Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why I am not Racing in August or September

So, for those of you who have been following along, one of my goals for the year was to run a race each month. As you may have noticed, there is no August Race recap. It isn't just late, I didn't race last month and I am not going to race this month either. That said, the goal is still at least 12 races by the end of the year. There are two main reasons why I am not running these months.

First, I am behind in my training. The Space Coast Half Marathon at the end of November is my next big race. I am trying for a PR in this race, but my training has not been a smooth as I would like it. I have been sick, Baby E has been sick, we have been traveling and work has been hectic. All these excuses add up to being a few weeks behind where I would like to be. So, I made the tough decision to focus on running, not racing, for two months.

The other reason is that there were not a lot of races I wanted to do. One thing I have learned is that I only enjoy racing when I want to do the race. I am never going to be fast, so 5ks are not my favorite and running a random one just to race is not fun. I enjoy some of them, such as Run Nona at Night, Suck it Up Buttercup 5k and the Lady Track Shack 5k, but running them just to race is not my deal.

My I am excited that my racing hiatus will come to an end soon and the fall is full of races. This is what is on my calendar right now:
I am still figuring out what I want to do for December. I am thinking about the Mount Dora Half Marathon, but not 100% sure I want to do another half this year. Let me know if you have any good December races.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baby Free Weekend

I know the blog has been quiet for the past couple of weeks. I wish I could tell you that there was one big thing that was sucking all my time, but there really wasn't. It has just been a lot of little things sucking my time. Since baby E's birthday, there has been travel, illness (both her and me) and visitors. In addition to trying to keep the house running and my career on track. I guess that is a lot. 

Our last trip for a while was this past weekend. The husband and I had our first weekend alone together since baby E arrive (over 13 months ago for anyone who is counting). It was a much needed trip. Friday evening we packed up the car and headed South. My husband's aunt offered to watch baby E for the weekend. She lives in the Jupiter area, so that was our first stop. After getting E settled and giving way too many instructions (I was a little nervous), we were back in the car and headed a bit further south to Fort Lauderdale.

It was about 8 p.m. when we got to Fort Lauderdale, so our first stop was dinner. Guess where....Publix. Yup, our first night away from the baby and we ate subs in our hotel room for dinner. We have such a wild life. In all honesty, we were both wiped from a long week and a long drive. It was nice to relax and go to bed early without having to worry about entertaining a little one.

Saturday my body clock got me up at 6:45 a.m. Yay adulthood! We found an amazing French bakery for breakfast. Then hit the beach for a while. The weather was questionable most of the day, so after a few hours in the surf with rain clouds looming, we decided not to push our luck too much more. We headed back to the hotel to clean up and relax. 

Ham & Cheese in a Crossant....yes please
I take terrible selfies
  That evening we found a local brewery. The beer was good and it was nice to have some time to have a real conversation. That evening we headed back to the beach and enjoyed oysters, ceviche and more beer. After a walk on the beach we headed back to the hotel and hung out for a while.

Oysters and Beer

Sunday morning we slept late (until almost 9), then got ready and packed. We took a walk around the harbor close to our hotel and eyed some of the boats. The boats by our hotel were large gigantic and really pretty. Maybe if I win the lottery I can have one. The only problem with that plan is that you have to play the lottery to win and I don't do that.

So pretty

After ogling the boats, we went back to the French Bakery for breakfast and then headed North to pick up baby E. It was nice to have some time to ourselves, but I missed her smile. She gave me a huge hug and did not want to be put down for the rest of the day. The best thing was that she was happy to hang out with her Aunt while we were gone, she was even happier to have us back.

A few hours later, it was back home and back to reality. At least until our next trip.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Adventures in Parenting - How We Made it Through 12 Months of Breastfeeding

Baby E just turned one and this means we hit the one-year mark on breastfeeding. I feel very lucky and blessed that I have been able to provide her with both milk and the closeness nursing provides for the past year. A few months ago I discussed the first 6 months of our nursing journey, and while overall, the second 6 months was easier it did present different challenges.

