Daily Chatter

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A New Challenge

Bright and early this morning I will be running the Megatransect in Lock Haven Pennsylvania.  This will be a slight new kind of challenge for me.  While the Mega X, as it is being called this year, is not longer than I have ever run nor is it the most elevation change I've ever encountered; what Mega X will challenge me with is the most technical course I have ever attempted.  I will be facing long boulder fields, steer gains and descents, an unknown course and camping out the night before.
All these factors might result in me crossing the finish line looking a little like this.
What this doesn't match??
Well at least I'll have a big smile on my face.
Have a challenge-overcoming weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Nuki Song

Unless you are new around here you know that I begrudgingly recently moved from my home in PA to rural Virginia.  With this move I went from a career mom to a stay at home mom.  I thought getting to focus on my family was going to be great.  With my oldest who is now 22, I was able to do so much more but now I realize I just might have had more energy than I do now.
For example I am doing LBM's preschool lessons with him.  We were working on colors this morning and I remembered the great little songs that S'ghetti girl would sing from her daycare/preschool.  So I googled and quickly found a video of a class singing those same songs.  We had a great morning of lessons, songs and crafts with the color RED.  When I told LBM that were going to sing the song one more time but he could sit on my lap if he sang it all by myself, he was thrilled.  Because he can't be more than 3 feet from contact at any given time throughout the day I have discovered.  So he sang me his version of the song and got it mostly right.  Either way he got great practice is recognizing the letters R, E, and D and knowing that those letters spell RED

Of course when I went to close the video LBM noticed all the other suggested videos on the sidebar.  He is so computer savy already.  He wanted to see this one:

And now it's stuck in your brain too.  I am sure all day tomorrow this song will pop into my head.  I might as well add it to my play list now.  But seeing this little video also reminded me of our latest trip to the park that we have taken to running to a couple days a week.

We often are there all by ourselves but this afternoon when we rolled in there was another mom and small child.  They were occupied in the pavilion when we got there and I unbuckled LBM from the stroller.  LBM is that kid at the park who will not hesitate to stalk you if his first attempts at, 'Hi my name is LBM.  What's your name? Wanna play? are unsuccessful.  So when the other younger boy came over to the playground LBM was ready to introduce myself.

I usually use whatever non-swing pushing time I get at the park to stretch for the run back home so I wasn't paying attention to their introduction but LBM wasted no time running over and telling me that he couldn't understand the other little boy.  I tried to explain that he was younger so maybe he just wasn't as outgoing as LBM.  No, that wasn't it LBM said, 'he's got a blinkie in his mouth and he won't take it out!' 
But just like I don't ask everyone to love me showing us at the park smelling like I just ran 6 miles, I won't say when a child shouldn't have a binkie, nuki or whatever you wanna call it.  I do wonder though, when is it too old to allow a child to rely on a pacifier?  And when are you too stinky to go to a public place after or in the middle of a run?
Watch for Mega X updates on Daily Mile or Face Book

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Orange Overload

You know it's time to take a break when life becomes only a check list.  That is where I felt we were when I declared a family fun day this past weekend.  I was tired of the super secret spy coming home from work only to change clothes and work some more on our front porch project or sit behind his computer dealing on military issues.  S'ghetti girl would sneak away for some alone time riding her scooter after school and then have to jump into her homework.  All this while I tried to continue to manage an over active 4 year old, cook dinner and assist everyone else with the things they were doing.  I needed a break.  We needed a break.

I did a little looking for something that the whole family could enjoy that we had never done before.  Enter Liberty Mills Farm.  Neither the super secret spy or myself had ever done a corn maze like this before and we had never attempted it with the children.  Sounded like the perfect fit for a Saturday activity in the fall sun. 

It took us a while to figure out how to get the kids excited about "getting lost" in the corn but they quickly got into the fun of things as we discovered our first punch.  And with our family the 20 left to find became a competition...but a fun one.

The kids had fun making decisions about which way to go and loved when they were the ones to find the next punch.  It got hot and there was some grumbling but thankfully about half way through the large maze we were met by a young man working at the farm with water bottles.  A quick drink helped revive the kids and we finished the maze in record time.  Well, we set our our FR (family record) and can't wait to go back and see if we can beat it. 

