Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Today is a BIG day

 Before we get to why today is a really big day, I have to share some fun moments from the weekend. Sunday before church, we went on a walk and relaxed at the park. Kevin and I both got cozy on our own benches and soaked up the morning sun. 
 Mason is in love with his new "noc-lars" and even smuggled them into church.
 Monday morning's run was super windy! When I stopped for a drink, this is what I encountered: the wind was blowing the water the opposite direction.
The windy run rewarded me with another pretty sunrise.
 Today I must have been half asleep when I got to the gym, because when I went to leave I realized I had parked in a handicap spot. Oops.
Now time for the BIG day news!!
My Cory Boy officially starts Kindergarten. This milestone has been shockingly hard for me. It's brought all the regrets, insecurities and failures of my first 5 years of motherhood to the front of my brain. I know that I need to change my thinking, but I just love him so much and wish I was better at this whole "mom" thing. He has truly been my "guinea pig". 
Holly and I took our cuties out to lunch for one last hoorah!  These two boys have been friends as long as they can remember.
Cory and Jackson's first time meeting each other
 These two have really grown up together
 Sweet Cory at his 1st birthday party. He kept kissing and hugging his Pooh Bear cake. (It was also his first time ever having sugar. Ha! Things sure have changed around here.)
After our lunch date, we had some more fun with Aunt Holly and Jack Jack.

 Say a little prayer for me that I can make it out of the school before I have my big cry fest!
How do you push those "mommy failures" out of your mind?

Are you close with your cousins?

Any advice for a mom starting the "public school journey"?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Circle of Life Education

The weekend started out with a little twist, when Cory decided to give me a "curl". He likes to brush my hair sometimes, but he's never attempted a curl. It took me 20 minutes to get the comb out of my hair. 
 Friday night we went to a local museum on BYU campus. It has been closed for like a year and we were really excited that is open again. All four of us loved it!
 The boys especially loved the displays where the predators were attacking other animals. Of course they did. ;)
  So sad.
 Saturday started rainy and stormy, so I did my long run at the gym. I really do love the cinema room. Indiana Jones kept me company, and I was able to get a little over 11 miles done. The sad thing was when I walked outside it was beautiful and cool! I regretted not running outside, but oh well.
 I tried to "nap" on the couch, but this blue eyed boy has an aversion to people sleeping. He was both diligent and persistent in making sure there was no napping on the job. 
 Cory accompanied me to our neighbor's wedding tonight, and I'm pretty sure I had the cutest date there.

Do you run in the rain/snow, or do you get it done on the treadmill?

Are you a "napper"?
 I have always loved naps, but as I'm getting older, I have a harder time sleeping at night if I've napped. 

Harrison Ford, yay or nay?
YAY. :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pan"cakes" for this big cry baby

Just got home from a great run around my town. I'm lucky to live in a a really "hilly" area. I think having all of these hills has made me a better runner. It was such a pretty morning. I never regret waking up early to get my runs done and enjoying the world's transformation from dark to light.

Sometimes running suppresses my appetite for a few hours after I run, but on days like today, I walk in the door starving.
Breakfast around here has looked like this lately. Whole wheat pancakes "frosted" with plain Greek yogurt and Kodiak berry syrup on top. It's like eating cake for breakfast, and I love it!

Recipe for Whole Wheat pancakes:
2 cups of white whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1+ tsp of cinnamon
2 tsp sugar or other sweetener
2 eggs (lightly beat before adding)
2 cups of milk
2 tsp vanilla
(I like to add flax seed and chia seeds, but will add more milk when I do.)

This recipe makes like 15 pancakes and I'll put the leftovers in the fridge for convenient breakfasts.

Our big life change going on right now is that my Cory Boy is starting kindergarten. I didn't realize how emotional this milestone could be. I've cried every time I've had to step foot in the school. Let's hope I get all my tears out by his first official day next week. I really don't want to be "that" mom. :)
 Cory brought me this rock yesterday and told me it was South Carolina. He's such a smart guy.
 He also, apparently, really doesn't like to wear a shirt. Kindergarten will be such a wake up call. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

And now I'm back...from outer space...

This blog sure helped me make it through a long string of tough races and I feel a bit shameful for abandoning it as soon as I was done with the Hobbler Half. Truth is... running 4 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and an ultra Ragnar in 3 months was exhausting physically and mentally.
I've spent the past month doing some really fun things with family and friends and have put running on a "back burner".  The saying, "If you chase two rabbits, you'll lose them both" has been on my mind. It's always good to assess your priorities and determine what rabbit is worth focusing on.
I've still been running, and this past week was the first week where I felt a little fire under me. :) I ran paces that I haven't seen since before the marathon, and that was fun. 
(No equipment needed, park workout is at the bottom of this post.)

Here are a few pictures I've taken on my runs the past month. I love all of the places running can take me!


No equipment needed - park workout
(Do 3 rounds of each 4 exercises)
-12 push-ups
-reverse bear crawl (I was introduced to this move at Kick Your Trash's bootcamp. Local peeps should check them out!)
-30 second plank with shoulder taps
-15 burpees

-15 squats
-15 walking lunges
-30 seconds standing sumo crunch
-10 bench jumps (You can modify by doing forward jumps. I started with these after having Mason)

End with sprints, because the other parents at the park already think you're insane. Might as well run around like a crazy person and prove them right. ;)

Where has running taken you this summer?

Are you ready for summer to be over or are you dreading colder weather?
Do you ever work out at the park while your kids are playing?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hobbler Half Review

The first part of this post is an overall review of the race for those thinking of running this specific half marathon, and the second part is my personal experience running this race.