One of the big problems over the past few months was Baby E would get distracted. Starting at about 9 months, Baby E would pull off at the slightest noise or movement. This made it more difficult to nurse her when we were out and next to impossible to nurse her in the car (not while driving). She also stared occasionally doing what I call yoga nursing when we were home. The urge to stand up would hit her and she would end up in something that looked like downward dog while latched. That was always interesting.

Around 9 months is also when I started to get really sick of pumping. Not just, oh this is a pain sick of pumping, but wanting to poke my eyeballs out sick of pumping. The constant 5:30 a.m. wake ups and building my day around the pump sucked. I don't miss the pumping at all. That said, it was worth every minute I spent attached to that horrible machine to be able to still nurse Baby E when I am around.

Several people have asked me how we made it so long and there are several things that helped.
  1. Pump early. I started pumping very early on and started pumping with some regularity beginning at about 4 weeks. This meant that by the time I went back to work we had almost two months of milk in the freezer. Knowing we had extra gave me comfort in the beginning and allowed us to go longer without supplementing.
  2. Pump often. For me to keep my supply up I had to pump a lot. On days when I worked it was sometimes as many as 7 times a day. I was lucky in that Baby E slept through the night very early on. However, the early morning hours were when my supply was highest, so for the first 8 months of Baby E's life I pumped at 1:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. every day. At 8 months I stared to drop the 1:30 a.m. pumping session. While they completely sucked, without these pumping sessions, I wouldn't have had enough milk for daycare.
  3. Rotate your stock. When I went back to work, I started sending a combination of part fresh and part previously frozen milk. I would then freeze the additional fresh milk. Another step that took some time, but this kept my freezer stock fresh and made sure that none of the milk went bad. I think I would have cried if I would have had to throw any milk out. It was bad enough the couple of times I split some.
  4. Make friends with the letdown feature. This girl turned me on to this trick and it helped me increase my output. About halfway through each session, I would run the letdown cycle again. I was all about more milk in the same amount of time.
  5. Take it one day at a time. Over the course of the last year there have been days when I wanted to give up. It may have been a day when my output dropped or a day when I had to do every pumping session in the car or a day when I missed something because I was stuck pumping, but whatever it was, I was over it. Each time I took a deep breath and said to myself, "try one more day and see how it goes." The next day was always better and that gave me the momentum I needed to keep going.
My supply dropped pretty significantly when Baby E was a little over 9 months. I continued to pump and get as much as I could, but I was only pumping about half of what she was taking. Luckily Baby E was pretty well established on solids when this happened. Additionally, because of the amount of milk we had in the freezer we were able to give her exclusively breast milk until around 10.5 months and then started to give her small amounts of organic whole cows milk. Deciding what to use as a supplement was an agonizing decision, but in the end, we decided that cows milk would work best for us.

At this point I plan on continuing to nurse Baby E until she is done with it. Sometimes I worry that is right around the corner, and other times I think she will want to nurse forever. Right now Baby E gets cows milk at daycare and she nurses in the morning and the evening. Without having to pump, I am enjoying the nursing sessions more. It is a good way to welcome the day and reconnect after work. It is bittersweet to be closer to the end of this journey than the beginning.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One Year!

Baby E is one year old today. In many ways I can't believe it has been a year already, and in others, the time seems to have gone so slowly. All I know is that I don't really remember what life was before this little girl was a part of it.

I know the first year is full of changes, but it is amazing that in a year she can go from a little lump to a walking, talking little girl. Each day her personality comes out more and more. I love that smiles and giggles are common.

How do you go from this....

To this in just a year?

Baby E is doing great. I don't have her exact stats, but I know she is about 22 pounds and tall enough that she can no longer play under the table without bumping her head. Unfortunately, she doesn't always remember this, but she is learning.

Baby E is starting to climb and trying to run. She loves being outside even if it is just in the front yard. While it is not quite as often as when she was a tiny one, Baby E still likes to snuggle and be held. It is not uncommon for her to walk up to me with her arms out and squeaking, which is her way of asking to be held.

