Friday, November 29, 2013

So much to be thankful for

Time for the I am thankful post.  Was going to post something on FB but I have so much to be thankful for so I'd better just do it here.  Right now I am thankful for a sleeping toddler so I can blog:)

I am super thankful for four healthy dogs.  Yes, two of them are seniors and two are silly and young but they are all very healthy and happy and I am very thankful for that.  Not a day goes by that I don't log into FB to see someone loosing a dog or finding out about cancer in a dog and my heart goes out to them.  I almost lost miller this year so I totally get where they are coming from and my heart goes out to all of them.

I am thankful for my healthy, happy, super active baby. Some times I don't get to do what I want when I want to or my activities are made harder by his presence but again, I read too many stories of kiddos that are battling genetic or terminal illness and I thank the Lord that I was spared these issues thus far and hope to be spared them for ever and ever.  I love watching him grow up and discover the world around him.  He is the climbing phase and trying to give me a heart attack on a daily basis but I am thankful that he has also learned how to fall carefully, how to sit down and scootch or lay on his stomach to go down something, and how to leave certain things alone no matter what.  He still pushes his limits and we have just installed yet another baby gate but I am thankful he has the mobility and motor skills to get around and get into trouble.

I am also thankful that I have had an injury free cycle of training and as I embark on the next cycle of training, I hope to continue to be injury free.  Once again, I read lots of blogs and am FB friends with lots of runners and it is so tough reading when some one is injured.  I treat myself like a true athlete, even if I am not really a true athlete, and get lots of massages and stretch and foam roll.  As i try something truly epic (for me that is) of four half marathons in 3 months, I hope to continue to be thankful for no injuries.

I am also thankful for my job even if it is lately very stressful.  I think we will be able to remain open, even if it is only another year.  We have lots of clients but we are having lots of issues with sample prep and well, the buck stops at me.  We have tried lots of protocols and lots of ideas and we are closer but still not where we need to be.  I am thankful to have so many awesome scientist helping me get this straight and I am blessed to be trusted with coming up with such a big protocol that takes some a whole PhD to get straight.

I am also thankful for my hubby and for him to have his job mostly this year.  These last few months have been hard with him working so much but I will take that versus us not having two incomes.  He has for years put up with my dog habit and my science habit and now he puts up with my running habit and even is running more and more so he can say he has an addiction too!  He has endured many mornings of taking care of an infant so I can go work out or run and he still lets me watch the one tv show I LOVE (AHS) and takes care of andrew that night.  He still grits his teeth when the dogs have accidents or he has to wrestle hair bunnies the size of our child, but he does so and loves me still.
Working on a toy car at the discovery center
I am also very thankful for my mom who has become the best grammy ever.  I think the dogs taught her how to be a great grammy anyway so the transition to a tiny human was easy.  She just drove 9 hours out to KS to deliver a van that her and my stepdad bought for me because it was a steal of a deal and they couldn't pass up on it.  I am 36 and I have yet to buy my own vehicle because they keep giving me vehicles.  Yep, the vehicles are old but they get me to where i need to go and I am thankful that they love me enough to keep giving me vehicles so that I continue to commute and travel.  

Last but not least, I am thankful for my friends, agility, running, FB, college, high school, work, whatever you are.  You have listened to me, gave me advice, helped me with my kiddos, trained with me, watched my endless post about training, celebrated my accomplishments both agility and running and helped me with mommy issues as I navigate this new lot in life.  I probably would have lost my mind if it weren't for you.  You are too many to name so I won't even try, but thank you.

And with that, I will end my thank yous. Lots to be thankful about!  Now bring on the holidays, winter running and another year that hopefully will be full of awesomeness!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend runs

Hello winter, nice to finally meet you this year.  This will be my fist adventure into running in the winter.  In previous years I either hibernate, recover from some injury or hide in the gym and strength train.  This winter will be different.  I have four half marathons coming up in the spring, two in april, one in may and one in june.  So i don't get the luxury of taking the winter off this year and I am okay with that.  I don't want to loose what i have and have to start over.  Starting over is tough.  I like where I am at now and I don't want that to ever change.

