Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Race Is On

Last week, I ran seven miles - SEVEN MILES! I just kept going and 74 minutes I ran my hilly circuit seven times, followed by a half-mile walk. It was hard at the end, but I've never run that far before! Then the blisters set in...

I knew I needed to invest some money into this running thing if I was going to continue. My seven-mile run was proof: I got blisters on both feet, one which was about an inch in diameter. I couldn't put much weight on it, I had to wear flip-flops for a couple days, and I was worried about the 5k on Saturday. Thankfully they cleared up enough by then that I could run just fine, but it lit the fire under me to start shopping for proper running attire!

Wow, are shoes expensive! Real running shoes are heinously ugly and run $100-$150. I opted to just get some shorts and socks last week, but they really made a difference! No blisters, no chaffing - horray!

Saturday was my first race: I ran the 5k in 26:37, which isn't record-breaking by any means but not bad for me! It was hillier than I expected, so I guess running my hills at home was a good thing. It was also good for me to learn how to pace in a race: my tendency is to run too fast at first and poop out at the end. This time, I kind of did that but overcompensated in the middle so that I had TOO much energy left at the end. I wasn't completely sure of the route, and they only posted the 1-mile mark, so I was trying to reserve energy when I was unknowingly nearing the end of the race. So all-in-all it was a great experience, and I can't wait to do it again!

Here are my official results: Finished 65th of 205 total runners. Finished 16th of 110 female runners. Finished 4th of 23 female runners in their 20's. There were some MAJOR serious runners here, which was I wasn't expecting.The winner finished over a minute before everyone else at around 16 minutes!

Now I just have to hope this weather breaks (temps in the 90's, heat index in the 100's!) so I can get back outside and keep trucking toward my goal of the half-marathon. And hope that I don't gain major weight on vacation next week!

In other news, Brady totally schooled all the other one-year-olds in his race :) We have a fast little bugger on our hands!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baby Einstein

I am a HUGE fan of Baby Einstein. I know not everyone is, but I definately am. I know the pending lawsuits against the makers and marketers of Baby Einstein. But none of that matters when a mother needs a few moments of respite from a high-energy child!

I've done all the research on the impact television has on children under two. I also think people make way too big a deal about the effects of television and videos on children. I really don't believe that a little television is going to have adverse effects on Brady. Many people decide not to let their children watch television and that is just fine; I hope people understand my decision to let him. When he gets up and dances to "Word World", learns about spelling, remembers animal names, and develops favorite characters, I view it as a good thing.

From the first few months of Brady's life, he's been watching Baby Einstein. No matter what he's doing, if the World or Neighborhood Animals videos come on, he sits perfectly still and is mesmorized. This has been a wonderful tool in our household! I don't know how or why some animals, puppets, and babies have that effect on him, but I don't care - it works. And beyond the "sit-still" factor, Brady has learned a lot from these videos! I can talk about animals and make sounds all I want, but when he actually sees them in action on his television is when that animal becomes real and memorable to him. And living in Iowa, we aren't exactly able to go see the dolphins, bears, monkeys, parrots, etc. that he gets to see in these videos.

Sadly, some people think it is necessary to sue Baby Einstein because it was originally marketed as having positive effects on babies' brainwaves, and thus actually making children smarter. While I don't know all of the details, I think this is just a shame. Any parent who buys a video believing it will turn his or her child into a genius is just silly. Parents who are looking for a "quick fix" for their child's intelligence without actually putting in the time to teach them should maybe reconsider the parenting thing. No video will ever be a viable substitute for active parenting. I don't think the makers of Baby Einstein intended for it to be, so however misleading the marketing may have seemed, maybe we should be wagging our fingers at the parents who actually thought it would do these things.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Couch Potato

Ugh, the last couple weeks have been VERY bad for my marathon "training". I've been sitting on my butt, eating cake and ice cream, and just plain living lazy. I have run a few times, but nothing like I need to be, and all my healthy eating habits seem to have flown out the window. I blame my birthday, anniversary, and the rain!

