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Friday, April 29, 2011

Bad Mother of the Year Award, Reason #240

Lest anyone think that only Ian is the sole focus of my bad parenting skills, here is a great example of how Sam became the target on Wednesday of this week.

My friend Susanne and I decided to walk Burke Lake Park during the one hour and 15 minutes I have free in between dropping Ian off at kindergarten and picking Sam up from preschool.  Foolishly we thought we could do the 5 mile trail around the lake within the allotted time.  Even with walking a very brisk pace, sometimes even doing a slow run to get back to the car sooner, it still took us 1 hr, 45 minutes.  Oh my!  I was 25 minutes late picking up Sam.  And it wasn't even like I was stuck in traffic or at a drs appointment longer than expected.  Nooooo, I was late because I was out for a walk.  How horrible is that!?!?!

Wait it gets better!  About 15 minutes before the pick-up time, Susanne and I realized just how far we were from making a complete loop and I quickly called my fabulous friend Amy to see if she could come to my rescue.  I knew she had to be on her way to pick up her son, Jacob and I was hoping she could grab Sam at the same time too.  Amy would be able to take the kids to the gross motor skills room and hang out there until I reached the preschool.  All went well with the call for help and I felt a big sigh of relief knowing Sam was in good hands. 

I chatted with Amy and watched the kids play for a little while once I got there.  Sam was super excited to show me the seeds they planted in class and lifted the potted container up high for me to see.  Me, being clumsy and a little distracted, waved my arm in conversation and the next thing you know, Sam is wearing the entire container of the potting soil and seeds.  Oh my!  It literally started on her head, went down her shirt, in her pants and landed on/in her shoes.  She was more than a little surprised at what happened and stood there stunned wearing the soil.  I think I made her speechless, which take it from me, is pretty hard to do.

OH MY GAWD!  Could I feel like a worse mother?  First I am 25 minutes late picking my little girl and then I pretty much dump an entire container of potting soil directly on her. 

I was able to salvage picking up a lot of the soil and putting it back in the container.  We did bring it home and put it in a prominent place so that it would start to grow.  I think I need to throw in some new seeds as I am not sure I managed to scrape them back in too.

What a day!  Susanne and I will one day look back and laugh at what we thought we could do in an hour's time, and who knows, we may even decide to walk Burke Lake Park again during the school day.  It will just have to wait until next year when we have a longer amount of time to do it in and we aren't wading through ankle deep mud or balancing walking across fallen trees to get to a dry area.  It was certainly an adventure. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heard and Observed XXIII

Jeff:  Ian, we just need to be patient with Sam.  She is going through a tough time.

Ian:  Fine, I'll be in my room for the next 2 years then.

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Ian had the opportunity to go to the movies with his good friend, Andrew. 

Me:  Ian, you sure you want to see the movie, "Hop" again?

Ian:  Oh yeah!  I'd go anywhere with Andrew.  I'd even go to a birthday party where I didn't know anyone and I'd have to go up to each kid and introduce myself.

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On Monday:

Me:  Sam, let's go change your diaper.

Sam:  No, don't want my diaper changed.  Change it later.  Change it on Wednesday.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Lovin' the big Mouse!

And, no I am not talking about Mickey.  I am all about the "other" mouse, Chuck E. Cheese.  The last day of Spring Break was a rainy, dreary day and what better place to spend it than Chuck E. Cheese.  And not just any Chuck E. Cheese, but my most favorite location, the one in Herndon. 

We are lucky enough to have a Chuck E. Cheese within a 15 minute drive from Burke, but I will always prefer the 35 minute drive to the one in Herndon.  Why, you ask?  Ah, easy peezy to answer!  It doesn't get as crowded, the layout of the games and booths is well thought out, it is much cleaner than the one in Fairfax (or at least feels like this), and there is so much more room to spread out.  We always arrive at 10:00am and it takes until 12:30pm before any kind of crowd shows up.  By this point, the kids have had a blast and are ready to leave, with tummies full of pizza, of course!

