Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm "itching" to "run fast" in the "sunshine"

Itching:   Skyler woke up all itchy and covered in red bumps.  I figured, that since she was on Amoxicillin for an ear infection, that it was a reaction, but had to take her in to be sure.  The doctor said yes, side effect of the antibiotics, and we went home.  Skyler's bumps got redder and itchier and redder and itchier all day.  I tried to distract her from scratching and dressed her in a turtle neck, long pants, and socks.  I'm so annoyed because her ear infection wasn't that bad, and now she is just miserable.  She looks like this.

Run Fast:    I am super happy that I got a bib number for Beach to Beacon 10K in August.  I had thought I would have to miss it this year because of Michigan, but we are going a week later than usual.  The 6000 spots for this famous race were sold out in 8 minutes this year, and I didn't even try because I thought we'd be away.  Then my friend Doug gave me his bib and then we booked our tickets to Michigan to leave the evening of the race.

Aside from most of my running friends, I'll be joined by my friend Brooke who lives in Arizona and we are so excited to race together.  Both of us are anxious to break 1 hour and last year I missed by 45 seconds.  I am determined to do it this year.  I wanted to test myself today to see if I could hold the needed 9:40 pace.  I had a great outside run near my mom's and I was able to bring back a 9:38 pace for 5 miles, and that was without my ipod and on hills.  I worked hard for that pace and was spent, but I was psyched. 

Sunshine:  It was warm today and sunny enough that I could feel beautiful warmth on my face.  It feels so good.  BUT, the forecast calls for a snow storm on April Fool's Day (ha ha ha!!!) and my students are already placing bets on a snow day.  I don't even know what to say.  But at least the forecast is good for our half marathon on Saturday.  I am so looking forward to a day away with my friends, race, lunch, Freeport, freedom.  The very best words a wife can hear from her husband when she is discussing plans with her friends and how long she will be gone:  "You do whatever you need to do."  Amen, honey.  Saturday would be extra good if the sun does indeed shine.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes"

As promised, here is my latest play list for running.  Okay, some of these songs may be a little embarrassing (may my dear brother who taught me everything about good music please close his eyes now), here are some great songs to help you run.

The following lyrics couldn't get any worse, but it turns out I will really pick up the pace for this song:

 Yikes.  I hope you'll still respect me after knowing this fact.  (That's "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz)

Thanks for all the suggestions.  If it appears I didn't take any of your songs, it is probably because I have outplayed them already.    Enjoy!
I really love the Theophilus London song (#1) and both Killers songs (#27 and #36).
The song "Breathe Me" by Sia is really slow but I use it as a refresher/ deep breathing song.

In other news...

I was asked to be a representative for running in Maine, and did an interview for the kind folks over at Runpals.com.  They have a running website that is packed with information from training plans, speed workouts to shoe recommendations.  They also have a cool feature they are building where they have one person from each state report about best races, places to run, etc.  They asked me to be the Maine person, and the page was published this week:  Run Pals, Maine.

If you are not in Maine, click here, then click on your state to see if yours is up yet.

What's for Dinner?

Here's a pretty easy one with tons-o-flavor:  Chicken Piccata (recipe from Epicurious)

I followed the recipe exactly as it was written, so I'll just let you follow the link.  I served it with some cheese ravioli with mushrooms and broccoli.   It was delicious, if I do say so myself.

 From the other side:

And the kids' version:  chicken without the sauce, ravioli without the mushrooms, broccoli and strawberries.  If you look closely, you'll see Reed has another black eye, this time from bumping into lord knows what.
And, the next night I mixed the rest of the chicken, cubed up, and the rest of the sauce with some pasta and more broccoli.  2 meals out of one!

Enjoy! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

it would be nice if my children had a little bit of personality.

First, Reed:



We've been working on getting Reed to stop saying "hate."  We teach him it's not okay to ever say hate when talking about a person.  Then I made the mistake of telling him it was only okay for him to hate things, like cancer or war.