After the maze we enjoyed playing around the area and chatting with other families who were out enjoying the great weather.

Of course the kids had to have a jumping contest. 

 I'll let you decide whose jump is the best.

LBM and I play tic-tac-toe with pumpkins.  He says he won.

The super secret spy and S'ghetti girl played several rounds checkers. 

LBM enjoyed the mini-maze and playing in the cornstalk tunnel.

There were gorgeous pumpkins, flowers and hayrides.  It was such a fun filled family afternoon I didn't mind putting off my run until after we got home.  Sometimes it's nice to get out and see your area by moon light. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's Not Halloween...

....so why am I scared?
In a mere 3 more sleeps I will be toeing the line at the
That usual race day nervousness that begins to build has over flowed and crossed the line where excitement, nervousness and fear all like to get together and party.  It's a place I haven't visited in quite a while.  But there is also something about feeling a twinge of fear going into a challenge that fuels my desire to face it. 
1000s of feet of elevation change. 
 2012 has been labeled Mega X since the actual course map has yet to be shared.

Checking out the results page.  Finishing times ranging from 4ish hours to over 12!!

Don't forget all the great wildlife opportunities.  I usually love those.
This Saturday, maybe not so much.

I do have several things on my side;

I usually do well on a course that I have never ran before.

The weather is to be nearly ideal for race day.
Hopefully I will be with a few other newbies to share in our naive fun.

If needed I will have some music ready to help keep the legs moving.

Having not raced or had a big event all summer, I should be carried through this event on pent up adrenaline alone.

Nerves, fear or uncertainty is bound to creep in around the edges as race day draws near.  What is important is to remember that most everyone feels it, feeling those things is NOT a sign of weakness or being unprepared, and if you are smart you'll use those feelings to add fuel to your desire to overcome the upcoming challenge.  Because the greater the challenge the sweeter the victory. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Capture Moments

As the years pass my memories have gotten hazy. I don't admit this proudly in fact I carry a bit of shame in acknowledging it. Because I know that those memories that I visit often have not gotten lost inside the twisted paths of my mind. Those frequented memories are crisp and clear.  Like this day.

I can still smell the leaves and hear them crunch under my feet.  I can see hear my Daddy's voice as I hand him my then little baby daughter.  I can even recall the smell of his cologne.  I remember how Biking Sherpa was not in the best of moods that day and how all the grandkids were much too energetic for a family photo shot.  All these memories bring a smile to my face today.  For you it is just September 25th. 

For me today is 8 years since I heard my Daddy speak. It was the last day I had the chance to see him or hold his hand.  I didn't know then how precious that was.  My Daddy was not a super hero.  He wasn't perfect, I'm sure.  But he was the kind of dad, the kind of person that is rare to come across.  I hit the jackpot and had him as my dad.  He taught me lessons that I am still learning today.  But he also left behind my mother.  A woman who stood beside him day in and day out.  I all too often forget that while my Daddy isn't here to turn to, she is.  She is full of all those things that my Daddy was.  While I will allow tears today as I think of things that I wish my Daddy was here to share in, it will only be for today.  There are so many people in my life that share those same memories and those who I need to teach those memories to. 
My Daddy helped make us all strong and family-focused, maybe that was part of why he was given to us.  To help us be better prepared to continue on when he had to leave us.  Today I will do everything I can to show him that he did a great job.  And this Saturday when I am climbing that mountain in Pennsylvania, when my legs are screaming that I just can't go any farther, that is when I will reach down into that Smith strength that Daddy took me to store up and I will find a way to keep going.  I will make him proud because I know he will be with me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm Gonna Be on YouTube

 This is my daughter.  She seems innocent enough, right?  Well, I let her borrow my MP3 player for performing arts at school.  All is fine.  She returns it.  No big deal.  Then today I get the bright idea to run to a local park, allow LBM to play for a while and then run back.  Not the ideal long run but a nice way to keep both of us happy and get some extra movement in. 
What?  Do you think I get to sit and talk to grown ups at the park? 
Not on your life.  My park job is pushing LBM in the swing until my arms fall off. 
But back to the point.  We were going to be running a longer route and the noise of the increased traffic here is driving me crazy so I decided to bust out my MP3 player since S'ghetti Girl reminded me I actually had one.