I feel like the scales have finally tipped in favor of the mommies during this last visit.  We've officially become "those" moms. You know what I am talking about, the ones who can sit down and enjoy a conversation while the kids go play.  You give them just enough tokens that they have to come back frequently for more.  Plus, since it is practically deserted when we go, you can see the big kids playing clear across the room and keep an eye on them.  And now the little ones are able to operate all the games/rides themselves.  They loved having their own cup of tokens and had a wonderful time playing without us (the mommies) getting in their way.

Ah, we've hit Chuck E. Cheese nirvana.  Most moms hate this place, but I am not sure why.  I think they just need to come hang with me on our next outing to become a believer.  This place rocks!! 

The 3 amigos (James, Henry and Ian)

"I love Barney so much"  Sam spent 30 minutes on this ride.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Surviving Spring Break

We are now ending our week off from school for Spring Break.  I have to admit this week hasn't been bad and we've been doing much better than just surviving.  In fact, I never even started the countdown to how much longer we have until the kiddos are back in school.  Yes, we are doing that good!

The kids and I had a wonderful treat when Jeff took Wednesday off from work and spent the day with us.  We decided to go to the Children's Museum in Richmond.  I had heard great things about this museum and was curious to check it out. 



The kids had fun; Samantha more than Ian.  She was running from one exhibit to another and was very happy to be able to touch, explore and play with everything.  Ian had a great time too, but I think the experience would have been more fulfilling for him if he had a friend his own age with him.  I give Ian credit for jumping in and playing with the other kids at the museum.

Ian was in the "grocery store" and standing behind the register, checking out the shoppers with their groceries.  It was very cute and I had to laugh at this exchange:

A girl comes up with her grocery cart filled to the rim with play food.  It was crazy full and she was having a hard time even pushing the cart to Ian's station.  Ian starts helping her take out all the food, one by one and scanning it.  After about 5 minutes, Ian says to the girl, "Wow, you have a lot of food."  The girl (about 5 or 6 years old) replies, "It's for my kids."  Ian then says, "OH MY, Your kids eat a lot!!!".   It was hilarious.  Then Ian gets done scanning all her food and looks at this huge pile stacked on his counter not sure what to do next.  So he helps her take the food and put it back in the grocery cart, but this time it is not all fitting and keeps falling all over the place.  Honestly, I think this "shopper" was a little too high maintenance and I am sure Ian was wishing he was operating an express 10 items or less lane.

Now that's a lot of groceries!

Ian is not sure how much more he can take and he is trying so hard to be nice.

Always has a smile on his face!
The children's museum was all on one floor. We were able to time our arrival and departure to miss rush hour traffic on I-95 and still have plenty of time in the museum. The museum is small enough to not feel overwhelmed or that you were going to miss something. But it also offered a nice variety of stuff to play with and explore. I was pleasantly surprised to see it also had a fenced-in outdoor area full of more stuff for the kids to do.

Sam picking apples from the orchard


Sunny side-up, please.


So here is the oddest thing I've seen in a long time.  Part of the pretend food was Matzo.  Really.  How random is that?  Given that it is the middle of Passover, I am around Matzo all the time and readily recognized it.  But, you would think that the majority of the kids would have no idea what it is.  Wow. This sort of made me stop and wonder, could this be some other type of food and I've got Matzo on the brain right now?  No, it doesn't look like anything else.

Here is a picture of it.  I wonder if it is gluten-free like mine at home.  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Walmart: Should I give them a 2nd chance or did I get lucky?

Within 2 miles from my house is a both a Target and a Walmart.  These two highly popular destinations in Burke is only 1 mile from each other.  However, you would think an ocean separates one store from another.  I despise Walmart with all my heart.  If Walmart was the only place to carry a certain item I need, then I will do without it.  Yes, this is a big, bold statement to make, but that is how much I can't stand the store. I hate trying to find a parking spot, I hate their advertised specials promoting the best price ever, therefore bringing enormous crowds inside, and I hate that they are open even on holidays when Target would be closed.  Ugh!

You feel like you are entering another world walking into Walmart.  All of sudden walking through the doors no one (and I mean NO ONE!) speaks English.  Not even a little bit.  And everyone who works there doesn't seem to have a full set of teeth (but that is my personal problem, not theirs).  And, here's the biggie -- no one who works there can tell you where any of merchandise is located.  It is nuts and very frustrating.

