Sunday, April 29, 2012

Race Diary

(Alright, this post is for Jan and me. This blog serves as our family story, and the running we started doing 8 months ago, is certainly an important part of "our story".)

Yesterday, Jan and I ran another 13.1 miles in the Dash for Dad Half Marathon in Memphis. The race was held at the Memphis Botanical Gardens, and it was a beautiful day for a race. A little wind to contend with, but overall, wonderful April weather.

Yesterday, was my 3rd half marathon in 5 months and Jan's 2nd half marathon in 6 weeks. I started this "running thing" approx. 8 months ago with a goal of just running my first 5k race. I ran my first race on August 20th, and what's funny is, I had signed up for the St. Jude half marathon for Dec. 3rd, but really thought I would just do the St. Jude 5k. (I had already checked out the process for "downgrading" from the 13.1 miles to 3.1 miles.) However, after August 20th, I decided to give it everything I had to try to do the 13.1. I ran whenever I could find the time. At first, Jan cheered me on and watched the children on the weekends while I worked on adding more miles to my runs. Then, about October, Jan decided to join me in running. Of course, with both of us running, we have had to rely some on my parents to help with the kids. Somehow, we've made it work. My mom has even been running races with us as you have probably seen in previous posts. We are now working on making this a family event with the children. This June, there will be a Kid's Triathlon, and the boys are signing up. Now, we have a different type of training to do.:)

Honestly, it is hard for me to imagine that only 8 months ago I started running and now I have completed 3 half marathons with decent, consistent finishing times. I would like to improve my finish times, but seeing as how I just started this, I am happy with what I have done so far. Mostly, I am thankful for the strength and health to be able to even finish.

I got an email the other day about pre-registering for the 2012 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, and I am "toying" around with the idea of signing up for the full marathon. That's 26.2 miles!!! Yeah, I am gonna have to think long and hard about that one. I would have alot of work to do...A half marathon just might be my limit.
What's ahead with running? Jan and I are probably going to sign up for the MRTC Road Race Series that starts in July and lasts through November. It's two races a month, gradually increases distances to run, and leads you right up to the St. Jude Marathon Weekend.

I know that after yesterday's half marathon, I probably won't be doing a distance like 13.1 miles for a little while. There's a couple of smaller races around here that I might sign up for in the months of May and June, but the idea of doing a longer race in the Memphis summer heat does not appeal to me whatsoever.

In close, I am thankful for the ability to enjoy running even with the little bit of pain in my knees that requires ice after the 13.1 miles I ran yesterday. I am thankful that I have been able to run with my husband. Friendly competition...right?! (Note: He's faster than me already and he hasn't been training as long. Oh well!) I am super proud of him!
So, that's where we are, and where we've been, with running.

And you better believe, after 3 half marathons, I am putting that 13.1 sticker on the back of my car!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy 9th Birthday, John Owen!

I can't believe my "baby" is turning 9 this week. Since his birthday falls on a weekday this year, we decided to celebrate a few days early, and John Owen wanted a birthday sleepover. So, this past Friday night, we welcomed 4 of John Owen's buddies into our house for a Campout Birthday Celebration. We had the tent, the flashlights, a nature scavenger hunt, firepit, and supplies for s'mores. The only problem was...
Mother Nature had other plans. The rain might have put a damper on the actual camping we had planned, but not the party itself.

Thankfully, I was sheltered from the rain while I grilled the hotdogs. I moved everything to the kitchen table and the boys took off to the playroom to do what boys do best...PLAY! They played swords, held Beyblade competitions(if you have boys, chances are you know what Beyblades are), played with Bakugan balls, Star Wars, Transformers...I think it's safe to say, it was a BOY FEST!

Chocolate covered strawberries requested by the birthday boy!

Stuff for s'mores

A little camping gear

I found a quick and easy recipe for indoor s'mores!
 We will definitely use this recipe again in the future when we are craving this chocolatey-marshmallow treat!

John Owen's s'mores birthday cake with 9 candles!

Time to eat!
Everybody smile!!
(Sweet Mary Claire held her own with "the guys".)
We turned off the lights in the house when the sun went down, lit the candles, and sang "Happy Birthday!"

I talked Jan into lighting the firepit when I saw a small break in the rain. Like a good sport, he agreed.
These funky colored flames were pretty cool to see!
The boys loved the glow in the dark swords, flashlights, and glow sticks, but it was pretty hard to get a decent picture of them with all of their "glow in the dark" gear.

O.K., so I had to include this picture.:)
Mary Claire, in typical little sister form, was trying to blow out his birthday candles.
"Stop right there, little sister!"
I love the hand up and the expression on his face.

