Monday, July 27, 2009

Marathon Training Update

So, I haven't run in a week.

Which sucks.

I was out of it most of the week with a cold and ear issues, causing me to nap most days and generally use it as an excuse not to run. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but I still gave myself a few more "rest" days than I probably needed. I'm finally feeling better, although I still can't fully hear out of my right ear, and ready to jump in with both feet- all with a fresh running program to try out.

My friend Brian suggested the Smart Coach feature on and I love that it only has me running 3 days a week, giving room in the schedule for cross training like walking and biking, without feeling guilty about not running my brains out. I think I am going to enjoy this program much better and I have always said my ultimate goal is to simply complete the marathon without dying or coming in last. I have no desire to run my fastest ever, compete with anyone else's time, or qualify for Boston. This is for me and me alone, to complete a long-time goal. I admit I was bummed last week after gettting sick and not running on a couple of days I should have. I think something had shifted in my attitude and the goal was not as fun anymore because I was stressing out so much about not being able to fit in EVERY run. I understand I have a lot of other things on my plate right now (being a wife and mother, keeping up with the house, flying, and school), but running and this goal is something I just don't want to give up on... luckily I have the full and complete support of Rick as well, otherwise I would never be able to do it.

So, wish me luck in my new training. Still about 10 weeks to go until the big day and I am confident that I can be ready.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A week with Cassidy

We tried to keep the kids as busy as possible for the week Cassidy was here to visit. The girls participated in Super Summer Spectacular every evening and we filled the mornings and afternoons with trips to the zoo (but forgot the camera), Children's Museum, and lots of time in the backyard. Here are many photos of our adventures... We'll have to come up with some new stuff in a couple of weeks when she's back for 10 days!

A night at the movies...
Clean kiddos- check
"Annie"- check
Favorite blankets- check
Popcorn and milk- on the way

Cooper finally got a chance to play in the infant area of the Children's Museum... he really enjoyed himself!
Lots of time was spent in the Water Works part of the museum...
The new Playopolis area, with places to have a picnic, build things, and ride a horse... we miss the Bob the Builder exihibit!!
The kids were pretty excited to get a tent in the playroom!
Brotherly love
Outdoor fun...
Our Big Guy
Our Little Guy
Riley sporting the too-big-for-her-face sunglasses... complete with hair over the ears. She has such style, right?
SlidingThe Nemo "sprinkler" padFun at the water tableLunch in the tent

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Super Summer Spectacular!!

Our church held their version of vacation bible school, called Super Summer Spectacular last week and the theme was Crocodile Dock. Rather than holding it during the day, limiting the amount of volunteers who are able to help out, the church holds Super Summer Spectacular (SSS) in the evenings from 6-8:30pm (for preschoolers) and 6-9pm (for the older kids). Made for some late bedtimes, but also ensured a nap every afternoon- given the girls were sharing a room, this was a huge accomplishment! I'm not sure of the exact numbers for this year, but pretty similar to last year, where there were around 500 volunteers and about 1,000 children who participated in SSS- AMAZING!! We were SO impressed with how smoothly the whole process went and thankful to all the volunteers! Everything from the parking, to check-in and check-out went so well and security was number one priority- with people standing at every checking tags and making sure every child was accounted for (even the younger siblings coming in had to be stamped and accounted for while leaving).

This is the first year Riley was able to go and it happened to be the same week our niece, Cassidy, was here, so we enrolled them both- and they ended up in the same classroom! They played games outside, sang songs, made crafts, had a snack, and the last night, they had bounce houses! The girls had so much fun, I can't wait for Tyson to be able to participate next summer, too! Two of the nights, we got a babysitter for the boys and had a dinner date while the girls were gone and on Thursday night, we took the boys to the concert in the park at Happy Valley Park for a while. I'm sure we'll end up volunteering in the coming years, but we enjoyed giving the kids a break from each other and giving Riley something special she was able to go and do... I think it made her even more excited to start preschool in September!

Riley and Cassidy showing off their Crocodile Dock t-shirts and the turtles they made!
And the cheesier version...

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Can I hold Cooper?"

I think somebody is getting a bit to big to be "held" by his big sister!

