Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I've gone and really done it this time.

Today I uttered four terrible words.

OK, today I uttered at least four terrible words. Maybe as many as 25 but no fewer than four.

Four words I had told myself I would never ever say. Just bad parenting, I told myself.

That'll never be me.

I'm too high and mighty to say such foolish, pointless, terrible things.

And then, just like that, the four words were out of my mouth and in the air before I even realized what I was saying.

I will admit, I was distracted. These size sixes needed to be boxed up. Do we have any other 12-18 months pajamas? You know the sort of distractions.

But still, it's no excuse.

I was frustrated. Everything, everywhere was a mess. I just wanted some order. Someone, anyone to listen to me.

I was on the warpath see. There was no control to be had. But boy did I want some.

Those four words, they didn't give me any comfort, control or peace.

I didn't even know they were in my vocabulary. But apparently they were on the tip of my tongue, just begging to be let free.

It can't be that bad, you're wondering, what four words could it possibly be.

I'll tell you, but please don't judge to harshly.

"Because I said so."

I know, it's all downhill from here.

Virginia 10 Miler

This past Saturday Todd, Erin and I all ran the Genworth Virginia Ten Miler in Lynchburg. The Ten Miler is Lynchburg's biggest race and has grown in the past few years, the race saw over 2700 participants between it's three races; the Amazing Mile (an all children event held downtown the evening before) the 4 miler (which boasted a "walking" section this year) and the 10 miler. Saturday morning's start was a cool one that turned warm before any of us crossed the finish line (except for Benson Cherulyst who crossed the finish line in 49:23). It was Todd's second 10 miler (he ran a 1:36:07 last year when he ran his first ever road race). It was my first 10 miler (I ran the 4 miler portion last year in 45:45, also my first ever road race). It was Erin's first 10 miler as well, she wasn't even running last year when the 10 miler event occurred.

This race was actually my "anniversary" race. I ran my first mile since high school last year during the first mile of the 4 miler section. I quickly turned to walking with some occasional jogging after that first mile but it was that event that started it all for me. Ever since the 4 miler last year I have been immersed in running, training and racing. I have seen huge improvements over the past twelve months (from that 11:11 pace at last years 4 miler I have seen race paces as good as 7:39). Because of the meaning this race has for me I really wanted to run it and run it well. That is why I joined a 10 miler training group at the end of July and that it why, when three weeks ago, my knee started to hurt that I was stricken with fear and worry. The knee pain got so bad that I have only run a handful of short runs in the two weeks leading up to the 10 miler. The few days before I was unsure whether I would be running at all.

But I'm strong (read that 'stubborn') and I showed up on race day, downed 4 ibuprofen and joined the ranks crammed in elbow to elbow at the start line. The first mile was fine, it is mostly downhill (the race is the 10 miles off continuos uphill and downhill) and I kept a steady if not fast pace. Then at 1.16 the knee started up, then at 1.5 the other knee started to complain. By two miles both knees were hurting and I was seriously contemplating walking. I was crying in my head and thinking only about my knees. Finally, I told myself to change to positive thoughts or drop out of the race. I knew that negative talk, even if only to myself, was going to make the next 8 miles even more difficult than my knees were already making it. I tried to speed up but the knees and the friction caused by my IT bands were making it rather impossible. Feeling like my training may have all been in vain I pushed on. I told myself if I got to the five mile mark in 40 minutes I could walk. I didn't. It was 41:33. I continued to run through the park and decided to look for my sister, once I found her coming in the other direction I would allow myself a walk. I passed her coming into my sixth mile. I decided to keep pushing a little further and thus started counting runners running the opposite direction (the 10 miler is a loop and these people were behind me as I ran back to the start/finish line). At reaching 7 miles at 1 hour I told myself to keep running. Having already beaten my knees up for an hour I figured another half hour of running couldn't do that much more harm. At 7.5 miles I had an especially bad bout with my right knee that had me wincing in pain and doing a funny shuffle run. I again contemplated walking, but fought through again. Up ahead, at 8 miles, was the famous "Farm Basket Hill" 1.5 miles of all uphill taking you into the home stretch. Having run that hill at least half a dozen times in training I wanted to show off my ability on the hill, make my training count for something. I braced myself and headed uphill into the direct sunlight and towards my reward, the finish line. I did the hill well, but not great. I did pass a few people coming up the hill but try as I might I couldn't break 8 minutes on the hill. It was as bumming as my knee pain was. Finally, after what felt like far more than 10 miles, I saw the finish banner and line up ahead. Unlike the VA Beach Half I was able to kick it up, having grown used to running on my painful knees, I sprinted in like I am accustom to, and heard the announcers recognize my effort to cross which made the moment, if only a little bit, all the more rewarding.

