It's been a couple of weeks now, but it was a regular winter wonderland around here. In a stroke of genius-stupidity, I invited all my siblings over. It was stupidity because I invited them early in the day, and by the time they got here the roads were covered in snow and very icy. But it was genius because we had so much fun. We played games while Cate was napping. Cate was dying too make a snowman, so when she woke up we went out for a snow romp. The snow wasn't packing, so we didn't get a snowman, but we did have great fun with the snow fights. And my dear family was so sweet to entertain her even though many of them did not bring proper coats. They loaded up on all our extras and headed out anyway.
I stinkin' love these people.
And don't worry, we got our snowman the next day.
We built him in the morning, and he was melted by naptime. That's how quickly the snow is gone in Texas, but we sure enjoyed it while it lasted.
Last weekend I ran my first race in preparation for the half-marathon. It was a 14k, which is about 8.7 miles. Every long run that I do from now until the half-marathon sets a new personal record for me. Each added mile is one more mile that I haven't ever run before. It's a pretty amazing feeling once it's done, but it's a little daunting when I set out.
I knew that it was a morning race in Februrary, so it was going to be cold. When I did my 7 miles the week before, I ran outside when it was about 40 degrees with a decent amount of wind so that I could prepare. Unfortunately for me, even that was not enough to prepare me to run in the freakin' blizzard that blew in over the weekend.
At racetime, it was 22 degrees with 15 mph winds. That's a windchill factor of about 7 degrees. SEVEN! I thought it was pretty crazy cold as we stood around in a huddle, but I had no idea how cold it would be once we started running against the wind.
First, a note on apparel. I hate to be cold, and I don't mind looking a little wonky. Yes, I wore 4 layers of clothing. Some of the hard-core runners had on shorts, Under Armour cold gear, and a hoodie. Here's what I wore:
That would be: silk thermals, Under Armor cold gear, a hoodie, a jacket, and a toboggin. Overkill? Perhaps. It did get a little musty in there. But hell, I'd take musty over ice-covered anyday.
You think I'm exaggerating when I say ice-covered, but I'm not. The four miles against the wind were absolutely awful. I think if Cory would have slowed down when he drove by and honked (really!), I would have hopped in the car and gone back home to climb into my toasty bed. During these miles, it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. My muscles were tense and angry. A girl who started running beside me had a bottle of Gatorade that was freezing into slush. I could feel ice crystals on my lips.
When we turned the corner, it got a little better. The wind was still blowing at our sides, but Mom, Cate, and Cory were cheering me on and keeping the stray dogs away. I ran harder because I knew they were watching. Finally, we turned again and the wind was at our backs. Hallelujah! I started to warm up, and I fell into my stride. I would never have thought the last few miles would be easier than the first. I was just so grateful to be running with the wind. The girl beside me asked me to hold her frozen Gatorade; that's the first reason I knew we were now BFFs.
The last .7 mile was against the wind again. I had fallen behind my BFF because I stopped at a water station, but she waved me ahead to catch up with her. Somehow, I picked up my speed. We struggled against the wind, and she yelled at the two spectators that we saw, "Where's the finish-line, dammit?!" That's the second reason I knew she was my BFF. We crossed together, and fell into a triumphant embrace. We did it!
I tried to turn my music off and stop the timer on my phone, but my iPhone was frozen. Cory hugged me and took me inside to warm up. He looked so proud of me. I don't think I'll forget that.
One hour, twenty-eight minutes. Not too shabby, for a first-timer.
Six weeks of half marathon training, and I've got to say I'm a little sick of it. I wrote this cute little post about how I was so excited to be getting healthier, and how it was kind of funny that I hadn't lost any weight.
It ain't funny anymore.
I've alternated between dispair and anger at my layer of fluff around the middle, but it doesn't budge. It does bulge, but it doesn't budge. Hmm.
Anyway, I'm not giving up. The goal is still running a half marathon, not losing weight. I'm making a few changes in my eating patterns and workout schedule that will hopefully give me a boost.
So my friend Evan is really hip and cool and tiny, and she recommended on a couple of different occasions that I try a centergy class, which is basically coreographed yoga. I have this preconceived notion about yoga: that it's for really hip and/or cool and/or tiny people. Like Evan. And I'm self-aware enough to know that those words don't necessarily describe me. Or, at least I thought I was.
Ok, so I'm in the yoga classroom which has floor to ceiling mirrors on every wall. I have a love-hate relationships with said mirrors. I don't exactly enjoy being able to see all the bulges and fluffy bits as I work out, but it does help with form. Usually it's my back that's the problem. The instructor's back is as straight as that nerdy kid's in class who thinks if she raises her hand as high as she possibly can and wiggles her fingers that the teacher will call on her for the answer. And even though I was that kid, my back doesn't look like that. Go figure.
So anyway, since I'm new to yoga, I was checking the mirrors a lot. And that cute girl with the pixie haircut and the shoulder tattoo, too. She knew what she was doing. Probably because she was pretty hip, cool, and tiny. I'm toward the back of the classroom, trying to be as invisible as you can be in a room full of mirrors. When I check the front mirror, though, I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm lookin' pretty good. Look how strong my legs are...and my arms are looking sculpted. When I check the mirror closest to me, I just try not to laugh at my flying legs and strange poses. But that front mirror...Look at my tiny waist, I think. I look so thin! I'm going to do yoga everyday! Or walk around in warrior's pose or something! This is excellent. I am excellent! I'm really good at this. Even my hair looks nice while exercising...that never happens. Oh wait. I don't work out with my hair down.
Yeah, the girl I was admiring in the mirror was NOT me. At some point, probably when I was helicoptering my arms trying to keep my balance while I stood on one foot, someone slipped in behind me who was wearing almost the exact same thing I was. Her hair was the same color and length as mine, only she didn't have hers pulled into a ponytail with a head wrap. She was a little to the left of me, and there was a giant fan blocking my view of myself from the front mirror. Geeze.
So yeah, maybe I'm a little delusional, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm really good at yoga. I think I'll go again very soon and pretend to be someone else.
My girl is very rarely cold. I think the standard rule for dressing children for playtime in cold weather is to dress them in one more layer than what you wear. But I do the opposite. Usually I wear one more layer than she does.
Anyway, today she was eating a well-balanced lunch of yogurt and milk and decided she was cold. She didn't want a jacket. She didn't even want a blanket. She wanted these beauties.
And did I mention that while I was trying to zip them up, I unintentionally toppled her over and she twacked her forehead on the ground? Whoops. Sweet thang still managed a smile for me (after she was done crying for her Daddy for awhile, of course).
Then when I put her down for a nap, I heard some rustling about in her room. I just let her be, hoping that she'd fall asleep. Later I walked down the hall and panicked when the door to her room was wide open but she was not in her bed! A quick glance around the corner and I found her here:
Not a bad napping spot, I suppose. I've napped in that chair quite often myself. Plus, the only evidence of misbehavior I found was a half-eaten tube of chapstick.