Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Milestones

As this blog serves not only as my (sometimes long-winded) training log, but also as Sam's baby book, I thought I should note that Sam is officially saying her first word! Yes, she says "mamamamama" and "dada" and we *think* she's said "hiiiii" a few times, but she is unmistakably saying "that" these days. She points to something, anything, and says "dat," and then to something else, "dat." So cute :-)

And for the sake of more record keeping:

She is finally actually clapping with open palms instead of just putting her fists or fingers together like she's been doing for months, and waves "bye bye" on command and not 2 minutes after the fact :-)

She is cruising around, albeit slowly and deliberately, and sometimes holding onto one of my hands, along the edges of some of the furniture and walls. She can walk on her own between the couch and coffee table though!

And yesterday, she pulled herself up to her feet while she was holding onto the edge of one of our kitchen table chairs. Ryan was working on his computer at the kitchen table, as he does every day he's working from home, and late in the afternoon, she kept crawling over to him, wanting to be picked up so that she could sit on his lap and bang on the keyboard. So cute :-)

The first tooth is officially up and out, although for the life of me I can't get a picture of it, even though you can see it when she smiles.

Also, the beginning of the transition to whole milk went well this weekend. We simply put a few ounces of whole milk into her sippy cup at lunchtime and she drank it up. She does love her sippy! Over the next few weeks, we'll work on transitioning her snacktime sippy cups to milk too, but for now I'm happy the first few days went so smoothly!

She is changing before our very eyes :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Fall Walk at Bradbury

Today after lunch, we headed over to Bradbury for a walk in the woods. Skies were overcast, and it was cool and crisp - it felt like fall! And looked like it too. The leaves are definitely changing over to the brilliant yellows, oranges and reds of autumn, and the ferns and grasses are shifting from green to gold. We saw a number of phoebes and juncoes, as well as a hawk swooping through the hardwoods. It was a good, mellow walk, and afterwards, we spent a little time over at the playground too. A very nice afternoon excursion!

I love my baby backpack!

Along the Boundary Trail

Little imp :-)

Swinging

On the slide

Saturday Five

Wow, was it hot and humid yesterday! I guess summer wasn't quite ready to disappear yet! It made for a pretty sweaty run yesterday morning before work. I headed out onto the powerlines to run the 5-mile Homeplace loop. Unfortunately, my silly left leg is still tight. UGH! I am feeling pretty down about that. I'm planning to take this week pretty easy, with lots and lots of stretching and rolling, in the hopes to alleviating the tightness. I think I'll also be putting in a call to my friend Shannon to see if she might come out of retirement to give me a good massage to loosen things up. With "easy" in mind, we're heading to Bradbury for a nice walk this afternoon after lunch. Ryan wants to check out a loop for one of the snowshoe races he's organizing for this winter, and I'm sure Sam won't mind a little time in the baby backpack plus some time at the playground either! Although it was pretty grey this morning, things are brightening up out there, and it will be good to get out in the woods with Ryan and Sam for a bit!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Push Toy Fun!

Sam is walking behind her push toy all on her own now! Of course, there have been a few crashes, but overall, she is doing great. Here are a few short clips from this morning!

video
I love Sam's expression in this video! And yes, she is tiny. Pay no attention to the too-large 12-month size jeans (thanks for the hand-me-down Morgan!) :-)

video

Walking is fun!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No Crying Over Spilt Milk

This morning as I set down Sam's bag on the counter at daycare, I realized I had managed to not put the top to the bottle on correctly, and half of the milk had spilled out into the bottom when the bottle had tipped over during the car ride. D***! I worked hard for that milk. Ugh. Luckily, they have a can of formula there for her just in case I don't bring in enough milk, so although I felt horrible, I knew she would be fine. Of course, I could have gone home, taken some milk out of the freezer and brought it back, but instead, I stuck to my plan and headed home, put on my running shoes and went out for a quick 3 mile run before jumping in the shower and hitting the road to make it to work just in time. Does that make me a bad person?!