And so, at least five times a day:  "Mommy, guess what?  I HATE cancer and war."  Except he pronounces war like "whirl" so all day, it's "I hate cancer and whirl!  I JUST HATE cancer and whirl!"

**********
Reed is going through a terribly fussy clothing stage and will only wear comfy cotton pants with an elastic waist.  Skyler still lets me dress her, but Reed pitches a fit if I don't let him wear "comfies."  He has only 2 pair that he's happy with, so last week they were both in the wash and I wrangled him, screaming at me, into regular pants.  When he was dressed, he sat down in the corner and glared at me.  After a minute he said:

"Well, I don't like your hair!"

**********

When I snuggle with Reed in his bed, or when he comes into our bed in the morning, he is constantly whispering to himself under his breath.  He goes on and on, talking to himself, and it's usually gibberish.  He is usually hard to understand, but I always try to hear what he's saying.  My previous favorite was when he cuddled into me and mumbled to himself:  "Oh, what's the point?" ???

But this week, he said very quietly to himself, while next to me in bed:  "My father is not crazy.  He's a genius."  And then, just to make it absolutely clear I wasn't dreaming he said:  "I told you, my father is not crazy.  He's a genius!"   Is this a line from a movie that Reed might have seen?  Seriously, is it?




 And now, the many faces of Skyler:








 I love the "invented spelling" stage.  This is a huge leap for Skyler who did this without asking me how to spell anything.  Here is the 2nd part translated:  "I go in the apple orchard.  Then I go home and have a nap.  When I wake up, my dad takes me to the forest.  Then I go home and I watch a movie and then I go to sleep.  When I wake up, I go to school."

And this one:  "Mom?  What is that thing that makes sentences more exciting?"  "You mean exclamation points?"  "Yes!"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Instead of a race report, scones!

I did not end up going south today to run the Eastern States 20 Miler.  I was determined to feel better this weekend, but I kept not feeling better.  After school on Friday, I asked Sam at 3:30 if I could lie down for 30 minutes before he left to go workout, and I woke up at 7:00 (bless him), got up to eat dinner, and then went back to bed until morning.

When I woke up, I made my decision to NOT go.  Then later in the day I started to feel better, and I decided I WOULD go, but do only the half marathon.  My mom was applauding me every time I said I was not going to go, and Sam was saying:  "You should go!"  (My mom is always telling me to listen to my body and be careful, slow down, take some rest, which is why she would be a terrible coach but makes a wonderful mother.)

Last night at about 7:00, I was changing my mind every 10 minutes.  I was so tortured over it that you might have thought I was deciding which child to give away.  I wanted to go, thought I could do it, but was not 100% healthy and had not run since Tuesday.

Finally when my last check of the weather reported it to be windy along with cold, I made myself type a message to my friends that said I was staying home.  I wanted to be at peace with my decision, but I hate missing out on stuff, and this morning when I woke up at 7:00, I actually thought:  "they just left.  I can catch them."

BUT... turns out I am very glad that I stayed home.  The winds on the course were reportedly "fierce" and "horrendous."  That might have set me back another week, as I am very susceptible to wind to make me more sick.

I settled for a longish run on the treadmill away from the winds.   I was running slow and still working very hard, and the more miles I went the more clear it was that I was glad I stayed home.  I stayed on that treadmill for over 2 hours and watched people come and go, and listened to all my great, new music (play list coming soon).  12 miles, check.  Week 11:  not so much.

The sole sisters are in rough shape.  There were 4 of us going to this race. Christine reignited a leg injury and had decided not to run, Suzanne (poor, poor dear) was just starting signs of the stomach flu and quit at mile 2, and Susan was the sole survivor, finished all 20 miles through 3 states, despite the high winds.

