That Couple

Daddy Man called me in a panic this morning. He couldn’t find his Garmin. He thought he had it in his gym bag, but when he dug through it, it was missing, along with his road ID. He asked me to look in his bike helmet…no Garmin.

I searched through the whole house, checking all the spots he usually leaves it. It wasn’t in the pile of winter running gloves, headbands, and hats drying on top of the dryer. It wasn’t in the basket on his dresser that holds his extra gloves, Bondi Bands, heart rate monitor strap, and extra shoe laces. It wasn’t in the basket on my dresser with my heart rate monitor strap, swim goggles, handheld water bottle, extra Tifosi lenses, and the rest of my running/biking/swimming accoutrements. It wasn’t on the kitchen counter where our Garmin chargers hang out. (Why can’t they use the same charger? Why, Garmin? Why?) And it wasn’t on the kitchen table with last weekend’s discarded race bib still attached to his race belt.

After I had searched everywhere, I stopped to laugh. We really are that couple. Daddy Man referred to us as such on our summer trip to Manhattan, KS, where he competed in the Apple Triathlon. We spent the entire two hour trip talking about running, biking, swimming, our goals for racing, our training, and our love of this sport. It felt normal, like conversations like that always happened between us. We were so into our conversation that we missed our exit and had to go 20 minutes out of our way. Daddy Man turned to me and said, “We are that couple. Aren’t we?”

He meant…that athletic couple. The couple that runs together, bikes together, swims together, races together. And man, does it feel good! I never thought of myself athletic, but now everywhere I turn people are asking me for workout advice, running advice, and gear advice. They tell me how good I look, how tone my body is. Me? Toned?

Even though I was frustrated at the missing Garmin, I smiled at the thought of being that couple. I’m thankful I married an athletic boy who inspired and brought the athletic girl in me to the surface.

I was about to take a break from searching when I thought to go back to the helmet. His helmet was empty, but hanging on the same hook next to it was my helmet. We are that couple after all. And nestled inside, next to my cold weather biking gloves, was his Garmin and his road ID. Whew…crisis averted.

Thanks, Daddy Man, for being that couple with me!

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Jingle Bell Run – Race Report

And I thought the Turkey Trot was cold! As we headed to Exploration Place, I checked the temperature. The wind chill was -7! Brrrrrrrr! On the plus side, we didn’t have to wait outside in the cold before the race started. We hung out inside the nice heated Exploration Place lobby until literally two minutes before the race started. And we were off for our 4 mile run!

The first mile flew by and then Brown hollered that his shoe was slipping off his foot. Daddy Man bent down to retie it only to have Brown’s entire shoelace come off in his hand. I had strung jingle bells through the last loop of his shoestring and it had rubbed through the entire lace! NuhNuh was right behind us and rigged his shoestring by tying a knot in the broken place. We only lost about 3-4 minutes with the pit stop, but it took me a bit to warm back up after it.

Brown got a stitch in his side at about 2.5 miles and we had to take two walk breaks and get him to stretch and deep breathe it out. Our boy is a trooper for sure! We picked up the pace after the mile 3 marker and finished the last mile with an under 11min/mile pace. Daddy Man and I hung back and let our boy sprint to the finish. The photographer got a pretty great shot. The look on Daddy Man’s face says it all…pure pride and joy!

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And here’s me, grinning like an idiot. Gosh, I love running! And check out my awesome new Reebok cold weather running outfit. Yay Black Friday shopping! I got two compliments on it. Underneath it is my purple Target C9 cold weather running outfit. It was THAT cold! The thing that really saved me was the hand warmers shoved into my gloves. Those things are worth their weight in gold!

The finish line ended at the Exploration Place side doors, so we walked right back into the warmth and headed straight for the hot chocolate, coffee, donuts, bagels, and fruit. We definitely got our money’s worth there. We decided to go ahead and head home, but Daddy Man decided to check the results print outs for our official time. We then realized that Brown had gotten first in his age group! (So what if he was first of only two!) We hung around for the awards and our big picked up his second hardware of his six month running career!
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Brown and his medal!
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Brown and his NuhNuh!

Say Grace 5K – Race Report

I made someone cry during this race. I hope it’s not the last time it happens, but I hope it’s the last time I make this certain person cry at a race. I made Brown, my little runner man, cry. I’ll explain.

I hadn’t run a fast race in a while and I was feeling the itch. I shared this idea with Daddy Man who encouraged me to head closer to the front of the pack. I waved him off and said I would just start with them. He assumed that meant I had decided to not go fast and just stay with them. Well…I guess I changed my mind about half a mile into the race and I turned the jets on. I kept a steady 10min/mile pace for the last portion of the race and tried to sprint to the end but I was out of gas. It just wasn’t my day. I crossed the finish line in a little over 32 minutes (31:39 is my PR), grabbed a bottle of water, and found a spot to watch my boys and Mom finish. I figured they were only a couple of minutes behind me. I waited…and waited. Finally I saw Mom. She finished in a little over 35 minutes. Then I saw my guys. Daddy Man had a scowl on his face and Brown just looked crestfallen. Uh oh.

