Thursday, April 17, 2014

The problem with warm sunny weather...

is that (especially in the spring) I know it's going to come to and end.  Nevertheless, it's still hard not to get  a little bit depressed when the day is met with drizzly skies and the next 10 days seem to promise a whole lot more of it (with hopefully an occasional sun break).  I always know that the rain is coming, so I do my best to soak up those sun rays whenever possible... hoping that they'll carry me through the grey and dismal times.
In an attempt to keep the name of this blog honest (seriously, my stroller running has all but diminished, leaving me questioning a name change), on Monday, I opted to trade my normal early morning run with Heather for a late morning/early afternoon stroller run with my littles.  With the sunny weather we had been having, we had been park hopping and I decided if we were to combine that with a run, we could go to a much further park, which got the boys really excited.  We packed a lunch, dropped Leona (who didn't really believe that she was going to have more fun in class then she would on a stroller picnic at the park) off at school and headed down by the river for the 3+ mile trip to the RiverPlay Discovery Village Playground at the base of Skinner's Butte.  Before we could get there though, we had to take a trip by Autzen Stadium to pay homage to our Ducks then stop off at Alton Baker park to pay homage to the geese.
 Euan was not a very big fan of the geese and thought that they would be better off in the water.  He was also not very shy about telling them so.
(translation: "Water! Water! Nooooooow! Nooooooooow!!)
Jonny, on the other hand, just wanted to dance with them, which unfortunately I didn't get on was pretty sweet, that kid has some awesome moves!
After the duck pond, filled with geese, it was across the bridge,
where we, again, had to stop to see the sights
 and take a selfie, of course.
After only a few more brief stops, to look at signs while everyone stayed in the stroller, we made it to the park.
I love this park (especially, during a school day when it isn't swarming with billions of kids and random adults, leaving me feeling a tad overwhelmed with watching my own) and could only imagine how incredibly cool I would think it was if I was a kid.  Unfortunately, in the last few years, it seems to have taken on quite a bit of wear and tear but it's still the coolest park in Eugene and my kiddos didn't seem to see any problems with it.  The "big, big slide" was definitely a big, big hit.
I might have had to give Euan a gentle nudge with my foot the first time. :P
After lunch and playing for a while, it was time to head home.  It was a very peaceful trip, without any stops and I was able to get in the stroller pushing groove and just enjoy the scenery.  (Actually, I was trying to use the scenery to distract my body from realizing the 7+ mile stroller run I had planned was not in my muscle memory and it hurt!)
It turned out that all of the climbing to the top of the big, big slide had finally caught up to my boys and they slept peacefully for the last 2 miles of the run, all the way through my shower and didn't even stir until the older kiddos got home from school (which no one could possibly sleep through).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Break and Pinewood Derby

In an attempt to get things caught up on this blog, I'll probably be doing some random posts that aren't necessarily in chronological order.  Today, I finally uploaded a bunch of pictures off my phone, so it seems like a good time to talk about spring break and in turn the pinewood derby (they're slightly related).

Spring break was almost a month ago and we didn't do anything super spectacular.  The kids and I went to Klamath Falls to hang out with my parents and grandma.  We also got to see two of my brothers, my sister and a few cousins.  My parent's home was quite the revolving door of coming and going family members.  We had hoped for nice warm weather, but unfortunately, it was cold and rainy most of the time we were there.  In fact, we even got to experience a few snow flurries.

This pic was actually on the drive home, but you get the idea.
What, it's not safe to take a picture with your cell phone while driving in a snow storm?!

While we were in Klamath Falls, I was able to get in most of my scheduled runs on the OC&E Trail.  I know I've said it a million times on here, but I'm a pretty big fan of this trail. Something about running in a straight line for mile after mile, with nothing but cows and farmland around really appeals to me.  It's rare to come across another runner (especially early in the morning) and even cyclists are few and far between.
Hmm, someone looks like she's been staying up too late and still getting up early to run.
The only run that I veered from the trail was my long run.  My sister was supposed to ride with me, but she opted to sleep in.  I headed out solo for 17+ miles with a route in my mind (that I had previously done twice with my dad on his bike.  Here and here, if you're really bored) and realized at the first big road choice, I really wasn't sure of the route.  I went to call my dad and my phone immediately shut off and wouldn't turn back on.  Seriously?! Anyway, I spent the rest of my run, second guessing the route, being angry at my phone for dying and realizing that a week of little sleep and hard workouts at elevation was finally catching up to me.  I did eventually make it back to my parents house and despite my doubts didn't miss any turns...I was however, ready to be done!

Later on that Saturday, the girls (and Euan because he was being a super grump and couldn't be left home) went to a special church broadcast followed by a trip to Baskin Robbins.  That sure cured Euan's grumpiness!

My dad and Calvin, spent a fair amount of Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon working on Calvin's pinewood derby car.  They didn't quite get done, so Calvin was sent home with the job to sand and paint it and my parent's were cool enough to come up to Eugene the following weekend to help get the wheels set and get it weighted properly.  Being the good photographer that I am, I didn't think to get any pictures until it was almost too late.
 With great anticipation, race day finally got here and Calvin's car was weighed in and ready to race. (Car #3 in the picture below.)
There were some pretty cool looking cars.  One of my favorites, was the pencil car, #24 below.  Spoiler alert, it lost all 4 rounds to Calvin's car (they were in the same heat) and that Oregon car in the foreground, was the overall winner.  It was very, very, very fast.
I was pretty impressed with the way the races were run and the track.  
 Each car, raced 4 times, once in each lane and each heat was electronically timed.  Then when all the cars had done their 4 races the times were averaged out to find the overall fastest car.  It was very impressive.  These two little boys were pretty impressed too.
Then they brought out the ice cream cones and all the kids went crazy!!