Speaking of milk, we will be introducing whole milk to Sam this weekend! I am crossing my fingers that her little system handles the milk fine so that I can begin to phase out pumping. We are still nursing at night and in the morning, and I am fine with that. But the pumping, I can definitely do without, and I will be so excited to put that bag aside and never look at it again. I have to say, when I was pregnant with Sam and thinking about the whole nursing/pumping/working thing, I never thought I would make it this far, either nursing or pumping, and I am pretty proud that, assuming all goes to plan over the next few weeks, I will have been able to provide Sam with breastmilk for a full year. I am hopeful that Sam's birthday, October 9th, will be my last day pumping at work, and man, that definitely qualifies as a reason to throw a party, or at least have a drink! :-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Early Three

Sam was up to eat this morning around 5:30 and went easily back to sleep, so I took the opportunity to get out for a quick run before she was up for the day. I actually had planned on going out with my headlamp on, but by the time I got out the door at 6:05, the light wasn't needed. As I ran up the hill by Mt. Ararat, the sky was lightening, with bands of soft pink along the horizon. Very pretty. It was nice to get out, although my knee was a bit tight, so I just stuck with the 3-mile loop through Highland Green. I know for sure that my left calf is super tight and I really need to work on loosening it up so that it will stop pulling on everything and causing the tightness along my knee. More foam rolling for me tonight!

Sam slept in until 7am, which was great. I even had a few minutes to sit on the couch with my coffee in the quiet house after I showered. Ahhhh :-)

Happy girl
Speaking of Sam, I keep looking at her in amazement - she is almost one! Which means I have an almost one-year old daughter. Wow. Even scarier, this morning at the store, I picked up a "1" candle and pink frosting to use in decorating her cake next month! It will be here before we know it. She has been changing a lot these past few weeks. She definitely has one lower tooth - it is now visible when she gives us a big smile, but doesn't show up in photos quite yet. She has discovered that she has eyelashes - quite long and pretty ones, I must say - and has taken to basically poking herself in the eye to touch them :-) Silly girl! She can now crawl over our legs, and into and out of the bottom of the "baby jail." She can also (just barely!) crawl up onto the landing at the bottom of the stairs, and is almost almost almost able to pull herself up from kneeling to standing when holding onto something. Last night she took a few steps holding onto only one of my hands, but she's still pretty wobbly! She "talks" away to us, and her toys and books, as if she's having a conversation, but truly her only words are "mama" and "dada." And although I had thought we might skip it, she is definitely in a bit of a "mama" phase right now. She is happy as a clam when I'm not around, but as soon as I come home all she wants is to be with me. It is cute, but the whining is a bit much sometimes :-) Of course, it drives Ryan nuts that he can be trying to get her to eat a particular something to no avail, but she'll open her mouth right up if I hold it out to her! Ha! But above all, she is one cute little girl (or at least we think so) :-)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy with 15

Fun with Mim
While Ryan was kicking butt at yesterday's Pisgah 50k, Sam and I went and spent a few hours in the afternoon with Kristen, Morgan, Caitlin, Susie, Lillie and Mim. Sam had fun playing with Morgan, and terrorizing Susie's cat, Elvis, not to mention chomping on Mim's necklace :-) I took the day off from running, so that meant today was the day for my long run. I was a bit unsure how it would go. I was really hoping my leg would hold up and I could get in 14 to 16 miles. 16 would be ideal, but I knew I would be happy (or at least reasonably so) with anything over 12. 

It was bright and sunny, and a bit breezy, as I headed out on the powerlines after Sam went down for her morning nap. A gorgeous fall day, perfect for running! The chickadees were calling from the bushes, and the goldenrod and purple asters swayed in the wind. I got in a bit more than 6 miles on the powerlines before heading onto the Mt. Ararat trails and over to the Cathance trail system. The red and yellow leaves of the turning swamp maples along the river reflected in the calm and shallow waters, and the sun sparkled off the rapids further along the trail. I saw a Kingfisher flying across the river, and passed two woman with their little kids, out enjoying the morning on the trails. I was feeling good, and was really pleased to not have any real pain in my left leg. I did have a few twinges here and there, and stopped a few times to stretch things out, which seemed to help. In the end, I turned into the driveway with the Garmin reading 15 miles and 2:21:05, and I was more than happy with that. I might be a bit behind on the marathon training, but a run like today's gives me hope that I can pull this whole Stonecat thing off! :-)

