November 27, 2015

Thankful for Walmart, Dyson, and Moscato

So our Thanksgiving morning started off super awesome with the discovery that Roscoe had fleas! Neither Miles or I have ever had a dog get fleas before so this made us feel really great and not at all like white trash. As gross as it was, I would like to point out that I stayed calm and just started doing what I could to address the problem. Miles definitely did the majority of the work tackling the issue, but was basically ready to burn the house down and was convinced this stuff only happens in trailer parks. A smidge dramatic, that one.

Nonetheless we were thankful that Walmart was open so we could get all the flea sprays and treatments for Roscoe and our house, we did approximately 80 loads of laundry, vacuumed the whole house (several times over after treating the carpets), cleaned couches, chairs, etc. Roscoe got two baths, spray treatments, and lots of comb throughs and the poor guy was confined to the garage for his Thanksgiving.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with several friends and cooked nothing, but brought all the booze. I'm really not painting a convincing picture here that we aren't white trash, but after speaking with several friends (clean and educated people!) it seems fleas are a huge problem in the South, Savannah in particular, and I'm almost surprised Roscoes has never had them before despite the fact that he was on a monthly topical treatment (though today we got some stronger stuff from the vet along with a pill that would kill any remaining little bastards that were clinging to him). The vet also said he can come back in the house and to just keep vacuuming for a few days as some dead fleas may fall off him. Gross. 

The only picture I took yesterday was of these cuties enjoying their Friendsgiving picnic. Mary was first in line to whine for food so was already stuffing her face in the high chair at this point.

Hoping you all had a less disgusting day of thanks! 

November 18, 2015

Race Recap

A little over a week ago I ran the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon. As I mentioned in my last post my reason for doing so was because the only other marathon I have run was a decade ago this month. I wanted to prove to myself that 10 years and 3 babies later I could run another and that's really about the only goal I accomplished that day because it was a BRUTAL, miserable race.

We've had unseasonable warm weather, but that day in particular was especially bad. It was about 85 degrees with 98% humidity. The weather was so bad that early on the race officials, in conjunction with the city of Savannah, started making modifications to the course. They started re routing runners if they weren't at a certain point by a certain time, diverting some to the half, and just turning people around in some cases. But, I will say as much as it sucked to not have things go as planned, I was really impressed with the way the race handled things. Sadly two people died that day - one on the course and another as soon as he got home. There were six others hospitalized and numerous people who stopped at the medical tents that were set up along the way. I found there to be plenty of water stations with water, gatorade, and salt offered and even though I hated life, I did feel taken care of, especially by the amazing support crew of friends and family who showed up that day. I knew by the half way point that the race was going downhill fast (only not literally - somehow there were several inclines in our usually flat city!). By mile 15 I was wondering if I just dreamed I trained because my legs didn't feel like the had and by mile 18 I was cramping up in some muscles despite a decent amount of salt intake, plenty of water and gatorade, chews and Gu. 

My sister Kate flew in from California to run the half and my dear friend Brandy came out from Chicago with her family to cheer on her sister-in-law who was also running the full. Brandy not only watched my kids during the race, but was there to cheer me on during a couple much needed times. I don't know what it is about races that make me so damn emotional, but combined with the fact that it was so brutal out, I was such a train wreck. My friend Melanie ran with me for six miles and then I had another friend and my sister join in for my last mile. The group of ladies in Stroller Strong Moms has been such an inspiring and uplifting group and their support really helped leading up to the race and during. Running that long just takes so much out of you physically and emotionally and by mile 18 I was runner-drunk where you just feel sort of out of it. A friend of mine put it best when she said running a marathon is a lot like being in labor and you don't know what sort of emotions you'll experience - you may cry, you may swear, you may just be really quiet and in the zone. In my case I was all of those. 

Seeing this little nugget was seriously the highlight of the race for me. Brandy snapped these pictures and I'm forever grateful she had the kids out there cheering me on because it was a much needed morale boost.

My friend Allison took over kiddo duty so Brandy could cheer on her sister-in-law, she was such a good sport,
especially when Finn wanted to sit on her shoulders and take a rest!
The green sign is one Brandy made and I started crying when I saw it because
she included pictures of me with all the kids. I mean seriously, my emotions didn't stand a chance that day!

SLAM fam

Sister Kate. One of my most favorite people on the planet.
Had the race gone according to plan (ha) I would have liked to have been able to say I met my goal (sub 4 hours) and will never run another. Buuuut, I'm a glutton for punishment and am looking at some races in January or February. But I sure do look forward to the day I can "retire" from marathons :)

November 6, 2015

Why I Run

Several weeks ago a friend posted something about why she runs. It got me thinking about why I run and that very day Finn ran upstairs to get his long sock to mimic the compression socks I was wearing from my run. He has wanted to race and the couple times he's participated in them he's loved them. So I really think that why I run does have a lot to do with the example I want to set for my kids, and it helps to keep me running, but it's definitely not how I started running. 

I ran cross country in high school, but on the JV team, and never was very good, nor did I care about being very good. I did it just to be involved in something. Then I went to West Point where you have to run and I was average, but not great and, again never really cared to run much. I liked doing the occasional race, but wasn't at all passionate about it. While I was a cadet, my close friend Dana and I decided we wanted to run a marathon. It was a bucket list thing for both of us and we figured we would do it, cross it off the list, and never do one again. So we sort of half assed trained and then very, very slowly we ran the Philadelphia Marathon in November of 2005. And I swore I would never run another marathon.

Dana and I ran the whole thing together, only stopping at water stations.
Our then boyfriends, now husbands, also ran - far, far ahead of us.
And yet tomorrow morning, ten years later, I'm running another one. And it's not because I really LOVE running. There are things I like about it, but for me the satisfaction of running comes from the appreciation it's giving me for my body. I'm so grateful and lucky to be in good health to even run and running definitely has taught me a lot about myself. As much as I hate to admit it, I do feel groggy and crabbier if I don't exercise and I love that running gives me an excuse to eat ice cream all day every day. And even though I'm not crazy about running itself, I do love races. Oddly I'm not super competitive - it's more the environment I love and I love seeing people of all shapes and backgrounds complete events they maybe never thought possible. I love seeing people overcome huge obstacles - I think that's what I love most about running; the confidence it gives someone. I really believe anyone can be a runner and I like something that is so inclusive and has such a variety of goals. Anyway, I decided I would run another marathon because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I wanted to prove that after ten years and three babies I could still put myself through something that I didn't adequately train for in my early twenties. And baring any unforeseen circumstances I really am confident I will do far better than I did when I was a young college student. 

This has been a pretty big running year from me with the Run Across Georgia and a half marathon earlier in the year, some 5 and 10k's and the Army Ten Miler last month. And yet I still wouldn't claim that I love running. But something about it keeps bringing me back. And tomorrow I hope that I end the race proud of how I did, regardless of if I meet my goal or not (though I really, really hope to meet my goal).

If you are new to running and don't know where to start - google the couch to 5k program and sign up for a race. I think that signing up for something is such a great motivator to really force you to get out there and train. I'm signed up for three races in 2016 and hopefully another Run Across Georgia. I don't think I'll add any more marathons to my list, but I also thought that ten years ago I was done, so who knows.

What about you, why do you run?