Friday, October 29, 2010

Thinking about ...

Thinking about ...

My friend, K who was put on bed rest yesterday. She is almost 25 weeks along with boy/girl twins. Please keep her in your thoughts and feel free to send her entertaining blog posts.

Running. Why is it that you take a week off and it feels like an eternity and that much harder to get back in the groove? I ran 5 miles on Tuesday and plan to go tonight. Hoping for a longer run this weekend, because #5 will be here before I know it!

The fact that when it's time to give Maddy and Libby their medicine (antibiotic - ear infections), Libby will blurt out "Maddy turn!" and put her hands over her mouth. After a couple of days, we figured out that bribing with Elmo or a special snack is the way to go and we don't have to deal with crying/flailing arms. What is funny is that Libby still takes it better than Maddy, but she still tries to get out of it. I guess I can't blame her.
I also wanted to share a picture of M&L's preschool class. I think I can safely say that I could never do the job of a preschool teacher. I'm still amazed that they were able to get all of these kids lined up and stand still long enough for the parents to snap a few photos. Plus, they dressed up in costume and had fun. Oh, yeah ... no idea why M&L are the only ones NOT wearing their spider crowns.

All for now ... happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Spice, oh yeah

A bag of Betty Crocker pumpkin spice cookie mix fell in my shopping cart a couple of weeks ago, and I'm so glad it did.

I made these cookies tonight and they turned out to be very good. Kind of cakey in texture, and when paired with homemade cream cheese frosting, you can't really go wrong. Paired with milk or coffee and they would probably be even better.

Of course, the cookies are very easy ...they do come out of a pouch. All you do is add an egg, butter, a little water and mix it up. The frosting took a bit longer because you, or your Hubby has to sift 2 cups of powdered sugar, but it's definitely worth the effort. Don't buy the stuff in the can because the homemade is so much better. Just ignore the fact that the ingredients are cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. I'm definitely not looking up weight watcher points for that one.

Happy Fall!

Runner Susan, need your help

Runnersusan, I need your help. I'm getting a pop up message to log onto your site when I am on my site. My readers (all 12 of them) are also receiving this message at well.

I noticed your site is under construction. Can you offer any advice how to fix this, or why it happened?

xoxo,

Susan D. who wishes she had the boot collection and half marathon times of Runner Susan.

a post just to post

I've found that there is a strange pop up coming up when people visit my blog. It's actually for a blog that I read. Not really sure what is going on, but I'm going to see if adding a new post will make a difference.

Hmmmm ... it's Wednesday, what's going on in your world?

Today means a Halloween parade at preschool, work, crockpot lasagna on the menu for dinner (even though it's 70 degrees outside), Sesame Street songs, and I'm sure other adventures around the house.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkins and witches, oh my.

Yesterday, we attended our church Fall Festival, complete with "Trunk or Treat." I didn't know if the girls would "get it" or not, since this was truly their 1st trick-or-treating experience. They quickly learned that all of the people would give you candy to put in your little buckets. Even though they really didn't eat much candy, they still liked that idea.They also loved our neighboring car who let them take nearly every piece of candy out of their bowl and put it into their buckets. I was just happy it was MnM's. Just kidding, sort of. Mini Butterfingers would have been better.

Oh, and yes ... no witch costume for Maddy. No way, no how, wasn't going to leave the house without screaming and tearing at the costume kind of meltdown, so we decided a happy uncostumed kid was better than a miserable, costumed kid.

Maddy did oblige me by wearing the witch hat when we got home. Do you like her ink?


Libby did end up with one lollipop that she thoroughly enjoyed, plus a new frog tat.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cute and practical


These boots from Nine West are hitting many of my loves ... they are wedges, and the fact that they are "practical" since you are getting 2 boots in 1. You can upzip and remove the top if you want to wear them under jeans, or want to go with the shorter boot look. I haven't decided how I feel about ankle boot trend. I still feel like if I wore them in the 7th grade, then I shouldn't be wearing them now. Actually, I don't think I owned any ankle boots back then, but I think the cool girls did and I think we called them granny boots.
One of my friends pointed these out to me in a Southern Living and I've been looking for them ever since and found them on Zappo's.
Brown or black, brown or black ...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

True love

Libby loves Fig Newtons. I mean really, really, really loves Fig Newtons.

We keep them in a glass canister on the kitchen counter and several times a day, she will typically run over to the counter, point, and say either "cookie", or "I want one."

Today, I had an appointment to get a haircut after preschool. Bad timing on my part, but my sitter had arrived and Libby asked for a Fig Newton. She let them have one and then told them that when they were finished, it was time for a nap. Libby was adamant that she wanted another cookie, but the sitter held firm (like I wanted her to) and told them that they could have another one when they woke up from their nap.

