Sunday, October 12, 2014

Race report: Pt. Defiance 50K (I ran the 15K)

Today was my first trail race back since the sprained ankle this summer.  I ran the Pt. Defiance 15K (the past 3 years I've always run the 30K so this was a step down).  All in, the race was terrifying, exhausting, beautiful, and awesome. 

I placed 1st female in the 15K at 1:23 (an average of 8:20 per mile), and 6th overall.  And yes, that was AWESOME. 

The race started with a packed group of runners - more than I've ever seen for this race - but no-one wanted to step up to the starting line.  I stood ~10ft away from the start at the get go, and wound up being first off the line.

One of the greatest parts of doing this course year after year is I remember it, and I look forward to different turns and views.  There's the view of Vashon Island, the in-forest portions where all I can see, smell, and hear are trees, and the views of the mountain sloping straight down into the ocean.  At mile 3 I finally warmed up and my muscles and breathing remembered what racing is. 

In the forest, especially on the downhill left turn portions, I inwardly freaked with anxiety about my ankle turning again.  Towards the end I came to almost a complete standstill with ropes guiding me down the hill and roots and steep slopes jutting down. 


At the end, I saw Matty and was happy.  Happy to be back on trails, happy to have placed, and happy to see my awesome hub at the finish cheering me on.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pumpkin patch

Today we made our way to Snohomish to hit up The Farm for pumpkins and Halloween fun with our friends.  It was awesome - a perfect way to celebrate kids and the kids inside us grown ups.

We started at the petting zoo where I tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Matt to let me buy a rabbit.  Then we made our way to a giant bouncy zone where the boys went NUTS bouncing.  Jonny's little sister was the cutest sitting near her mommy on the corner feeling the residual bounce.  The boys on the other hand kept trying to figure out ways to fling themselves off the bounce zone.
 After a lot of bouncing, then more bouncing, we made our way through a giant, dark, scary corn maze.  Post-maze, the boys found horse-swings.
 While the kids picnic'd on hot dogs, chips, and fresh made kettle corn, us moms (JoAnn, Mica, and I) snuck off for some quick picks.
We ended the trip with the pumpkin patch where we gathered way too many pumpkins.  The fun part was you could see they were fresh cut off the vine.  
Good times.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Multi-family trip: Ft. Worden

Last weekend we got outta dodge with 6 other families (yes, 6!) all with our 5 year old boys, and some younger tots in tow.  The weekend was amazing and surprisingly not too kid-drama.  We left Seattle Friday afternoon for the Everett Ferry to get over to Ft. Worden (which BTW is where An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed).  At the Ft. we rented two old houses on officer's row.  I thought we'd be cramming in, but the houses were giant - so big that when I got lost in the rooms of one I got a little freaked.

Our days were a mix of playing at the beach:
 Mommys goofing out:

 Scootering around the house, and just hanging out as a big giant bunch:
 
On Saturday we walked down to the forts and the kids went wild running through long hallways and playing on the walls.  We're already trying to plan for next year, but believe it or not it's booked through Sept 2015!!  Crazy.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

San Diego and Disneyland roundup


We ended our summer with a final big trip to San Diego and then Disneyland. Most of our time in San Diego was spent in or by the water.  We went to the beach two of three days and could hardly pull the boys away.

One of the greatest things about being in SD was being with family.  We got some of the Taylor cousins together for dinner our first night which was awesome.  They took about 30sec to warm up to each other because it's been years since we've seen each other, but then they were full throttle play mode.
After an awesome weekend in SD, we drove up to Disneyland for my half marathon and for the boys to meet Minnie.
 We then quickly made our way to the rides.  Cole and Wilson only wanted to stay on roller coasters and anything "scary and fast."  I on the other hand didn't like the scary rides.  Wilson had to hold my hand on the roller coaster:
 Cole and Papa Lito loved the roller coasters and went on all but 2 in the park (and the 2 were because the boys were under 48cm).
And of course, the boys got their ears ... Many thanks to Lito and Lita.

Race report: Disneyland Half Marathon

Labor Day weekend, Matt, the boys, Papa Lito and Grandma Lita (Matt's parents), and I enjoyed an amazing weekend in San Diego, and then a trip to Disneyland.  We kicked off the Disney trip with a half marathon (well, I kicked off the trip with the run - everyone else slept). 

Here's a blurb about the race from the site:
"Just before sunrise, runners embarked on the 13.1 mile course along legendary Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland® Park, through Radiator Springs in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure® Park and on to the streets of Anaheim past local landmarks, with a celebratory finish near the Disneyland® Hotel."