Wow... that was a lot of blabbering about not going to a race.  With February's Mid-Winter Classic being canceled due to bad weather, I'm now 0 for 2 in the 2011 race season. 

Really excited for a strong (I hope) week of training and getting ready for next weekend's race:  Race the Runways Half Marathon.  5 out of 6 of us are registered and I'm hoping everyone is healthy, and that this changes dramatically:


For the love of all things good and holy, can we get some warm weather here?

On Saturday, I baked some of Smitten Kitchen's amazing Apple Cheddar Scones for my friends to take down to the race with them, and doubled the batch so we could keep some.  Even though the Smitten Kitchen recipe is fully photographed, I took a couple photos of the process.

In the mixer, before adding the apples and the dry ingredients:


 Here is double the dough rolled out.
 Instead of wedges, I opted for rounds so that I could get more scones, and used a glass to cut them. I also cut the baking time 5 minutes short since they were smaller.
MMMMMMM.  They are so light, that they are almost more like biscuits than scones, and they are a perfect blend of sweetness and a little savory from the cheddar.  And they are all gone.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spirit Week and other news

This week was the much-anticipated Spirit Week at Skyler's school during which kids were asked to dress up according to the day's theme. We had a lot of fun with this.

Monday: Silly Clothes Day!

Tuesday:  Wacky Hair Day, pictured with Ella.  Skyler would not let me do anything more than a few random hair clips.  Though she did say:  "Mom, you are always telling me my hair is crazy, so how about we just don't brush it?"
Wednesday:  Dress like your favorite sports team day:  (7 days until opening day!  woot woot!)

Thursday:  Pajama Day!  Skyler was so excited for this one, and we even got her new pajamas, and then she was sick.  She has an ear infection and got sent home early on Wednesday with a fever, so she went to my mom's and spent the day (in pajamas, actually) but no photos.

Friday:  School color day!  Her face says:  "I'm trying to feel all better!"

In other news, I have been sick this week and have only run once.  I DO NOT LIKE THIS.  Last weekend, I decided to register last minute for Eastern States 20 Miler which takes place this Sunday.  We have 18 miles on the training calendar anyway (what's 2 more?), and three of my running girls were going, and I got talked into it on account of the course runs through 3 states (ME, NH, MA) and that offers with it some bragging rights, wouldn't you say?

I registered on Monday and started to feel sick on Tuesday.    My feeling today is that I could do it, but it would not be responsible.  I DO NOT LIKE BEING RESPONSIBLE nor do I like wasting registration fees, nor do I like missing fun days with my friends.  I haven't decided what I'm doing yet.  I may drop down to the half marathon distance?  I may not go at all?  But I really want to. 

In the meantime, I'm popping vitamin C, echinacea, spinach, and carrot juice and hoping for the best.  Cough, cough.

TGIF!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

music!

Thank you for all the song suggestions.  I have been going through all of them on itunes, and I filled up a new playlist and plan to start on another one today.  I tried out some of the songs yesterday for my 5 miler and I was so happy to be moving to some new music.  Good work!

We got 8 inches of snow on Monday night but thankfully had NO snow day on Tuesday.  We have already had to the extend the year until June 21 due to snow days, so I'm all done with that!  I hated to admit it, but it was super pretty to see every branch covered in snow and everything fresh and clean and white.  But it can melt now.

In a 24-hour period yesterday, Jackson got sprayed by a skunk, I got a call that Reed got sick at school, and Skyler has an earache that left her whimpering herself to sleep.  I've got a cough and may skip some runs this week to help me get better.  Good times.


In exchange for all the great songs you gave to me, here is one for you.  (People often ask me if Reed is hoarse or has a cold.  Nope.. he's just a husky little man... and wiggly too!)  Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

star of the week! and, will you do me a favor?

Skyler was Star of the Week last week which meant she got to bring show-and-tell every day, got a special crown, and got to be line leader ALL WEEK.





And her classmates traced her body on big paper and all wrote what they like about Skyler.






