Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This and That

Do you ever have those days where you sit down to do something, but then you are interrupted? I have those days a lot. It seems like I am constantly interrupted, and I never accomplish my task. That explains why things have been pretty quiet around here. Nap time is gone. Meeghan still needs a nap, but she won't nap now that she is sharing a room with Hannah. I try to enforce quiet time, but they are fighting me on that every day. I sit down for a minute to do something, and I find myself right back up to stop the commotion in their room. Here is the quick rundown of life for me (quiet time isn't very quiet today).

We bought a new car! It is a 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. Yes, we went the minivan route and I love it. I love it. It is so much easier with the girls. The insurance process has been a nightmare, and we know for sure we are switching because of this fiasco. We are waiting until they pay out, and then switching.

I am entering the scary world of enrolling Hannah for kindergarten. I called her neighborhood school last week, and was treated poorly. I was giving the lady the benefit of the doubt, but I found someone else had a horrible experience with the office staff as well. Our neighborhood school is also a technology magnet school. I am not sure how I feel about that. Hannah likes technology, but I am not sure I want the focus of that in every subject. 

Potty training is going terribly. I am tired of changing diapers, but I am afraid if I push too much Meeghan will resist even more. I am trying to be patient and let her tell me when she is ready. 

I have my first real running injury. I have peroneal tendonitis. Okay, it is a self diagnosis, but from what I have read it is dead on to my symptoms. I guess it is from marathon training, and probably not letting myself fully recover afterwards. 2 miles into a run I am in pretty serious pain and can barely walk. Although the other day, once I made it past the 2 mile mark I felt great. It was the fastest I had run in months. I don't understand. So, I am going with the RICE method and I will be trying out compression socks. My next race isn't until March so I have some time to heal. It is frustrating though because running is my little bit of peace and quiet. I need that solitude to regroup for the day. Has anyone tried compression socks? Any recommendations? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Recap

I am going to start with the best words in the world. I finished! It was pretty brutal at times, but my determined butt was crossing that finish line. I started my marathon weekend by waking up at 2:45 Saturday morning to watch E run the half marathon. He was doing the Goofy challenge which meant running the half Saturday and the full Sunday. I hung out with him in the start line staging area until he left for the corrals. At that point I went to Magic Kingdom to watch him run down Main Street. It was frigid (for Florida), but the view was worth it.

"Frozen" castle

Christmas tree was still out

Sunrise from the monorail

After I caught him at Main Street, I sprinted to the monorail to try to catch him at the Grand Floridian. I missed him by a minute. In hindsight, I should have gone to the Polynesian. I know for next time. After that, I went back to Epcot to catch him at the finish. I saw him at mile 12, and then again at mile 13.05. I was frozen and exhausted after this. I felt like I had run 13 miles. We decided to make it an easy day in Epcot to save our legs. 

Sunday morning. Sunday morning was the morning I was dreading and anticipating. We made it to Epcot with plenty of time to spare. E decided he would start with me since he was still nursing his IT Band injury. I agreed to run intervals with him which would be the first time I had tried them during a race. Shortly after 6am, my corral crossed the start line. It was a beautiful sight. 

Our intervals were working well except E took the lead and we were running slightly faster than what was comfortable for me. I knew we would need to slow down during the run interval if I was going to make it. He told me to take the lead so I could set the pace. The first few miles flew by, and we were having. For real. We were having fun. We made it to Magic Kingdom in great spirits. It was pretty crowded in places which was frustrating, but we knew there would be some bottlenecks. We made up our time during the open areas. We finally made it out to the Speedway and on our way to Animal Kingdom. 

I was starting to get tired, but that is not unusual. I was 13 miles in so I knew fatigue would start to set in. Animal Kingdom was fun. They had some animals out and the animals had race bibs on. It was great! We were there before the park opened so no one was riding Expedition Everest. As we exited Animal Kingdom to head to Wide World of Sports, there was a huge crowd of people. It was just the boost I needed to get through the next few miles. I seem to start to break down mentally around mile 15, but this crowd helped me so much. I tried to make it to every kid to give them a high five. 

The trek to Wide World of Sports was brutal. I was starting to lose it. I had that heavy feeling in my chest again which was telling me I was in my head too much. At some point along this stretch, there was a lovely woman handing out M&Ms. They were the best tasting thing in the world. I think I told her she was the best, and thoroughly enjoyed my handful of candy. Wide World of Sports takes up almost 5 miles of the course. As you approach it, runners are heading toward you on the other side of the road. Their mile marker says 21 while yours says 16. It is very tough to handle mentally. It was so tempting to cross the median and join those runners. 

Wide World of Sports is a huge complex with many different types of fields. We wind our way through this complex for a few miles, and it is tough, It is tough to see people ahead of you, and they are so close, but you have to take a billion turns before you get to them. The crowd support was better than I thought it would be and that helped so much. You do run on the warning track of the Atlanta Braves' spring training field which is pretty cool. 

As you exit Wide World of Sports, you cross mile 20 or The Wall. I was tired, but physically okay. Mentally I was bat crap crazy. Unfortunately, E's ITBS flared and he was in pain. He tried to run the next interval and he couldn't. He told me to go on ahead, but I said we started together and we would finish together. So we walked the last 5 miles. It was painful and long. Oh so long. We were both pretty quiet for a mile or so. I think we both needed to process that we weren't going to end the race like we wanted. I knew I could go ahead, but I wasn't sure if my mental state would have hindered me. We walked our way through Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk, and then Epcot. We decided to run the last 0.2. It was very painful for him, but we wanted finish line pictures of us running. Despite the pain, the rain (oh did I mentioned that it rained?), and the disappointment we still finished. I vowed the entire time I would never do another marathon, but here I am contemplating the NYC lottery. 

