Tag Archive | running

Thankful Thursday (on Friday)

I had noble intentions about yesterday but that is how things go.

On the bright side yesterday night I got to go to my monthly Mom night out and one of my favourite Mexican restaurants and I had a beer and a coor’s light (nope, not 2 beers) and yapped with a fun group of ladies and we only discussed potty training for about 2 minutes and never mentioned diapers (except for our service project brainstorm – I think we will do a diaper drive for a local charity for very young single mothers).

Today is a sad day in the back of my mind because a friend died suddenly this day last year and I have Time Hop to ever remind me…  But, she was a person who didn’t like other people to be sad and went to great lengths to make sure they weren’t so I wasn’t.  I ended up baking a ton this afternoon while cleaning out the fridge and made a ‘chicken’ pie (using leftover pork roast and refried beans), I baked bread for our planned steak dinner, and brownies because we are going to a bit of a party tonight.  Regardless of how young she died I’m glad for the years I knew her.


And finally, Fiona and I had a fun week doing all sorts of little things.  Still so odd to just have 1 at home, by the time I get used to the solo kid thing its the weekend and I’m back to 3 :).  I’m thankful for the time with Fiona and for the time with all three.


excivating a dino




what if there were two Fionas?!?

Oh – And I was going through my phone I completely forgot that I came in 6th in a 5K, we found a new playground, we went geocaching and took a nature hike with a friend.  We also had a very successful dinner party followed by a revival of the nerdtastic D&D game – Its really not all that different from other board games, just lasts longer and there is wine and good snacks when you do it post high school….  Plenty of reasons to smile this week.

IMG_6591  IMG_6599

Butterflies and bright shiny objects

When does focus happen?

I was going to say when does competitive spirit happen but we have that here since birth…  I think Fiona learned to walk at 10 months just to be able to race her sisters and even now, I say “who wants their hair brushed first!” and Fiona will run break neck to get to me (even if she is actually last).  So Niamh, Zoe and Fiona have a clear concept of winning and not winning and we often talk about how to be a good player and to cheer on anyone behind you.

Niamh has been running tons, all her life, and she is fast for a burst of around 200 yards.  Our block  is a perfect 400m and around March when the snowbound crazy hits I started letting her run around the block alone so she has been doing it for months.  Sometimes I time her and her average is around 4min.  That is really quite slow for running and usually she tells me there was a car or a dog or a person to say hi to etc.  All understandable obstacles but NONE of those things exist on a real track…

When we signed Niamh up for a 4-day track camp with the youngest allowed is 6 and the oldest is 14 I knew she would most definitely NOT be the fastest there.  I wanted her to see kids really run and I wanted her to try hard.  She did deliver on both counts while consistently crossing the finish in the last 5 kids.  Realistically she was right there with the 2nd and 3rd graders and usually beat the two 6-year-olds and that is just right.

The real surprise of the camp was the fact that she was so easily distracted it was funny.  I didn’t stick around for the whole thing but every day she presented me with flowers she picked.  The last day I got there just as she was starting the 400 race and she started strong but then started going really slow just after 200 yards and staring off into the grass.  She picked it up again and actually finished the race at 2:40 but I asked her if she got tired and she said no – she was looking for her water bottle.  In the same race a girl behind her started running in the other lane and then onto the grass.  I thought she was just tired too, but then I saw her chase a butterfly.  I’m glad it isn’t just my daughter but it is hilarious to see kids just get so completely distracted that they just stop doing what they were in the middle of doing it.

So parents of older kids, when can I expect her to make it around the track without stopping to contemplate the cloud patterns?  She still wants to run so the camp was a win 🙂


so ready for that hand off, I think she is playing with her nails…

R – is for Running

Running…. a necessary evil in some ways.  Long ago I figured out that I was not coordinated enough for sports like tennis or golf but running takes very little hand eye skill.  It is also a way to melt off weight.  I’ve read plenty of things that say walking is just as good but I get so bored walking and running is just so much faster.