The hart part of the race was that it started at 5:30am (yes, AM!!!)  I had to get up at 4am and get to the starting line by 4:30.  The night before, I was of course getting nervous I'd miss the start so I woke roughly every two hours.  This is my glamor shot from race morning with no sleep.

I finished the race in 1:36 - not my PR (I missed it by 5min) and felt great!  It was surprising since I haven't been able to train much.  Here are my full results:

 My favorite parts of the race:
  • Running through the park, there were multiple characters already on rides (e.g. all the princesses on the merry go round) 
  • Running through the stadium, there were videos and names of all the runners - awesome!
  • Mickey and Minnie kissed at the starting line while wearing race clothes - so cute.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quilcene / Autrey weekend roundup

It's been a whirlwind couple weeks of travel, so I'll break the roundups up a bit... first up, Autrey family trip!  Two weeks ago, my mom came to town and after she explored Tacoma and it's amazing museums with two of her sisters, we all met up at my cousin's beach home in Quilcene.  By the way - I love writing "beach home," I want one when I grow up :).  Quilcene is an amazing place on the Hood Canal with beaches, hiking trails, and little to no cell or WiFi - all great things.

Here are some highlights ...

Day 1, we made our way down to the beach and ran into one of the neighbors.  The neighbor introduced himself, and then told us he'd been on his boat and had a "great day" - in Quilcene "great day" equates to 20 giant crabs.  He cooked them up for us and we enjoyed them making a giant shelly mess on the beach (and our bathing suits) dripping grab meat and juice.  YUM! 












Our food explorations continued the next couple days as we went clamming one morning gathering over 10lbs of fresh clams, and then picked up oysters collecting over 50 delicious oysters. Cole even got into the mix when my cousin was shucking oysters and gobbled up two.

I had never collected clams before, but was amazed that it's as easy as digging into the low tide water / muck.  Now I can't imagine spending so much money in fancy restaurants for something we gathered (and had fun gathering!)


My favorite part of the trip, though, was being with family and having family together.  The "grandkids" (aka, all the little ones Cole and Wilson's age) loved running around the house, playing freeze tag, playing drums and pool, and swimming - lots of swimming!
 I loved having my boys on the beach and just relaxing.
And it was awesome seeing my mom and her 4 sisters catching up, sharing family stories, and being sisters.

A close second to the family fun was the pure bliss of being on a quiet beach.  We kayaked, paddle boarded, swam, and soaked in the sun. 
 All in, an amazing weekend.

A letter to Cole and Wilon on the first day of Kindergarten!

I can't believe you're now officially "school age" boys in Kindergarten.  You're going to do amazing things - you already do.  You're going to learn and contribute to other peoples' learning.  You're going to help others when they need it (like the little girl you, Cole, turned to and introduced yourself to when she was scared this morning).  You're going to ask a lot of questions (a LOT - even more than you already do) and be awed by the answers.  You're going to hit some challenges and learn to overcome them.  Work on the math ones - those aren't fun - learn and love learning early, I know you will.

This morning getting ready your daddy and I kept looking at each other not believing it was already "time."  It feels like we just brought you home from the hospital.  Now you're walking, running, talking, helping, smiling, laughing, sharing, getting bumped and bruised from exploring, and everything in between.  This past week you amazed us at Disneyland going on all the roller coasters your 42cm bodies were allowed on and asking to go "again again!"

After dropping you off today, and lingering with all the other parents who didn't want to go or let go, your daddy drove me to work and we talked about you and the amazing things you do and will do.  We both kept getting teared up and couldn't figure it out - by the end of the commute in to work we think we figured part of it out - we can't protect you from everything now.  You're going to make your own decisions and sometimes mistakes.  You are the maestros of your respective shows.  You will decide to listen and to pick up in class (with the teacher asking you to often, of course).  It's a seemingly tiny step into Kindergarten, but a big step for us. 

 You are so ready for this adventure.  When you walked into the classroom you found a seat at a table and sat right down to color.  You didn't look up much - I think part was shyness, part was not knowing the exact right thing to do, and part was the 50 parents standing in the room taking pictures and giving thousands of hugs, kisses, knuckles and high fives.  I didn't want to walk out of that room.  I wanted to sit down in Ms. Beaver's room 104 and learn right along with you.  But this is your adventure. 
Just so you know, after school, daddy and I had 2-hours of our own homework to do for you / your school - paperwork!  Your homework turn is coming, and we look forward to helping you with it.  What a cool, exciting time!  I'm proud to be your mommy.