Hobbler Half Marathon 2014 Race Review
The Course: You start up the left fork of Hobble Creek Canyon. Unlike most canyon races, this is not a completely "downhill" course. Hobble Creek offers plenty of ups and downs to make this a unique and challenging half. Due to construction, they changed the end of the course. When we exited the canyon we headed south into Mapleton. I actually preferred this course over last years. The route has a total ascent of 354 ft, a maximum elevation of 5,783 ft. and drops to 4,683 ft.
View at the start

One negative to the course was that it was short! Most runners reported 12.8 miles (including me). I'm sure this will be remedied in the future. Accurate course distances and mile markers are so important, and this year's Hobbler Half didn't deliver either.

Support: There were plenty of aid stations and port-o-potties along the course. They also offered a bag drop option at the top, which seemed to run smoothly. The race started a couple minutes late, but not enough that it was a big deal.
The race also had the RYR Pacers out helping runners meet their goals. They covered paces between 1:35 and 2:30 and also provided a sweeper. This adds a ton of value to me when racing.

Extras:  Packet pick-up ran smoothly. There wasn't any cool swag for this race, but I liked that they included a printed page of race-day instructions. I think it's convenient to have the important info in print on race morning. I was also disappointed that the race shirts are the same as the Provo Half shirts. They have different graphics on them, but they are identical otherwise.

This race also offers a 2 person relay over the half marathon course. I have friends who run the relay and love it! I think it is a fun option that this race offers.

Run13 likes to throw a party at their finish lines. There were bounce houses, face painting and hot air balloon rides. There were Creamies, snow cones, free breakfast and massages. My 5 year old remembered how much fun he had last year, and was really excited to do it all again this year.

Slim used his little piggy toes as brakes.
2014 Medal

Runners: There were just over 700 half marathon finishers, 33 relay team finishers, and 161 5k finishers.

Weather/Conditions:  The weather was nice and cool at the top of the canyon, but it heated up quickly. Even with the 6:30am start time, it's still a July race so prepare to run in the heat. There is some shade coming down the canyon, and after the first turn towards Mapleton, but the majority of the race is in full sun.

Bottom Line: I really like the Hobbler Half. Run13 puts on a fun and well organized event. The course is scenic. It also helps that it is in "my" canyon. If you're looking for a pretty canyon run that isn't steep, this is a great one. If you're looking for a super fast course, skip it. Well, unless they plan on making it 12.8 miles again next year ;)
Post race hugs and kisses

My Hobbler Half 2014 Experience:
Jocelyn and I got to the high school at 4:45am, parked in Springville High's main parking lot and walked over to the park where the buses were loading. We made it on one of the first buses up the canyon.
After only 1 year on the "running scene", I already feel like I am part of a running family. I could have enjoyed another hour walking around and talking to all the amazing people I've met through running.
Jocelyn and me
I went into this race with low expectations but high hopes. My knee and calf (opposite legs) have been bothering me on and off ever since I was training for UVM. I've taken a lot of time off from running since Ragnar to recover. Two days before the race I did a 2.5 mile treadmill run and still had some pain.  I stopped by my  Physical Therapist office on Friday to get taped up. They have worked wonders in the past for me.

I usually approach races with my focus on a strong finish. This one I wanted to start at a pace that would keep the dream of a PR, or at the least a course PR, alive as long as possible. If my nagging injuries ruined it, that was one thing, but I didn't want a conservative start to be the reason I missed a goal.
1-8:55       5-8:48         9-10:12        13-9:32
2-8:38       6-9:35        10-10:37
3-8:45       7-9:07        11-9:48
4- 8:53      8-9:47        12-10:18

Looking at the splits, I went out too fast for my current fitness. No regrets though. My knee pain started around mile 2 but it improved as I warmed up. It never got worse so I just forced my mind to forget about it.
I didn't take water for this one, and would get quite thirsty in between aid stations. I'd always get a burst of energy after drinking some water and dumping a cup on my head.

I really pushed my brain during this race. I tried to never let myself feel "comfortable." If I started to feel like I was going to blow up, I would take some fuel (I ate a salted caramel GU and some skittles during the race.), focus on the next mile marker, and/or find an awesome song on my playlist. This seemed to work for me and I was able to snag a course PR, and it was my 2nd fastest half at 2:01:26.

Even though I've totally been beaten down by all the racing I've been doing lately, I was able to beat my Provo Half time by 9 seconds. I know that my mind and heart pulled this off, because honestly my body feels 100 years old right now. :)

Me and Holly. It's a bit of a goofy picture but I like how happy we look.
Running in to the finish!
Anyone have more thoughts about this year's Hobbler Half?
Would you rather a course be a little long or short?
Do you always aim for negative splits in your races?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Smoothie Addicts

 Hobbler Half Marathon was Saturday, but I'll do a post all about it soon. It was a good one!
We're back on the daily smoothie kick around here. If I don't make one first thing, Cory or Slim will always request them.
 I never say no to a smoothie request. It's a great way to give my kids, kale, spinach, chard, chia seeds, and flax seeds.

 We celebrated my cute nephew's birthday at Chuck-A-Rama.
 I don't think I've ever seen my kids eat so much in one sitting before!
We ended the night at the Owlz baseball game with some fun friends and family. This was my kids first baseball game, and they loved it. I was worried it would be miserably hot, but we were blessed with a nice shady spot.

All you can eat buffets... yay or nay?

Have you tried putting greens in your smoothies? 

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?