At one point I was a good runner, on a team with a trainer and everything.  A part of my brain can’t give up those stats and anytime I run a slow mile I hear echos of the past telling me to speed up.  Now I do a 5k here and there but I basically just run to run.  Usually at some point I start really feeling strong running and end up running faster.  This year I used the elliptical all winter to try and get to that point faster in the outside season and based on that plus some weight training I’m happy to say my mile time is under 9 min and hovering at 8.40 already!  I have no clue if I’ll ever run something more substantial like a 10k or a Half or even a marathon.  My sister and so many friends have done marathons but I’m not sure I can commit to doing anything for 5 hours, not to mention all the time you’re supposed to run before to work up to the 26 miles.  I’ll put it in the ‘maybe’ category and that is an upgrade from the ‘never’ status it has been for years.

Here are my top ten reasons to run;

1. Next to no equipment needed, all you need is sneekers.

2. I can listen to my book in peace – I like audio books, way more distracting than music and the pace is more steady

3. I can run away from my family for a while – I always go back… but for half an hour I can be gone with a good reason

4. Good to check out what is going on in the neighborhood

5. I can do it alone, without help (other than kid watching).  No depending on a team or a group.  I can do it when I have time and I want to.

6. I can pretend to be athletic

7. It validates my oreo’s

8. It is faster than most other exercises, and, if you want to be done faster, run faster!

9. It is portable, I can even run on vacation, its actually extra fun to cruise a new area

10. Running is something I can measure myself against – faster, slower, longer – I get stats and I like stats – and it is entirely based on my work not the work of a team or luck or anything else.  Other than sometimes blaming nasty weather, everything else is just a variable  (like how hills affect my time etc).

Running is just the sport for me.  I hope my body lets me keep doing it for a long time.  I like that if I’m fast or slow I’m still ‘in the game’.  I did field hockey and soccer and you just can’t do that as an adult without massive commitment to a team, if they even exist, and they only run for a season so the rest of the year you are SoL.  Speaking of, its about time for me to get going 🙂

ps.  I want to mention this but other peoples dreams are usually even more dull then lists about why they like to run.  However.  99% of my dreams that I remember are just like my regular life and completely dull.  Better than bad dreams – but – the awesome dreams I have I’m Running, really really fast, like practically flying but I know I’m absolutely running.  I love that feeling and those dreams and in some ways I’m always chasing that dream when I run in real life.

All the, All the, all the things

The past week has been a cooking marathon.  Lars came home from the farmers market with a huge box of tomatoes, a huge bag of bell peppers, 9 eggplants, and a few bunches of carrots.  Needless to say, my Wednesday was spent making tomatoes into tomato sauce meaning basically nothing (other then my contracted hours) got done on my normal ‘get things done’ day.  In fact, it was a mess making extravaganza!  

took her 10 min to de-deseed and then she ate it..

Thursday I had to prep all those eggplant and they went into a fantastic, yet tedious and multi step recipe.  On the good side I made 3 big trays, 1 we gave to a friend that loves it and just had a baby so the meal was very welcome.  We had a tasty dinner AND a good 3 or 4 meals worth in the freezer.  It was just a ton of work and in the middle of making this recipe I always vow to never make it again.  In the middle of doing this I got a surprise package from Amazon.  Something from my long neglected wish list was the perfect thing to entertain the kids while I made moussaka AND actually ‘canned’ a bunch of the sauce (nowhere near all, I ran out of jars and energy).  The gift made me tear up since it was someone tying to fill the hole left by Ashley but he wants to spread happy not  make us sad.  Thursday culminated in a long long in home presentation for refacing cabinets that was more or less a waste since the quote was just way out there.


