Happy Halloween!

I know, I know.. we’re almost halfway through November and I am just now posting Halloween pictures. Mommy blogger FAIL.

Forgive me, work has been kicking my butt and I’m struggling to keep the four (five counting Buddy) of us alive, fed, clean, and living in a somewhat tidy house. Plus that whole marathon training nonsense. I promise the cuteness in these pictures makes up for the delay (or maybe I’m biased, but either way, I hope they make you smile)!

Last year, I ended up all stressed out over Halloween. There was a costume parade, neighborhood party, pizza delivery that never got delivered.. it was fun but way too much stress. This year, we decided to keep it simple. I made a big pot of chili in the crockpot (and we pretended it was a nice, cool night to enjoy chili, it wasn’t) and we had my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend over for dinner and to help pass out candy while we took Braden and Mackenzie out.

Have you ever seen a cuter Spidey and Minnie?  I haven’t!  We inhaled our food and quickly got out the door so I could take some pictures before we headed out.  It was driving the kids crazy, they could see their buddies already trick or treating and I was making them wait for pictures.. geezzz what kind of mom am I? You two will thank me when you’re older! :)

We’ve been practicing saying “Trick or Treat” with Mackenzie. She’s not at all shy so I figured she’d run right up to the houses and belt it out while Braden, who tends to be the shy one, hung back and followed her lead. I was wrong. Braden remembered all of the delicious candy that he acquired last year with a simple “trick or treat” followed by a sweet “thank you” and he took the lead while Mackenzie hung back and stayed quiet.  Like usual, I was wrong.

Braden was having a blast, even saying “trick or treat” for Mackenzie when she was too scared to say it and asking for candy for her when people were slow to hand it to her.  I love how he looks out for his baby.

We took both kids around the block, as we made our way back toward our house, Mackenzie had enough.  She and I stayed behind at our house to help pass out candy while Adam and Braden took off down the street the other way.

We didn’t see them for a long time.. like long after the crowds of trick-or-treaters were gone.  I started to get worried and called Adam, he said they were fine, B was just having a blast and didn’t want to quit.  They finally made their way home with an overflowing pumpkin full of candy.

This year was so much more fun for all of us and a lot less stressful.  I’m slowly learning that I need to stop over-scheduling and trying to cram so many things into a day.  The world won’t end because we miss out on one event and sometimes, we have more fun on our own.  It’s hard, I want our kids to have it all.. but sometimes it’s better to just scale things back and enjoy the little things.

How was your Halloween?  What did you do?

What was your favorite costume?


Twenty Mile Weekend!

I’ve been scared of this weekend ever since I added “Long 20″ to my training calendar this summer.  The idea of running 20 miles seemed beyond crazy and completely outside of my comfort zone.  I started stressing as it got closer because it looked like I was going to have to do it on my own too, and we all know how that goes.  Blah!

I posted on my personal facebook page kind of joking asking who wanted to run it with me.  I figured if nothing else, I may be able to get a few of my runner buddies to run a few of the miles with me and if I planned it well, I’d only have to cover a handful of the miles completely solo.  I got lucky and one of my friends (the one whose group I’ve been running with) needed to run 14 miles this weekend and was looking for company too!  SCORE!

She was planning to run a bit faster than I was, but agreed to slow down just a bit so we decided to meet at Starbucks at 6AM on Saturday and I was actually kind of excited.  Honestly, I just really wanted to be able to post a picture of my Garmin showing I ran 20 miles with a bit “I DID IT!!”  Yeah, I’m a nerd like that.

Since I had to run an extra 6 without my friend, I decided I’d get up at 4:30AM so I could get a few of them in before I met up with her.  I woke up and heard water running.. I figured there was a leak or something.  It never crossed my mind that it may be raining.  I rolled over, grabbed my phone to check twitter, instagram, facebook, and the weather.. I was not so pleasantly surprised when I saw that we were in the middle of a pretty heavy downpour and it wasn’t letting up anytime soon.

I considered rolling over and going back to sleep, but I knew my friend would be there waiting for me so I got up, got dressed, and headed downstairs for breakfast and coffee.  I texted her to make sure we were still on and checked the weather again.  The storms were supposed to clear out by 7AM so we figured if it was bad, we could just hang out at Starbucks ’til they cleared.

Note to self – weathermen don’t know it all.  When they say the storms will clear out by 7AM, the storms probably won’t clear out by 7AM.

It poured on me the entire way to Starbucks.  Not a nice, refreshing rain.. a down pour.  We figured we’d be waiting around for a long while if we tried to wait out the storms, so in true BAMR fashion, we headed out for our long run in the rain.  Thankfully my friend knew the area well because thanks to the cloud cover, we were running in the dark for much longer than normal.  Running in the dark also meant that we couldn’t see the puddles ahead of us until after we ran through them.  Yeah, 20-miles in soggy clothes and soggy shoes.. are we having fun yet?