Her birthday was filled with lots of Mommy and Daddy snuggles, some time at an indoor playground (rain meant no swimming), a dinner of her favorites (eggs, beans and blueberries) and a giant strawberry cupcake.

What is with the singing...give me that cupcake.
A year later I am in a different place than I thought I would be. To say it has been a growing year would be an understatement. There are still days when I still struggle with Baby E's birth, but it is a lot better than it was. I am regaining some confidence in myself. The one thing that I am happy to say is that I am still nursing Baby E, but no longer really pumping. (I will have a whole post on this shortly.) I don't know when she will wean, but at this point I am not in a hurry. 

Love this little one.
I know the first year is full of some of the most dramatic changes you see in a child's life, and there have been many moments where I have been blown away. I am excited to see what her second year brings.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Race Recep - Suck it Up Buttercup 5k

A few months ago a coworker of mine was looking at ways to get in shape for his 40th birthday. A couple of us convinced him that participating in his first 5k would be a great motivator and he said if I could find one, he would do it. It felt like it was meant to be when I found a race the weekend before his birthday in the part of town where he lives. Little did we realize that the Suck it Up Buttercup 5k would live up to its name.

Race morning my alarm went off at 4:15 a.m. I got up and got myself together and packed up. This was the first race in months that we were all running, so a little before 5 a.m. I got Baby E out of her crib. The goal was to get her changed and into her car seat without really waking her up so she would sleep in the car on the way to the race. Yeah, that really didn't work. She woke up and didn't fall back asleep until about 10 minutes before we got there.

We all piled in the car and were pulling out of the driveway at about 5:15 a.m. This is the first time in a long time that I wasn't running late for a race. It was a nice feeling. The drive went smoothly and we got to the race site a little before 6 a.m. I let Baby E sleep for a few more minutes, then woke her up so she could nurse before we started. This was as much for me as it was for her.

After a quick stop at the port-o-pottys, we found my coworkers and lined up toward the end of the starting line. I had the stroller, so I wanted to give myself plenty of room. The organizers pushed the start by about 5 minutes, and at about 6:35 the national anthem was played and we were off.

The first two miles went well. It was hilly, but not too bad. I knew the course was not flat and I would have the stroller, so my goal for the race was to keep my pace under 13 minute miles. At the two mile marker, I was just under this pace and super excited. That excitement didn't last long, because the next mile was a killer. There were several really steep hills and pushing the stroller down the hills was worse than pushing it up. For this mile I felt like we were back in Virginia because the course was much more Virginia hills than Florida hills. 

This picture doesn't do the hills justice
I was super excited when I saw the corner to turn down for the finish. At that point I was hot, tired and ready to be done. I was also glad that I didn't sign up for the 10k this year. 
At the finish line

My final time was 41:24 or a 13:21 per mile pace. Which means that I took forever to cover the last mile. Oh well, I'll be better prepared for the hills next time.
What was so hard about that?

Post-race group photo
This was my first race with Final Mile and I have to say I was really impressed. Yeah, the course was hard, but that is not a bad thing. The event was well organized and marked, you had access to your photos, and the race shirt was a gender specific tech shirt. 

Seven months of racing down and now it is time to start gearing up for the fall and winter racing season. I am happy I decided against doing a full marathon this year, and excited to try and kick some butt in the half.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

11 Months with Baby E

This should probably be 11.5 months with Baby E, but better late than never. I think this month has been the fastest one yet. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating 10 months and now 11 months has come and gone.

We are quickly moving from babyhood into toddlerhood. Baby E is quickly learning that walking means there are so many new places to explore. She has also now figured out how the kitchen cabinets work and that there are fun things in there to find. This development caused us to get our butts in gear and put locks on the cabinets as well as some other baby proofing things.

But why can't I play with the trash can?
It seems like she is always talking and more and more things have meaning. She will say hi and daddy is da. Ma is both milk and me. I think that she is a little confused because we are still nursing, so in most cases milk comes from mommy.