We set up a projector screen and put a movie on for the boys. They stayed up extra late and then awoke to a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, fruit, and bacon. I practically had to force them to come and eat breakfast. They were having so much fun playing...
However, they did come a runnin' when I told them we were going to taste-test some freeze dried food. I explained to them that this might be the type of food campers would pack due the fact that no refrigeration is needed for this food.
 They thought it was pretty cool.:)

 And then they devoured the pancakes!

The birthday boy!
Two birthday buddies!
Hunter's birthday was Saturday, so we sang "Happy Birthday" at breakfast and presented him with his birthday gift before he left. So much fun celebrating birthdays with friends!!

Happy 9th Birthday, John Owen!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Family 5K

We did it! Last Saturday morning, we ALL completed our first "family" 5K! :) The Rebel Run at Tipton Rosemark Academy, and it was a special thing...

O.K., so it's NOT the best picture.
Can you see the CRAZY smiles?! It's just not natural...
Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard when I saw this picture. The wonderfully sweet stranger who offered to take a group picture of us told us to say "GUACAMOLE", so we did!
I really think that's why those of us with these CHEESY grins look the way we do.:)
And if you'll notice, there is a little girl missing from the picture above...
It's because she loves her "Su-Su" sooo much, she ran to her while we were trying to snap the photo.

(I love you, too, "Su-Su".)

Mary Leslie and Mary Claire getting "warmed up".:)

Waiting for the start signal!

Mimi won first place in her age group and set a personal record for her 5k time!!
Way to go, Mimi!
Daddy Nick (and Mary Claire in the jogging stroller) won a medal, too!
(Pretty good odds of winning when you are the only one in your age group. We certainly got a laugh out of that after the race and when my dad's name was called out for his medal.)
Way to go, Daddy Nick! And thank you for helping Mary Claire finish her 1st 5k!

I started out the race pacing with John Owen, but halfway through the race, Jan and I switched running partners, and I ended the race with Jonah! It was nice to get to run with both of my boys. John Owen's time was 34:00, and he was 4th in his age group. And Jonah crossed the finish line at 36:00 and was 6th in the same age group division. I was so proud of both of them!!
Way to go, John Owen and Jonah!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break 2012 Part 3

So, Thursday of Spring Break was spent at the dentist office for the kids and me. Dental cleanings, xrays, check ups for us all. We were there for over an hour! I know what you're thinking...not the way I WANT to spend spring break, but hey, it helps to get these appointments done on my days off so I don't have to miss work. The children were all very well behaved. The dental hygenist even complimented them on their behavior. Made this Momma proud. And it looks as though the "little" dental work Mary Claire needs will be put off until October. (She has a crossbite, and Dr. Conley says she needs a little more growth before he can do the procedure needed to correct this.)

After the dentist, we made a quick trip to Memphis with Mimi. I mentioned I had cleaned out the kids' closets, so I had identified what was needed and found it very quickly. The kids enjoyed a cupcake from GiGi's Cupcakes on Germantown Pkwy. FYI: Oh my goodness! The strawberry shortcake cupcake is fantastic!! If you like strawberry, and I DO!, you will LOVE the strawberry shortcake cupcake.

After returning home, and after a late nap for Mary Claire:), we "let the flour fly" as we made these...

I let them take complete control of the decorating, and they did a great job! Surprisingly, they accomplished this with minimal arguing. Praise the Lord! I am beginning to think a couple of these kids might have some debating skills to show off one day. Could be a lawyer in the group...

We shared our cookies with our neighbors amd friends at our neighborhood cookout Thursday night. And guess who made a special appearance at the cookout?
Mary Claire wasn't too sure about the Easter Bunny!

Jonah seems to have no problem posing for his picture with the big bunny!

Neither does John Owen!

This was as close as Mary Claire was going to get. :)

Friday, we rested at home and fulfilled Mary Claire's spring break!
Now, you might remember that she SAID she wanted pink flowers, but when we got there to pick out the flowers, she changed her mind and went with purple and yellow. Suited me, I like them all!
So, we got our hands all dirty planting these...
 And these...
 We didn't plant these Friday, but I just wanted to take a picture of the Indian Hawthornes blooming with the Japanese Red Maple that Jan's mother gave us when we moved into this house. Don't you love this time of year when everything is blooming beautifully?!
 We planted these in the planter in the front of the house.
 I made these a few weeks ago for the front doors, and now some small birds have built their nest in the one on the right. We can watch the progress of it all through the window!
 My three little "bunnies" have enjoyed spring break, and so have I!
Tomorrow, it's back to work, back to school, back to the daily "grind".
However, I am looking forward to Easter weekend and celebrating Our Risen Savior.
Happy Easter!