The run itself was actually really fun.  We had a lot to catch up on and eventually we were so soggy and waterlogged that the rain really didn’t bother us anymore and was kind of funny.  We did learn that when your running clothes are soaking wet, it’s better not to try to pull them up and mess with them, because if you do, then you’ll spend the rest of your run trying to hold them up.  And also, we should get cross training points since we basically swam part of the way and were pretty much running with an extra 10 pounds on us from our wet clothes and shoes.

We made our way back to Starbucks and I was on my own for the last six miles.  I changed into dry socks since the rain had let up some and stretched out for a bit, then took off again.  I’m so glad that I had body glide with me or I would have been beyond miserable.  My wet shoes and wet foot plus dry sock was a chafing nightmare.  I stopped after about half a mile to coat my foot in body glide, the finished up the rest of my run.

Then, I got to post this lovely photo, because we all know it didn’t happen if you don’t post a picture of your Garmin, right?

Meeting at Starbucks was a really great idea (for me, maybe not for the other Starbucks customers) because when I finished running, I was freezing and wet and hot coffee sounded amazing.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have a drive-thru so I went in to get my drink (venti non-fat no whip salted caramel mocha-YUM!) and had to stand in line.  I was so wet that there was a puddle under where I was standing.  Oops!

I was surprised at how great I felt afterward.  Nothing hurt, I wasn’t really sore, and I really felt like I could keep going for a while longer.  My pace was pretty decent too.  I think what really helped with that was that we were running intervals.  My friend typically sticks to 4:1 (4 minute run, 1 minute walk) intervals and picks the pace up quite a bit when she’s running.  I’ve done the intervals with her for my last few long runs and I’m always surprised at how little I hurt when we’re done.  I’m trying to decide if I should plan to do intervals at Space Coast — I’m thinking maybe 5:1 or 6:1.  Typically I walk through the water stops at races, so that’s kind of an interval, just a much longer one.  I need to think about how I want to do this.

So now, it’s taper time.  I’m really looking forward to 12 miles being my long run for the next few weekends — crazy that 12 miles isn’t really a long run for me now.  Yikes.

I’d planned to spend the rest of the day relaxing at home with my babies.  It’s Florida/Georgia weekend in Jax (huge football weekend, for the non-fans) and I wanted to watch the game and spend a lot of time in my compression capri’s with these two snuggle bugs..  (please pardon the lack of makeup!)

Sadly though, since work is so busy right now, this is how I spent the rest of my day.. at Panera in a not-so-comfy chair staring at the lovely website that we’re currently in the process of taking over (it’s a government site and I can promise you, it will be a million times better than the crazy Obamacare one!) and documenting every error message I could possibly come up with, then matching it up to a spreadsheet they sent us.  It was quite possibly the most boring way ever to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I called it a day around 8PM and headed home to watch the Florida State/Miami game (GO NOLES!!) and fell asleep a little after half time.  Mackenzie usually wakes up at some point during the night and Adam gets her and puts her in bed with us.  I woke up to her throwing up in our bed around 1AM.  I grabbed her and ran to the bathroom with her while Adam got the bed cleaned up.  I spent the rest of the night alternating between rocking her in the chair in her room and attempting to sleep on the floor next to her bed so I could be close if she got sick again.

Thankfully the vomiting didn’t last, but the poor little thing was miserable all day Sunday.  Our usually crazy-happy little girl spent the day either cuddling on the couch with one of us or sleeping and fighting a fever.  There’s nothing worse than having a sick little one when there’s really not much that you can do for them.  She perked up that evening and seemed to feel better.  By bedtime, she was back to normal and thankfully was kind and didn’t share her sick germs with the rest of us!

Have you ever alternated between straight runs and interval running?  Which works best for you?  How do you decide which to do?

Is this evil stomach bug going around near you too?  I think half of Braden’s school has been out with it!

Let’s Catch Up

It’s been crazy around here and we’ve been busy, busy, busy.  Instead of bombarding you with a ton of little posts about the things we’ve been up to, I’m just going to share some pictures.  I could write lots about it, but I know when posts are this picture heavy (and long) I tend to just scroll, so I’ll save us all the time and try to be brief!

There’s a new crop maze that opened this year in our area – Amazing Grace Crop Maze.  A friend of mine from high school had the idea and she and her husband are running it.  We had a blast getting lost in the maze.  We let Braden be our guide, so it took a while.  The kids also LOVED the corn crib (and I found corn EVERYWHERE when we got home, sorry for stealing corn Kelly!).

I think their favorite part was the cow train.  Thankfully they weren’t busy when we were there, so both kids got to ride over, and over, and over..

Braden spent a good chunk of time in the petting zoo too.  I didn’t get pictures, but they had two itty-bitty baby goats (I think they said they were two weeks old) and I wanted to steal them and bring them home with me.  It was cracking me up watching them with their mama, they babies just wanted to nurse and you could tell the mama had had enough – she kept running away from them and they kept coming back for more.  I feel your pain, mama goat!

The next week, Braden’s class went on a field trip to the crop maze and I chaperoned.  I was a little worried that he’d be bored since we had just gone, but he loved it and got to do a few things we skipped when we were there.  He did the duck races FOREVER.