I don't think S'ghetti has seen the video but none of my flights were ever like that. 
My play list does consist of quite a few kids songs which can be peppy and help quicken the turnover well that or you just wanna get done faster so you don't have to listen to a talking tomato or singing cucumber anymore.   But as I scrolled through the songs I found one of the ones S'ghetti Girl had added. 
How do you do you do. 

I must have listened to it 16 times.  It was so peppy.  So my daughter.  I am sure I had a smile plastered to my lip syncing face.  Yeah, the words are not really that hard to catch on to.  And I discovered that I can skip at an 8:30 minute mile.   There is little doubt that I will end up on YouTube soon from the reaction of the passing drivers.  But hey they were in the air conditioned cars driving I was out there in the heat.  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?  The miles flew by and I had a blast putting in one of the fastest jogging stroller runs I have had in a while.

LBM, however was mortified.
So what's on your play list that you'd rather not admit to?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Runner's Sin

The radar map this morning told that story.  It was going to be a day in the house.  While I already know thanks to FB that there are those that did not welcome our current weather, I am thrilled by it. 
I miss my treadmill. 
I realize I probably just committed a runner's sin but I really do miss it.  Those regular long runs without the worry of carrying water or where I might need to duck if I have a corn field emergency.  I'm thrill at the thought of watching something I want to watch while I run in one place.  Thanks to my mom I now have a treadmill here in VA to use until I decide what I want to do about a permanent one that can handle my abuse.  Thanks to the weather and the inability to get up and run before the super secret spy goes to work today I will be running on my dad's old treadmill.  Even if the miles gets hard and awkward I will enjoy knowing that my dad used that same machine. 
So today while LBM rides his hot wheel around the basement, builds imaginary worlds from cardboard boxes and scatters a million toy cars around the floor, I will be happily running in one place and thankful I get to do it every single day.
How do you get your sweat on when the weather doesn't cooperate?
Are you happy for the change or use it as a rest day?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Please Get Me Outta the Kitchen

The weekend is a wonderful series of days. The ability to wake up whenever I want, to allow the kids to sleep in and to enjoy a breakfast together without anyone having to rush out the door. 
On the surface doesn't it all sound so nice?  Yeah.  Fairy tales always do.  Because once you spoil your family with the "Big Breakfast" it's like that book, If you give a pig a pancake or  If you give a mouse a cookie because I think I was guilty of doing both this weekend.
Don't expect to see me posting about weight loss anytime soon
After our I'll-never-lose-this-extra-weight breakfast, I made the mistake of trying this recipe from Pinterest.  I mean I'm on there pinning away I probably should do some of the things I thing look soooo interesting, right?  But that just started the ball rolling and set my family's expectations for the rest of the weekend's menu.
 A spicy lasagna soup

Who knew making sushi rice was such a pain
Needless to say there was a bit a running to help work off some of our over indulgences, followed by an ice bath to soothe my tired legs.  Hopefully my family has had their fill of all the extras just like that little pig because my belly is starting to look a little bit like a piggy's.  Maybe I need to start pinning a few more workouts next time I am on Pinterest.
Day 861 ~ 7300.7 miles

Friday, September 14, 2012

Things My Legs Say

Today is day #859 of my running streak.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of  7285.4 miles
come on did you really think I would not know my mileage?
and it's day 3 of doing double runs and speed work.
My double days have consisted of an 7 - 9 mile run behind the jogger with about 2 miles on gravel/dirt trails followed by an afternoon speed run of 3.5 - 4 ish miles with hills.
I am toast. 
When I started my second run today I was mentally bargaining with my legs from the very first step.  I conceded that the first mile might be a little slower but then I demanded that they pick it up. 
Since this blog is PG, I'll edit their response but it had a lot to do with kissing and a bit to do with my butt.  I got 3.5 progressive miles done in 30:46 but it may not have been pretty.
I wonder what my legs will say when they find out we have a long trail run to do tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Worth your Time

My daughter showed me this today. 
It brought me to tears
because she was so moved by it.
I love her.

