Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2014 Butte to Butte 10K Race Report - With Emmeline

This is the first year that we have actually been in town for 4th of July weekend so I was super excited to sign up for Eugene's Butte to Butte 10K.  I was even more excited that Emme wanted to run it with me! After last year's Pre, I knew she'd be able to handle this race quite well.  This year, we decided to change our costumes up a bit and go with sparkle skirts instead of tutus.  Let me just say, that was a HUGE mistake.  The sparkle skirts did not work well, I could not sew on the fabric and the tutorial I used, although easy to follow, did not make the flowy skirt I was hoping for.  However, after an extremely late night, several curses and swears, maybe even a few tears and lots of help from my mom, who was luckily in town, we finally had our outfits ready to go.

Even though it wasn't quite what I had envisioned, we felt quite festive and had plenty of extra material to throw some capes into the mix, which definitely gave us some added pizzaz, not to mention amazing super powers!
I wasn't all that sure how the race would go, because Emme and I had only run once together.  She had been doing the distance workouts at track, but the mileage was questionable.  I figured, however, that she was a pretty tough cookie and would grit it out one way or another.

Calvin, my mom and sister, gave us a ride to the start.  Dan and the other littles walked from our house to around the 4 mile marker so that they could cheer us on mid race.  Before too long, we were lined up and ready to run.
 Unlike the Prefontaine Memorial Run, which is essentially 6 miles of up and downness, the Butte to Butte is 1 mile up, 1 mile down and then the remaining 4 miles are relatively flat.  Emme was a beast on the uphill.  She ran the whole way except for a small bit where she took to the side for a quick maple bar pickup.
The donut gave her the energy she needed to summit the climb and despite the ache she felt in her belly on the way down the hill, she was pretty sure that it had nothing to do with the donut.  "It must have been the bagel I had for breakfast."  Yes, Emme, I'm sure that was it.  Before too long, the hills were over and we were on to the flat part.

Unfortunately, I forgot my watch, but I tried to take splits on my phone.  Mile 1 = 10:36, definitely not too bad for uphill and eating donuts.  Mile 2  = 8:34, gravity played a huge role in that one.  (Those were the only two splits I remember though and I accidentally deleted them off my phone.)

Once we hit the flat parts and the distance started adding up, Emme's confidence waned a bit.  She took a bit longer at the water stops, we started walking some stretches and we even stopped for a bit at the portapotties.  It didn't take too much to get her rallied again though so we never lost that much time.  Mostly she was really happy and enjoying the atmosphere.
Flying down the hill.
Mid race selfie
 Lady Liberty was running the race too, but Emmeline refused to get any closer for a photo op.  I think I might have been embarrassing her a little bit.
 She went through a pretty big stretch of walking towards the end of mile 4 but I reminded her that we'd be coming up to Dan and the kids pretty soon and they'd want to see her running.
Picutre of Dan taking a picture of us. 
Leona picked some festive flowers.
Euan hiding from everyone.
And then we were off again.  After the stop to see Dan and the kidlets, Emme rallied for quite a bit.  Once we hit mile 5 though and we were running through downtown, she began to really struggle, so I pulled out the fishing trick.  I let her pick out a fish, the first one was a girl wearing flag shorts, we cast out our line and reeled her in fairly quickly.  The next "fish" was a girl in Emme's grade.  We also made short work of her, although we had to do it quite stealthily because Emme didn't want her friend to see her.  After that we picked another lady in a flashy tank followed by a boy in bright green.  Our last fish, the boy in the green, took a fair amount of reeling before we were able to pass him.  I don't think he liked being past by us though so we played leap frog with him several times before he ultimately out sprinted us at the end.

Right around mile 6, Emme started to shut down.  She was really hurting and practically crying as she ran along chanting, "I want to stop, I want to stop, I want to stop!" I told her three things: 1. It's too hard to run while crying (trust me, I know). 2.  No one stops at mile 6 of a 6.2 mile race and 3.  She needed to be more positive.  I guess that's all it took because all of a sudden she said, "I want to go, I want to go!" and she did.  She was off and I literally had to sprint to finish close behind her.
Green shirt boy, just in front of her.
After we finished, I thought for sure she was going to say how much she hated it, but instead all she could do was gush about how much fun she had and that she can't wait to do it next year.  That was before she even had the yummy pizza, chocolate milk and found out that not only had she PR'd (1:03:50 a 2 minute PR) but she was fast enough for a 3rd place finish (out of 10) in her 10 and under age group!
It was a beautiful day for a race, Emme and I had a blast and, as always, Eugene put on a great show.  I honestly don't ever want to live anywhere else.
(Thanks for the pics, Stephnie!)
Here's what Emme has to say about the race, in her own typing:

Ok so here are a few things I think my mom left out. I didn't want her to talk about the portapottie, but since she did I think it's important to note that the one I went in was out of TP and I had to wait until my mom could get me some.  Also, at one point by the south eugene track on the bridge there was a woman with a water  buffalo hat on and a person running next to us said "Tatonka". I didn't get it at first but my mom was laughing and she explained that it is from a movie, Dances with Wolves, my aunt Stephanie's favorite.  My favorite sign said "Let's go  kick some butte". Get it? :-) I had a good time and the donut was really good.  Next year I want a chocolate one!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I miss you, blog.