Leona had an extreme amount of energy to get out, so she decided to do her "workout routine".

 After a fair amount of tabulating and kids going crazy and the need to mop up several different spills...
Not everyday, you see someone mopping in a suit and tie.  Maybe if lawerying doesn't work out, Dan can start a well-dressed janitorial service.
the results were in and Calvin's car took second place overall.  Needless to say, he was a little bit excited!
 All in all, it was a super fun evening together as a family, everyone came home happy, especially the boy with the large trophy.  :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's a streak...

2 days in a row. This is pretty much unprecedented... At least this year. :) 

Just wanted to take a quick second to blog about how much I'm loving this spring weatherwe're having. Yesterday the temps were in the 70s and the littlest boys and I celebrated by taking Leona toschool  then heading to the park where we proceeded to stay until it was time to meet the kids after school. It didn't take much persuasion on the big kids part to convince us to stay on and play at the school for another hour, which meant we were outside yesterday from 11:15 until 3:15. It was fantastic. 

Today, I think we're planning a little bit more of the same. We have to soak up these sun rays while we can because the rain is coming... it always does. Until then though, we're going to enjoy the blossoms and get a head start on our summer tans (or at least try to fix the goofy lines we got yesterday). 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coming out of retirement...

I really don't have much to say, which is probably why this poor blog has been on a semi-permanent retirement.  Lately, however, I've been missing my blog and keep thinking it's time to unretire (is that a word? spell check says no... oh well) it, but then I find better things to do and another week goes by and another and then I'm so far behind that the thought of blogging and catching up on life seems overwhelming.  My last post was January 24th?!!  It is time, time to make a blogging come back!!

I have lots of things to catch up on.  We've had a few birthdays, quite a few holidays, no races but a lot of decent runs.  In fact, running is going very, very well right now.  I'm finally at the point where I feel like I've recovered most of the fitness I lost when I took my long break for my ankle issues.  When easy runs actually feel easy and long runs, although tiresome are enjoyable, and speedwork/hills leave me feeling confident, I start getting really, really excited about running.

This morning, Heather and I went for a nice and easy 6am 6miler and we didn't even have to start out with headlamps.  It was great!  I love early spring morning running.  We have some decent race plans for the year, including a 2-day 40 total mile trail run in celebration of Heather's big birthday earlier this spring (more on that in a later post).  Right now we're training for the Newport Marathon, the end of May, with the Hippie Chick Half thrown in there.  We'll do the 40 miler in July and then spend the rest of the summer getting ready for the Big Cottonwood Marathon in the fall.

Right now though, I need to get Leona a little bit more motivated to get out the door for school so I think my blogging time is up. I promise to be back though... this time sooner than 3 months.

I'll leave you with a random picture, going on my belief that every blog post is better with some type of picture.  Happy Monday!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Helloooooo Sunshine...

This is what it looks like outside my bedroom window right now...
so, this is what I'm doing....
These wonderfully relaxing moments brought to you by the long missed sunshine and the completely carefree (hahahaha!) life of being a stay at home mom. 

Take some time out to enjoy your day today too. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Wednesday...

So, apparently, yesterday when I blogged, and wished everyone a "Happy Monday" it turns out it was actually Tuesday.  Hmmm, ever completely lose a day?!  I was thinking it was Monday, all the way up until I read the comments wishing me a "happy Tuesday" and "almost Wednesday", right before I was headed to bed.  Oops.

Anyway, since this is technically a running blog, I suppose I should blog about running a little bit here and there.  I think I was hesitant to do so because I didn't want to jinx myself, but the ankle/Achilles issue that I had been having seems to pretty much healed after 6 weeks off and 3 weeks in a boot.  What's even better, is despite taking all of that time off, I seem to be bouncing back pretty well.  Hooray!  I've been running fairly consistently since January 1st, including a few speedwork sessions, some hill repeats and even a double digit run (barely, it was 10 miles).  I'm trying to be smart about things, including icing, foam rolling, working in some legit cross/strength training and really not pushing it too hard... yet.  For example, today Heather and I did 800 repeats.  We had 5 on the schedule but ended up calling it good at 4.  Heather suggested maybe just another 400, but my ankle was starting to speak up and despite the injury it does to my pride, I'm trying really hard to listen.

It feels so good to be running.  My first decent run, happened when the kids and I were visiting my parents in Klamath Falls.  As much as I love running in the green and leafy world of the Willamette Valley and Oregon Coast, sometimes a trip out in to the farmlands of Southern Oregon makes for a great change of scenery... at least the sun is usually shining.
 When I was little I was extremely fascinated (who am I kidding, I'm still somewhat obsessed) with cattails.  I always wanted to bring them home and my parents never would let me.  I vaguely remember one time though, when I was obnoxious enough to get my way.  The problem is, once cattails reach a certain age, the rich fuzzy brown turns to an obscene amount of white fluffy stuff that gets everywhere, which means all over a dresser and bedroom floor I would imagine, although I don't remember cleaning it up.
So, anyway, running seems to be going well.  I think on the schedule for this year is a 5K in March (hopefully a new PR), a half in May, possibly a fun 2 day self-supported run sometime in June, an ultra in July (either a 50K or a 50m... jury is still out on how ambitious I'm feeling) and then a marathon in September.  Heather made us up a nice training plan that should keep us busy for the next 9 months.  I'm really looking forward to it.