Somehow Libby ended up with a package of fig newtons (the small, 2 in a pack ones) and took it upstairs with her. When they woke up this afternoon, she was still clutching that little pack of Fig Newtons in her hot, little hand. I'm actually surprised she napped at all, knowing that she was that close to getting another cookie. I'm also surprised that she didn't figure out how to open up that package and have a little snack in bed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

4 down, 1 to go

So, I did it. Signed up on Friday, ran a half on Saturday. I typically am not that much of a non-planner, but I've been thinking about this race a lot, but I just didn't know how I would feel after the Komen walk, so I didn't want to commit ... mentally or financially, until I knew that I was "ready."

Ok, so I probably really wasn't "ready" by a lot of people's standards, but I came back from the walk without blisters, any major pain, and I knew that my legs could take the miles. I did a mid week, longish run and felt OK, so I decided to go for it.

Race day was great. Sunny and cool ... a perfect day for running. I met a neighborhood friend around mile 2 and we ran together until mile 5. She has great form and was keeping right below a 10 minute mile. I knew I couldn't stay with her forever, but I felt good for those miles.

We split off right around mile 5, and I was still feeling good. I shedded my long sleeve shirt at the turn around, and remember thinking to myself, "ok, I can really do this."

Keep in mind, this race is on the greenway that we run all the time, so I guess it's good and bad. You definitely know what to expect ahead of you, but it's also familiar.

Around mile 10, I started having some cramps in my left calf. Ugh. I slowed up, walked a bit, stopped to stretch, did a little talking to myself and kept going.

By mile 12, you are back in the park where eventually you'll finish and I also knew that I was getting ready to tackle the hill that I will always remember as one of our hill repeat hills. I ran up it, but stopped again to stretch at the top. After that, Missy Elliott came on the iPod, I perked up and remember thinking "Susan, you walked 60! miles last weekend. You can run 1-2 more."

Did anyone mention that running is 90% mental and 10% physical?

So, Missy and I ran in the last 1-2 miles and I pushed repeat on her song so I could make it to the finish line. Which is on top of another hill, I might add.

I saw my friend who I ran with cheering me on, so that was good to see a familiar face, along with a few others. Let me give my PSA for race spectators. Please cheer for people, even if you don't know them. You have no idea how much this lifts their spirits ... especially when they are finishing a race that ends at the top of a hill.

So, I finished. #4. Not a PR, but still respectable for me. 2:18:37, I think was the chip time.

A little sore yesterday, but nothing too bad. Yes, I had a few people tell me I was crazy and a few that said amazing. Don't think I'm either one of those, but it was good to finish #4, because now completing #5 doesn't seem that bad.

Silly goals. Silly goal-setter.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So, I'm up ...

Having coffee, dressed in my running clothes, and trying to fool myself into thinking this is just a Saturday morning training run.

The problem is that I have a timing chip on my shoe, and a bib number pinned to my shirt.

So, I did it and signed up for the Cannonball Half.

Here goes nothing ... hopefully I can give a good report in a few hours!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pondering

I've had my running clothes laid out for the past 2 mornings, but when my alarm went off shortly before 5am each day, I quickly turned it off and rolled over. I am finally dressed in running clothes and plan to hit the gym after I do preschool drop off.

Amazingly, I did not return from the 3-Day walk with any blisters, or really any soreness. I had some weird top of my foot pain, and a few twinges when I would go up steps, but nothing that made me feel like I had just walked 60 miles. Who knows ... maybe I did stretch more than I thought, or maybe all the running from this summer helped keep me in shape. Or maybe it was the copious amounts of Biofreeze and Tiger Balm that I used.

Anyway, there is a little, local half marathon this weekend that has been on my "calendar." The thing is, I haven't done any running in over 2 weeks, I haven't registered for it, and I haven't arranged childcare.

My plan is to see how I feel on my run today, and go from there. If I'm feeling bold, I will go ahead and register and find a babysitter, and just try to get out there on Saturday and do it. Hubby's running 21 miles on Saturday, so that's why he won't be available.

Am I crazy? Ok, maybe I don't want you to answer that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More 3-Day Walk D.C.

My sweet friend and teammate, Rene put together this moving slideshow that recapped our walk beautifully. Hope you enjoy.

Also, here is a link to Leonard Pitts' article. He walked in the DC walk in memory of his Mom and we stalked him, found him on Saturday, and got to chat with him about his experience. He wrote a great recap. Maybe if I learned to write like him, someone would be paying me for this blog.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Walk

So, I think that most of you know I recently walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure and all I can say is WOW. It was truly an incredible experience.