Anyway, so this is why I no longer shop at Walmat.  This is why I heart Target.  Target rocks!  And I know Target like the back of my hand, but even still the people who work there will not only tell you where something is located, but they personally escort you to the spot. 

So I found myself the other day in the precarious position to have to go in a Walmart.  Ian was at the movies with his friend and friend's mom and I took Sam and went grocery shopping.  We had 15 minutes left to kill before it was time to pick-up Ian from the theatre.  I badly needed to get Sam another pair of ballet tights and a roll of tape.  I saw the Walmart right across the street from the theater and plugged Gertie in to find out where the closest Target was.  Yes, that is how strong I feel about avoiding Walmart.  Unfortunately, the Target was a good 10 minutes away at Springfield Mall and Walmart was going to have to do.

I found a parking spot, grabbed Sam and made our way through the door;

Me (to the first sales person I saw on the floor):  Where would I find little girl's ballet tights?

Walmart Worker:  What?  Valet lights?

Me:  No, ballet tights

Walmart Worker:  You looking for lights?

Me:  No, you know, the thing you put on your legs to do dance....BALLET  TIGHTS!

Walmart Worker:  Oh, I see.  Look over there and points in a general direction of the store.

hahahaahah.  Me thinking to myself, wow, doesn't matter where the Walmart is located, they are all the SAME!

So Sam and I power walk (we lost 4 valuable minutes trying to communicate with the first sales person) to the girl's area and find two employees talking to each other.  Bingo!  I can now kill two birds with one stone asking two people at once to understand what I am trying to say.

Me:  Do you  know where I can find girl's ballet tights?

The two sales people look at each other, the one says, "Yes, we moved them."  Looking at her friend, "Do you know where we moved them to?" 
The Friend/Other Sales person answers:  "They are right here.  Let me you show you."

And she brought me to the exact spot they were located.

Woweee!!!  I am thinking this woman just transferred from working at Target.  :)  But, it did get me thinking that I maybe I should give Walmart a 2nd chance.  I guess my mind is starting to get fuzzy around the edges on why I think this store sucks so much.

And with finding the tape located where I thought it should be and walking through self-checkout without any kind of wait, we made it to the theatre in plenty of time.  I can't believe I am saying this, but overall, my experience in Walmart wasn't that bad.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bad Mother of the Year Award, Reason #20

A few months ago Ian started complaining that his feet hurt.  Naturally I thought it was his shoes and we promptly went to Stride Rite to get his feet measured.  Nope, his foot was the same size and his current pair of sneakers he had on didn't need to be upgraded. The visit of course, did result in Sam getting a new pair of sneakers, as we found out then and there that her foot had grown a size larger.  Since then, we have gone back to Stride Rite again, and Ian's foot finally grew.  Of course, Sam got another new pair of shoes during this visit too.

For several weeks Ian still continues to complain that his feet hurt.  At this point I am ready to make an appointment with a podiatrist to see what is wrong.  It was one morning as we are getting ready to leave the house that I notice the sock Ian is trying to get his foot into.  Finally the light bulb went off at the top of my head and I had a "Hallelujah!!" moment on what was going on.  I am always so careful to make sure Ian's clothes fit, his shoes fit, his underwear fits, his pajamas fit, his bathing suits fit, but I totally forgot about his socks fitting.  I can't even remember the last time I bought Ian the socks he was wearing, nor can I remember what age he was.  It has to have been years!! The poor guy was wearing socks about 3 sizes too small.  When I buy something (like underwear, socks, etc) I get it in bulk.  We will always easily have at least two dozen pairs to rotate through.  There is no risk of wearing them down and if we lose a pair or two, so be it.  Running out is never an issue.  I guess it never occurred to me that Ian's feet were getting much bigger than his socks.

See for yourself. 