So happy

Baby E remains a great eater. She will eat just about anything that you give her. Cottage cheese is one of the few things she doesn't seem to like. Rice is hit or miss, but she eats everything else without any fuss. Eggs and zucchini are still very high on her list and she hasn't met a bean she doesn't like. 

This month was relatively quiet for a change, so we enjoyed some time just hanging out as a family. We spent time at the pool and celebrated her 11 month birthday with a trip to the splash pad.

Birthday party planning is in full swing. I may be going a bit overboard (damn you pinterest), but she is only going to be one once. I wish being crafty came more easily for me. 

I have to say that for me, each month seems to get more fun. I can't wait to see what the next few months have in store.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Masters of All Terrian 5 Miler Seminole State Forest Race Recap

So remember back in April when I ran my first off road race. Well, I decided I enjoyed it so much I wanted to do another one. I liked it and the fact that strollers were not allowed in the 5k I had planned on doing for my June race. 

Another great race!
So the Saturday before Father's day I was up at 4:45 a.m. I made my peanut butter whole wheat bagel, grabbed my pump and was out of the house by 5:15 a.m. This race was about 45 minutes away from home, so I took advantage of the extra time and pumped in the car on my way to the race. That is one pre-race ritual I will not miss. This should be the last time, but I have said that before.

About 6 a.m. I pulled into the parking lot. There was plenty of parking for this race and it was nice to know I wouldn't get parked in. The line for packet pickup was short and the race organizers were nice enough to provide bug spray, something I hadn't even thought about. I sprayed down my legs to try and avoid getting bit by anything nasty. After a quick trip back to the car and then the port-o-potty, I headed over to the starting line. I don't know if it was because this was a smaller race or because they were better prepared, but bathroom lines were much more mangageable at this race.

At 6:30, the gun sounded and we were off. The first two miles of this race were quick. We were running on a trail that was wide and made of packed gravel. It was fun to see the sun come up over the Florida prairie. I managed to get gravel in my shoes about a half mile in, but after a couple minutes it was fine. As I approached the 2 mile water stop, I looked at my watch and was pretty excited that I was on track for a pretty big PR. Then the course turned right.

The trail went from wide and made of hard packed gravel to narrow and made of mostly sand. This is where the trail got hard. I was really happy that my training had been more consistent for this race than the one I did in April, because I needed that additional fitness here. 

Some of the trial was like this

Most of it was like this (It is even narrower than it looks)

For most of this part of the course I didn't see anyone. It was so desolate that there were a few times that, even though I was following the trial flags, I wondered if I was still on the right path. While a little scary, it was nice to spend some time by myself. This was also where my pace fell off a cliff. The sand, twists and turns of the course and other obstacles on the trail slowed me down. There were a few spots where it was pretty much impossible to run.

Miles 3 to 5 were hard, but fun. The course was really pretty and that made the distance seem to go by relatively quickly. When there wasn't a water stop at mile 4 I began to regret my decision to leave my water bottle in the car. I hate carrying things when I run, but at that point it was starting to get hot and I was starting to get thirsty. Not surprising, it is June in Florida.

Just when you think you are getting close to the finish...tree

My official time was a little over 1:09:52 which is almost 3 minutes slower than the April race. The crazy thing about my time is that I am actually really happy with it. This course was much harder than the course I ran in April. I am learning that there is a lot more variation on trail courses than on road courses.

With this race I am half way through my goal of racing at least once a month this year. I have a most of the rest of the year planned out, but I am still looking for an August and a December race. Any suggestions would be great.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pleasant Prairie RecPlex Spring Family 5k Race Recap

This race recap is a little lot late, but better late than never. We spend Mother's Day weekend in WI visiting my family. I was struggling to find a May race when I stumbled upon one taking place about 10 minutes from my parents house the weekend we were there. It got event better when my whole family decided to do the race with me.

Everyone ready to race

The nice thing about racing in May in WI is that you don't have to worry about the heat. The race started at 9 a.m. and it was still chilly. We had baby E with us, so it was nice to have a little extra time to get her up and ready to go.

