Sunday, September 29, 2013

Playing catch-up


So, listen. Since I've been SAHM'ing, I've been a little.... lost? I don't necessarily "define" myself as a working-mom, but I have been working for a long time. The adjustment to being a full-time, at home parent has been jarring, honestly. Not bad, mind you, just.... different. I definitely enjoy the face time with the kids, and - DEFINITELY - the freeeeee time I have, now that the kids are back at school.

But for the first time in ages, I'm not really on a schedule, besides Gab's school schedule. I have so much free time, I kind of get overwhelmed and freeze because I don't know what to do with it all. That sure sounds like crazypeople talk.

Anyway, with all this freeeeeee time, you'd think I could at least be running some decent miles. AND YET.

This is what lazyass looks like

I'm partially convinced that my problem is that I had no races coming up - #1's cross country scheduling made fall plans mighty tricky for racing - so I've picked a December half, and start training..... Monday. Whee. 

With that, I guess, Plan for the Week is making a comeback!

Monday: 3 mi easy, XT
Tuesday: 6 mi, speed
Wednesday: XT
Thursday: 5 easy
Friday: 8 (with middle miles race pace), XT
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 3 easy or rest

I have kept up on the video trifecta (Tank Top Arms, Core, Glutes/Thighs), so at least there's that? (And, ps, I DO have muscle in my arms, and and AND I did full pushups - not on my knees - so I guess those videos do work....).

In other news....

As I said, #1 joined cross country at her high school, and is busy being so fast. They train hard, they train a LOT, and she's made amazing improvements already. When she started going to camp, her 5k time on July 4th was 24:xx (her 5k PR from Chapman 2011 was 22:08). At an invitational last weekend, she came in sub-20 in a 3 mile race. 

I would probably puke, if I didn't die first. 

I don't want to brag (lie), but she's killing it - she's already been asked to run varsity, and I'm really excited to watch the rest of her season. Which races every single weekend. All of the weekends. All over Southern California. 

Every weekend. 

Excitingly, #2 has expressed an interest in going running, too, so I am hoping to log some easy miles with her this week. 

And Gab has been accompanying us to some of the races, and mostly spends her time being like this. 

Grass Angels? 

And in non-kid news, remember my infatuation with Evan Dando last year? After an 18 month dry-spell in the SoCal tour front, Evan finally returned to OC this weekend, and man, it was glorious. 

Of note, that is NOT the infamous black shirt he wore for 6 months straight in 2011-2012, his voice sounds AMAZING, and he is seemingly clean and sober. Thank goodness. 

I have a really FUN story to share another day about annoying people. 

My favorite day of the week is grocery store circular day. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Renegade Racing is looking for local Renegade Reps! Renegade is the mastermind behind some of my favorite events - including the Troutman Sanders Santa Run in December, where I PR'ed the 10k by 3 minutes last year WHAT. (Right? Remember when I was "fast"?).

If you're a local athlete interested in applying, check out the application HERE - deadline to apply is Sept. 15th, so hustle!

2. Blog friend Elizabeth from Running for Bling is running RnR Nola in February with Team in Training. She has raised around $10,000 for LLS over the years, and this time she will be running in honor of her super cute cousin Cooper, and Gab.
I love this picture.

If you have a second, go check out her TNT story, Cooper's story, and help find a cure for blood cancers.

3. So.... the kids are at school. And I'm just.. hanging out. Running, some, cross training, watching an excessive amount of tv, baking.... I don't really know what to do with this nonsense called "free time". I woke up and kind of wanted to run today, but it was a rest day.

I don't even have anything on my race calendar right now, besides Tink in JANUARY.

What?! I don't even recognize myself any more.

If ever I were going to train for another marathon, I suppose now would be a good time, since I seem to have ALL THE FREE HOURS EVER. I previously intended to add Paso Robles Marathon to my calendar, but with me being unemployed, it feels like kind of a jackass thing to do right now - spending a weekend away chasing a race. I've kind of checked out local races, but I'm just not really feeling them. Well, the exception to that is Carlsbad, which I'd LOVE to do, but it interferes with Tink. Womp.

Anyway. That was a lot of words to say I'm kind of bored?

But I have perfected a banana muffin recipe, so at least there's that.

If you want to drop by.... I'm available. Pretty much always.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Six Months

Six months, cancer free.

Last month, she had some swollen lymph nodes in her throat - her pediatrician was surprised she hadn't complained, because they were caused by tonsillitis, and some infection funk in her throat. Gab insisted she felt fine - I'm not sure how I feel about that. Did she really feel fine? Was she so used to being uncomfortable that a little sore throat didn't even register? Did she think it was just... normal?

Who knows. I guess we'll figure it out in time.

Over the summer, we also had some cognitive testing done on her - the chemo treatments she received are known to cause cognitive issues, and we had some concerns. She came away from the testing with an "Unspecified Cognitive Disorder" - basically, something is off, but she's so young, it's hard to say what specifically it is. It's something we'll have to keep watching as she continues in school, and re-test as we go.

The last six months have been quiet, but I'm not sure that it will ever be "easy". I'm consistently on guard, watching for anything that's "off".

But - just like during her treatment - she's just a normal kid. She plays with My Little Pony, she is obsessed with dinosaurs (still), she picks up every single leaf she finds when we take a walk.