And on an unrelated note, here's a shot of the three little munchkins hanging out yesterday morning :-)
Whatcha doin?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two Runs

Friday morning, I didn't quite get up in time to get a run in before Sam woke up, and I didn't have to be at work early, so I came home after I dropped her at daycare and went for a quick 3-mile run on the powerlines before heading off to work. While I often wish I was working a more normal 9 to 5 job and didn't have to work Saturdays, it is a definite perk that I don't have to be at work at the crack of dawn, and can either get things done in the morning, or take advantage of the extra time and get a run in! It was a nice, cool morning, and it is starting to look like fall along the powerlines - the grasses are turning a golden color, while the berries on the tall bushes are beginning to turn a rich purple. The blackberry brambles and blueberry bush leaves are taking on a reddish hue, while the white and purple asters are still blooming.

This morning, we got up and went to our favorite breakfast haunt, Broadway Deli, for a yummy meal of pancakes and hash (well, for Ryan anyway!). Although Sam was pretty good, and enjoyed the people watching, she was not quite in the mood to sit around forever while Ryan and I leisurely drank cups and cups of coffee, but it was still a nice morning out. Mostly Sam just wants to be on the move these days! She has been walking behind the push toy we got her earlier this summer. And that is all she wants to do. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. So cute, but painful for our backs, as we're still trailing right behind her, making sure she doesn't crash. She's not quite that steady yet :-)

After Sam went down for her nap, I headed out for my run. The pancakes were still sitting a bit heavy in my stomach, but it was just so gorgeous out, it was hard not to smile and feel great! I did the 5-mile Homeplace loop, and things felt pretty good. The knee wasn't tight, although my calf definitely was. Aie. Back on the foamroller tonight for me! The sparrows were everywhere, flitting in and out of the bushes, and I saw my friend, the Towhee, along with a Northern Flicker too. Cool.

I haven't been able to get a good photo of Sam's tooth, or a video of her walking behind the push toy, so the following photos will have to suffice :-) These were taken just before she decided she should pull all of her books from the bookshelf and all of her toys out from the toy bin. Always into something! :-)

Such a goofball :-)

Happy girl

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Shoes and Teeth!

OK, so the teeth aren't all the way in, but there is definitely a tooth (or maybe two?) that has popped through the surface of Sam's lower gums! Hurray! Looks like she isn't going to reach her first birthday as a gummy wonder after all! I first noticed it on Tuesday, and so far it is taking its time emerging, although Sam has been gnawing away on everything in sight, and man, let me tell you, that although it's not a full tooth yet, it is sharp! However, she has been in great spirits, despite the teething, thank goodness! We are truly lucky to have such a happy child.

As for me, I've taken the past three days off. I don't particularly like this pattern, but oh well. I definitely didn't do myself any favors by running fast on Sunday, followed by a lot of standing around in the cold, not stretching, and then, a long car ride that afternoon while Sam napped. Monday morning, I took a few steps out the door and realized the knee was super tight, so I turned right around. I've been working really hard to stretch and loosen things up, and this morning, I couldn't take it any more, so after I fed Sam at 6:30, I passed her off to Ryan and headed out for a short run. I ran the 3-mile Highland Green loop, and although I felt a bit creaky, there was no pain. I finished the loop in 24:10, which isn't too shabby in my book, and will be stretching and rolling again tonight. The plan for the next few days is to run short on Friday and Saturday, take Sunday off, and then do a longer run on Monday. With the way things are going, it looks like I'll be headed into Stonecat on the well-rested side, but I know I still have some time, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to get in at least three solid long runs over the next 6 weeks, and keep up my mid-week running, and be OK.
Inov-8 Roclite 282s

Oh yes, and last but not least, my new pair of trail shoes has arrived! They are a lovely bright teal, but hopefully that will fade with a few good runs in the mud :-) Regardless, gotta love new shoes!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2010 Bradbury Mountain Bruiser Race Report

I am super happy with how my race at the 12-mile Bradbury Bruiser went, especially considering last Sunday I was thinking I might not be running it! Amazing what some good stretching and foam rolling will do!!