This poor blog. I really do miss it. Every time I think that I'm going to get it going again, I don't. I have great intentions this time though. No promises, but even if it's nothing meaningful, I hope to manage at least a weekly post. 

So, this will be far from being a catch up post but I think I can manage at least a little bit of updating. Summer is in full swing. School is out and we are spending most of our time at the pool or park hopping. Life is exhausting and busy with all 5 kids home all day, every day but it's also been a blast. 

Running is going quite well. I've failed to report on my two most recent races, Hippie Chick Half, which was a success despite not really racing it and the Newport Marathon which was a complete disaster, despite not really racing it. Hopefully I will write up some reports on them soon. Next weekend, Heather, our friend Leslie and I have a grand adventure we've been training for. (I'll write about it after we're done...just in case I have any crazy stalkers that have been waiting around the last 6 months to see if I'm going to disclose where I might be running soon. We already have to worry about bears and snakes and bugs I don't want to worry about some creepy person jumping out of the bushes at us too.) We've been hitting up a lot of trails, which makes me super happy. 
Emme has been running too. She spent the spring running for Emerald Valley Track Club. She opted out of the meets, she really isn't that competitive, but had fun doing the distance workouts. Her season will culminate tomorrow when she and I run the Butte to Butte 10K. I do promise to promptly write about that.

Well, that's it for now. I should probably get back to doing all the things I'm putting off doing by deciding out of nowhere I need to revive, again for the millionth time, this blog. :)

Here are a few more random pics that make me happy, just because. 

And a good quote I saw floating around somewhere. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fate as a woodpecker...

Saturday, we did 20 miles.  It went well.  It wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad.  I feel like I recovered quickly from it.  I did take an ice bath afterwards...I think that helped.

Today, however, Heather had decided in an effort to give her body more recovery time, she wanted to sleep in a bit and not go on our normal Monday morning early run, which left me running solo.  All day yesterday, I was trying to decide what I wanted to do.  I had 3 options, get up early and run by myself, sleep in and take Euan and Jonny out in the stroller or wait until after dinner and family night and run in the dark.  All the way up until I was getting ready for bed, I couldn't decide what I wanted to do.  I had narrowed it down to getting up early or taking the stroller but still couldn't make up my mind.  Dan was getting sick of hearing my pros and cons to both scenarios.  Finally, I decided that I would get my running clothes ready for an early morning run but that I wouldn't set my alarm.  If I happened to be awake around 5:30 then I would get up and go, if not then stroller running it would was up to fate.

Of course throughout the night, I woke up several times to look at the clock... is it time to run? Nope, it's 1:30.  How about now? Nope, 3:45.  Then I was sound asleep and probably would've slept soundly right up until it was time to get the kiddos up for school except this really loud knocking sound woke me up.  Repeatedly, banging somewhere out side my house.  Uggggh, that woodpecker.  What time is it? 5:19am.  Of course it is.  5:19, one minute before my alarm would've gone off had I set it to get in 8 miles this morning.  So, what did I do? I shut our bedroom window, closed my eyes and said, if I can fall back asleep easily then I'm meant to sleep in.  Of course I didn't fall asleep, instead I just laid there trying to decide if I should get up or not.  Ultimately getting up won... I had left it up to fate after all, and fate came in the form of a woodpecker this morning.

I'm glad to have the miles done and now that it's getting to be time to get Leona off to school and it is pouring outside I'm doubly glad that I don't have to try and get Jonny and Euan ready for a stroller run. Maybe fate knows what it's doing after all.

This picture isn't from today (it was overcast and rainy) but it was from our Friday morning run...a nice reminder of why I really do love running in the morning.  It really is one of the best ways to start a day.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our week so far...

This week has been amazing!  Really, the week has been about the same as normal but the weather has been more than amazing, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s!!!! Really, you give me any day with temperatures like that and no matter what happened, I'm sure to say that it was a great day.