So assuming I can get things back under control, I need some advice! So far I have not invested anything into this running thing, and I think it's time that I did. What is the best running attire to wear for distance runners? Now that I am getting used to the longer runs, I find that t-shirts don't breathe well. I like to have my chest and arms exposed to keep me cool. So do you distance junkies out there like to run in tanks, too?

More than the shirts, though, I am having trouble with the shorts. I don't know if I need tighter or looser shorts, but the ones I have currently cause (or don't prevent) MAJOR chaffing (sp?). Should I be getting tight spandex-y type things? Or those short, poufy ones? I really need advice on the shorts, people!

I have officially entered my first race: Lutheran Church of Hope's 5k which takes place the morning of Taste of Hope. That is in ONE WEEK. I know a 5k is really short, but still, the get-off-my-butt-and-back-to-running mentality really needs to kick in now. It should be a nice, easy way to get used to running with other people, in a "race", and test out my abilities on flat terrain. Wish me luck!

Three months to go and I'll be half-marathoning downtown....YIKES!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Lots to catch up on! The 4th of July holiday weekend was terrific: we played Frisbee golf (Joel did, I pushed Brady in the stroller!), we watched fireworks, we ate, and we (mostly Joel again) stained the deck. Then, the 4th came….RAIN all day long. But that was ok since we ended up in the hospital that night. Yep, Joel has a reoccurring back injury that flares up every six months to a year, and all the Frisbee throwing, deck staining, and chair sitting caused a MAJOR spasm. He was on our floor for 10 hours on Sunday, face down, mostly unable to move. So finally in the evening he let me call an ambulance, and he spent the night and whole next day in the hospital until he could move enough to get home. After some intense pain medication, rest, and relaxation, he’s back to (mostly) normal. However, I think it would have been cheaper and quicker to hire someone to stain the deck! Hindsight, I tell ya…

Since this last bout landed him in the hospital, we are going ahead with x-rays and physical therapy to get his back strengthened and fixed. Working at a computer all day does nothing to help the situation, but he’s too young to be experiencing this kind of back trouble already. So, prayers for his strength and healing are appreciated!

Then, Thursday was my birthday. I turned the big 2-6, and while we didn’t do much on my actual birthday, Joel surprised me with a party the next day! It was great to have all of our family and good friends celebrate with me :) He also took my gigantic hint and got me Carrie Underwood concert tickets when she comes to town in December! I’m not much of a concert person because they are so dang expensive and it’s hard to find artists for whom I want to sit through an entire concert, but this was a no-brainer for me – LOVE HER!! I also got a variety of other fun kitchen, beauty, and garden gadgets from my family, which was awesome! My in-laws had a terrific idea to get us a fire ring for outside, but sadly we already got one a couple weeks ago :( So, I’m excited to return it and get a jewelry tree since my current box is full and overflowing onto my dresser!

Today is my three-year anniversary of being married to Joel. I was standing in the bathroom last night just thinking about how much longer it feels. So much has changed in just three short years: our house, our jobs (oh, the jobs and insurance!!), our baby who really isn’t a baby anymore, our figures (not really for the better, but we are working on that!), our travels, even the people we hang out with has changed.

I wonder what life will be like three more years from now: what we’ll be doing, where we’ll be working, how many kids we’ll have, where we will have traveled to, what new friends we will make…if anything is certain, it’s that a LOT can change in just three years!

Happy Anniversary to my best friend and husband: here’s to another year of great memories :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Let It Grow: Garden Update #5

It's harvest time! Well not exactly, but my garden is really growing again. The corn was more than knee-high by the Fourth of July, the zucchini and summer squash are getting big, the melons and tomatoes are flowering, and LOOK!

These little snap peas are the first things to come from my garden. Aren't they cute? :) The squash will soon be following, and it's nice to see that everything is blooming so well. Last week, it seemed like everything was stagnant; I guess that's because all the plants were storing up for growing veggies :)