Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Let's Get This Party Started

Once upon a time, I decided that I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 30. And so I did. And it was good. And I liked that marathon, and knew that I could do better than 4:13, and so I ran another one. And it was better. But the Boston Marathon qualifying standard of 3:35 still seemed like a pipe dream, something that was reserved for runners far more experienced, more dedicated, more *real* than I was. Because I wasn't *really* a runner. I just pretended to be one, because the medals are cool.

But as time and miles ticked by, I started to feel like a *real* runner, and then, this spring, Boston started to feel within reach. I didn't go for it at the Xenia Marathon, and I finished in 3:39. Four minutes off from BQ, but 6 minutes better than my original spring marathon goal. I could have pushed harder and I may have made it, but I had my sights set on the New Jersey Marathon. Unfortunately, that one turned out to be a complete disaster - but it had to happen sometime. No guts, no glory!

This week begins my first serious attempt to get to Boston. I'm using the plan outlined in the FIRST program, the BQ-version of the marathon training program that I've used to take 34 minutes off since I ran my first 26.2. They say it best - "The Road to Boston is Steeper."

After I blew it in my hometown, I asked the pace group if I could take home the 3:35 flag. It will hang in my basement where I can see it from the treadmill, a reminder of what I'm aiming for to keep my legs moving when those speed intervals and long tempo runs get in my head and I want to quit. Because that feeling happens a lot. I'm setting my sights on 3:30, to give some extra breathing room. This is the first really serious goal that I've set for myself, other than just finishing the damn thing to begin with. I may fall flat on my face and short of my goal, but at least I can say that I tried. There's always next year :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014


It feels like only yesterday we fit so perfectly in the same giant comfy chair that I rocked big brother in, five-years-in-the-blink-of-an-eye earlier - her swaddled tightly, just fitting into the space of my lap, head near breast, legs tucked gently under my arm. Today she's a mess of limbs, flailing about and tugging me in unnatural directions, clawing at my neck with her talon-like fingerails, craning her neck up and around so as not to miss a single beat.

Milk calms the savage beast, and she quiets, stills, begins to accept the fact that night has come, bedtime is upon us, and we must separate for a few hours. She drinks lazily, knowing that slow sips will delay the inevitable. Even then, I see her eyes grow heavy and flutter closed. I cuddle her close and breathe deeply.

The sweet, sweet smell of newborn freshness has been replaced with faintly sour milk and the lingering smell of enchiladas from dinner a few hours earlier, the onions and garlic overpowering the post-dinner scrubdown efforts before diaper and pajamas.

I try to take in the feeling of her weight on my chest - the warmness, the sound of soft breathing as she falls deeper into sleep, head nestled under my chin, hand on my neck. I know that this can't last forever, and that these moments are fleeting, so I soak them in, putting life outside the door on hold, trying to memorize every bit of baby that she still is, because tomorrow is another day, and she'll be older, then.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Kiddos

So when I last left you, I had a 3 month old and a newly 5 year old. I had just turned 32. My last blog was actually on my birthday. The kids looked like this:

And here they are, 8 months (and four teeth lost and two teeth gained) later. Charlie is a month away from being a first grader, and Em is a few short weeks away from the big First Birthday. They're growing and learning and being wonderful little people.

I was working for a tiny non-profit that was jointly owned by a big, national organization and a small local one. In January, the big organization bought their half from the smaller one, and life at work changed. It has mostly changed for the better, in terms of opportunities for growth and interesting projects, but we're still working through the logistics and the organizational growing pains. Still staying in Cincinnati. For now.

I was getting back into running, and hoping to run a 1:45 half marathon in the Cincy Half. I didn't actually run that race - Em wasn't a good sleeper, I was always tired, kind of cranky, and couldn't get my shit together and muster up the discipline to follow a training plan. I've since found that motivation, and ran a 1:43 half and a 3:39 full (and proceeded to bomb the NJ Marathon this past Sunday, but that's another post).

I've been traveling all over - Em and I went to a conference in Boston. She was a hit with the crowd and was very well-behaved through both of my presentations. We were even Twitter famous :)

We took a last minute trip to visit family in Seattle, spent thanksgiving in New Jersey, stayed home for Christmas, I took a quick trip to DC, went to NJ last week, and I'm currently in Kansas City. It's flat here. The polar vortex pushed us to our inside-the-house entertainment limits.

And that's about it in a nutshell. The short version, at least.


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