to go with it. 

As always James was a total rockstar at camp! I was blown away by how his communication exploded even more than it already has been lately. Literally almost anything I said all week he tried to repeat. When he wanted to get picked up, which is most of the time since Robert has come along, after his initial attempt of grunting didn't work he would have verbalize half sign "I want up please". For those counting that is a four word sentence! That is amazing! He also finally started understanding that in order to jump he has to bend his knees and blast off. Thank you for the rocket ship concept! How did I not think of that!

Basically every day at Adam's Camp James had 30 minutes of music therapy, speech, OT and PT. By noon the poor kid was seriously exhausted. We would make the hour drive home, desperately hoping he didn't sleep too long in the car. Then the next several hours were a fight between James, Robert and I to keep Robert quiet long enough to get James down for a nap. I managed to get James down for a nap a couple times, but not nearly enough. 

Camp was another great week and a great way to add in some extra therapy this summer since we're on a kind of therapy break. James seriously did great and came along so far in just 5 short days. We're so lucky to have this resource and can't wait to go back!

Then Friday came was the end of camp week and Dan was heading up north for the Never Summer 100k (race report coming soon). So after a week of basically having the boys on my own I would be really on my own for the weekend. I frantically searched for things to do. Staying home was not an option. I needed something to do that included the stroller since it would contain both boys. Perfect a 5k in Conifer! So we went and raced the local 5k. Robert isn't really strong enough to run with yet, so we were resigned to a fast hike. But I still hiked strong and it was great to get out of the house. 

Well I managed...I got through the week and weekend...we're all alive, I managed a few runs and we all got fed...not anything amazingly nutritious but calories none-the-less! Next week time to really start ramping things up!

Week July 13 - 19

Miles: 56.5
Hours: 10.5 

Week July 20 - 26

Miles: 38.2
Hours: 7

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

And Then There Were Four...

My excuses for not posting much lately include that I've been busy managing this...

and taking care of this...

I will be better about posting...well I'll try...

Robert Patrick joined our family a couple weeks ago and well it has been a whirlwind. Unlike James Robert sprinted into this world in a short 2 hour labor.Thankfully Auntie Kelle raced in just as fast so she could be there to deliver Robert. 

We've been adjusting quiet well to our new new life. James is completely in love with Robert and with being the big brother...maybe too much. There have been a lot of hugs and sloppy kisses being given, boops to eyes and noses, fist bumps...occassionally to the chin, maybe a gracious finger to be sucked on...not sure I even want to know where that finger was prior to its re-purposing as a pacifier. 

So Robert will be a tough kid with an even tougher immune system. It could be worse...James could be the jealous type. But so far he wants to cuddle when I'm feeding Robert, help carry him to the car, cover him in blankets and give him cups of "water" to drink. All in all its been a smooth transition to a family of four and one that has overfilled my heart. I'm so proud of how James has handled the transition and am so excited each day to see the interactions between James and Robert and all the love James has for Robert. 

My doctor told me to listen to my body in terms of getting back to running. The nurse said no walking for 2 weeks. Well lady first of all you see this toddler who has just pulled all the nitrile gloves out of the boxes and onto the floor, is playing peek-a-boo in the curtains, pushing all the buttons on the bed and is pulling the trash cans out of the cupboard? no walking? you must mean because there is no walking in my house...just running and chasing. Well okay I won't walk...I'll just run! So after 4 days off my body was screaming to get out for a run. That's just what I did. A nice easy 4 miler. 

I took it easy the first week and have been building back my mileage by adding 10 miles a week. I'm basically bound to the treadmill and hiking Robert up and down the hill in our neighborhood. I've been feeling good...a nine month taper will do that for your legs though. My endurance is definitely lacking and my climbing has a long ways to go before Run Rabbit, but overall I think I'm in way better shape than I was after James was born. 

Week June 15 - 21

Miles: 13.5
Hours: 3

Week June 22 - 28

Miles: 7.5
Hours: 2

Week June 29 - July 5

Miles: 20.0
Hours: 4

Week July 6 - 12

Miles: 30.5
Hours: 6