Once again, Ryan's parents nicely agreed to come up and take care of Samantha so that both Ryan and I could race. What a big help! Thanks guys! I arrived at Bradbury around 7:45, and spent a while chatting with friends before heading out for a short warm-up with Ryan before the race started at 9:00. It was a perfect race day - gotta love this fall weather! - cool (59 degrees), crisp and sunny. The course is a big, twisty turny loop on the east side trails, and starts out on the carriage roads but heads quickly into single track. There was a bit of a back-up here, but I think I did a good job of balancing not going out too quickly, but starting close enough to the back of the front of the pack to not get too tangled up in a line of people at the start.

As we turned onto the singletrack, I noted that Jim was only a few people ahead of me (I certainly could hear him! :-) ), and so I focused on catching up to him, although it took me until right around 5 miles to actually do so! I was feeling good as we ran along together (and no knee pain, thank goodness!), and Jim eventually motioned to me to pass him at some point, noting that I could pass him as long as I also passed Jeremy (the Trail Monster I had passed near the final climb up to the summit in the Breaker last month), who was right ahead. As luck would have it, soon after he said that, the course opened up onto the Snowmobile trail and started climbing. I remembered Ryan's advice to use this section of trail to make up some time, so I took off, at a comfortable, but quick, pace. Neither Jim or Jeremy came with me.

I spent most of the rest of the race in my own little "void" of people. Why is this always happening to me? So odd. I passed a few more people here and there, but ran mostly on my own. This worked out fine, as I could push when I felt I could and try to maintain when necessary. As we neared the infamous "O" trail, I was tiring a bit, and I knew I would have to focus pretty hard to keep up a good pace through this "small intestine" of a trail. I also hoped my knee would hold up OK with all the quick twists and turns, and small ups and downs. It did start to ache a bit as I ran through this section, but luckily, not too badly. I really didn't want anyone to catch me in the "O" trail section, and as we snaked along, I could see Jeremy back there, but never quite knew how many twists back he was, so I did my best to push, push, push! I was thrilled to see the stone wall marking to exit to the "O" trail - man that 2 miles is tough! - and knew I only had a short way to the finish. I ran through the line in 1:47:42, way ahead of my hoped-for goal of breaking 2:00:00. Who would have thought?! So I am super happy with my run, and that I felt good and my body (mostly) held out.

I am feeling a bit stiff and tired right now, but otherwise, it was a great race and lots of fun! As usual, a big thank you to Ian and Ryan, and all the volunteers, for putting on such a great race, and a fun series of races on a great trail system. With nice shirts and prizes to boot, and friends all around! What could be better?! Also, all the Trail Monsters had great races, which was fun, and our friend Kevin won the whole thing, in an astounding 1:22:something. Amazing!

I did note that my Garmin only calculated the course as 11.53. Wonder if the course is short or the Garmin was just off with all the twists of the Lanzo and "O" trails? I'll hope it's the latter!

FULL RESULTS

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stretch, Roll, Repeat

My exercise the past three days has consisted of lots of stretching, foam rolling (ow!), working on my core exercises (something I haven't done in approximately 18 months! Wow!), doing push-ups (I need to work on this one, as I can only do 5 in a row at this point. Seems like I should be stronger than that!) and last but certainly not least, chasing Sam around while she crawls exactly where I don't want her to go! Now that she has become a more proficient crawler, she is everywhere.

Getting into trouble!
The newest thing is participating in a game of catch with Gigi. Gigi loves her napkins. The second she hears even a slight crinkling of a napkin or paper towel, she will sit and wait for you to throw it for her, or try to wrestle it from your lap. When we finally give in and throw the paper to her, she races around like crazy playing catch with it. This works for rolled up tin foil balls too. Sam noticed me throw a wadded up paper towel for Gigi the other night, and scrambled after it, smiling and squealing with delight. Gigi hopped away as Sam approached, and Sam picked up the paper towel and waved it around, holding it out to Gigi  and then finally out to me to do it again. I took it from her, threw it, Gigi went after it and again, so did Sam. We repeated this fun "game" for a while. So cute!