Wow!  What a size difference.  No wonder Ian's feet hurt.
At least I am giving Ian plenty of material for therapy later. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How I plan to get to 26.2

I've shared with you my reasons for wanting to do a marathon and why I chose the Philadelphia Marathon as my race to accomplish this, but I have yet to divulge how I plan to be able to run 26.2 miles in one fell swoop.

When I first told my mom I was running a marathon and she found out it is was 26.2 miles long, her first question was, "Do you have to do that all in one day?"  Um, yes, that is the point.

So here's my Top 10 reasons on how I think I'll be able to run a marathon:

10.  Following a schedule.  There are a ton of running training plans available that will help you properly prepare for running a marathon. Everything from wanting to finish it in a set amount of time to just being happy to finishing it is available in a million different versions. It's all about deciding which one will work best.   Being the Type A personality I am, if I have a schedule, I will follow it to a "T".  I excel at making sure I get all my training runs in, to the point it can become obsessive.  Because if I give it everything it is asking of me, then it will make sure I am ready.  No shortcuts.

9. Potentially joining a training group.  I went to an information meeting last weekend and really liked everything the Program Directors had to say.  It is a 26 week program and they do their long runs on Saturday mornings.  Depending on the distance they are running and the heat of the day will determine how early they start.  The group runs different paths and offer so much support (not just on the long runs, but all aspects of the training).  It is really nice to have a group to run with and know that you are all going through it together.  Not to mention, they set up aid stations for the really long runs.  How nice is that?  They make sure port-a-potties are available and will make you do a 26.2 mile training run before the big day.  The only thing that is keeping me from signing on the dotted line is that you CAN NOT run with music on the Saturday runs.  I am not positive I am cut out for this and can run one mile, much less 26 miles without my awesome tunes.  Running to music is the only way I am able to go from point A to point B.  The program director encouraged me to try the group for the month of May before having to decide if I will commit to training with them the rest of the time.   She thinks I can do it.  When I told her that I really need the music, she asked what would happen if my iPod died during the marathon and I didn't have music then?  I guess she doesn't know me very well, because I already thought that part through and was going to run with a back-up iPod. 

8. Books.  I've been reading so many books about running, being able to run, doing a marathon, dressing for a marathon, eating for a marathon, working out to do a marathon, being motivated to run a marathon, not getting injured training for a marathon, running if you are woman, running if you are mom, making time for running,inspirational stories about running, you would think I was in training for the Olympics.  I've become completely consumed by this and soon my book club is going to suffer.  I've gotten lucky so far that the books being picked are ones I've already read.  This can't be the case much longer.

7.  I've registered for the race, made hotel reservations, arranged child care for Ian and Sam and researched the gluten-free restaurant I want to eat at the night before the big day.  I can't let all this work go to waste.  Part of the training is preparing all the other areas too.  I am ready!

6. Support.  I have a wonderful support system.  I can't thank my husband enough for being an endless source of encouragement.  He is always asking how my runs were, if I need to go to the gym, and how the training is going.  Knowing that Jeff will be waiting at the finish line is reason enough to make it to the end to give him a big sweaty ole kiss.  And of course, use him as support to be able to stand.

5. My friends who have run a marathon before.  I know these two amazing people who have run marathon(s) before and are always available for tips, advice and to run with.  They've proven to me that they could do it and live to tell about it and I can too.

4. Hard work.  I can work hard with the best of them.  If there is something I want bad enough, I will do whatever is required to get it done and get there.

3. Time.  I have plenty of time to properly train.

2. The run-walk-run method by Jeff Galloway.  This guy is brilliant and devised a strategy of running/walking combo to get you to any distance.  I absolutely love it and was so surprised at how much easier the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was this year.  I actually shaved 8 minutes off my time from the previous year.  The method not only makes your overall pace faster, but your recovery is easier and your legs don't burn out during the longer distances.

1.  My running BFF, Jen W.  We are in this together.  Jen has committed to doing the marathon too.  She is not going to let me down and I am not going to let her down.  Fortunately we run at the same pace and we have the same goal in mind...we want to finish, not be last and try to get it around 5 hours.  But still be totally cool with no matter how long it takes us.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ballet Class: Scene 1, Take 2

Never one to give up, we are back out there in the world trying a dance class all over again.  Our first attempt, as reported back in October, was a complete disaster and I ended up cancelling the rest of the session.  I was doing more ballet moves trying to convince Sam to walk through the door, then Sam was even moving.