A group of my teammates and I drove to DC on Thursday. We arrived in time to enjoy some great pizza and a walk to Georgetown for a cupcake. We split one that night, and bought others to enjoy the next morning for our pre-walk breakfast.
Mmmm, cupcakes.

After a somewhat restless night for everyone, we got up early to catch our 5am shuttle that took us to the opening ceremony location. As soon as we checked in, I knew it would be emotional. The signs on people's backs in honor or memory, the opening ceremony itself, the survivors circling a flag of remembrance. I truly felt lucky that I had the ability to walk 60 miles. Throughout the next 3 days, I would often think that this was way easier than chemo. Or losing a breast. Or losing a loved one.

Our team at the opening ceremony.
(The guy with the pink beard behind us is actually not a part of our group!)


One of my favorite signs.


Then we walked. And walked. And walked some more. On Friday, we did 20.5 miles throughout D.C., even stopping for a moment as the Prime Minister of Jordan passed by us and his Secret Service made us stop. We headed into Georgetown, and made it to Maryland. All along the way, they have pit stops where you can grab a snack, refill your water bottle, stretch, use the porta-pottie, etc. The event logistics are amazing to me, and must take a dedicated staff and incredible volunteers. After we had walked on Friday, we were bussed to our campsite for the weekend ... a huge farm in Maryland.

Part of our row of tents, complete with appropriate decorations.

There we could pick up our luggage, set up our tent, enjoy a hot shower via mobile shower tractor trailer units, and eat dinner. One important note ... plastic utensils make steak very hard to eat, but I enjoyed every bite. The campsite has a 9pm lights out policy, but I think everyone is so tired by the point, it is an easy rule to enforce.

Saturday, our schedule was 24 miles and this time we actually started the walk to camp and no buses were involved. This day we stayed in Maryland and had great support from cheering sections, and also just people set up in parking lots. I almost cried at every large cheering station as the people are thanking you for walking for their Mom, Wife, Sister, etc.

This was one of our favorite cheerleaders and he was out on the course all weekend, cheering on his wife. She is a survivor and had done many Komen walks and was walking in 3 walks this year! Plus, he had chocolate and a cool wig.


On Saturday night, Nancy Brinker (Susan G. Komen's sister) who started the foundation in honor of her sister spoke and it was such an inspiration to hear her story. Again, lights out at 9pm and I found that chicken was easier to cut with plastic.

We were up at 5am on Sunday so we could take down our tents, put our bags in a truck, eat breakfast and hit the road. We were bussed to another area of Maryland and we walked to DC. The Dupont Circle cheering section was great and we got to see some of the sights ... complete with a walk past the White House.

Day 3, still smiling, and ready to go!

Our team nearing the end of Day 3, in front of the White House.

As we finished the walk, we were cheered on by crew members, volunteers, onlookers, other walkers ... you name it. There was music, cheering, clapping. It was incredible and emotional. Our team linked arms and came in together. We started together and that's the way we wanted to finish. Each and every one of us walked every single step and our feet showed it. Lots of blisters, but you literally could feel the strength of all of us combined.

We stayed in a holding area until all of the walkers were in, then we all lined up together to walk to the National Monument. This was exciting to have the entire 2,000+ people together since we had been spread out most of the weekend. The survivors followed us, wearing special pink tee shirts.

The closing ceremony was just as emotional as the opening, with good speakers, music, and of course the survivors raising a flag. One of our team members who is a survivor was asked to be on stage! Even though we couldn't see her from our point, we were thrilled that she got to have that special experience.


The one shoe salute for all of the survivors as they walked into the closing ceremony.

At lunch on Day 3, our team captain asked if someone offered to donate the amount that we had raised if we would walk again the next day, and I can definitely say that I would. I really felt like I had made a difference, and it was incredible to witness it. Individually, I raised over $2,800; our team raised nearly $27,000; and the D.C. walk raised $5.3 million. Incredible.


With our team captain and my tent roomie!

A huge thank you to my family and friends for their love and support throughout this amazing journey.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I'll be walking

and walking, and walking some more.

It's almost time to leave for the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk for the cure and I'm still amazed that it's here.

I was scared that I couldn't meet my fundraising goal, but I did.

I was scared that I wouldn't have time to train, but I did.

I've been amazed at the generosity of friends, family, and friends who I've never met, but have gotten to know through blogging who have supported me. Whether through financial donations, or through emails and talks, I know that I will be carrying the love of many people with me and that is why I know I can walk 60 miles.

Our team has raised a collective $26,000 for breast cancer research and community programs and I am inspired by each and every member.

I'm way behind on blogging, but promise to do a big post with photos and a recap when it's all over.

I will tell you know that my PINK LL Bean duffle is almost packed and I've probably never packed more pink clothes for one weekend in my whole entire life. See you next week!