Upcoming posts... Marathon Training update, a new installment of The Flight Attendant Chronicles answering your questions, Super Summer Spectacular, and a week's worth of fun activities while we watched our niece, Cassidy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Marathon Training: Weeks 5 & 6

I'm a bit behind on this, so here's an update for the past 2 weeks:

Week 5:

Tuesday: Ran 4 miles along the Springwater Corridor, while pushing Riley and Tyson in the double stroller. The running itself was easy, the hard part was having to stop a few times to break up the fighting, listening to the "He/she's touching me!", and enduring almost 2 miles of Riley crying... otherwise, fun times. (4 miles- 41:39)

Wednesday: Tried another 4 miles along the Springwater Corridor while pushing the double jogging stroller, while Rick ran too pushing the single stroller. We tried a different kid combination while running: Rick pushed Riley in the single jogger and I pushed Tyson and Cooper. It was a struggle with Tyson to keep the shade down over Cooper's face, but otherwise a good run... HOT, but good. (4 miles- 41:09)

Friday: Got a chance to run in one of my favorite places- in San Diego on an overnight, along the harbor. It was so wonderful! After three runs in a row pushing a jogging stroller, running solo was a breeze. Plus, the weather was perfect for running and sun was shining, I felt like I could run forever! I did get a pretty bad sunburn, most likely from the water's reflection, but I can't wait for another opportunity to run in San Diego! (5.75 miles- 59:23)

This week, I was suppose to run 3, 4, 3, and 6 miles... I missed one day completely, but ran extra on the other days, so no big deal. The weeks total was just under 14 instead of the intended 16 and I missed one day of running.

Days missed: 1
Total miles: 13.75

Week 6:

Missed my Tuesday run, simply because the day got away from me after an afternoon meeting with our financial advisor which led straight into swimming lessons and my class from 6-10pm.

Wednesday- Ran an fairly uneventful 5 miles in a loop from our house down to the Springwater and back. (5 miles- 51:21)

Friday- I was Austin, TX and 103 degree heat, so I did my 3 mile run on the treadmill. I was feeling really healthy and rested so I really pushed myself during the run, doing my fasted mile in a long time, if ever- 8:51. (3 miles- 27:49)

Sunday- The true test of whether I'll be able to complete and live through all of this training will be the miles being added each week to the "long runs". This week was an 8 mile run. I waited until the late evening to do and the weather was a perfectly mild (maybe even a little cold), with a treat of rain. I chose to run along Sunnyside Road. I'm finding it easiest to set the mileage on my iPod, run until it says "halfway point" and then turn around and run back. Takes the guesswork out of how much further I have to go and the second half always seems to go so much quicker because I know what to expect and where to go. (8 miles- 1:26:37)

Days missed: 1
Total miles: 16

Night at the Drive-In movies

Last Sunday night, after a fun day of church in the park and playing at the splash pad, we were invited to join the Boxell's and the Langley's for a night at the movies... the Drive-In! There is one Drive-In theater we know of in the Portland area, it's in Newburg about 45mins to an hour from our house. The shows sell out pretty quickly on Friday and Saturday nights, so we made our way out there early to ensure a good view of the screen for our Sunday night showing just in case. The kids were all cozy in their pajamas, we popped microwave popcorn at home, and brought our own water, juice, and milk for the evening. We pulled a couple of the seats out of the van to make more room and brought along some comfy chairs for the kids to sit in and of course, their favorite blankets. The hardest part was the almost 2 hour wait between when we arrived and the movie actually began (around 9:45pm). We didn't bring jackets for the kids and it was a bit chilly out, so they were confined to the van, but did pretty well considering.

The movies for the night were Up and The Proposal. The kids stayed awake for the entire showing of Up and even stayed in their chairs for most of it, occasionally asking for more popcorn. The last half hour of the movie, they joined Rick and I in the front seats of the van. During intermission, Rick replaced their carseats and got them all settled, they were out almost before The Proposal started at midnight. Rick and I were able to enjoy a little bit of a date night... while trying to keep our eyes open for the movie! It ended around 2am, we made the drive home, and crashed in bed around 3:30am!! What a fun adventure and I would love to do it again sometime, maybe without the kids so we could back up the van, lay down the back seats, open the hatch, and enjoy the movie... on a warmer night, of course! I am disappointed in myself for not taking any photos of the movie screen and other parts of the drive-in itself, what kind of blogger am I? Maybe next time I get a few. A little added fun for the night came when the kids (teenagers to early twenties maybe) pulled up and got out of their cars dressed like they were from the 50's! It was awesome- totally reminded me of Grease! or something- which by the way they will be showing at the drive-in on a special night in September. I think that would be so fun!