Fast forward 7 months and a lot of growing up on Sam's part, a new opportunity appeared for Sam try ballet.  I said yes and  dusted off her leotard, tights, skirt and ballet shoes.  I got excited all over again and hoped this would be the magic combination that works.  The class only has two other girls and both are friends from preschool that Sam knows well. In addition, Sam is all about being a "princess" and spinning around and around until she gets dizzy.  Wearing her ballet clothes makes her feel like a princess.  Again, another winner.  And lastly, I do think the last 7 months has made Sam much more aware of what is going on.  She had requested taking a dance class a few weeks ago.


After class having a much needed snack. 
Dancing is hard work, you know.
To my delight on the first day, Sam couldn't wait to come home from school and get dressed for class.  She looks so cute. I am grateful to Heather for providing us an endless supply of ballet shoes for Sam to wear in each of her attempts.  Heather's got twin 5 year-old girls and I am lucky enough to take advantage of the ballet shoes they no longer need.

It was a hit!  Sam went right inside the room with Ruby and Ainsley and participated like she had always been there.  I was able to watch from a two way mirror and started getting teary-eyed at how much Sam was enjoying her ballet class.


Here is video of Sam and her friends in action. She is the one wearing the teal-colored headband with the flower on it.  That was Sam's special touch when getting dressed.

video

video

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I heart discounts!

Attention!!  Attention!!  Really cool idea for when traveling found below. 

I have a wonderful tip that I'd like to share with all of you.  It is along these lines of getting a discount, but it is not one that is readily thought of.  A HUGE amount of credit goes to my sister Lori for letting me know about this spectacular idea.

Groupon and Living Social are two companies that offer deals on all kinds of things (restaurants, events, attractions, exercise classes, merchandise, etc) local to the city you live in.  The offers are usually 50% or more off and a new deal gets emailed every day.  You purchase the deal up front at the discounted rate, print out a certificate and then can use it for the full value.  There is an expiration date, but in most cases it is good for at least 6 months.  For example, a local Italian restaurant we go to the all time might be offering $30 worth of food for only $15 and you have until October 31, 2011 to use it.  Since we would go to this restaurant anyway and always spend at least $30 when we are there, it is a no-brainer and I would purchase it for our next visit.  Or, these deals give us the opportunity to try something new without feeling like we are spending a million bucks to do it. 

Now, here's the new angle that my sister came up with.  It is brilliant!!  Lori was traveling to San Francisco a few months ago and signed up for the Groupon and Living Social deals for that travel destination.  She was able to monitor the deals as they were being advertised and take advantage of some wonderful savings for when she and Ben arrived in the city.

I kept this idea in the back of my head and recently was able to put it to use.  Jeff and I are planning a trip to Las Vegas over the summer.  I know, 105 degrees is really pushing my limits of being ok in heat, but the timing of the kids going to my parents in Florida was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.  So, I signed up for Las Vegas on both the sites and have been having so much fun watching a new opportunity come in my inbox each day.  It is like I get to have a little fun planning and exploring Vegas without even leaving my house.  I've already taken advantage of two Groupon deals.  The most awesome one was a day trip to the Grand Canyon.  Jeff and I wanted to do this, and now we are doing it to the tune of 50% off.  Woo-hoo!!!

And when the trip is over, I can easily opt-out for these specific cities' emails.  It is a win-win all around.

Now I just need three other people to purchase the deal too and I get it for free.  Anyone else planning a trip to Vegas?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Pinky Twirl

This is Pinky.  It is Sam's lovey.  We have four of them scattered around the house, ready to soothe Sam when she is crying, throwing a temper tantrum, over-tired or just needs something soft and cuddly to hold on to.

My mom bought Sam this doll (back when Sam was 6 months old), in the hopes that she would cling to this doll, like Ian does his Gymbo doll.  It worked and the next thing you know, we had to purchase many more to have on hand as back-ups.  Fortunately they are extremely reasonable in price and mass produced.  Good going Mom-Mom on your choice.