What a fun week for her.

 This version of Skyler apparently has huge feet, no neck, and a lopsided hip, but hey!
These things are all true except "quiet." 

*****

And another unrelated thing: now that I'm getting into the longer miles, I need some new running music.  Can you help me out? Don't be embarrassed about those so-bad-they-are-good songs that you run to. I do have some good music on my ipod, but I also like to listen to Katy Perry and Beyonce, and I even got busted once by my students for having Miley Cyrus on my play list (come on, she had some song about "the climb" or something that I thought would help me get through the marathon in hilly SF). 

I need some good songs for my ipod that will get me moving.  Can you tell me your favorites?  I promise once I have a good new play list that I'll share it with you all.  Thank you!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

week 10: check

 We rounded out the week with all sole sisters in attendance for our 17 mile, hilly, chilly run. 

The one lucky tall guy who ran with us is Christine's friend John whom she met at in a training group at the Y.  This is pretty amazing:  In September, John couldn't run 1 mile.  Over the last several months he lost 60 pounds and is training for a half marathon.  He ran 11 of our 17 miles with us and did great!

It was a mixed bag of a run for everyone else.  Suzanne and Susan felt strong the whole way, or so it seemed, and the rest of us were hurting by about mile 13 and then faced the longest, windiest, coldest part of the run that was still hilly.  I was just over it by that point and wanted to be done.  My legs were plain old tired and my ipod had no charge.  Blah, blah, blah.  I walked up some hills and felt sorry for myself.

The wind was very strongly in our faces during that last stretch; Christine thought she had frostbite on her nose and Jen lost feeling in one side of her face and thought she might have had a stroke.  We tend to be very dramatic.  

I had a sad realization that maybe running 17 miles will never feel easy, but I keep thinking it's going to happen one of these times.  What can I do, but just keep trucking.  I was a hurtin' unit after that run and my whole body ached from head to toe.

It was cold and even snowed a little at one point.   Christine was carrying some serious icicles in her pony tail.  By the time we got the camera they had mostly melted, but we took a picture just to show her anyway. 
Suzanne baked some post-run banana bread that we ate right up.  About 30 seconds after this photo was taken, I was downing coffee, advil, and heading into the shower.  I was soaked to the bone, every layer was dripping wet. 
I survived the weekend without Sam who swam at the big Masters Championship meet at Harvard all weekend.    Because he was gone, I had Marlee over to babysit while I ran (what a trooper, she got up sooo early!).  She made french toast and smoothies for the kids while we were gone and grabbed the camera to document it (bless her!)


I took the kids to the UMaine Rec Center pool for the afternoon so I could plant myself in the hot tub while they swam, and that totally did the trick.  I was feeling fine a couple hours later, and I feel great now.  We had a super action-packed day, and I even managed to wear Jackson out, so we're ready to turn in early tonight.

Have a great week, everyone.  Happy SPRING!  (snow forecasted for tomorrow.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

winner, sunshine, and a beast of a run.

Thank you to my brother Chris for the new blog header!  I've been "One Mom in Maine" for 1 year today!

And...
The Love ME T-shirt from BeerME goes to


Comment #20 came from:
Clearly, she has a deep love for Maine and deserves to show it!

Send me an email and I'll let you know how to claim your t-shirt!


While I'm taking screen shots, check this out.

Today's weather.  So glorious.  I opened all the windows and let my house take a deep breath.

And here is the beast I'm going to be tackling in the morning in a pack of 7 women and 1 lucky guy:
17 miles.  Mercy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

in a good place.

I'm kind of afraid to even write about how good I feel because I don't want to jinx it.  We are half way through the training plan for the Sugarloaf marathon, and for the first time, I feel like I'm actually training for this marathon.  In the past, I was gunning for mere survival and completion, and I frankly did not even run all of the mileage in my previous 2 training plans.  I did all of the long runs but blew off some of the mid-week runs.  This time around I've only missed 2 three-mile runs so far, and I have to say, I feel a real difference. 