We got to the race site about 45 minutes before the start. It was enough time to nurse Baby E and hit the restrooms without feeling rushed. A little before 9 we lined up and took a few pictures. Then the national anthem played and we were off.

The first half mile or so of the race was really crowded. My speedy sister was able to cut through the crowds and get out ahead. I got caught up behind a couple of people here. the start was on a road, but we quickly moved to a paved path. 

Still a little crowded

I had run the loop that made up most of the course a number of times in the past (it is my favorite place to run when I am visiting my parents), and knew it was only 2.25 miles long, so I was curious to see how they were going to make up the difference. About a mile in I found out...

surprise...trail race. 

The trail portion was an out and back that was just over three-quarters of a mile. Then you were back on pavement for the rest of the race. The best part was the view of the lake. 

So pretty

About 2.5 miles in I remembered why I hated running in the cold up north. It makes my allergies go crazy. By this point in the race I was coughing and having a hard time breathing. Something I need to keep in mind if I am planning on racing out of FL again.

My final time for this race was 39:04. The course was long and the race didn't have a rolling start, so I was probably a minute faster than that. Still not a great time, but I had a good time and that was what mattered here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

10 Months with Baby E

Wow...this month has been a blur. We have been super busy and it seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. It almost seems like someone flipped a switch because Baby E has grown and developed a ton this month. She seems less like a baby every day.

I so big Mommy

We started the month with Baby E's first ear infection. That was no fun, but she handled it like a champ. She didn't even let on that she wasn't feeling well. I felt like a terrible when we went in for her 9 month check up and the doctor said she had a bad ear infection.

Next on the agenda was a trip to WI for Mother's day weekend. Baby E handled her first plane flights like a champ. She nursed a good portion of the time we were in the air with a couple of short naps and some playtime. We managed to spill drinks on both flights, but it could have been worse.

Mother's Day with the Family

The WI trip was a lot of fun. We met up with friends, did a 5k (yeah, I still need to do a recap on that), held a meet and greet for Baby E, went to the park and spent a lot of time with my family. It was nice to all be together without some sort of health crisis going on.

She loved the flowers
Friends and babies

Swinging is the best
Baby E also had her first trip to the beach last weekend. She loved playing in the sand and was intrigued by the water. While she was more than happy to try and eat the sand, she did not like the taste of the salt water. She got a little in her mouth when we were playing in the water and she immediately started clawing at my swimsuit to try and get a drink. She knows were the milk hides.

Beach baby

The biggest change this month is that Baby E is walking. I don't know how it happened so quickly, but she went from taking a step here and there to walking across the room in less than two weeks. This video is from last week and she is already so much steadier on her feet.

She still loves her alarm clock and her DVDs. She is also getting into more and more things around the house. Taking her snacks out of the diaper bag or playing in the pantry are two of her favorite things.

Baby E learned how to fist bump when we were in WI (thanks Auntie Heidi) and waving came shortly after. Baby E is also starting to pick up some words and meaning. She seems to understand and often use Dada, Mama and hi in context, but that may just be wishful thinking.

Watching Baby E develop over this month has been amazing. I know that every stage has its challenges, but so far, each one has been more fun. I can't wait to see what the next few months hold.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My First Mother's Day

Today is my first Mother's Day. It is amazing to that last year at this time we were planning and preparing for Baby Marron to make her arrival (not that we knew it was a her). This year she is quickly moving from baby to little girl.

When did she get so big?
We are visiting my family in WI for Mother's Day and it is nice to spend my first real Mother's  Day with my own Mom. My sister and her husband also gave me a wonderful gift...they took care of Baby E last night so my husband and I could a have a date night.

I know that Baby E will never be this small again, so I am trying to take in every moment. Her hugs and snuggles are an amazing gift.

I am so blessed

Monday, May 5, 2014

9 Months with Baby E

I can't believe that 9 months is here already. Each month seems to go faster than the last. Welcome to parenthood. This was a pretty big month for Baby E.