Had my first really tough day saturday.  Let's just say feels like 16 with 20 mph winds.  The kind that cut you like a knife.  My running partner actually turned around and went back.  I was tempted but I wanted to be tough and get through it.  There will be worse days for sure.  I figured if i could master that day, I could make it through most anything.  The bad thing was, my watch wouldn't find satellites and I had my phone buried in layers so when my BRF peeled off to go back, I had to hurriedly dig my phone out and probably missed at least a mile.  The miles i got on my phone and watch were 5.68 miles in 57:28 or 5.85 in 59:18.  Both had me at about a 10:08 minute mile.  I know I at least ran a mile before I got anything turned on.  I am SO excited because that is so much quicker than my usual "easy" runs and that was with the wind and cold!!!!  I need to do a race to see where I am at.  Apparently cold weather makes me run faster!  When I got home and in the house, I was aware at how cold it really was.  I was numb all over.  I couldn't use my hands at all even though I had gloves on.  I couldn't get stella's harness off and had to have tony get it off because she was running through the house dragging me.  I am happy with my winter gear that i have purchased.  I did not feel cold at all even though the wind was howling. I ran in my new target tights, my new brook's headband, my mizuno thermal breath shirt and my brook's jacket that i got at the expo with my new target gloves.  Target has some good stuff so if you need new gear and want to save money, go to target.  I got my mizuno stuff on the sale rack before last spring so didn't pay full price.  The only thing I would like is maybe some mittens to put over my gloves when it is super cold and maybe something to cover my face on really windy runs.

Today it was a bit warmer.  I think it felt like 21.  I took stella and deuce.  I had four on the docket but since I ran a little bit more yesterday, i could run 3.37 and be good to go.  We just ran.  I looked at my watch when the first mile passed, 9:25.  Hmmm...felt easy.  Next mile 9:19.  Still felt easy.  9:35 last mile because deuce took a poop and I had to stop.  Wow.  PR on my five K.  WOW.  That didn't even feel hard.  Major runner's high.  Immediately entered a race in december when I got home.  I always run faster in a race than I do at home by myself and bonus, this run I can run with stella.  Stay tuned!  Hope I can PR in this race too!  3.43 miles in 32:08.  Let's do this and do it right!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

saturday musings

Up before everyone else so I thought I would sit down and blog for a minute.  What all is going on right now, other than friday funday quizzes?  Well, winter has finally shown up.  After having a glorious week of 60s and 70s, thursday had ice and cold.  Like loose the power and get off early ice and cold.  Weird that we were in t shirts and shorts running just the night before.  But alas, she had to show her face at some point, and most of us were shocked it had been this long.  Granted, others south and north of us got snow so i guess i can't complain.  It was short lived and by the next morning, was mostly gone.  I have to admit though, I wussed out about running last night.  I figured most of the ice was gone but it was cold and dark and I just couldn't muster the will to run.  I have to get over this because winter is going to be like this for a few months for sure.  I have tried buying some new winter gear thanks to target and at the runner's expo at the half so I will be warm but I think i am just a warm weather runner.  I like sweating i guess.  SO this morning is my first below freezing run.  I guess I will get to test out all of my new stuff all in one run.  My next training cycle starts in january so need to use these next couple of months to get ready to brave this winter craziness.  Like this morning.  We are scheduled to do 6 miles and it is 24 out but feels like 14.  BRRRRRR!

Dog shows are all opening up that are in january and I am thinking about skipping the january ones.  I hate worrying about winter weather anyway so I may just sit these out this year.  I don't think i will skip the february USDAA show in lawrence.  Too close and my fav venue so will scrape the money up somehow.  We are getting another club in the area for USDAA and the local club was sold to someone who wants to do at least four shows a year so maybe i could just do USDAA?  The oklahoma club pulled alot of texas people and their venues were nice so I am betting they will have many shows next year to.  Just wished we could have finished our MX and MXJ this year.  Then i would be saying good bye AKC.  I am betting we won't get much practice this winter anyway.  I signed up to take a class from one of my friends at her little indoor (non heated but at least a roof over our head) barn and I have yet to get to actually go thanks to the hub's work schedule.  I am not complaining one bit.  Thanks to the hub's work schedule, I have been able to get some stuff paid off and get some nice winter gear.  So work god's don't mistaken my comments as complaining cause I am NOT.

Andrew is everywhere now.  Gibbering like he is talking to you.  Constantly.  I have no clue what he is saying.  Words sometimes accidentally come out.  I have heard him say all of the dog's names, NO, and then random words that I didn't even know he knew.  Right now he is obsessed with trains.  We live several blocks from tracks but you can hear them lout and clear and every time they go by, he says choo-choo.  Except he can't make the CH sound so it sounds like shoe-shoe.  SO cute!  We just bought him a big book of trains and he loves looking at the pics and pointing at the trains.  He has also discovered that stores have toys and he wants toys.  Makes shopping a whole new adventure.  Still trying to decide what to get him for christmas.  He loves trains so we have been looking for a train set that is good for toddlers.
This is his favorite but it was made in 1986 and we can't find one like this that is newer.  This is at the discovery center in topeka.  

