Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Upload Overload

You know those parents who think their kid is so cute that everybody should care about every tiny little thing? Well, if you haven't pinned us as those parents, now's the time. I finally found the cable to upload photos, so prepare for an overload of uploads. Don't feel pressure to watch them all. I'll never know if you do or not. And Reece won't love you any less. But, as he is the cutest kid in the world, you may just increase your happiness level exponentially with each video. It's worth a shot, right?

For our first course, a light sampling of Reece and crackers:

For your entertainment, some classical music:

Feel free to dance along:

Reece loves playing games with dad:

And finally, our little dentist in the making:

Also, Paul requested me to post some "awesome pictures." So I did a quick search for "awesome pictures" and this is what I found:

Pretty inspirational, if you ask me. This last one may become my motto (I mean, "If God Loves Me, Why Can't I Get My Locker Open?").

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Cat Came Back the Very Next Day

Yesterday I had an experience that took me back to my childhood. Any stray animal that came around our house (and often our own animals) would get threatened by my dad to be "taken for a drive." That meant he would take them to some undisclosed location (the dump) and drop them off. I don't think he ever actually did it, and I've caught him several times snuggling with our cats, but we heard the threats quite often. Apparently my dad wasn't the only one to threaten such actions. Paul's dad was known to make similar threats to cats, dogs, and sons who caused him grief. I think our dads would have been great friends.

Anyway, Paul drove 35 minutes on the freeway just to drop me off on a lonely road on top of a mountain. I'm pretty sure he was hoping I wouldn't find my way home. There was no shoulder on the road and the cars zoomed past with no regard for the slow, blindingly-white-legged runner on the side. I kept a small tally while I was making my way home to distract myself from the persistent thoughts that nag of "why am I doing this?" and "why did I think this was a good idea?"

So here goes:

Miles: 17
Elevation change: 2000'
Hours running: 3 (new record! Thank you, 5 miles of steep downhill)
Highways: 3
Dead snakes: 2
Dead snakes I didn't see until I almost stepped on them and thought they were alive: 2
Black crows: at least two dozen
Bikers: at least 70
Other runners: 1
Other runners going much, much faster than me: 1
Lizards: dozens
Lizards I almost stepped on: 1
Ocean views: 4 miles
Bay views: 10 miles
Nature preserves: 4
Number of times I sang Kelly Clarkson songs to myself: at least 100 (not traditionally a KC fan, so this one surprises even me)
Number of times I got lost: 0!!!!! This is a first for me, seriously.

That's about it. Not interesting. Welcome to my Saturdays.

View of San Mateo county. Taken by Paul on his way home from dropping me off. You could see both ocean and bay from this road. Then you run through a bunch of redwoods. Gorgeous.

I think you can see the ocean somewhere in this shot.

But now for the real reason you're all here:

Reece's new favorite game is chess. That is to say, his favorite game is "eat dad's chess pieces." He's pretty good at it. He's actually figured out that the pieces are supposed to move on squares on the board and so he'll move them back and forth. It's pretty cute.

He also loves putting sticky things on his forehead: nerf bullets, stickers, food, etc.

Hello, ladies.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Muir Woods 25K

Sometimes when I'm on my long runs I think about what I'm going to post on my blog for the next week. Running three hours alone every Saturday is so taxing and boring that it's often the only thing that gets me through. "How can I brag about what I'm doing right now?" Well by the time I finish my run I'm usually too tired to blog/brag (brog?) about it, and this week is no exception. But I really did do something super awesome on Saturday so now that I can kind of move my body again (stress the "kind of" part), I need to do a little bragging. I ran the Muir Woods 25K. It is a trail run through Muir Woods, which is a gorgeous redwood forest about an hour north of us. The race started on Stinson Beach and ran over the mountain down into Muir Woods, then back over the mountain to the beach. So I started at sea level, climbed a freaking high mountain (1800 foot incline), down again to almost sea level, up again over the mountain and back to the shore. It was hard.
We got to the race about ten minutes before start time, having spent the night before in Mill Valley. The car ride got me a little sick but that wore off as soon as I started running. The air was crisp and got even crisper as we trudged our way up the mountain to the misty peaks (yes, it was raining at the top). The incline of 1800 feet was all in the first 3 miles, so the trail was so steep that at one point we literally had to climb a 10-foot ladder. It was next to a gorgeous waterfall, and how often do you get to say that you climbed a ladder during a race? So at that point I was just thinking how cool it was to be doing this run.

It wasn't until about mile four that I lost it. Quite literally, actually, I lost the trail. I ran off on my own for about five minutes (down a very steep hill) before realizing that there were no other runners nearby. So I backtracked and got back on the trail just in time for four miles of downhill. That was fun, but in an effort to make up lost time (and because it's fun to run down hiking trails) I twisted my ankle. Nothing serious, so I slowed down a bit and kept jogging. Then I lost it again...literally. At mile 7 I started talking to a guy and we both missed our turn-off. We jogged for about five minutes before turning around and getting back on the path. That's right folks, I added a good 20 minutes to my total running time because I am an idiot. I was distracted by either looking down so I didn't trip or talking to a stranger I'd never see again.

I found the trail just in time to start my second incline for another four miles. This was definitely the hardest part of the race. I was feeling pretty discouraged because the people I had started running with in the beginning were so far ahead of me. And all the time I made up on the downhill was wasted because I got lost the second time. So I kept telling myself that I wasn't doing this to win the race, just to get good marathon training. So I jogged as much as I could uphill (I walked quite a bit of the uphill stuff, along with everybody else) and felt some satisfaction in passing the same runners for the second time.

The last four miles were awesome. It felt great to be running downhill again, and even with all the switchbacks and tree stumps and branches strategically placed at head-level (the forest is tricky...Paul said I was one of the only ones to come out without mud and blood all over me, though I did smack my head into a tree branch), I had a real runner's high all the way through to the finish line (of course I may have just been delirious from hitting my head).

It was definitely the hardest run I've ever done. Not the hardest physical thing I've ever done, but a close second (thank you, pregnancy, for making me realize that I can do anything). I have to say it has been an amazing experience to continually push myself to do things I never thought I could/would/should do. It does not sound appealing to run 15.5 miles. If you think that sounds fun, you are crazy. But the sense of accomplishment that comes with it is phenomenal. I often think to myself, "Sure, I could do that if I wanted to," but then I never really do it. So actually proving to myself that I can do it was much harder than I ever thought it would be, but because it was hard it was so much more rewarding. Does that make sense?

What is my reward? Well, I get to brag on my blog. Oh, and I've been excruciatingly sore for the past two days. That's a reward, right? I have lost two pounds after three months of crazy-intense training. Hmm...there's got to be something better than that. I guess seeing this face at the finish line is a pretty good reward:

What's next? Mark your calendars for June 5. We are t-minus two months to marathon time!