Sam has started something quite unique with Pinky.  Once she is settled and her thumb has found her mouth, she takes her other hand and puts a finger under the cuff of Pinky's wrist.  There is a small band of material that is folded over.  Sam fits her finger in this space, holds Pinky high in the air and twirls her around. 

Jeff and I have found Sam twirling Pinky to the point it may be a little OCD.  When she is trying to fall asleep at night, she'll be all cuddled under her blanket, but yet one arm shoots straight up and begins the Pinky Twirl.

The oddest time Sam has done the Pinky Twirl is when she was throwing the most massive temper-tantrum and was in a complete rage throwing everything in her line of vision.  Jeff, trying to get her to calm down, grabbed her in his lap and put both arms around her in an attempt to keep her still.  While she was being "restrained" and still screaming at the top of her lungs, she managed to get one arm free and do the Pinky Twirl.  Jeff was quite amazed by this sort of multi-tasking.

Here is a video of the Pinky Twirl in action.  This was taken on Sunday morning.  Upon rising early in the morning, she decided to crawl in the laundry basket and just chill.  Doing the Pinky Twirl of course.

video

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Heard and Observed XXII

My two year old, Samantha, has started calling us "Honey".  It is seriously cute and very hard to not say "What?" to have her repeat herself so you can hear it again. 

To Ian:  "It's your turn to brush your teeth, Honey."

To Ian:  "Honey, its your turn on the computer."

To Me:  "Honey, I'm thirsty. I need a drink."

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Do they make it in the color pink?

Ian eat, sleeps, breathes Star Wars.  He is one obsessed boy and can talk non-stop about Clone Wars and all of the characters.  Sam has now taken on his passion and the two of them have lightsaber fights pretending to be from Star Wars. 

The other day, while in the middle of a duel, Sam looks down and says, "I need a pink lightsaber."  It had just dawned on her that if the lightsaber she is using is green and the one Ian has in hands is blue, then surely they must come in pink too.  Right?

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Ian and Sam were fighting over something or other.

Ian:  Oh, Sam has been annoying me since 2008.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why Philadelphia for the 26.2?

Top 10 Reasons for picking the Philadelphia Marathon to accomplish this amazing feat:

10.  The weather.  I needed to pick a time of year and a climate that would give me a chilly day. I don't do heat when I am not running, let alone do heat for 26.2 miles.  The weather in D.C. is too iffy when the National Marathon (March) and Marine Corps Marathon (October) is each year.  The weather in Philly on November 20th averages 45 degrees with a high of 54 degrees.  Um, can you say perfect?

9.  Philadelphia is such a great city full of so many landmarks and wonderful architecture.  While I've been to Philly a handful of times over the years, it will be a great feast on the eyes to run through the city and take it all in. 

8.  It's an easy drive to get there.  Just 2.5 hours from where we live in Burke.  No flying needed and it can easily be done the day before the race without having to adjust to a time difference or worry about a long road trip.  Bonus:  My in-laws have graciously offered to watch the kids and they live in Baltimore, which is on the way. 

7. Since the marathon is 7 months away, I picked a race that gives me plenty of time to train for, and one that isn't too far from now that I will lose my focus.

6. I wanted to go away to a different city to run the race so that no one felt pressured to stand on the sidelines and cheer me on.  I figured I'd show up with my husband (let him eat cheese steaks to his heart's content) and I'd run the 26.2 on my own.  The last thing I wanted to do was take anyone away from their regularly scheduled life.  Oh, silly me!!  I now have Jen, Laura, Maria, and Maria's husband all running it (!!!!!!) and Stephanie, Kelly, my sister Lori and potentially a few others making the drive to come cheer me on and support us.  To say I am blown away by this show of support is an understatement.  I have the most amazing friends and family.