I have said this a million times, through diagnosis and treatment, but we are so, so lucky. We are lucky that she has such an optimistic attitude, that nothing phases her. We are lucky that she is the kid she is. We are lucky that we had the access to the care we did, and that it worked for her.

Today, she started first grade.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. While I was running Disneyland 10k, #1 was running her first cross country event. Okay, not REALLY, it was just team time trials.

She finished in 20:55, 9th place overall female. Since she has pretty much taken a MAJOR break since camp ended in the beginning of August, that's an excellent time. She's so fast! School finally starts for her next week, with her first real meet on the 14th - I'm psyched to see what she can accomplish with some real training.

2. Last week, I ran 3 miles Friday, 6.2 Saturday, 13.1 Sunday, and then decided following that with a 10 mile trail run on Monday would be the best idea ever.

It really was!

It was a beautiful morning - we left super early, and did 10 easy pace miles around Crystal Cove.

Ages ago, I went on a naturalist-led hike in an adjacent park, where the ranger said that there are no mountain lions south of the toll roads (because, DUH, animals know they belong north of the toll roads...). But that paw print was 1. not a dog, and 2. GIGANTOR. It's either a mountain lion, or a dinosaur. Either one, I won't be running that trail alone again for awhile...

3. I feel a little silly recapping the Disneyland Half, since I've done it three years in a row. So here are the pictures, and you can just imagine the caption for all of them being, "THIS IS THE MOST FUN EVER!".

"Where should I stash my needle and thread?" What.

So hot, so sunny.

LOVED THIS STOP. (just before you get inside Angels Stadium)

Almost a full on collision with a wall....

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The One Where We Are DFL: Disneyland 10k "Race" Recap

When runDisney announced the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge earlier this year, people LOST THEIR MINDS (myself included), and the challenge sold out within an hour. I figured it would sell out fast, but I was not prepared for the madness that ensued. Because I missed the super short registration window, I had to register through a travel operator - PS, I learned my lesson and registered for Tink Half the same day it opened.

Obviously, I planned on running with Becka, and this time L joined us! We planned our costumes MONTHS In advance.

Through the travel operator, we ended up staying the night before the races (10k and half!) at the Anabella Hotel - a luxurious 10-15 minute walk from Downtown Disney. {Note, if you ever stay there and park, for goodness sake, make sure you let the front desk know, or else you will get a snotty note on your car window}.

On Saturday, we decided to set the alarm to give us enough time to pick up a coffee at Haggen Dazs, then make our way to the corrals for our 6:30 start.

Except, turns out, the race starts at 6:15. Oops.

So while we're walking leisurely through Downtown Disney, trying to hunt down the corrals, the race is well underway.

alllllllllll those people at the end of the road were already starting the race. 
We managed to squeeze in somewhere towards the back of the crowd - I'm guessing around D corral? - and almost singed my poor tongue trying to finish my latte. Stressful!

The 10k course runs south of the parks, through the Convention Center, then into California Adventure and Disneyland Park, before finishing near Disneyland Hotel.

Richard Simmons?

There's one aid station around mile 1, and then not another until almost mile 4. Just something to note if you want to consider bringing your own water (it was a warm, humid morning).

Entering California Adventure...

Somewhere around mile 3, while we were in (a 10-15 minute) line for Monster's Inc pictures, we realized.... the crowd of runners was thinning out. And then we saw a bicycle pacer.

Me: "Hey, are we close to getting swept?"
Sweeper: "Well... you're a little behind pace."

What does that even mean?! He rode off before I could ask him.

We finished in the picture line, and made sure to pick up the pace a bit as we headed out of California Adventure and into Disneyland.

The second aid station is just inside the Disneyland Park entrance. Apparently they ran out of cups, and... well.

Take a bottle! Share with your friends!
We were still seeing the bike sweepers scuttling around, so we made sure to keep moving and only stopped for pictures we Really, Really Needed, like Queen of Hearts...

And, the photo that almost did us in.... the Tweedles. 

While we were in this line, with only 1 person in front of us, and one person in line behind us, we see... the sweeper carts. 

Dun dun DUN.

A sweeper came over, and DEMANDED that we make a choice. "PICTURE OR RACE! YOU HAVE TO KEEP MOVING!"

We promised to run really, really fast... after the picture. 

We were the last group through the castle before they closed the course.

Official time was 1:52:39, place 7559 out of 7828 finishers. Lols. 


Overall thoughts....
  • Obviously, I had a ton of fun. I love runDisney so much.
  • I found the course FUN. Being a shorter race, it is obviously easy to have most of it in the parks. 
  • The water station placement was weird - one at mile 1, one at mile 4ish, and one at 5.5. What.
  • I was surprised that they did something like run out of cups at the second station. To be fair, we did start late, and took our sweet time getting there, but.... I expect better when I pay $100 for a 10k. I expect better from a runDisney event.
  • I never found the course to be too congested, even being waaaaaaaaaaaay in the back. In fact, not even being LITERALLY the last person running. 
  • The sweepers were disconcerting! 
  • A lot of people think/say/advise others that you won't be swept as long as you're in the parks. THAT IS A FALLACY. I watched the sweepers. They were sweeping!
  • Always always always double check race details. We were confused about the start time, AND the location of the start line. Overconfidence almost did us in!
  • Even though I had a ton of fun, I likely will not be a legacy Dumbo runner (....and the H breathes a giant sigh of relief). It's too expensive for me to justify the cost, and there are other runDisney races I want to try - namely, Wine and Dine 2014.


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