Cooper was really enjoying his free time to crawl around in the van and exploring! He pretty much slept through both movies, which was perfect.

Tyson "driving" the car!
(You can see the cars in the background that are all backed in, they watched the movies from the back of their cars, which looked really fun!)

The kids had a pretty sweet setup in the back seat. Comfy chairs, blankets, milk, popcorn, and a great view of the screen. I think they really enjoyed the experience!

Up next: Marathon Training review for the past 2 weeks!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Valley Park

Happy Valley Park was the site of a lot of fun for our family over the weekend...

4th of July Festivities

I had to work until noon on the 4th, so we let the kids nap and made our way to Happy Valley Park around 7pm, just in time for the crazy heat to go away and enjoy the nice evening. Because several other fireworks shows were canceled this year, Happy Valley's crowd was much bigger than it has been in past years. We set up on the outskirts of the soccer field and met up with the Boxell's, the Langley's, and some friends of the Langley's. The kids ran around playing, the guys played yard games, and we enjoyed the music from the stage- which we could hear perfectly even though it was way on the other side of the park. The fireworks began around 10pm and by the time we packed up and sat in traffic, we rolled into the driveway around 11:30pm. Long, but fun night!

The kids definitely got their fill of junk food and juice... :)

Cooper and his future bride, Halzie.

Rick and Kevin enjoying some friendly competition.

VERY excited for the fireworks to begin!

Abundant Life Church in the park

What an amazing experience it was having church in the park on Sunday morning. Our church provided the stage and volunteers for the 4th of July celebration at Happy Valley Park. We normally have 5 different services over Saturday and Sunday in addition to services at a campus in Parkrose, so using the stage and field for church the next morning was a great way to celebrate community and bring all the church together. Tyson had a hard time sitting still after the music stopped, but we still enjoyed the whole experience.

This was the view from our side of the crowd, just a fraction of the hundreds of people, all gathered together in worship.

Tyson, just before he decided sitting still and quietly was not in the plan for the morning... he is definitely our little social butterfly. He spent most of the 4th and the church service walking around the blankets surrounding us, introducing himself and chatting- "Hi! I Tyson!"

After the service, we let the kids play at the splash pad and had a picnic lunch. Riley enjoyed playing in the water much more than Tyson did...
(Tyson is actually in the way background of the photo, playing near puddle)
This is how Tyson spent most of his time... not in time-out, just sitting on the bench.

Cooper got a little more quality time with his gal pal, too.

Future's so bright...

* Up next: Our night at the Drive-In *

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Burning questions

Okay, so in addition to wanting advice and tips for running/training, I have another request. I'm thinking of doing a Q & A Flight Attendant Chronicles edition in the near future and need your help. Are there any burning questions you would like answered about life and times of a stewardess? It seems to be a very facsinating job to many people (Do you work the same route?, Do you have to pay for your own hotel?, etc.), so I'd love to answer any questions about my glamorous profession! I got the idea from David, who suggested I read an article he came across about flight attendants and thought it may be fun.

So, keep the questions and running tips coming. You can post them here in the comments section or email me!

Working and running

Alright, so I lied a little in my last post about being better about posting this week. As I carried my bag to the car last night to leave for the airport, I decided the laptop was just too heavy this week and left it at home once again. I apologize to all my loyal readers who keep getting the same old boring posts from days ago- I'll have much to write about next week after the 4th of July festivities at Happy Valley Park and I have another edition of The Flight Attendant Chronicles in the works, too!

As far as running goes, I've done my last 3 runs (6, 4, and 4 miles) while pushing a jogging stroller, the 4 mile runs I pushed the DOUBLE jogging stroller! I can't explain how much I am looking forward to my run on Friday- not only because I won't be pushing any whiney kids, but because I will be running in one of my favorite cities- San Diego! I will enjoy a nice cool run along the bay of San Diego and enjoy every single minute of it! I'm only scheduled for a 3 mile run, but I'll most likely do my favorite 5 mile route down to the end of the harbor and back- I can't wait!

I'm looking for some advice and tips for this whole training process. Any training and/or race day tips out there? Favorite songs to work out to that I can add to my running playlist? Please share any tips or advice you can... I'm going to have to work really hard at not getting burned out through this adventure! Thanks!