5.  Philly has some wonderful Gluten-Free Italian restaurants at which to carb-load on pasta the night before.

4. When I was trying to decide whether I wanted to do this or not, I was not oblivious to the many signs that seemed to jump out at me, saying yes, this is what you need to do.  1. I was at the gym and picked up a Runner's World magazine (just a random issue) to get me through the 20 minutes on the stairclimber.  On the cover was the headline "Why you should run the Philadelphia Marathon"  Really!!  2. At our monthly Shabbat dinner that night, my friend Anna (who is a longtime runner) said she is running it even before I could voice that it was an idea I was tossing around.....how random is that!?!?!  3. The Philadelphia Marathon has one of the best courses for qualifying for Boston.  Ha!!  Not that I have any chance at all at doing this, but it says something about the course...not so hilly and fast.  Yay!  And 4. I might add that during the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, there were so many runners wearing a Phila. Marathon shirt from 2010.  There are "signs" everywhere!

3.  The race is the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  If I am still not able to walk by the time turkey day rolls around, Jeff will be off from work and able to take care of the kids.

2.  The ROCKY STEPS!  The start and finish line is at this famous museum.  If there is even one bit of breath left in me at the end, I will be RUNNING up the Rocky steps in victory.  Ok, maybe not running, possibly walking or more likely crawling by this point, but what a feeling it will be!! 

1.  I wanted a destination.  I am only going to run a marathon once in my life.  I didn't want to wake up and have it be an ordinary day, but first I need to go run 26.2 miles.  I want this to be a big deal and create an event having to travel somewhere.  I want to arrive and leave the city knowing that something amazing for me happened there.

So there you have it.  It's not such a bad list, is it?  You know, there is still time to join me.

Stay tuned for my plan on how to accomplish my goal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weight Watchers - Month 4 (a little of this, a little of that)

You can't say I am not consistent.  Yet again, I had one week of a gain.  Oh well, c'est la vie (such is life).

Here are the numbers: 

Started out with wanting to lose:  36.4 lbs

# of pounds already lost:  9.8 lbs

Week 13 - 1.4 lbs lost
Week 14 -  2.8  lbs gained.  Yowzer!!
Week 15 - 1.0 lb lost
Week 16 - 2.4 lbs lost

Lost this month:  2 lbs

TOTAL WEIGHT LOST TO DATE:  11.8 lbs

Total left to lose:   24.6 lbs

I am going to focus on the positive and be very happy that overall I am still losing.  And,  I am averaging 1/2 pound a week and feel grateful for that too.  Plus, I seem to be able to get back on track to losing just as quickly as I get off track from gaining.  Baby steps, right?   So based on my 2 lbs a month loss, I am looking at reaching my goal in another 12 months.  This puts me jumping out of a plane (my big reward for reaching goal weight) in April 2012.  Since I've never actually made it to my goal weight before, I am fine if it takes another year.  Just as long as we can make it happen this time around.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler - Third time's a charm!

I've now run The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler three times.  The first time was in April 2007.  I had never run more than a 5k (3.1 miles) before and my friend Ivy provided so much inspiration that it made me think I could actually do it.  Personally, I wanted to see if I could do it after having Ian.  Something about being able to run 10 miles after having a baby was the motivation necessary to get me moving.  I did it and was so proud of myself for finishing.  TIME:  1 hr, 59 min, 22 sec.

Last year I ran this race for the 2nd time.  I was interested in seeing if I could do it again after having a 2nd child (Samantha).  I also had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to beat my time in 2007.  I did manage to shave off 2 1/2 minutes from my finishing time, but also passed out and thew-up multiple times afterwards.  It wasn't a great feeling and one I hope to never experience again.  I am contributing my dizziness/nauseousness from dehydration.  If you see me run now, you know that will never be a problem again.  I am armed and dangerous with the fuel belt!  TIME:  1 hr, 56 min., 55 sec.


Jen (running BFF and partner-in-crime for the marathon),
Maria (amazing runner and my personal inspiration),
and me!
Wow!  What a difference a year makes!  Today running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler was amazing.  I stuck close to Jen W. and we had a plan to run for 3 minutes, walk for 30 seconds.  Normally, we had been doing 3 minutes running/ 1 minute walking, but decided to bump it up a bit for race day.  Jen and I were doing great until mile 7 and then decided we need to go back to those 1 minute walks.  It was very much needed.  And here's the best news ever.....I finished a good 7 or 8 minutes faster than last year's time.  OMG!!!  Because of messing with my Garmin to increase the walk breaks from 30 seconds to 1 minute, I ended up restarting the clock.  But I think unofficially, we ran this in 1 hour, 48 minutes.  Yay!!  Yippee!!!!  TIME:  1 hr, 49 min, 44 sec.