After 2 days on my feet and non stop cooking I was exhausted and frazzled but still had more to do!  Not to mention all the things I didn’t do other than cleaning the kitchen over and over and over and the rest of the house was getting ghastly…. Friday was moussaka part 2 (sauces and assembly).  This was supposed to be the ‘easy’ day and I headed out to the gym where I got a good weights work out (since I’ve been on target with cardio for the week) and I got a distress call from a friend who needed desperate sewing help.  So, I did sauce while I taught her how to sew.  She has the basics now and I was happy to have the company BUT Fiona choose Friday to not nap, spectacularly…  Right down to a potty training melt down where she actually peed on a pile of memory cards.  That game will never be the same.  I don’t think I ever had such a ‘miss’ with any of the others but she was just tired I think, and, she is still on the very young side – she is only 2y 4m.  I nearly gave up on my evening plans but I did feel better for going out and chatting with my friend plus the kids were good so that always helps. Today we woke up to fantastically perfect fall weather, absolutely perfect for the race I signed up for.  I ran the 5k and they mis-marked the course and it was a 3.65m course so nearly a 6k, but I had a very good time (both fun and fast run).  The kids race was less organized and we actually missed the start but it was fine.  Niamh and Zoe and Lars really ran, Fiona ran then wanted to be carried.  We waited at the 1/3 mile mark so I got some good pictures of them running back.  I put Fiona on my shoulders and I was also carrying a heavy backpack but I ran the last 1/3 of a mile back to get finish line pictures.  Luckily Fiona wanted to get down and run so I could sprint and actually make it (left her with Lars) and I got all three of them crossing the line.  It was a Free race and paid snacks and t-shirts and that is perfect for me.  I could still donate to the cause and not feel like I was paying to run.  Not that it was a big race, maybe 85 people, I came in 8th or 9th overall and 2nd for women.  I was NOT passed by any strollers or pregnant women (the standard goal) but I was beat by a child – that 12 year old boy was just FAST.  The rest of the day was dealing with the last of the tomatoes – I now have a real visual for the phrase ‘bottom of the barrel’ – and playing outside.  We came inside at 5:30 and the oppressive mess just hit me.  It was a put it away or throw it away 2 hour blitz and we are back to decent…

They passed me! ( I passed them back)

waiting for the race to start

Zoe finishes strong


Fiona also finished, although she was passed by a stroller. Niamh Was the cheering squat luring her in with a snack.

High hopes we will all be a racing family…

I am sitting here super sore from too much standing, chopping/scooping, working out, racing, cleaning and  parenting!  I still have a little to finish tomorrow but we are spending most of the day out at a new orchard with friends.    It is hard to say I finished anything since there is just a little to do on nearly everything but I think I can get it all done and then get back on the halloween costume track.  Next week Zoe has no school and Niamh has Thursday and Friday off and I’m looking forward to having the crew again AND I can make Niamh’s costume with her in the house for trying on so the goal is to get them done by the end of next week….  I do like being busy but I won’t mind not seeing a tomato for a while.

running in the morning

For the past two weeks I’ve gotten to run in the morning.  This is a team effort; Lars wakes up, Fiona acknowledges that I can leave the house without her, and Niamh and Zoe sleep.  Timing on this circus is in constant flux because it is really really  hard to get up before 7am when nobody is awake yet.  I tell myself it is because I would have to wake up Lars to tell him I was leaving and he had to get Fiona when she woke up and shouts cheerfully calls out “I in my Bed!”, and waking others up seems mean.  So, start time is largely decided by when Fiona wakes up +10 min for Lars to get conscious enough to be the responsible adult +2min for me to finish getting stuff ready.  This means I’m out sometime after 7 but back by 9 so Lars can get to work.  The goal is for Lars to work out too, tag team style, but he has had a tad less luck getting out the door (but sometimes is still better then never).

This 2 hour zone thing will not fly once we start back to school.  I either have to get going at 7, or…. I don’t know, wait and see I guess because over planning is a recipe for disaster and disappointment.

I do feel better after 2 weeks of this.  My mile times have crept down and my number of miles possible is creeping up.  There are some fun things to see in this morning zone and in the past 2 weeks I’ve run into;


1. Garbage pickup – great big trucks that drive wherever they want with no regard for traditional direction of traffic

2. The Gotez landscaping company that seems to own this town

3. Construction workers standing around looking at yesterday’s work.  They do move fast overall because I see daily progress but they are not moving much pre9am

4. People in very comical outfits taking out trash or letting out dogs.  I suppose they thought nobody was looking

5. Mist/fog/dampness

6. Lots of people going to work making a few of the roads more dangerous then I wish.


Things I don’t tend to see between 7:45 and 9 are other joggers or dog walkers.  Running in the early evening it is like a dog parade but not in the morning.  There are very few people out, maybe when I move to 7am I’ll see more, who knows.  Today I did see an older woman and she glanced back at me running up on her and I smiled and encouraged her to ‘run to the corner’.  She did it, and, actually kept running a bit more.  It was really nice to do a little something nice while I was out there (she was obviously exercising).

Unfortunately I am back to feeling ‘exercised’ far too often but I know that it is for the good and probably temporary anyway.  Good thing we have a hot tub~

Throwback Thursday

So I’m misusing this title too (its a theme).  I’m throwing it back alllll the way to the weekend.


I have a ton to say but only one short nap time to say it, and, I need to boil eggs for easter so I will keep it on the brief side.  If you want more on something e-mail me, the address is in my about.