I finished the 10 miler running. I didn't meet my goals of sub 80 or even of a 82. But I ran on knees that begged nothing more than me to walk making this by far my hardest race ever. From this point I am focusing on recovery. I start back running today with a 2 mile run and will work up from there, but this time I am going to listen to my knees. They were so angry they made it tough to walk around for most of the weekend.
My overall results:

1:24:54 (8:29 pace)

337 overall

14th in age division

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Beautiful Boy

Being Vegetarians we have had a whole slew of questions thrust upon us over the years pertaining to how we would raise our children, beginning long before conception and as recently as last week people have asked how will you react if your children choose not to be vegetarians like you when they grow up? Thanks to this line of questioning occurring over and over again I have had the chance to contemplate this scenario ad nauseum. I have, what I think, is a rather rational approach to this dilemma. One that seems like the level headed response that shall be borne from necessity should your child ever choose to snub your belief system. I feel ready and willing to cross that bridge should we ever come to it, and I think that with love and understanding Thanksgiving will still come to pass around here regardless of who has turkey and who does not.

What no one ever brought up and what caught me completely off guard, leaving me wishing someone had asked me how I would handle the situation, was allergies. As I've mentioned before our youngest child is allergic to egg whites, milk and soy. Leaving him, due to our ovo-lacto vegetarain lifestyle, a vegan.

Having never given the vegan lifestyle more than a passing thought I have never realized just how restricting and difficult a diet it truly is. Some things are obviously on the restricted list; scrambled eggs, french toast, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes. Some things it takes a second thought or glance to know they're not ok for someone who is a vegan or has a slew of allergies; any oatmeal of the 'cream' variety as well as those deluxe varieties, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, Zataran's Yellow Rice (a favorite of mine), 'mock' meat, you get the idea. But even being very diligent there are still times when his face breaks out or he gets a bad diaper rash because I wasn't reading labels carefully enough. Lance Peanut Butter crackers are okay for him (we know from the allergy test he's not allergic to peanut butter or tree nuts) but another brand names Peanut Butter crackers has milk in them and I didn't think to check because the Lance ones are okay. Gerber Veggie Sticks have milk in them leading me to have to give him a dose of benedryl after snack time last Friday. Some sandwhich breads are not okay. All Quaker granola bars have either milk or soy in them. Most cookies and crackers are on the banned list due to other genetically modified foods that are derived from milk, eggs or soy.

It isn't easy or fun yet it's manageable with a little diligence however, the worse part for me is Sean. He is such a laid back, happy, loving baby. He seldom cries and has been our cuddle bug from the start. He rubs my nose with his before a wide mouthed kiss. He's small and quiet, sometimes he gets a little overlooked he's so easy going. And he doesn't know yet that he can't eat moms macaroni and cheese so she hasn't made it in four months. And he doesn't know that he's missing out when we have Chocolate Cream Pie, not yet anyways, but it's already breaking my heart.

I know a food allergy is not really a big deal. He could be a sick child. There could be so many worse things that I won't even begin to travel that line of thought. I know that there are other foods for him to eat, but I find myself thinking at least once a day, please be one of the 85% who outgrow these allergies.

His size doesn't make this predicament we find ourselves in any easier, a child who was born in the 50-75th percentile now finds himself in the -3 percentile. I feel as though I am constantly on the hunt for nutritious and fulfilling things for him to eat. The child has fallen out of love with pureed foods and has never shown much fondness for fruits or green vegetables. I am always worrying if he's gaining enough weight and counting up his grams of protein for the day. Rest assured is no longer in my vocabulary.

He will outgrow these allergies or he will not. We will either way, live through it. If he can never eat real cheese or eggs we will find ways around it. But it certainly will take some getting used to. I keep thinking if I was strong enough or a really good mom, I too would go vegan. Unfortunately, I'm much better at sympathizing than changing.

I do however, choose Jif. I'm hoping that counts for something.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Another Terrible Movie...

or just awful parenting advice?

I mean with lessons like "Never look in your rearview mirror, it makes no difference what's behind you" when your son is in the driver seat you really should be worried about something other than finding Mr. Right.