My favorite part of chaperoning field trips is watching him interact with his friends from school.  I rarely get to see it, and it’s nice to get to see a different side of my little guy and to meet the buddies that I hear so many silly stories about.

The Friday before my birthday, we celebrated with some friends at Taverna Yamas.  It’s kind of a drive from our house, so we rarely go, but their food is SO good.  Seriously, you need to try the artichoke chicken and lemon potatoes.  Oh, and the flaming cheese.  YUM!

And FINALLY, after three years of asking, Adam finally got the birthday cake that I wanted!  It’s from a small, local restaurant, French Pantry.  They bring this cake every year to our office for our lease anniversary and it is SO good.  You have to order it in advance though and he kept forgetting in the past.  This year, he did not forget, and it was so worth the wait.

The restaurant has belly dancers, but who needs belly dancers to entertain you when you have these two crazy girls?

The day before Halloween (how’s that for last minute?!) we headed over to the Pumpkin Patch so the kiddos could pick out and carve their pumpkins.

Braden kept saying he wanted to get the BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER!!  We told him he could get the biggest pumpkin he could carry.  You should have seen him trying to carry these pumpkins that were bigger than him over to the table where you paid.  We finally gave in and helped him with one after he kept struggling because he swore he couldn’t find one that he loved as much as this one.

We headed home and Adam and Braden got to work carving their pumpkin.  Braden picked out the mummy design because he loves mommy :) I love this kid!

Mackenzie wasn’t so sure about their carving abilities.. or about giving her big brother a carving knife..

But it all turned out okay.

And I can’t even remember what day this picture was from, but is it not the cutest thing ever?  I love how much they love each other :)

I have a few more catch-up posts that I didn’t want to squeeze into this one, then I’ll get to my Wine & Dine weekend posts! It was such a fun weekend and I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it!

2013 Evergreen Pumpkin Run 10-Miler

I’ve been looking forward to this race for a few months. A long, long time ago (like before we had kids), a friend of mine tried to get me and another friend to do this race with her. I told her she was completely nuts because there was no way I could EVER run 10 miles without dying. She was in the middle of training for her first marathon, so 10 miles was no big deal to her. (We ended up doing the Race for the Cure with her instead, and walked almost the whole thing!)

The race fell on my birthday so instead of sleeping in, as I usually do, I convinced Adam to get up bright and early to drop the kids off at my parents house and head to the race site.  It’s held at Evergreen Cemetery, the same place as the St. Patty’s Day 10K, and is absolutely gorgeous.  Seriously, if you’re ever in Jax for one of these races, you should definitely do them.

Andrea (from Once Upon a Run) and her husband met up with us at my parents house when we dropped the kids off and we all headed to the race together.  We got there not too long before the race started (which in my mind was a good thing, because it was COLD!) so we made a quick stop at the port-o-potties, then Andrea and I gave our pants that we’d worn over our skirts to her husband, and we made our way to the starting line.

On the way to the race, I realized I forgot my Garmin on the counter at home.  There wasn’t time to go back and get it, so I was running this race naked.  Sort of.  There were timing clocks at each mile marker so I wasn’t completely on my own, but that required me to do math while running and trying not to trip, which isn’t exactly one of my specialities.

I wasn’t quite sure what my goal should be.  Everyone kept telling me that since I’m in the middle of marathon training, this race would be easy and I’d probably get a huge PR.  Well, I’ve never run a 10 mile race, so it was going to be a PR no matter what.  Here’s what I settled on:

A – Finish with average pace under 9:30
B – Finish with average pace under 9:45
C – Finish and feel good.

I knew going into the race that I didn’t want to really push it because I had my big 20-mile training run the next Saturday and I wanted to be sure that I was ready for it.  I’ve been running most of my long runs at a 10:30-11:30 pace, depending on who I’m doing them with, so I figured 9:30 would be a good A goal — definitely pushing it but not to an outrageous degree.

Andrea and I ran the first three miles together before she broke off to switch over to intervals.  I felt great pretty much the entire time.  I did kind of wish that I’d brought my own water though.  I think there were only 3 water stops and since the summer heat, I’ve gotten used to carrying my own water and having it available whenever I wanted.  I drink a LOT when I run.  I think the guy at one of the water stops got annoyed with me because I stopped and drank 3 cups of water.  They were itty bitty cups that were only half full and I was thirsty!

I got all turned around toward the end and I’m terrible at judging distances, so the last half mile or so was tough.  There was a spot where we ran through a lot of spectators and I figured we must be getting close to the finish line, so I started running as hard as I could.. then I rounded a corner and the finish line was nowhere to be seen.  Oops.  I took a quick walk break to catch my breath, then got back to it and eventually found the finish line.

My chip time was 1:34:53 for an average pace of 9:34.  So close to my A goal!!  That’s okay though, every race can’t be an A goal race.  I’m definitely adding this race to my calendar next year.  I love running local races and the venue for this one is really great.  In case you’re wondering, Adam finished right behind me at 1:35:47 for an average pace of 9:39.  He keeps telling me how he’s so much slower than me, but his race times do not agree.

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