Flight – I can’t skip the random ups and downs of air travel in any story.  We have been using sun country and SWA so much that I don’t’ remember the last time I was in terminal 1 but Delta was the winner this trip and they have changed things up.  In MSP you can put a lap infant on your ticket at a kiosk!!!  Amazing.  Too bad I waited in line for an agent for him to tell me that but I will know for next time.  I also had to trek hither and yon and I’m glad Fiona was amused by the stroller because even if she is a good walker it was a ton of walking.  We were there early but still ended up boarding as soon as we got to the gate.  Fiona was pretty good but the people next to me were having a very juvenile work affair.  They work together and took pains to not be seen together in the airport (based on me over hearing but seriously, I’m a centimeter away, they knew I could hear) and they even had to swap seats to sit together and then I was subjected to a painful ‘date like’ encounter for the next 3 hours.  They were weird, they were still in the very polite ‘oh yeah, I would LOVE to see this concert thing on your phone for 40 min that I can’t hear and can hardly see and then have you narrate…” phase.  They also talked about their respective kids and then would randomly and awkwardly make out like no 40+ year old people should.  ANWAY the bright side is no small talk needed….  We arrive in NY early but our gate at JFK was so far away it took 15 min walking briskly to get to the luggage claim but hey, no waiting for luggage.

Parents house – oh so nice to be there.  The odd thing was having only one child and that child being Fiona.  She was looking for sisters and just not finding them.  I remember a time when I was with Niamh as a nearly 2 year old and her cousin Connor who is the same age but he is #3 in his family and how different they were.  Now Fiona is the #3 and Chase (sister who lives in NY son) is the #1 and I see the difference from the other side.  Chase and Fiona played really well and look like twins



Too bad most of the time Fiona felt like this

That, by the way, is my parents heated kitchen floor.  The cats do this often but it was a first for Fiona who lay there for 20 min at least.  She did play plenty with Chase and everyone but she was not herself. We suspect ears but we may never know, she is back to normal now.


The Shower was a BIG portion of the weekend.  We went to help prep until midnight on Friday and then Sinead was there again at 10 and basically didn’t leave the kitchen until the lunch was over.  I was doing the cake the morning of and it turned out almost like I wanted

It is a cupcake-dress cake and if I had just a little bit more icing it would have been perfect!


The party went well, it was almost all people I knew since I remembered most of the groom’s side from other parties and other than the regular stress of putting on a party everything went very well.  The big negative was due to poor communication, feelings (including mine) were fairly hurt but whatever – this is the only time I’ll be working on this style project with this person so I’m moving on with the lesson learned that I need to be the boss or make triple sure someone is since I thought I was doing the right thing stepping back but the person who I thought totally ready for party leadership felt left adrift. Deep breath – moving on…


Josie, the bride, had a great time and looked smashing in the dress we scoured suffolk county to find – then we added many ‘special’ accessories


We were off to the bachelorette party in a limo for 10 to NYC

the limo made our eyes demonic… yeah, the limo

at 7-11 where all good parties start

Other then a quick stop (at sevs) we went directly to a very fun drawing class where we drew a nice looking man without his clothes on.  It was fun and funny and there was champagne and it was 100X more classy than a strip club or a string of bars and I am very glad we went to it.

Next some time in Times Square where there was an insane number of people dressed up as characters for 11pm but I’m not judging, we just took pictures.  When you have a bridal party you can do almost anything – it is an awesome super power.  I’m going to keep a ‘bride’ sash in my pocketbook for future use…

Finally we did go to a real bar that was full of stripper poles.  Yes I tried it, yes there are pictures, no I’m not publishing them because they are silly.  Same goes for everyone else there but it was very fun and someone even tried to buy me a drink (I said no thanks, I was planning on driving in 2 hours).

We got home safe and that is all I have time for today!  Fiona awakes and we have a busy afternoon so I need to put in pictures and publish. Sorry – my day is totally off because of the snow so we were an hour late getting out to the gym and +1 kid and after nap we cleaned and then directly out to pick up my HotChocolate race package to dash back home to a board meeting I was hostessing, so, now I’m finally done and can add the pictures I intended to do hours ago.  Tomorrow will be more of the same I’m sure but with egg dying and then Saturday my race is at 8am! That is way too early!  I am going to end up running in my pjs….