Summer 2014 Recap

We didn’t get to go on any vacations this summer. My oldest worked her first job. The middlest had her first regular babysitting gig. The youngest participated in a lot of sports camps. We went to the library each week. We didn’t go to the beach nearly often enough. And, I’ll admit it, a lot of television was watched.

However, we accomplished nearly everything on our Summer Fun List!

  • Hikes at Taltree & Dunes: Yep! We did them both and we’ll do both again before fall arrives.
  • Canoe trip down the Tippecanoe: Yep! Last Friday we went on our first canoe & kayak trip. We even convinced Matt to join us. It was a great day! I think we’ll definitely do this again as a family.
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  • State Fair: Sadly, the weather forecast took this one off our list. We had one day set aside with no obligations and the forecast was cold and wet. It’s hard to justify driving two hours there and back when the forecast looks lousy. On the flip side, we’re still making a trip to Indy to play this weekend – but school has started so it doesn’t count for the summer fun list.
  • Trips to the farmer’s market: Accomplished and they were delicious!
  • Brunch at Bartlett’s: We did this after a dunes hike and it was soooooooo good. So good that my son asks nearly every weekend if we can go back for brunch. We need to make that happen soon. YUM.
  • Birky’s Farm Lunch: There is a local pork farmer that has opened a restaurant and market. Nearly everything on the menu comes from their farm and is homemade. I’ve been wanting to find time to make this drive for lunch and it was delicious.
  • Three trips to Chicago: We had four ideas in case we found extra time. We didn’t get to make four trips but the three we made were tons of fun – Lincoln Park Zoo; Adler Planetarium; Art Institute & hanging out in Millennium Park.
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  • Chicago Arboretum: We didn’t make it here but it was all my idea and not something high on the kids’ list. We swapped this out for an afternoon of miniature golf. So we’ll consider this an even trade.
  • Bears training camp: J changed his mind about this trip so we came up with another swap for the list – blueberry picking.
  • Bonus trip: Indiana University! We snuck down to Indy on a Saturday, picked up K’s lifelong friend and toured campus on a beautiful summer day.
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I think that’s a pretty successful, fun, active summer! I know I enjoyed each of those adventures. Most of all I enjoyed having my kids away from distractions and all together.

It’s time to go for the run: marathon training update

I’m writing to you from week 9 of the 20 week marathon training program. It’s getting to that part of the schedule where I feel like that old Dunkin Donuts commercial:

I’m not burned out but I’m getting into the runs that require advance planning. I have to start thinking about how/what I’m eating and drinking more often. I have to plan long routes. And I know what’s coming for me – that might be the part that is weighing me down the most. I’m still feeling good though. Taking care of the aches & pains that pop up. Icing & stretching when needed. I’m determined to do this one in such a fashion that I enjoy the accomplishments of training AND relish crossing the finish line.

  • I’m still keeping things slow and steady.
  • I’m still loving the run/walk interval plan.
  • I’m not as diligent about the weight training as I should be but I was starting to get sore and hurt for more than one day after weight training & running so I’ve scaled back a bit and I think it’s okay.
  • Still not finding time for yoga. Maybe once the kids get back to school and we’re on a more regular routine?
  • I’m not letting the training rule my life. Case in point: I have four runs scheduled each week. This week, one of those runs is on a day where I have fun plans with the kids. I opted to run it a day early so it’s not a hindrance. I won’t do that kind of schedule manipulating often, but I’m happy that I know enough about myself and my running to do it from time to time. Because while the marathon is a big goal – it’s not the most important thing in my life.

The training feels so very different from the last time I tried this marathon adventure. I’m feeling stronger. I’m more excited than nervous about tackling the big runs ahead of me. And while I have my doubts about putting myself out there when I know how long it’s going to take… times where I feel like I have no business lining up with true distance runners… I’m looking forward to the accomplishment. Best of all, I’m enjoying the journey.

Checking things off our summer fun list

The past three days were the kinds of days that make me love summer. They remind me of years when the kids were younger and our schedules looser. They let me sneak my kids away from their normal distractions and just soak them in. They were wonderful.

We always make a list of fun activities to do in the summer and this weekend we managed to check off many things…

We picked blueberries…
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The oldest and I along with her best friend from preschool (!) toured the beautiful campus of IU Bloomington…
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We went on a dunes hike…
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It was a busy weekend. And it was one of my most favorite weekends of summer 2014.

20% of the way there

I officially have one month of marathon training under my belt. With this slow but steady plan I’m following that means I’m 20% of the way through. Good news! I can easily run 20% of the marathon distance (that’s 5.24 miles in case you don’t feel like doing the math).

I’m going to be honest, other than the fact that I’m being very disciplined about my exercise schedule it doesn’t feel like marathon training yet. I think that’s a good thing. Last time I tried this, the training stressed me out. I was nearly frantic trying to get my miles in. This new plan is much less stressful. It probably helps that I have a lot more running experience to fall back on as well. I still have that slightly nauseous feeling when I look at those 16, 18 & 20 mile runs but the rest of the plan feels manageable. That’s good.

I am going to try and check in every four weeks as I work through this training schedule. This check in:

  • Happy to report that I’m consistently lifting weights weekly and doing my PT stretches on an almost daily basis. Hoping next month’s check-in includes regular yoga attendance. That was a big help during last summer’s Olympic Tri training and I know it will help my body stay strong & healthy for the marathon too.
  • I’m loving the run/walk plan. I was afraid it would drive me crazy but the intervals feel great. I’ve done a bit of experimenting and for now I’m sticking with 6/1. Those one minute walk breaks are surprisingly refreshing and really help keep my energy consistent for a longer period of time. Of course the really long tests are still to come.
  • I’m trying to make my first run of the week some sort of challenge – track workouts or hill repeats or hilly routes. I have no pace goals to drive my plan but it feels good to vary the runs when I can.
  • I’m slow. Like, really slow. I consciously tell myself at the start of each run to keep things comfortable and easy. I am focused on building distance and stamina – not speed. I know enough about my body to know that this is the best way for me to train for the marathon. I’m not going to lie though – it’s still discouraging to see some of my paces at the end of a run. However, the current pace I’m running would be perfect on marathon day so I just put my head down and keep with the plan.

One week at a time is the mantra for the next few months.

It took eight years

    Eight years ago we moved into this house. As you can imagine a lot has changed in those eight years. The toddler who played in the moving boxes…


    now looks like this kid.

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    And of course we’ve made changes to the house. The basement has been finished, new furniture has been bought, rooms have been painted. Well, all rooms but one. The “dining room” (which I put in quotation marks because we’ve never used it as such) has never been painted. It has transformed from a playroom to a homework room but the walls of this room hold a special honor. They display the artwork of my kids starting with our very first school year here. As J and I were adding a few things brought home at the end of the school year I realized that we’ve completely filled the main wall. Looking at it brings glimpses of my children at different ages. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in my front door. And now that it’s full, it’s also a reminder of how long my children have been in this house and how much they’ve grown in eight years.

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