We also found a rocking horse that is stuffed and the perfect size for him to get off and on to.  Might also be a good idea.  He loves cars and trucks too so anything he can push and make noises.  It is so much fun to find things for him right now.  I think we will do santa this year and stockings and I am so excited!  My biggest memory as a kid was getting a king sized snickers bar every year in my stocking and getting to eat it all that morning for breakfast.  Good times:)

Andrew is still going through food strikes periodically.  They drive me nuts but I know he won't starve to death.  His favorites suddenly become not, he will get stuck on a certain food and that is all he wants (see the post on fig newtons).  I have to admit, I like to feed him what is easy since I never cook and my hubby hasn't been home to cook so this child will be raised on spagetti os and hot dogs.  I guess i ate alot of that too and i turned out all right.  He still loves fruit which makes me happy and isn't too addicted to mcdonalds yet.  Hot dogs seem to be the go to food no matter what.  At least we have something when he goes on strike.   Some kids won't eat anything.  

Well time to toughen up and go for a run!  Hopefully I won't freeze to death!!!! Six miles and it feels like 14.  BRRRRR!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A little friday funday quiz

So I saw this on another blog post so I thought I would try it.  
Where is your cell phone? Right in front of me by the keyboard of my computer as I type.  It is pretty much always with me.
Your significant other? Tony C.  Been together since 2001, been married since 2004.  Wow, almost the big 10 for our anniversary!
Your hair? As usual, long and stringy and needs to be trimmed and colored.  Would love to be able to get it fixed more often but that is a luxury and way down on the list for things I need to get done. 
Your mother? Is my best friend.  I love her more than anything.  We talk twice a day on my commute to and from work and then various other times during the day on FB or the phone and we commonly skype at night so she can see her grand child.  
Your father?  I have two.  My step dad is retired from the fire department but still has a side job.  He really does love me but shows it in very odd ways.  LIke we don't talk regularly but he has bought all of my vehicles (well mom got me my first truck) and helped me pay for some of grad school.  He just recently bought me an older van than the one I drive but younger on mileage.  My real father lives in arkansas i think and works in memphis.  We talk maybe once or twice a year.  I would like to have better relationships with both.
Your favorite thingRunning or doing dog agility
Your dream last night? I dreamt that a DJ friend I have and I were trying to help another friend get a job.  It was very, very odd.  Her hair caught on fire at one point.  It never seemed to have a real point to it but I do remember we were in LA or some place that had alot of traffic.
Your favorite drink? Favorite soda=Coke zero with vanilla.  Favorite coffee=peppermint mocha.    I really wish water was my favorite but sadly it still isn't.  
Your dream/goal? To teach dog agility and show more and get back to the nationals that i use to do.  I miss those big events.  To run better and smarter and do more halfs and maybe a full (gulp) and even dip into tris.  To be a good mommy to my kiddo and show him how to be healthy and dream big.  
The room you are in? The lab next to the gene sequencer
Your fear? Heights for sure.  Death, especially in those I love.
Where do you want to be in six years? Still doing the things I love.  Loving my 40s and being healthy and active and maybe helping my hubby with his own business.  
Where were you last night? Sleeping with my kiddo, hubby and two aussies.
What are you not? Quiet.  Ever.
Muffins? Love the ones from paramour coffee.  The fruit combinations she does are amazing.  Favorite is raspberry lemon.
One of your wish list items?  Mizuno winter running tights.  Just wish they weren't so darned expensive
Where you grew up? Tennessee, western that is.  
The last thing you did? Designed a protocol with my boss for extracting high molecular weight DNA from eggs.
What are you wearing? Old navy jeans, KSU hoodie, and a white T.  Nike shoes and some plain on cotton socks.
Your TV?   Off because I am at work.  Regularly on disney jr.  I can sing all the theme songs to all the kids shows.  Have been known to watch episodes of sophia the first and doc mcstuffins sans andrew.  
Your pets? Four aussies, miller, harley, deuce and stella
Your computer? We LOVE our mac desktop.
Your life? Finally getting the hang of being a mommy and juggling all the other things in it.  I have cut back on a lot of things and that seems to have helped me find some peace and order amongst the chaos.  
Your mood?  Alot of stress right now with my job as we try and transition out of the beta testing phase and into the full service phase of being a gene sequencing lab.  I take care of that by being for the most part stress free at home or by running and drinking LOL.
Missing someone? My mom.  I miss her all the time even though we are in constant contact.  Wish she lived closer like oh, next door.  
Your Car? Transitioning from my 2002 dodge caravan that has 224, K miles to a 2000 dodge minivan that has 46 K.  
Something you are not wearing? uh undies?  Just kidding.  
Favorite store? Target!!!!
Your summer? LOVE it.  Even though it is hotter than satan's balls here in the summer.  Apparently I am a summer runner, even if we have to get up at 4 am to do so.  Plus, the student population disappears in the summer so we can park next to our building and eat at any of the local restaurants without a huge wait.  
Like someone? I like everyone.  For the most part.  
Your favorite colorPurple
When was the last time you laughed? With my student as we watched some GIF compilation.  
Last time you cried? This morning when I watched a video of a tornado hitting a house.  I think it is that the time of the month for emotions.  
What is one thing on your To-Do list? Get my old van sold. 
Okay, now it’s YOUR turn to go Old School!
Tell me more about you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The final shindig of the year