Capri Season


I wore capri tights for the first time this season.  It is love again.  How easily I forgot the wonderful feeling of snug capris.  Why is it that I can forget their sleek feel that makes me feel oh-so-runnerish.  Even if I look a little more oh-so-stuffed-into-themish. 
But come on.  My legs rub.  There I said. 
I'm still trying to get this I-don't-have-a-big-girl-job-so-I-can-eat-anytime-I-want weight off.  It's harder as the years go by.  But even before the extra pounds joined the party, my legs rubbed together when I ran.  Somehow outside of ultra length events I got away with few issues in that areas until the past year.   

But none of that mattered yesterday because I had on my capris.  That extra me was a problem but not with a wonderful pair of capri tights.  I lucked into a solo run and was able to actually pick up my pace.  It was the most creative run I've had in ages.  I drafted blog posts and mentally wrote a three volume novel that is sure to be a best seller.  If I had more time who knows what I could have done!

So even though today will be jogger run which will probably be at a not as comfortable slower pace, I won't quickly forget that wonderful feeling of yesterday's run.  And given what day it was, I think that there must have been something special about how it all worked out. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Topic of the Day

Today is a day that many, if not all of us will pause to remember.  To perhaps be thankful for everything in our lives.  The big.  The small.  The easy.  The hard.  All of it together makes us who we are so lucky to get to be.  Today we will all acknowledge that in an instant it can all be gone. 
I am thankful for my ability to find such happiness in tiny things.  My prayer would be that I can somehow share that ability with those around.  So I start that sharing with my kids and hope that they will take that ability with them through their lives.  Then in a tiny way I will have helped create some happiness in their every day lives.
Maybe you will go out a run 9.11 miles today (not a bad idea) or maybe you will volunteer your time to help someone else.  Maybe you will spend the day in prayer or in talking with others who need a friend.  What ever you do today do it on purpose.  Do it with intention.  Do it knowing that the ability to do whatever you choose to do is an ability and a privilege that many others do not have.
If you are in the mood to help others, my little red-haired (oh but he says it's orange) nephew is trying to win entry in his soccer camp at Challenger Sports  Click HERE to vote for this little cutie.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flashback Friday - Behind the Jogger Edition

Who remembers this?
Milk's the soft soft drink doesn't burn, foam or fizzle
doesn't snap doesn't sizzle
if you wanna wet your whistle
drink the soft soft drink
that's good for ya' it'll make your whole insides say thanks
makes your teeth grow stronger
starts a belly celebration
and a muscle jubilation
people all across the nation
drink the soft soft drink. 
for vitamin sensation
drink the soft soft drink
drink milk.
Speaking of remembering things,  I can remember when jogging stroller runs seemed a lot easier.  I think all those treadmill miles this winter really made a difference in my ability to suck it up.  I mean it's hard to run 10 miles on the treadmill while watching beautiful young people decide between becoming werewolves or vampires.  But pushing a now 4 year old up hills and down in VA heat is completely another kind of hard. 
Not only is all this jogging stroller running hard for me, it is also hard for my jogging stroller companion.  LBM is the best little running companion of my three kids.  He is most always happy to go for a "joggie."  Knowing that he is typically enjoying his time too helps make the miles a little easier.  But there are the days when things are not so mutually enjoyable.  During those days it's good to have a few tricks up my sleeves to keep LBM happy.
A few tricks that work for my 4 year old:
 Make sure you have a special snack.  I always take along something that I have made or purchased that LBM doesn't yet know we have.  When I don't have anything special I will add a few M&Ms to his little bag of crackers as a surprise.
Have fun.  This includes a lot of tricks.  If it's hot, take squirt guns.  And let your rider actually squirt you.  Sing together - out loud.  Let your rider choose your course.  Always putting safety first, of course.  Plan your run to include a pause at the park.  Or reward your rider with a park visit after. 
A secret toy.  Okay sometimes you have to pull out the stops and reduce yourself to a little bribery.  When LBM isn't so excited about our "joggie" I pull out the toys.  Usually I try to keep them something small that requires him to use his imagination to play with.  Action figures and dinosaurs often work great.  But when runs go long I pull out the electronics too.
Make it a treasure hunt.   Yes I admit it.  We pick up trash.  The kind you throw away on days when I am out for "time on my feet" or just taking a walk.  And we also pick up those little "treasures" that we find along the way.  Lately a "cool" find was a large orange reflector.  LBM still takes it on runs and pretends it is all kinds of things.
Make it seem special.  It's not secret that I am a little in love with all things nature.  So this is a given technique.  We take photos of the critters and flowers and sometimes, even rocks we see along the way.  Often we set a goal of seeing X number of critters or we count how many butterflies or woolly worms or red rocks we can see and don't turn around until we hit that number.  It doesn't take much to make every run feel like a special event that they "get" to share with you. 