Each week I look at the training plan and figure I'm going to have to miss at least one of the runs, or that I can't possibly run 8 miles on a weekday, but so far anyway, I've been able to get them done.  I know that running and training has ups and downs; some weeks I just feel like I'm running tired and dragging along, and other weeks I feel like I'm having solid runs every time, that I'm getting in some quality miles, and most exciting, that the hills just aren't killing me anymore. 

My goal for this next marathon is pretty simple:  finish the thing strong, without letting my mental demons undermine what I know my body can do.  To the extent that it is possible, I want to let my legs run this marathon, not my brain.  And right now, I feel confident I can do that.  (right, legs?)

Susan and I ran 8 miles after school yesterday;  most of the snow is gone and the sun was shining and even though I have a cold,  the run felt strong and, well, pretty easy.  I had to step back and think about the first time I ran 8 miles as a long run, and how much energy I put into psyching myself up for it and how hard it was just to finish it.  Now it's just a midweek run that ended with us powering up the Broadway hill back to the high school.  Pretty cool.

I might eat my words about feeling strong when this weekend we are running 17 miles.  Eeek.  We are using a different training plan this time so we are getting into higher mileage weeks earlier.  I already have the feeling in my leg muscles that I usually don't get until the very end of the training;  that is to say, I really feeeeeel my leg muscles.  I love that. 

After my runs, I've been refueling with smoothies, and after yesterday's run, I went back to my old standby, the green monster:  1 cup vanilla soy milk, 2 cups baby spinach, 1 banana, handful of ice, and one spoonful of honey.  Mmmmmm.  So satisfying.

I know this is ridiculous but I've already started to worry about after the marathon, and how I won't be on a rigorous training plan, and how without being told that I have to run 30 plus miles a week, I'm not going to.  So, I did something that is making me really happy this week.  I registered for the Danskin Triathlon in Webster, Mass on July 24th.  That offers me both the thrill of a big event to look forward to and a totally different kind of training plan.

I have done the Danskin twice before, in 2007 and 2008.

Here I am (with tiny baby Reed!) in 2007, my first race ever.  Reed was only 6 months old and I had an extra 20 lbs in this photo. 



Danskin puts on a totally fun, festive, supportive, wonderful all-women's event.  I had actually considered doing a longer triathlon, but this will serve to get me back on my bike and into the water and then we'll see about another one later. 



 Besides registering for this race, I have also been mapping out our summer calender, choosing dates to go camping, to go to Michigan, and other fun side trips.  Summer planning has just put me in the best mood.   There is just so much to look forward to right now, and I couldn't be happier about it. 

Hope everyone else is in a good place, too.  If not, try a green monster!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love ME giveaway.

So many of you showed interest in this t-shirt after the Maine Maven give away, so I contacted Chris, the owner and creator of BeerME, Maine-Inspired T-Shirts and Apparel and told him so.  He agreed to give a Love ME shirt to one lucky reader. Check out his website.  There are tons of really cute shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and stickers.

If you live in Maine, then you love it here.  If you've been to Maine, you loved it here.  If you've always wanted to come to Maine, you would love it here, so this contest is open to everyone.  There is a women's version of this shirt with a slight scoop neck and a men's version, both come in this soft gray color. 

Don't forget, if you live around here, you can get this shirt and other products at Maine Maven in Orono.  But if you don't, you can order online.

In order to enter, you just have to:
1.  Like One Mom in Maine on Facebook
2.  Like the company BeerMe on Facebook
3.  And write a sonnet in perfect iambic pentameter about Maine.
(kidding!)   Just tell us one thing you love about Maine.

I'll choose one winner randomly on Friday evening, so comments close for the t-shirt at 6:00 pm on Friday, March 18th.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

pretend-it's-summer day!