Some funny signage seen along the route from the sidelines:

Guy holding the following sign;
"If you think this is hard, you should try dating me."

Woman holding the following sign;
"You slow is showing."

Guy at a nearby picnic table;
"Free beer and oreos" 

Guy holding a sign;
"This way for the short-cut."



The whole group I came with.
We all fit in Maria's mini-van.  Good thing we are in shape!

Craziest thing ever -- about 90% of the Port-a-potties had padlocks still on the doors.  These 2 guys went around with sledgehammers and knocked the lock free on each door, much to the cheer of the crowd.



By the way, in case you were wondering what my shirt said, "If you see me collapse, pause my Garmin."   If you ever ran with me, you know I am all about keeping accurate time and pacing on my Garmin watch.  Even when I stop to tie my shoe, I'll pause the Garmin for the 30 seconds.  I absolutely love One More Mile for their sense of humor and fun race wear.

It's funny, when I was running the 10 miles, I kept thinking to myself could I do this for 26.2 miles?  Am I really going to be able to pull this off?  Oy!  I am just so happy that I registered for the marathon 2 days ago and have no chance of changing my mind.  My new big concern is that my friend Jen will still be talking to me by the time Nov. 20th comes around.

Friday, April 1, 2011

26.2

So I did it.  I just registered for the Philadelphia Marathon.  It's official, I'm in.  November 20, 2011.  26.2 miles.  Yowzer!

I wanted to do something BIG to celebrate turning 40 this year and go beyond my comfort zone.  I've never run more than 10 miles up to now, so 26.2 seems incredibly daunting.  And believe me, those 10 miles aren't easy for me.  None of it is.  I only really enjoy running when I am done and think back to what I just accomplished.  It always amazes me that I am able to do any kind of running, even 1 mile.  I am always having to tell myself, just keep moving; keep putting one foot in front of another.  Don't give up now.

Since I decided to take this monumental leap in how far I am going to run in just 8 months (!!!!!!!!), I can't stop thinking about it.  I go to sleep at night thinking through all the logistics and wake-up in the morning reconfirming my plans to go for it and I get excited all over again. 

MY TOP TEN REASONS FOR RUNNING A MARATHON:

10.  You don't know what is possible until you've reached impossible. 
Even when I think there's no way I am going to get there, I am always surprised that yes, I can do it. I've not reached impossible yet.  I quickly put out any doubts and let myself trust the process that will get me to my goal.

9. Because I have the most supportive, awesome husband who believes in me.  If he thinks I can do it, then why the heck not give it a try?

8.  To show my kids that with much hard work, dedication, proper planning, and a positive attitude you can do whatever you set your mind to.  There is nothing better than living by example.

7.  To be able to burn ridiculous amounts of calories.

6. An experiment to see what my body will look like from running upwards of 25+ miles every week.

5.  Because I can.  There are so many people in this world that can't do this and would love the opportunity to.

4. When I am 80, using a walker to get around and can barely get out of a chair, I'll look back at this accomplishment with a huge smile on my face.  No regrets that this was something I thought of doing and didn't go for it.

3. To do something that is solely for me.  Only me.  Me deciding to run a marathon is all about me.  Not Jeff, not the kids....just me.

2. What better acheivement to commemorate turning 40?  The idea of 26.2 miles is something that was so foreign to me when I was half this age.  My 20-year old self would've laughed until you are blue in face if you told me that I'd be doing something like this in 20 years.

1. For the alone time.  There's nothing better than going for a long run and using the time to clear your mind, listen to some awesome music and feel like yes, you are actually running away from it all.


Stay tuned for my list of reasons of why I picked the Philadelphia Marathon as my race to do this.  It's such a good list, that you too may want to run a marathon.  :)