There are times you don't have to do anything.  Something special just happens. 
All you have to do is be ready for it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Things I've Seen Along My Way

Stop watching your watch.
After running for quite a few years you might think that I am used to seeing all the normal sites.  But I hope I never lose the enjoyment of seeing all those little things that can make the difference in a training run.  We all know that no every run - well, at least once you have children - can happen in the middle of a forested Eden.  Many training runs have to happen along a road.  Sometimes a road that has more traffic then a Zen place would allow.  But even on those runs when the noise is not of breezes and cows mooing and the sights are maybe a little harder to see, I hope that you can take the time to enjoy those small things that cross you path or rather you cross theirs.
In case you are finding it hard to notice them here are just a few. 


Have you been noticing more than just your pace and heart rate?
I challenge you to find at least one amazing thing in nature on every run you take. 
Share your findings here by linking up on Thursdays Things.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How'd August Go?

August 2012

Monthly Miles Ran: 212.1 (Year total: 2283.3 Year average: 9.4/day)
6.8 miles/day ~ 47.9  miles/week
Highest Mileage Week: 8/27- 9/02 (DM Weeks) 62 miles

Rest Days Taken: 0
The Streak:  August 31st was Day # 845 of the streak ~ 7,155.4 miles
Runs ~ ave. 8.5 miles per day/ 59.3 miles per week

None, unless chasing LBM counts

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:

I haven't bothered to single out one thing this month. 
It was equal opportunity snacking.

Non-food Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:

This month our beach vacation was the big indulgence.

Night runs on the beach

Bonding with my chica

Running at dawn on the beach during a storm


Barefoot morning runs on the beach

A new kind of technical trail

Building our washout prevention system

Taking in the view with the family

Ice skating

Sharing my "find of the run" with everyone back at the condo

Eating, eating, eating

Being silly

Watching S'ghetti girl overcome some fears

Sharing another amazing week with my kiddos
and the whole crew!
okay we are missing a few.  Sorry to the Big Kid and Biking Sherpa

Which Outfit did I Wear the Most:

One More Mile
"I might not pass you but I will out last you."

What We Are Watching:
With the Kiddos:
The Lorax
over and over and over again.

My Viewing:

Are you kidding?  Without treadmill runs I never get to watch tv.  Those kids of mine better figure out that they can watch their shows on the kid tv soon because Survivor will start soon.


Funniest/Best Kid Quote:

Conversation between Biking Sherpa and LBM while on vacation.  They were sitting together playing a game on a tablet.
Biking Sherpa, "LBM why do you have the hiccups?"
LBM, "From stealing."
Biking Sherpa, "What's stealing?"
LBM, "Rude."

Current Triumph:
Having the majority of the moving done.

Dropped a few of the pounds I need to lose.

Current Goals
To continue to work towards a family schedule.
To be prepared for the MegaTransect.
Current Blessing:
I am thankful for every single day and every person in my life. 
Current Excitement:

S'ghetti girl's fearless entry into a new school as she started the 6th grade.
The MegaTransect on September 29, 2012
yeah this could have fallen under excitement or concern
Current Concern:

The super secret spy starts a new temporary assignment at work.
Praying it becomes a permanent position.
Getting the stress LBs off before race season
Getting closer

How did your August days add up?