Baby E is now almost 20 pounds and 28 inches tall. She also has 5 teeth. I swear it seems like she grows overnight. She is still wearing her 9 month clothes, but most of those are going to need to be put away soon because most of her pants are turning into high waters.They still kind of fit, so I am not in a rush.

Always on the move

The month started out with a visit from my best friend and her son. He is about 2.5 months younger than E. We took the babies to Lake Eola for a baby play date and E loved being outside and playing in the grass. She did not like me holding the other baby. When I picked him up she gave him a look that could of killed. Who knew that a 9 month old could be jealous? That girl knows her Mommy.

Grass tickles my toes!

Warmer weather also means that we have been able to take E to the pool a couple of times. She seems to like it and she is getting better about keeping her hat on. I am excited that she will be old enough to enjoy the water this summer. We are trying to plan a trip to the beach soon. 

Playing in the pool!
  This was Baby E's first Easter celebration. She went to visit the Easter bunny and didn't freak out, but wasn't so sure about him. Her Easter basket was filled with some clothes, hair bows, pacis, a pool float, Cheerios and bananas, but she wasn't really interested in it. She also did great during mass, which I am thankful for. I think her favorite part of the day was the Easter egg hunt. She got to play in the grass with some plastic eggs. Her cousins were excited for the candy inside. 

  Baby E is a master crawler now. She has been exploring more and more of the house. This means we are keeping more and more doors closed. Our office, which is still a complete disaster from moving, is one of her favorite places to try and go. She also wants to play under our wood table on the tile floor. This makes me very nervous, and I often spend a good part of my day keeping her from going under the table. 

Turn your back for 30 seconds and this is where I will be

She still will pull herself up on everything. At daycare they said that some days she doesn't want to play with toys, she just wants to stand and jump. Around the middle of the month she started standing up without holding on to anything. We were amazed the first time she did it, because it seemed to develop quickly. Now she will stand and clap or play with toys. She still hasn't started walking without holding on to anything, but she is reaching further and further to go between things. I know it won't be long and she will be running.

Baby E is starting to remember where things are located. This blows my mind. I know every parent says it, but she is ridiculously smart. She looks for things when you put her down in a room. Unfortunately, many of the thing she remembers are things she is not allowed to play with.

We have a house full of toys, but baby E's favorite things to play with are door stops, CD/DVD/Game cases and cords. I keep the cords away from her, but figure she can't really hurt herself on a doorstop or DVD case. 

Taking my video games with me

As for me, I am doing pretty well. My weight/fitness is still about the same. I am still nursing and pumping and every time I cut calories or really increase exercise my supply seems to drop. There are only a few more months of pumping left, and the benefits to E far outweigh my desire for smaller pants. I am becoming far more comfortable with this whole mom things. There are still tough days, but I figure that is part of being a parent. This month my husband had to go out of town for a funeral and it was the first time I was a single parent for a couple of days. I think I only cried once during the three days he was gone, so I call that a win.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Masters of All Terrain 5 Miler Race Recap

Last weekend I ran my first trail race...and I didn't die. I'll call that a win. Actually, it was a really great race and a pretty cool experience.

For the most part my training during April was more consistent than during March. That said it, was still not spectacular and this race kind of snuck up on me. I knew it was coming and then all of a sudden it was next week. Before Sunday I hadn't run more than 4 miles since my half marathon at the beginning of March.

I am trying to run at least one race a month this year and was having a hard time figuring out my April race when this one popped up on Groupon. They were offering both an off road 5 miler and a half marathon. Since I had never done a trail race, I figured the 5 miler was the best option. That was a smart decision.

When my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning, I was less than motivated to get up and go to this run. After a little chat with myself, I rolled out of bed, pumped and got ready. Once I was on the road, my mindset changed from "what the heck was I thinking" to "okay lets do this so I can go back to bed."

The race site was about 20 minutes from my house and in the middle of nowhere at the Hal Scott Reserve. My GPS told me I was at the site about a mile before I got there. Luckily, it was well marked and easy to find in the dark. I pulled in and went to pick up my packet then back to the car to pump. I am so happy that this is probably the last race I will have to pump before. Baby E is coming to my May race and probably my June race too. I then headed back to hit the port-a-potty before the race and the line was long.