When I took off, Brown tried to stay with me and couldn’t. Daddy Man said he just fell apart. He walked a lot. His usually 11min/mile pace was non-existent. When I found them on the other side of the finish line, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Mom, I thought you were going to run with me.” Heartbroken.

I made him a promise that I would run the rest of the races this year with him. I don’t need to run fast. I don’t need to push my pace. I will run with my son, who makes running fun every single time. My little runner man in his new Brooks Pureflows, just like Daddy Man’s shoes.

Of course, a blueberry muffin and a Double Gobble medal around his neck perked Brown right up. We all got Double Gobble medals for completing the Turkey Trot and the Say Grace 5K.

After the run, we all went home, got Thanksgiving dinner in the oven, and tucked in for a well deserved big meal.

Turkey Trot 2 Mile – Race Report

One word – Brrrrrrr….

I’ve been running seriously for six months now. Every season is new to me. Summer was good. Long hours to run. Daddy Man was on summer break, so childcare wasn’t an issue. The heat was sometimes an issue, but running earlier in the day was usually good. Fall was awesome. Perfect temperatures. Beautiful scenic views. My already favorite time of year got even better. Winter….brrrrrr….. I’m still learning how to dress. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t. I think I did pretty good at the 39th annual Turkey Trot in Wichita. This is what I wore for the 2 mile run.

  • Underwear. Victoria’s Secret seamless Pink hipsters. If you have to wear underwear, these are great.
  • C9 fleece-lined running tights from Target
  • Boot-cut compression pants from Old Navy
  • Two pairs of my running socks
  • C9 basic tank from Target
  • C9 fleece-lined long sleeve running turtleneck top
  • Quarter-zip fleece pullover from Old Navy that I bought the day before as a splurge item at $12. Best $12 I’ve spent in a while. That thing saved me from freezing my booty off!
  • My new Saucony wind mittens that my awesome sister-in-law sent as an early Christmas gift.
  • fleece-lined headband

That’s a lot of stuff for a small 2-mile run. But I ended up being on the course for 30 minutes, so the extra layers were welcome. I didn’t PR, but my 4 year old did. Blue ran with me! My tiny little man ran 2 miles! I was so proud of him. He took maybe three 30 second walk breaks. And it wasn’t until about 1.7 miles into it that he admitted to being tired and asking how much further. But once he saw the finish line, he took off and finished with a smile.

The Turkey Trot had an extra bonus this year. The first 2000 registered runners got a coupon from a free Honeysuckle White turkey that we picked up at the finish line. Daddy Man, Brown and I were all registered, so we brought home three birds. When I heard about the turkeys, I envisioned small 8-10lbs turkeys. Oh no…these suckers are each over 15lbs! I’ve never cooked a whole turkey before. I guess I have three chances now to perfection my method.

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The best finish photo yet!

Mustache Dash 5K – Race Report

The mustache obsession is sweeping the nation. I don’t really understand it, but I will gladly participate in it. I will admit to drawing a mustache on the outside of my and my sons’ pointer fingers and taking silly pictures, collapsing in giggles. It’s funny.

Add running with mustaches, and you’ve got something that I would find VERY fun. So naturally when I heard about the Mustache Dash 5K, put on by the KC Running Company, I signed up immediately. I’m not sure if they assigned bibs based on when you signed up or by last name, but I was number 2 and Daddy Man was number 3. I secretly pretended I was a professional athlete at Kona for the entire race…ok…not really.

My mom signed up as well, being the badass grandmother runner that she is. She found pink mustaches in the toy section of our supermarket. Pink mustaches = Tough Girl Tutu! It was the first race in my tutu and it made it that much more fun. I might have to get a Christmas themed race tutu for our December races.

I decided to run with Mom during this race. Mom does not claim to be a runner. She likes to think of herself as a cyclist with a wogging hobby. Wog = the hybrid of running and jogging. Jogging is an evil word…I don’t think jogging. I like running. I digress.

Daddy Man’s brother ended up running with us as well. A true family affair. He was in town from NY for his and Daddy Man’s uncle’s funeral the day before. Funerals are sad and death is depressing, but seeing family that we don’t see often is always a good thing.

Daddy Man, Daddy Man’s Brother, and Brown take off and kept a steady 11 min pace. Mom and I held closer to a 12 min pace. She walked a couple places and I shuffled along side her. Mom can walk FAST. The course was fun. It circled the Old Town district in Wichita and did the small loop around Exploration Place.

I ended up crossing the finish line in just over 35 minutes, about 30 seconds ahead of Mom and about a minute behind Daddy Man, Daddy Man’s Brother, and Brown. A nice Saturday morning run for yours truly. And very enjoyable because I got to do it wearing a tutu and a pink mustache.

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Our mustache’d crew!

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Blue got to hang with Pa (my dad) while the rest of us ran. Those two are cut from the same cloth. They went to McDs for breakfast “beedos” (burritos). And then got donuts from Flying Donuts for us to enjoy post race.

Happy Birthday, BRF!