For my first marathon, I think Disney was a great choice. So many aid stations, so many spectators, and the parks are awesome to run through. I am so glad I chose to do this. It may not be what I was hoping for time wise, but I can say that I was happy. I am usually not an outwardly emotional runner, but I started crying the minute the medal was placed around my neck. Luckily, it was raining so most people didn't notice, but I was a wreck. There were so many emotions to process, and they all spilled out in the form of tears. I proudly wore that medal the rest of the day. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The roof is on fire!

The last six days have been crazy. I am beat down and exhausted from everything. This post will focus on the events from last Thursday. It started like any normal day, but it all changed around noon. It is time to pick up Hannah from school. Meeghan and I are in the parking lot of the school when my car suddenly shuts off and smoke begins to trickle out from the hood. A smoking car always makes me nervous so I decided to grab Meeghan, and the diaper bag, and ran her into the building so someone could watch her. I ran back out to see that the smoke was heavier and darker. I tried to pop the hood, but gave up. I even tried to find my hazards (I clearly was in panic thinking mode).  There was another parent who arrived during this and he stopped to help me. He ran in to get a fire extinguisher while I ran to my phone to call 911. By this point I could see tiny flames hitting the ground and knew the car was on fire. There wasn't much I could do, but make sure people stayed away. Teachers and parents were running to their cars to move them away from my car. Finally, the firefighters arrived and stopped the fire before the entire car was engulfed. The front half to the brunt of the damage. As I watched it burn, I remembered all the stuff that was still in the car. I had the double stroller in the back, Meeghan's coat and some shoes, a few toys, books, and other little things. This was what the car looked like:

See that purple cup? It wasn't damaged. 

Thank goodness no one was hurt, and we actually recovered quite a few items from the car. The stroller has some melted paint, and it smells, but I think we can restore it. I learned a few things from this. One, keep all your important stuff in one spot in case something like this happens. I am glad that I always throw my wallet and phone in the diaper bag while in the car. Two, if you see smoke don't assume that you can easily fix it. It is probably best to call for help immediately. I am also grateful this happened in the parking lot at the school. If I had been on the street, I am not sure what I would have done. The teachers kept Hannah in her classroom while they placed Meeghan in the 2 year old classroom to play. I was able to make phone calls and figure out what to do while the girls were safe and warm in a building. I now have a slight fear about every car I ride in will catch on fire, but I think in time that fear will go away. For now, I am happy that everyone is okay and I hope that insurance moves quickly so we can look for another car. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Race anxiety

My first marathon is in 5 days. 5! I am pretty nervous. My two long runs of 21 miles were absolutely horrible. Just terrible. I even cried during one of them because I hated it so much. I may have had a slight panic attack during one as well. I am worked up over this race. E is running Goofy this weekend. For those not familiar with races at Disney this means he will run the half marathon Saturday and then the full marathon Sunday. He is currently battling some IT band issues which means his training has suffered. In order to hopefully make it through the weekend, he has switched to a run/walk interval system to save his knee. He wants to run the marathon with me so I am now using the run/walk intervals with him. I did not train using them (well I walked when I was tired the last few miles of my long training runs, but nothing official.) We have started running these last training runs together using his intervals so I can adjust to them, and we can learn to run together. So far it is working. I can see how it will hopefully help me finish strong, and help him finish. I did have a time goal for this race (I know, I know first marathon the goal should be to finish and nothing else), but I know I probably won't reach it. I knew I probably wouldn't reach it if my long runs were any indication of how the race would go. However, we do think that we can make it for my C goal time, but we are going to go with the flow and not push it. We rarely get to run together , and we never get to run together during a race, so we are going to enjoy the experience the best we can. The competitive side of me cringes when I think about throwing my time goal out the window, but I know that it is probably for the best. 

We are turning the weekend into a mini-vacation. My dad and niece will be flying down Friday to join us in the fun. They will watch the girls while we run. The girls are running in the kids' races Saturday. Hannah is running the Mickey Mile while Meeghan is running the 100 meter race. Hannah even wanted running clothes like mine so I bought her a pink shirt and shorts.We are cramming a lot into 3 days, but I think we will have a lot of fun. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year

I know many people make resolutions for the new year. I usually don't because I tend to break them, and then I feel like a failure. This year, though, I do have some goals.

1. I want to go back to school. Eventually my girls will be in school, and I can go back to work. I earned my degree in 2002, and I have been told that I would have to take remedial classes again to work in my field again. So, off to school I go if I ever want to work in my chosen area again. The program I want to attend is available, but the chances of me finishing it before we move again is slim so I am looking at online master degree programs. Let's hope I can make it work.

The other goal I have is to strengthen my body. I run, but my body isn't strong. I always say I will do some sort of cross training, but then I find an excuse to sit on the couch. I want to change that. I want to be healthy, and I think doing some core work or toning exercises might be a nice mental and physical boost I need. Small steps, but I am hoping to make a lifestyle change.

The last thing is I want to be more patient with my children. I have a short fuse, and I find I yell a lot. I want to change that. I try hard to stay patient, but some days I lose. I have started counting to 10, and telling them I need just a minute to sort my thoughts. We'll see how I do on this one.