Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four more...one husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school, running...it's all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is happy...at least at our house!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Goals Met...At Least for This Week

I've been quiet for a few weeks, trying to process all the hard stuff going on in the world around us.

Running has been my escape from it all.
And even that has been hard.

Mileage is beginning to creep upwards as I move farther into this training cycle.
Temperatures are soaring upwards as we move farther into this summer.
My body has been perfectly happy with a few short runs each week in the pleasantness of spring temperatures.
And now I'm telling it we have to run 6, 7, 9 miles...in the 90*+ temperatures.

I've made stupid mistakes,
like not hydrating well,
not taking my water with me,
not taking my fuel with me,
not sticking to my intervals that I KNOW work for me,
pausing for too long for a break.

All of those have dogged me for the past few weeks.

Thursdays have dogged me too, for one reason or another.
All Most A few of those were mostly legitimate.
The last time I ran on a Thursday was May 19th.
Prior to that, it was April 7th.
Thank you to my running journal for sharing that little tidbit with me.

So this week, I had two goals:
Goal 1 was to conquer Thursday.  It is, after all, the "speed work" day in my training plan.  It's important.
Goal 2 was to get the hydrating/fueling/interval thing all back on track.

I accomplished goal 1 on Thursday.
Can I tell you how excited I was that Thursday did NOT take me down this week?
Even with a babysitting job and a runner safety presentation also on the calendar, I got that run in.
I was just a little excited about that!

But I missed Goal 2 on all of my runs this week...
until today!
Today I had 9 miles on the schedule.
It almost got derailed by ants in the kitchen!
But Brian sent me out on my own, while he stayed home playing Ant Man
(with me making him promise he would go out later).
So off I went...to my favorite greenway.
I stuck to my hydrating/fueling/interval routine that I KNOW works for me.
And I finished those 9 miles strong and feeling good.

And now...Brian is out on a bike ride and run...
because he is straying from our beaten path of running onto a new path into the world of triathlons.



Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was quite activity-filled!

Which makes me eternally grateful that today is a rest day.
Except that I teach kindergarten.
And there were many errands to run after school today.
And things to do at home.
So...there wasn't really a lot of "rest."
But at least there was no running or biking or other strenuous physical activity.
My weary bones couldn't take it today.

Saturday is our long run day.
Since we are just amping up for marathon training again, the plan called for a long run of 6 miles.
Totally doable on the average Saturday morning.
Except that this was NOT the average Saturday morning...
It was brought to you by the letter H.
H for HEAT!
H for HUMIDITY!
H for HARD!

There was a 10K race taking place on the nearby greenway where we frequently run, and now ride.
What better idea than to participate in that and call it a training run...with course support!
Plus...there were King of Pops popsicles at the finish line.


Yes...we do it Every. Single. Race...and I will continue to share them...just because it has become our "thing" now...and once you have a "thing" associated with a race...you can't change it!  Nothing new on race day!  That includes skipping the pre-race selfie!

We are very familiar with this course, so I was looking forward to a relaxed run.  But the heat and humidity made this a very hard run.  The race started at 9:00, which in June, was probably at least an hour later than I would have liked.  There were some awesome volunteers stationed along the course, so encouraging and friendly, and I appreciated it so much, especially on the second loop when I was having to walk...a LOT.  And I was equally thankful for the mostly very shaded course.  (Have I mentioned that it was HOT?!?)  Overall, I did not run a good race and clocked my slowest 10K time ever.  (I think I achieved the SLOW part of the Long Slow Run quit effectively though!) I wish I had frozen my water bottle, but am glad I at least had it with me!  I should have had some kind of fuel, because the sun and the long time I was out there really got to me.

And talk about a let down!  I was sooooo looking forward to a cold popsicle after I crossed the finish line...and all they had left was banana caramel and sea salt chocolate.  Now on a regular day, I might enjoy the chocolate one, but not after that hard run.  I was hoping for something fruity and more refreshing than chocolate.  Like I said...what a let down!

Ten year age groups...fifth out of six in my age group.
If they had done 5 year age groups...I would have been first out of two!

Late Saturday afternoon, we loaded up my van...
(Which I have been affectionately referring to as "The Beast" ever since we got it but am now calling the Bicycle Transport Vehicle)

...and went for a family bike ride.
Those three lasted almost four miles before deciding they had had enough.  (I think they have differing ideas of what makes a bike ride enjoyable.)  Brian and I might have enjoyed a longer ride, but it was getting late and we needed to head home. 

Sunday morning, I participated in the Ramblin' Rose 5K.  
This was the first time they had a 5K associated with their triathlon and I was super curious about the triathlon.  We figured what better way to find out more than for me to participate in the 5K.

This pre-race selfie is a little off...something is missing! (It was really weird to be at the starting line by myself.)  Gosh, I look tired.  I guess getting up at 5:15 will do that to a Momma!


It was a very hilly course, as is most anything around here, and it took some work to power through those hills, but I did it.  Finished 25th overall.  Not bad, even for the small race that it was.

Watching the women in the triathlon was really cool.  This particular event is for women and it was very low key and relaxed.  It was fun to watch the transition area between swimming and biking.  I didn't get to see the transition from biking to running because I had to get home to carry on with the rest of the day which involved church and choir school and a church picnic and driving Momma's taxi.  Brian also did his fair share of taxi driving and running around.

But we still managed to get on our bikes, just the two of us, and ride for 45 minutes.  I am glad we have found a cross-training activity that we are enjoying.  Even though it is work, there is a freeing feeling that comes with biking...at least for me.