I was hoping to end this dog show year on a good note.  This year has surely been full of ups and downs.  Many emotions (and hormones) making me re evaluate my goals, my wants, my desires.  I have talked to many people about many angles from quitting agility to doing more and to teaching more and of course less which directly affects my ability to go to shows.  I have changed things around to make them fit in my life, just doing one dog show a month, teaching on weekends versus weeknights, and taking andrew with me to many of the shows so I don't miss him so terribly much.  I have tried to be happy with the small things, the good parts to every run, the good training runs, the online class I was taking, the students who stuck with me and made changes in their schedules so I could continue teaching.  Yet here I am, not anymore happy or fulfilled, still not knowing what to do or why.  Teaching is done for the winter, that was a no brainer.  Students, unless they are hardcore like me, usually don't appreciate doing course work in the freezing cold.  So that is on hold till next spring unless we have a really unusually mild winter.  Still thinking about workshops, trying to get some money coming in for shows.  Shows will be less through the winter, mainly because money will be tight, but also because I don't drive in winter weather.  Going to enter the January one in Lawrence, because it is so close and only two days.  Going to try and take a class with my friends and keep deuce in some sort of shape through the winter.  Really, really want to do USDAA in february.  But this all takes money and if none is coming in, well, then that might settle it.  Poor hubby is working like a dog right now with no end in sight.  Trying to get some bills paid off and trying to get some padding in the savings account.  Sadly, i think it will yet be another goaless year in 2014. More having fun, just being in the moment.  Okay so to talk about this weekend.

So normally when I have andrew, I don't enter friday so I can travel that day and take my time. When I entered this show, I had planned on camping with barb and not having andrew.  Closer till time, plans changed and I was to have andrew with me while hubby worked. I decided, rather than drag him in the car at 4 am to get down to wichita, we would just sleep till our normal time, head on down after doing some running around and hope for the best.  Got one run in, standard, with one refusal, my fault.  I had walked chute going into 180  of jumps with a rear but i got there faster than I thought I would and reverted to a front which caused him to not see the jump at all.  Stupid handler.  This seemed to be the theme for the weekend and I an not sure why.  Was not nervous, just made some stupid handling mistakes.  Same in standard the next day, did a blind off of the a-frame to the weaves and I guess he just didn't see them.  I thought all the work we did with the 2 x 2s caused him to seek out the weaves but i guess  that wore off.   Same story, different verse in JWW on sunday, did a three jump lead out, went to FC, did it too early and pulled him around a jump.  Now If I had wanted him to NOT take that jump, i am sure he would have:) I knew as soon as I rotated that i had screwed up.  Glad I kept my foul language in check.  I think i said something like, "and I am screwed".  The rest of the course was fast and flawless.  Even though he side stepped the jump, his YPS was in the high 6s which is awesome for a little aussie like deuce!.

Overall, we only had one really bad run and one bad walk of shame run.  He decimated the double (first obstacle in T2b) on sunday and I pulled him off and got a nice verbal correction.  He missed his weaves in standard on sunday so got a nice verbal correction in there too and got him back but then he lost it again further down the course and I had to pull him because he was just out of it.  In his defense, or maybe i shouldn't say it that way but, there were three dogs in heat at the trial.  One coming in crated next to him, one in that was kept in the car away from the other dogs, and one that was kept in the worker's room but was in and out of the show site.  Now, I expect him to work through these issues but you could tell sunday that his brain was not there.  He actually did two things very unlike him.  One, he sat in his crate and barked and whined pretty much till we left, with me correcting him and others yelling at him and covering him.  This was with many bathroom breaks to make sure he was okay in that department, which he was.  He was VERY concerned about andrew all that day, to the point of growling and lunging at another dog approaching andrew's stroller.  He has never done that, usually does not have a mean bone in his little wiggly body.  He is the most submissive intact male dog that i have ever met.  I guess in his defense, with all things considered, he did pretty well to keep it together.  Heck, my brain wasn't totally in it either.  Andrew had pretty much gone on a food strike friday morning and ate basically grapes and fig newtons all weekend.  And some spinach artichoke dip.  So fruits and veggies are good right?  He slept good at night, had a several whiny movements at the restaurant friday night and at the hotel saturday night but overall he was good.