Monday, was the beginning of the warmer weather.  Heather and I took a nice little 6 mile recovery run down by the river...we didn't see anyone living in a van though.  Ha!  Then after the littles and I dropped Leona off at school we took our magnifying glasses on an adventure.
Like most of our mid-day walking adventures, we ended up in the cemetery.  It's only a short walk from our house and has lots to look at and all sort of exciting names to read (that's Jonny's favorite part).    We've been there countless times, but this was the first time we actually noticed an entire plot dedicated to the Higgins.  Jonny thought that that was way cool!
You'll have to believe me that it says "Higgins"
Posing on a stump...not a fresh plot.  I'm not that horrible.
 Tuesday, was Dan's birthday.  He has been claiming that he doesn't get a birthday this year (because he forgot literally forgot it) but since I like birthdays so much we decided to celebrate anyway.  Jonny, Euan and I met him for lunch.  We visited a tasty street vendor not too far from Dan's work where Dan enjoyed a Shrimp Po'Boy, I had a Cajun Chicken Sandwich and the boys decided they weren't really big fans of Crawfish Beignets... so they mostly had fries.  Well, fries and a soda, Jonny was really excited about that.  In fact the only picture I have from Dan's birthday is Jonny, posing with his soda (in front of a gilded lion of course).

Yesterday, Wednesday, started off with awesome mile repeats.  I ran with Heather and we met up with Leslie and it was a beautiful morning.  We ran on a one mile bark trail and the sun was just coming up and there was misty fog in the swampy areas and the flowers were blooming and the greens were green and the grass was misty... you'll just have to take my word for it that it was gorgeous because I didn't have my phone to take a picture.  Of course, my repeats went very well, so maybe that contributed to the fact that I thought it was such a great start to the day. They were 7:09, 7:04, 7:09 and 7:05 respectively.  Heather, ended up fighting with an angry hamstring, so she might not have such a glowing remembrance of the morning.  After that the day was pretty much as usual, Euan has a cold and was needy and the kids got out of school early and were ornery, but the temperature was 83, so as far as I'm concerned, life was great!

Today, is a rest day and we've been invited to go swimming and when you get the opportunity to go swimming in 80+ degree weather on the 1st of May, you do not turn that down!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Easter happened.

I have a bunch of stuff to do, mostly unpleasant, so it seems like a good time to try and catch up a bit on here.  I've been meaning to blog a bit about April Fool's Day, but since we're approaching a month out from that, I may as well procrastinate it a bit more and instead get down in words and pictures our Easter happenings for this year.

Easter kind of sneaked up on me.  Something about it being so incredibly late in the season, really made it seem off.  Did you know how the Easter date is determined?  I do, now... thanks to lovely Google, "How is the date for Easter determined?" Apparently, it is the first Sunday after the full moon, following the March equinox.  Interesting, no?  Anyway....

So, Easter weekend, was a week ago, yesterday.  I went for my long run on Saturday and got home just  in time to take a shower and only be 5 minutes late to the church sponsored Easter Egg hunt we had planned to attend.  It was rainy and cold, but the kiddos seemed to have a great time, despite the fact that we rushed out of the house so quickly that not a single one of them had on a rain coat.  The littles seemed to really get into it and were all about showing me their eggs. The older ones were too busy searching for older kid eggs to actually pause and get their pics, lets face it, they really aren't as cute any more so they just don't see as much camera time.  Ha!
They did manage to pause for a moment for a group shot, while they were showing Dan eating their loot.
From Easter Egg hunting, we hurried on to Calvin's soccer game, where his team won handily (12-1) and we managed to avoid any major rain showers.  Then it was back to home for a quick dinner, showers and some Easter Egg coloring.  Unlike last year, we actually managed to do it before Easter this year. Win!
 Euan, having not participated previously, was a big fan.  Mostly though, he was about quantity...wanting to get the most eggs in the same color as possible.
The kids then had a sleepover in the playroom, where they managed to stay in bed until just after 7am.  With church not starting until 11:30, I may have threatened them with canceling any chocolate eating if I even heard them before 7.  As soon as that clock hit 7 though, they were up and ready to find the eggs and their baskets.
 Euan was especially excited about the chocolate. He would come up to me with these puppy dog eyes and hold it up and say, "please".  Unluckily for him, he's my 5th kid and those puppy dog eyes aren't all that effective anymore, so his morning wasn't quite as chocolate filled as he would've liked.
After the fun and the candy rush wore off, we got dressed up and headed to church.  It was nice and then it was over and we were already piling into the car when I realized that again, I had failed to do some sort of family picture.  Knowing that the minute we drove out of the parking lot Euan and Jonny would be asleep and when we got home everyone would want to change, I made everyone climb back out to take a couple of quick pictures on the church lawn.  I think I managed to get about a dozen taken, but only the very first one had everyone actually looking mostly in the direction of the camera.
Oh, and Dan and I were there too.

So, that was Easter, it was happy.  Hope you had a happy Easter too.