And that brings us to today.
This week calls for a total of 13 miles plus 90 minutes of cross-training (read biking) and a rest day over the next six days.  Can't wait to tackle it all!

And only three days left in the school year!  Woohoo!  We've almost made it!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Marathon Training, v. 2.0


Monday was the official beginning of the marathon training plan that we are using in preparation for the Charlotte Marathon in November...
Which will then be followed by the Tobacco Road Marathon in March...
What were we thinking?!?

We both perused several different plans but settled on one that has three training runs each week, combined with two days of cross training--biking is specifically suggested, hence the bicycle purchases last weekend.  It is also a 24 week plan, which means that I can do a good amount of training over the summer.  (5 more school days if anyone is interested!)

Monday was supposed to be a "rest" day.
We kinda' failed at that since we spent a good amount of time hiking at the new-to-us greenway.

Tuesday was a 3 mile "easy" run.
I had to go right after school because G had an extra choir rehearsal that evening.
And it was hot.
H.O.T.
The kind of hot that saps the energy right out of you and makes you start to sweat the second you put your little baby toe, much less your entire self, outside the front door!
Fortunately I didn't look at the temperature until *after* I finished my 3 mile slug-fest.
Even running in the shade didn't help.

I'm pretty sure this was my SLOWEST 3 mile run EVER...
But it was done.


The only reason my face isn't totally tomato red is because Brian called me just as I was about to snap a picture when I finished my run...


Wednesday called for a 30 minute bike ride.  We waited for G to get home so that she could ride with us.  

I have to admit, it has been a loooooong time since I rode a bike.  
So I'm still getting used to riding again.  
And bikes these days are so much fancier than the were when I was growing up. 
(That makes me sound OLD!  But it's true!)
But I am enjoying riding...so far...probably because it's new and different. 
It shakes up the running...gives us some variety.
And I felt so free, riding the greenway, the wind whipping through my hair over my helmet.

I love my helmet.
It's colorful and fun.
G is jealous that I have the "fun" helmet.
But I hate my helmet.
I don't like hats.
(It took me a long time to get used to wearing a visor while running.)
My head gets hot and sweaty.
I don't get to feel the wind whipping through my hair.
There's a strap under my chin!  
But I will grudgingly wear it because it's the safe thing to do.
And it sets the right example for my daughter.
And because my husband told me that it was a non-negotiable if I wanted to ride a bike.

At least it's the "fun" helmet in the family...

Today was supposed to be a 3 mile run again.
But there was thunder.
And rain.
And lightening.
And that made me stay home.
Boo!

Friday is a rest day.

Saturday calls for a "long" run of 6 miles.  
We are planning to run in a 10K race that is taking place on the greenway that we frequently run, and now ride, on.
Call it a long run with planned course support!

I'm really excited about this next marathon training season...
I've run a marathon.
I know what it's like.
I know I CAN finish.
I know where I fell down in my training last time.
I want to do better in training.
I want to do better in the marathon.
So bring it on!

Stay tuned for more to come!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Weekend Adventures

We had a three or four day weekend...depending on which member of the family you talk to...

Friday...
Was a much needed teacher workday.
That meant getting up almost two hours later for me, since those days are a little less scheduled at my school.
That meant getting up whenever she wanted to for G, since she didn't have school.
But she was still up at 7:00...my little early bird still!
That meant Brian had to get up and go to work at his usual time.
But didn't have to battle us for the kitchen or the bathroom mirror, so that's a win for him...Right?

Friday night...
We took a meander down Speed Street.
Talk about a disappointment!
Except that we were able to do last minute registration for the Speed Street 5K that was taking place on Saturday morning!

Saturday...
Brian and I left early for the above mentioned Speed Street 5K.  It was a warm, humid morning.

Running in the shadows of the tall building uptown was nice.
Running in the direct sunlight after leaving uptown...not so much.

Running out of uptown is downhill, and who doesn't love a good long stretch of downhill?!?
Running back uptown is UP hill...and who doesn't hate a good long stretch of uphill?!?

We finished in front of the NASCAR Hall of Fame...and that's the closest I have ever been to it.  

Another mascot picture...this time with Homer, from the Charlotte Knights.  (I'm still wondering why Lug Nut wasn't there!  He is, after all, the Speedway mascot!)

Saturday afternoon...

Brian and I bought bikes!

His

Mine

Ours!

Remember, G bought her own bike with her birthday money.  Now we can enjoy family bike rides.  And...the bikes will be a part of our marathon training that officially started on Monday.  (More on that later)

Sunday...
The maiden voyage ride!
Momma and G!

Isn't he cute?  

My favorite part of that ride was that Gloria rode ahead of me to follow and keep up with Brian.  She is gaining more confidence on her bike and attacked a few small hills with gusto.  I just rode along behind, enjoying watching the two of them ride.  I am looking forward to more opportunities to do this.

Monday...
Memorial Day, so no school or work, so...Adventure day!

We decided to go explore the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill.
It turned into a beautiful day and we all enjoyed hiking a few of the trails and exploring the area.  We had hoped to see what the bike trails were like, but ended up in a different area of the greenway that was farther away from the bike trails than we realized.  But that just means another trip down there sometime soon!

Just a few pictures from along the trails...




We all enjoyed the weekend and all the time we got to spend together.  It isn't often that we have that amount of time together and we are not rushing around to get things done.  So thankful for that time!