We really packed in the fun on Sunday, and pretended it was summer all day long.  I started with a long run in the morning, then drove to the island for lunch on Bar Harbor, and even walked on the beach.   Bar Harbor was kind of a ghost town, but it was sunny and warm, there was no snow left there, and the salt-water air did good, good things for my spirits. 

We did some sneaky maneuvers so Reed didn't know where we were going, left him with Sam,  and just took Skyler for our special day trip.  She is such an easy car-rider and so cool to hang out with when she's the only kid around.

FYI for non-Mainers:  Bar Harbor is on MDI, "the island," which is also the home of Acadia National Park, and it is about an hour and a half from our house.  It is our key summertime destination, hence the perfect place for "pretend-it's-summer day"


We had lunch in Bar Harbor at one of the only restaurants open year-round (Geddy's), and then walked on the beach for a while.  Skyler found some snails and shells while I reveled in feeling sun on my face.

We also did a quick photo shoot for a new header for the blog, coming soon.  
I feel sad that my siblings are so far away and that my kids don't get to enjoy them more often.  The last few times I've seen Chris are times I've traveled without my kids, so Chris actually hadn't seen Skyler and Reed for 2 years.  You wouldn't have known it, though.  They wasted no time getting connected on this visit.  My kids adore him, climb all over him, and have am almost-crazy rolling giggle that they develop around him.   It's all about Uncle Chris right now, and they are none too happy about his return to California today.  We had a wonderful week all together. 

We raced back home in the afternoon so that I could get ready and cook for a dinner party for 7.

Again, we were pretending it was summer, so we had mojitos and chicken on the grill, potatoes and corn bread for dinner.  I really enjoyed the extra hour of daylight, too. 
Cheers, Chris!  Come again soon!  xoxox

BONUS deal:  If you need to do some shopping for summer clothes, here is a great coupon for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's " Give and Get."  The deal is that if you use this coupon between March 17-20 at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, or Gap Outlet you get 30% off, and 5% of your sale goes to Leukemia and Lymphoma, an organization near and dear to my heart.  Shop for a good cause!   Summer dress, anyone?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

week 9: check

Another week done!  And I got to do a long run with 4 out of the 6 of us.  I did wear a hat after all but it was much warmer than what we're used to, starting out at 35 and warming into the 40s.  I  loved running with the girls again.  We did our  usual 10 mile loop in Bangor.  I had to stop at 10 miles, even though we were supposed to run 11 this week, because I ran out of time and was supposed to be home in a few minutes to meet up with my mom and Chris for our Sunday outing (pics coming). 

Nothing too eventful this week:  melting snow, milder temps, fighting a head cold but feeling strong on my runs.  I'm getting close enough to the marathon that I'm starting to have finish line fantasies when I run.  I can still make myself cry just thinking about crossing the line.  I can also make myself cry just thinking about fresh green leaves on the trees.

See that dirty snow?  That pretty much sums up the scenery around here.  But the fresh air sure felt good this morning.   Have a good week, you all!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

some shots from the week

We went to a 3-D movie and they kept the glasses.
Uncle Chris is here from California, and my kids are in love.
Skyler is a swimming machine.
The kids got new running shoes and we went for a run at the Rec Center at UMaine.
Skyler has run 1 mile before.  Today she ran 2 miles.  And she smiled the whole way.  Somehow my little baby girl has these super long legs.
2 miles done.  Phew!  Resting up with Uncle Chris.

Other little tidbits:  We've had a lot of great meals with Chris here, and he just cooked us an amazing dinner and I'm really full and sleepy and happy.  Sam is swimming in a meet today and we're hoping he did well.  Chris and I went to see True Grit and it was excellent.  My mom is feeling pretty good and is really happy to have Chris here.  The temps have been rising, the snow is melting, and everything is starting to thaw out.  I plan to do my long run in the morning and I might not need a hat.  Good night!