Sadly I am quickly losing my interest in cinema.

The Worst Movie Ever?

I mean when your tag line is "But sometimes you just need to sleep with a 25 year old", how great could your movie really be?

I'm guessing not all that good, so I won't even add it to my Netflix Queue.

Sometimes I get so worried about the human race that I can't even sleep at night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two minute post.

I don't have a lot of extra time these days so I thought I would just jot down the thoughts I was having before I get carried away by two year old traumas and crumbs from breakfast.

I have been drinking a lot of coffee lately. I have grown to like it over the years but this year I have found I actually need it in the mornings. Last night I had three large cups at book group however and feel as though I got absolutely no sleep as a result. Note to self: Decaf after 7 p.m.

Speaking of coffee and two year olds, coffee table books are certainly a thing of the past. I got a wonderful book for my birthday that would fall ideally in the coffee table variety. However, the coffee table is not safe these days for coffee, books or photo albums. The coffee table isn't even safe completely cleared off. Toddlers think coffee tables are the perfect height for climbing. Perhaps you already knew that. I did not. Lesson learned.

I never got leg cramps before my pregnancy with Bailey and Cooper. Now however, I get them as often as once a week. This morning I was awoken at 6 a.m. with a rather nasty cramp that is now making it painful to even walk across the room. Between my knees, my ankle and my leg cramps I'll be lucky to walk today yet alone run. I am really starting to feel old.

I got a new c.d. for my birthday. I left it on repeat yesterday so that I couldn't hear my knees cracking as I walked around. I am really digging it, especially this song.

A group of teenager who were at our house for dinner this past weekend made it rather clear that my choice of bands at the moment and the ratio of banjos in said bands make me pretty uncool. I guess it's not just a feeling, I am getting old.

Wait, I've always loved banjos. I have always been uncool is all.

Whew, that was close.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tell Me Do You Miss Me?

I figured you guys were probably missing me. And when I mean 'you guys' I mean those of you whose comments are abundant and yet whose language I cannot even begin to decipher. So after an almost two month hiatus-here I am.

Things are well here. And not so well. And it's beautiful. And frustrating. And I believe that is the way it is supposed to be, don't you?

For every failure we seem to have success. This morning I made Cinnamon Rolls from scratch. Complete and utter failure. Twelve rolls, into the trash, almost in their entirety with the exception of the two bites Bailey and I truly tried to swallow. But this past Saturday, I made one of my 2010 Goals a reality. And had one of those truly blissful evenings with the family. I managed a 23:48 on a 5k, and not just any 5k. A particularly difficult 5k with rolling hills and two nasty uphills that had several folks ahead of me walking. And yet I beat my PR by 1:15 and took 1st in my age division. All this with a nagging Illiotibial band issue that just won't let up.

Three weeks ago I also ran my second half marathon (the first in August), knocking another goal of my to do list for 2010. Both of my times were acceptable but I am rather proud of my finish at the Virginia Beach Rock 'N Roll half marathon were I finished in 1:48:10, over four minutes faster than the half I ran in August, but also finishing in the top 10% overall and in the top 4% of women. These things make my running effort even more worthwhile.

The knee is still an issue. Now instead of the left one it's the right, threatening to effect my big race looming ahead, the Virginia 10 Miler, my anniversary race. What began as just another goal for 2010 escalated to goals of running it in under 90 minutes. Then I ran an 86 10 miler during the Lynchburg Half Marathon in August and then an 82 minute 10 miler during the VA Beach half. Unfortunately, the knee gave out on me at the 12.5 mile marker at VA Beach and I've been terrified ever since. Yet I have several people telling me they think I can do the 10 miler in sub 80. I don't agree. Have I mentioned the 10 miler course is just a lot of hills?

But despite the nagging knee pain I am loving running. It's crazy how something I hated to do for 25 years is giving me so much joy and fulfillment. Of course, it probably has to do with my ultra competitive nature.

Having completed two halfs this year with a possible third in October (a trail half) I have begun shopping for a full marathon for 2011 and maybe even an ultra race. And of course now that I've done the sub 24 minute 5k, can I do sub 23?

On a side note, are you looking to steer teenagers outside to get some fresh air? Or just get them to leave the room? Well apparently this song will do it. I like it (maybe because of the North Carolina references?) but it apparently drives teenagers mad. You can thank me later.