She has also learned to get from a sitting position to a crawling position and then can reach up to something low and pull herself up onto her knees. I'm sure she'll be pulling up into a full standing position soon! Yesterday morning I looked around the corner to her pulling all the bibs and burp cloths, and her hats and shoes out onto the floor :-)

Pigtails!
 Another first occurred yesterday at daycare. The ladies at daycare put Sam's hair up in adorable little pigtails last night! Her hair is barely long enough to make it work, but it was so cute :-)

As for me, like I said, I've taken a few days off of running and have been really trying to loosen up all my tight muscles. I went for a short 3 mile run this morning on the Highland Green loop to see how things felt, and I am happy to say that there was no pain. Hurray! Of course, it was only 3 miles, but things felt good. I guess all this stretching and foam rolling is a good thing, and something I will absolutely continue to do! I plan to do another short run tomorrow morning and if things still feel OK, I will run the Bruiser. Gotta get that "Bad Ass" shirt!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meltdown

We headed down to Ryan's parents on Saturday afternoon. It was pretty quiet at work, so I was able to leave early, which was great, and meant we had the chance to meet up with the family for an early (and yummy!) Mexican dinner. Sam was a good girl at dinner. She entertained us with her funny expressions and her adorable gummy smile. She loves eating out! There is so much to look at. Oh, look, a waiter! Oh, look, a lady to smile at! Oh, look, a Cheerio! Ah, to be so easily amused :-) However, after being so great all evening, we had a bit of a meltdown overnight. Sam does not particularly like sleeping in her pack n' play. And she is getting another cold. Yes, again. As for the sleeping, I guess it is like any of us. We sleep better in own homes, in our own beds. But Sam decided it would be fun to wake up (and therefore wake us up, as we were sleeping in the same room) at 11:00, 2:00, 4:00 and then 5:20. At 5:20, she was freaking out, hysterical. Not her typical wake-up. I tried to feed her. She didn't want it. I tried to rock her. No, that didn't work. We held her. We laid with her in our bed. She was just not having it. We turned the light on and she calmed down. But when we turned the light out soon after, she was hysterical yet again. So, nothing left to do but get up. She and I went out into the loft to play, and once we did that, she was her cheery self. Who knows what it was? A night terror?

Needless to say, this was not the best way to start the day, especially when we were planning to do a long run on the Stonecat course. The rest of the family was more than happy to watch Sam while we ran, and we were more than happy to leave her with them! We had an early breakfast with her, and then I nursed her and put her down for an extra early morning nap around 8:30. It's much earlier than she would normally nap, but having been up at 5:20, she fell easily to sleep, and slept for 2 hours while we were gone!

It was a beautiful morning. The cool air we'd been promised had finally come in over night, the sky was clear and there was a little breeze. Lovely! We drove over to the school by Willowdale Forest, and headed out onto the course. Although it was great to be out, running with Ryan on such a nice day, I was beyond exhausted. I could feel it the second we started moving. Also, my left knee was tight by the time we hit 2 miles. Hmmm. Not good. As we ran along, the aching would come and go, and I told Ryan that it felt different than the typical IT band pain I've had in the past. The whole knee hurt, but it wasn't acute in any particular spot. It seemed like it was being pulled? I don't know quite how to explain it. But I think it all boils down to three things: 1) I am not sleeping well, so I am not truly allowing my body to recover; 2) I am predisposed to IT band issues with my left leg; and 3) I am tight, tight, tight, and have not really been stretching or foamrolling as I should.

Anyway, despite the tiredness and the achiness, we had a great time, and I really enjoyed the running in the Forest. The course was a mix of carriage roads and single track. Luckily, I had printed out a course map, and Ryan was a good navigator, as a lot of the turns weren't marked. We took a few wrong turns here and there, and skipped a few minor pieces of single-track, but otherwise stayed on track. The woods were pretty, with lots of ferns beneath the hardwood and open sections of pine trees. The trails weaved between several swampy areas full of lily pads, and along a few fields. We scared up a big yellow striped snake sunning itself along the edge of one of the swampy areas, and saw a deer bounding towards the edge of one of the fields. A few mallards sat in the sun at the edge of the water. There were no major climbs, and no real steep up or downs, just a few bumps that all seemed runnable (we'll see if that holds true during the race!). It was easy to run pretty quickly along the wide, flat carriage roads, and the single track was a fun mix of twists and turns, without too many rocks and roots to contend with (at least compared to Bradbury!).