Today is my best running friend’s birthday. She is 55 years old. In the last seven years, she and I have lost a combined 70lbs, and we’re closing in on 75lbs lost. She and I were heavy together, and now we are skinny together. We send each other dressing room pictures of ourselves in clothes that we normally wouldn’t have dreamed of even trying on. We bought skinny jeans together just last week.

We do a lot together, not only because we are best running friends, but also because we are mother and daughter.

My freshman year of college, I tipped the scales at 175lbs. I’m only 5’3″ so that was a lot of weight to carry around. My BMI was at the bottom end of the obese scale. I must have hid it well because most people don’t believe me when I tell them I weighed that much.

I asked my mom not too long ago how she felt about my weight issues when I was younger. She said it upset her to see me heavy, but she didn’t really know what to do. She was struggling too and figured it was just our genetics.

My senior year of high school, she was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia. Her doctor told her that she would feel better if she could lose a little weight. She started walking. She started eating better. She lost a little weight.

Then I got pregnant. My doctor told me it was “perfectly fine” for me to gain 20-25lbs during my pregnancy. I did the math in my head and panicked. There was no way I was going to weigh 200lbs when I delivered. No way. So I started walking with my mom. I started going to water aerobics. I didn’t gain 25lbs. I didn’t even gain 20lbs. I weighed less when I got home from the hospital than when I got pregnant.

I was happy to have lost a little weight, so I kept walking and taught myself how to cook. I researched nutrition and started eating a lot better. When my oldest was 15 months old, I got pregnant again, and again I managed to weigh less when I got home from the hospital than when I got pregnant.

By this time, my mom had lost quite a bit of weight and bought a bike. She started riding in addition to her walking. Eventually she started what she refers to as “wogging,” her term for walk/jogging.

Now I’m a slightly competitive person…ok, I’m really competitive. My mom says it’s genetic…from the other side of the family. I didn’t want my mom to be skinnier than me. I kicked it into high gear. Not to be shown up by my 50-year-old mom, I bought a bike too and started riding. I started running. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe lactose intolerance and eliminated dairy from my diet, which allowed me to easily drop 5lbs. I caught up to her and then a little bit more. My BMI is now in the healthy weight range. I weigh less than I did in eight grade.

Do I care that I got to buy size 8 skinny jeans and my best running friend bought size 10? A little bit. But I know if she keeps it up, she’ll be buying size 8s of her own before too long. Or maybe she can have mine, because she’ll push me as hard as always and I’ll be buying size 6s!

So…HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best running friend a girl could ask for! And to the best mom and the best friend a daughter could ask for! Thanks for always pushing me to better myself and for being an inspiration not only to me, but to every person who encounters you in this life.

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Run for the Roses 5K – Race Report

I envisioned the night and morning before my race to go something like this. Eat dinner. Lounge around watching TV and stretching. Going to bed and sleeping with probably a little tossing and turning. Wake up. Eat PB toast and coffee. Poop. Head to the race.

This is how it actually went. Eat dinner. Lounge around watching TV and stretching. Suddenly get really nauseous. Puke A LOT in an hour time frame. Ingest large quantities of antiemetic medications, some of which stayed down, some of which didn’t. Drift in and out of consciousness which resulted in my husband removing my glasses once I felt asleep. Wake up with a still sour stomach. Moan about missing the race. Listen to encouraging words from my husband. Sip water that stayed down. Got my race kit on. Took another antiemetic pill. Headed to the race.

Yeah…less than ideal.

I don’t remember exactly what my husband told me, but what stuck with me is that I would regret not trying. I kept the water down. I didn’t feel totally awful. And I knew I would definitely regret not trying after ten weeks of training.

I threw my goal in the trash. I knew I couldn’t break 30 minutes feeling the way that I did. But I was going to run. I was going to RACE. I was going to do something I had never done before. And I did it.

Run for the Roses includes a one mile race and a 5K race. It’s a small local race paired with the city of Rose Hill’s Fall Festival. This year was the 29th annual Run for the Roses. The course is a fast, flat, out and back south on the main drag of the city.

I started out in the front part of the pack and was quickly passed. I started out too fast, running the first quarter mile at an under 9 min pace. My Garmin probably thought someone else was wearing it. Slow down, deep breaths. I got my pace down to my fast training pace, but I slipped down slower once I hit the start of mile 3. My splits ended up being 9:23, 10:12, 10:55. Started out too fast…duh. I ended up running side by side with another woman. She eventually passed me in the last sprint. I was also passed by one of the stroller pushers…dang, she sprinted the last quarter mile like a badass. I did manage to pass one young boy who obviously bonked. I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed passing him…knowing in my head that a 31-year-old mom was beating the high schooler.

I crossed the finish line and listened to the beep of my chip registering. It was such a surreal experience. I’ve watched my husband cross a lot of finish lines, but this time it was me. I did it…on my own. I stepped out of my comfort zone and ran my race, ran my pace. And I can’t wait until the next one.

Of course, the best part was not what I accomplished, but what my six-year-old did. He loves to run. He loves to race. When his daddy nudged him out of bed that morning, the first word out of his mouth was “RACE!” He finished 3rd in his age group. My hero.