 So why am I disappointed?  I am trying to be so many things right now, a mom, an agility competitor and a runner and I feel like I am failing in all departments, yes even in running right now. I wanted to end this agility year on a high, not a low.  Being removed from the show a day, I have been able to focus more on the good things and remember how awesome a few of his runs were from start to finish, minus my stupid mistakes.  I feel bad for letting him down.  I feel bad for my friends for having to deal with me and a toddler all weekend.  I had a huge pity party saturday when I decided to not subject the group to a whiny toddler and not go have huge margaritas but instead do the mommy thing and take him to mcdonalds (that has a huge indoor play area that sadly was not made for kids his age) and try and eat some nasty greasy food and get him to eat as well.  I just feel like I can't do both agility shows and be a mom and have a good time with my friends and I am just not okay with that.  I hated the way i felt all weekend, being selfish and wanting to be with my friends and feeling sorry for myself.  I have this wonderful, although right now strong willed busy bodied toddler that I love.  I need to be in the moment, even if that means no more shows for me for a while.  It's killing me inside to fight these emotions but that is where I am at right now.  Something is going to have to give and I don't want it to be my hubby's job or for me to go to show after show and have a bad experience and feel horrible.  I started packing stuff up saturday night because I just couldn't take andrew not eating and being fussy and wanted to be home.  I don't like feeling that way.  I think my plan of attack is going to be entering what little shows I can and if my hubby has to work that weekend, pulling from the show, even if his plans change and he doesn't work.  I would rather do that than enter and go and be miserable.

On to the topic of running.  I am done with my two weeks of recovery.  I took it very easy the first week and just did a 3 mile and then a race that saturday.  This last week, I did three runs, a 4, a 3 and a 4.7.  Wanted to run yesterday but I hadn't eaten thanks to andrew not eating and not allowing me to eat so I didn't think that was wise. Looking forward to running a full four days with a long run this week and getting back into the groove.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tails on the Trail 2013

why do i look so serious?
This was suppose to be my recovery week but i kind of had some poor planning on my part and planned a race the weekend after my half.  My running coach wasn't exactly thrilled but I promised i wouldn't push it and as luck would have it, it rained pretty much all week so I couldn't push it.  The trails were slick and muddy and there was standing water in several places so stella and i had to take it easy in several spots.  I was amazed that my legs were not sore all week but they felt tired and heavy.  Went for a shake out run friday with a new running friend and did 3 miles in like 30 minutes flat and we weren't even pushing it.  Hmmm...getting faster, slowly but surely.  We talked the whole way and neither one of us were out of breath.  So weird.  Anyway, mom, andrew, stella and I all headed to topeka saturday morning.  It was cold but sunny and the wind wasn't too bad.  I did this race last year and did it in 38 minutes.  It was my first race post andrew and I was mortified at my time.  My body was not in the best of shape from the c-section and my core was a wreck.  I had tried to do the bridge to 10 K program and I was NOT ready for this.  It was too much running too soon.  Instead of training smartly, I trained stupid and gave up.  Shortly after this race, I went back to my bootcamp style work outs 5 days a week and got my core back into the shape it needed to be for me to run and to run injury free.  This race is one of my favorites because you can take your dog and it is a very pretty trail run.  I need to do more trail work as it is really different than pavement running and is a different mental game.  I made sure of two things this year.  I made sure stella pooped before we ran since she pooped mid run last year and really killed my pace.  I also made sure I was at the beginning of the pack because the trails were narrow in some places and there were many walkers last year.  Also last year it was a gun start and no chip timing so being in the back, I started a lot later than the pack and still got a start time that they had.  So last year I was a finish time of 37:55 (12:14 pace), 17th in my age group and 96th overall.  I can't find the total runners, will have to see if that is somewhere.  This year, I ran it in 30:26 (9:49 pace) was 19th out of 185,  and 2nd in my age group.  A testament to good training.  I probably could have pushed it harder and gotten first but I just didn't want to fall and hurt myself.  I got a trophy, a bag of dog treats and stella got this super cool embroidered scarf.  I was more than a little happy:)  Can't wait till next year!