Not what you want to see 10 minutes before the race starts.

I was looking at my watch and the line and figured I wouldn't make the start of the race, but the race organizers held the race start for about 5 minutes to let the line die down. For me, this was a great compromise between letting everyone start and keeping the race on time. At a little after 7 a.m. we were off.

The first half mile or so was a little crowded, but after that people spread out and you had plenty of room. For the first few miles the trail was made up of packed dirt and sand with grass and a little bit of gravel here and there. Most of the scenery was fields, but you also got to run through a small group of woods. The first couple of miles flew by and I hit the first water stop about two miles in. This was also the first turn around point for the 5 mile race.

Heading out

I continued to feel good through the next mile and a half and began to think that the trail run was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. A little before I hit mile 4 the trail part of the race caught up with me. I started to feel the toll that the uneven ground was taking on my feet and ankles. There was also more grass on this part of the course and it made running a little harder. The good thing was that I only had about a mile to go. At that point I was very happy I hadn't registered for the half marathon.

The morning was full of tranquil views

The last mile seemed to take forever, but then I turned a corner to come out of the field and the finish line was right there. The good thing about running in the middle of no where is that you have no real idea how far away from things you are. 

My official time was 1:07 and I placed in the middle of my age group. Since this was my first off-road race of any kind, I took things really conservatively. I dropped back to 3/1 run/walk intervals I used for the half marathon. Next time I will have a better idea of what to expect and can set some goals accordingly.

I have to say I was really impressed with the race overall. You never really know what you are getting into with a Groupon, but this is a company I would race with again. Packet pick-up was easy, the course was well marked and decently supported, and the shirt and medal were some of the nicer ones I have gotten. I think that a trail half marathon may be in my future.

Baby E Liked the medal.

Monday, April 7, 2014

8 Months with Baby E

Wow...this has been a big month for Baby E. It seems like she has developed a ton over the past month. We have had several firsts over the past month. 

The month started out a little rough with Baby E getting her first cold with a fever. Luckily the fever stayed low and other than being a little sleepier and a little crankier, she was herself. Her illness also came just as I was getting back to work from being out because of my Dad's surgery, so trying to manage the whole working mom with a sick baby thing stunk. My husband is a great Dad and takes amazing care of her, I just felt guilty not always being the one with her. I think the whole thing was harder on me than on her.

Baby E also got her first bath in the big girl tub. She seemed to enjoy playing in the water. We still normally bathe her in her baby tub because she gets slippery, but this was a fun treat for her. I can't wait to take her swimming.

  Solids are going pretty well and Baby E loves to eat. We normally feed her some take on our meal unless we are eating something completely not baby friendly, like sandwiches. I make it all, but normally send more traditional style baby food with her to daycare because it is less messy. Her new favorite thing is black beans cooked with garlic and spices. She also loved French Toast.

Yeah...sometimes we feed her in a diaper and bib...easier clean up.
The craziest thing about this month is that she went from not moving at all to crawling and pulling herself up (on everything) in about a week. She went from laying on her belly to sitting for the first time and by the following Friday she was on the move. Needless to say this keeps us on our toes. Luckily she still tolerates being in her jumper for a bit, so I can go to the bathroom or get her food together without having to worry about what she is getting in to.

We finished the month with a trip to Magic Kingdom to celebrate my birthday. We had tickets that expired in a couple of weeks, so we wanted to make sure they got used. Here she met Mickey for the first time. She wasn't so sure about him. I thought the talking Mickey was pretty cool. It will be interesting to see how she does with the characters as she gets older.

I think she had fun!
I don't know if it was 8 months of not sleeping more than 5 hours at a time catching up to me or something else, but I was ridiculously tired this month. Being tired is nothing new, but the first few weeks of March were really rough and I only ran a couple times a week at the most. I am finally feeling less tired, so hopefully this month will be better. Other than that I am doing pretty well and excited to see what the next few months bring.