Around 10 miles, my knee was really aching. We were at a point where we could have cut off the last chunk and headed back to the car by going off-course, but I really wanted to at least run one loop and really get a feel for the whole course, so I told Ryan I was OK to continue on, although I was really starting to feel upset about how I was feeling. He kept saying it was OK, that it was just a training run, that I could take some time off if I needed to and still be fine. But it was not fine. As we hit the last straightaway back to the school, I totally lost it. I was so tired. My leg did not feel good. I felt like my body was failing me. And I was not happy. We hit 12.0 on the Garmin, and walked in the rest of the way. I was not in a good place, and Ryan was sweet to cut his last long run short to stay with me. I lay under one of the trees by the car for a while, staring up at the blue sky, and collected myself before we headed back home. I was really disappointed. In myself. In my body. I know it's just a run, but I had really been hoping for more. Hoping to feel good. To get in a good long run. And it just didn't happen. But, all that aside, it really was a nice run overall, and good to be out on the course to get a feel for it. Hopefully I'll be able to pull it together over the next week or so, and get back on track. I still have two months until the race, which should be enough time to sort things out and still get in some good running.

We went out for a short run this morning on the roads around Ryan's parents house. I wasn't going to waste a day off, and a beautifully cool one at that, not running! Besides, I wanted to see if the knee still hurt. And yes, yes it did. So we ran 2 miles and walked the last mile back home. It sucked. I spent a good amount of time of the foamroller tonight. And I will tomorrow, and the next day and the next. Maybe I'll get to sleep the next few nights too?!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sky was Pink

I headed out this morning for a short run right as it was getting light. There was a low-lying fog all along the powerlines and the sky was already hazy, despite the early hour. As I hit the Highland Green Road, the sky was a brilliant pink. Pretty. That might be the only saving grace of this hot, humid, hazy weather - nice sunrise and sunsets!

That's pretty much all there is to report on this morning's 3 miler, so to add a little interest to this otherwise boring post, I thought I'd share an adorable video (thanks to Katy for posting it on Facebook!) called "Simon's Cat in a Box." It is sooo Gigi! :-) Love it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unexpected

Although I set the alarm last night to go off at 5am, I knew there was a pretty good chance I wouldn't be getting up. I am tired. It is as simple as that. So, this morning I slept in a bit instead of getting out to run before the sun was up. The good thing is that we are starting to shift into our fall hours at the gallery and I don't have to be in quite so early anymore. This also means that I actually have the option to squeeze a run in after I drop Sam off at daycare and before I head up to work. Of course, I feel slightly guilty dropping her off and then going out to run instead of spending more time with her, but getting her there at 8am puts her on schedule to get her morning snack and nap with the other kids, which I think is important too.

Anyway, before I left to drop her off this morning, Ryan asked me what I had planned for my run. I had been thinking of doing 5 miles, but he said he would join me if I wanted to just run 3 miles (ah, the beauty of the taper (for him, anyway)!). Sure, why not?! So off we ran around 8:15. It was hot. And humid. And the air quality was bad, bad, bad. As we were running down the high school road, Ryan suggested doing his Mt. Ararat loop instead of being out in the sun for the whole run on the powerlines. So, we zigged and zagged through the woods in the shade on the Mt. Ararat trails, and went up and down the "mountain" a few times instead of running out and back on the lines. I was amazed how much the bad air quality really affected me, even on a short 3 mile run. I was wheezing like crazy in a few spots, especially working up the hills, and I haven't had that happen in years. Definitely not an exercise-friendly day, but I'm glad I at least got in a short run and it was nice to have an unexpected chance to run with Ryan. The leg felt OK - definitely an overall tightness up and down the left leg, but no acute pain, which I am more than happy with. I will have to keep working on stretching, but I'm hopeful that I can work this out without too much trouble. And now, I am off to relish in the A/C at the gallery for the day :-)