Thursday, February 23, 2017

February Things

It’s February 23rd and currently 71 degrees outside. Wait, did we move back to Florida without me realizing? Nope – just an unusually warm winter here in the southeast. Not going to lie, I’m sort of loving it. You can still wear pants and long sleeves and not be too hot, but you’re not freezing every time you step out the door. Although, I think we’re all holding our breath for what the summer may bring.

Our recent excitement has revolved around where Logan is going to go to Kindergarten next fall.  If you think it’s as easy as walking to your neighborhood school you would be wrong. Here in NC there are all sorts of trip wires and booby traps to get through. 2+ years ago we specifically moved into a neighborhood with a great school. Then as he got closer to Kindergarten, we started considering trying to get him into a ‘magnet’ school (public school but with a special focus). There are several different types of magnet schools in our area, and it’s a lottery to get in, but the different groups in order they select from are based on 3 different criteria.  The criteria is mostly around if you already live in an area with a high performing school that is at or above capacity (yes to both of those for us). Since he has been going to a Spanish immersion daycare for the past 3.5 years, we thought it would be great to have him continue with that and hopefully he really will grow up to be bilingual.  So we put our name in the hat for a dual language magnet school, that is not at all close to our house. If he didn’t get in there, we would apply for the year round elementary school near our house and if that fell through, he’d be at his base school (both of these schools are rated very high).  We found out last Thursday that he DID in fact get into the magnet/Spanish immersion school – YAY!!!! And crap, that is going to be lots of driving. But we’ll make it work. We both believe it will be a great skill to know both English and Spanish.

So if you followed that closely enough, you’ll realize that we moved to get into a good school district, that he’s not going to, but the reason he got into the magnet program was because of where we moved to. So. Weird.

Switching gears - here’s my favorite picture from earlier this year of me and Carrie passing the baton at the Occoneechee Speedway Relay.

Training has been going great, mostly due to this girl who keeps it fun and pushes me all the time. Like throwing my paddles across the pool deck so I can’t use them (they are a bit of my baby blankie), only to have our friend trip on them while walking out of the locker room. Woops.

And while we’re here, let’s talk about swimming. I’m in my happy place – many things have converged to form a perfect swimming set up (for me). My company has a great pool on site so Marty and I can now swim for free. They keep it a touch warm (which I LOVE) and I can meet the aforementioned paddle thrower at the completely civilized time of 6:30am and get in a solid 3K before picking up breakfast at one of our cafeteria’s and getting to my office just after 8am. Years of getting up at 5:15am with a bad attitude because I then had to jump into a freezing pool seem like a distant memory.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy New Year

Having a blog and then not updating it in months paints you into the corner of: do I list out everything thing I’ve done the past 4 months in bullet form with pictures interspersed so the whole world knows I’m alive and well and having super duper fun or pretend I wasn’t gone and HELLO JANUARY 16! HERE WE ARE!

I’d rather not do either and don’t have a ton of earth shattering news that most readers (the 4 of you out there) wouldn’t already know from the insta/facebook/twitter-ing/texting/whatsapping and real live talking that happens throughout the week.

Instead I’ll go with the headlines:

Bri lands a job at one of the best companies to work for and is still in the pinch-me-is-this-for-real phase

Logan turned 5 on December 12th! Celebrations ensued at a local bounce place where every child (and a few parents) cried at least once during the party. An undeniable success!!!

Christmas 2016: We have too many toys

Winter storm Helena – Snow way it’s going drop 8 inches in Raleigh
(and in a related story: Grocery stores and weather stations team up to cause first quarter sales to skyrocket)

On the workout front, I signed up for Chattanooga 70.3 in May after seeing the venue while cheering for Marty during his inferno-like race. Despite the god-awful heat, Chattanooga is a beautiful city that is not terribly far from us (7-8hrs). It's most likely going to be very competitive since the 70.3 Worlds take place there in September.  I'm hoping to be in decent shape for it, if I can get healthy. Which brings me to my whiney topic.

I seem to be getting silly-not-really-but-annoyingly-hurt too often.  In November it was my lower back. I unfortunately dealt with a spasm that almost made me pass out and that took a good 3 weeks to get over. A few weeks of light training (it was December after all) and now I’ve done something to my glute/piriformis/hip/IT band I mean really who knows and am now trying to get that back to working without hurting. I know much of this could be directly related to the fact that I have a desk job, that I’m completely inflexible, and I haven’t gotten regular massage since before Logan was born, so I’m taking steps to remedy all of this. I’m going to be getting regular massage again (already had one and another on the docket), I have been stretching and rolling like a mo-fo, and have made it to a few yoga classes at work. Fingers crossed I’m running again soon. I miss it. Swimming is going awesome right now; I’m likely in the best shape I’ve ever been in for January (and possibly most other months including years where I was much more serious) and biking is getting better (all this is thanks to my partner in crime, Carrie)

Overall report card: 2017 is shaping up to be a great year.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Logan's Race

The Healthy Kids Running Series kicked off it's fall races this past weekend. Logan has done several of these now and absolutely loves it. He's still in the Pre-K division, 50 yard dash, and for the first time ever he won his race! It was awesome and he was so cute.


Listening intently to the starter

And they're off!

Always checking everyone out!

When he saw me after the race he said: "Mommy! I won!!" It was adorable. Then I tried to tell him that no matter how he finished I am proud of him for trying his best to which he replied, "Can I have some juice now?"  Hahahah.

Post race photo op

With his buds Campbell and Clayton

Watch out

Everyone wanted to watch the videos Marty took

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Blue Ridge Relay

The Blue Ridge Relay is a 200+ mile running relay that starts in Virginia and finishes in Asheville, NC. My friend Carrie has put together a team for something like 8 years and she talked me into joining in for this year. She had enough interest that she actually put together two teams: RunningJustAsFastAsWeCan and RunningJustAsFastAsWeCan2.  Everyone submitted a time to her and she divided us up so that hopefully we could stay somewhat near each other. This relay can be comprised of relay teams with as little as 4 people (completely insane) up to 12 people (wussies).  We had two teams of 9.  A good compromise.  When it was all said and done, I had run 23.7 miles over 4 different legs.

Leaving Raleigh, snacking on a cookie

It's super ugly in western North Carolina

A few things:
I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was SO FUN!!! Talk about out of my comfort zone - 23.7 miles?? The scenery was gorgeous and our teams were beyond awesome. We weren't fast, but we were fun and the camaraderie was great. It's also nice to be a part of something so logistically challenging where I literally didn't have to do anything but show up. So huge thank you's to our team captain (Carrie) who made sure everything was set and ready to go and our driver (Andrew) who drove every step of the way unless he was running (also Ryan, the other van's driver who did the same thing).  The Blue Ridge Relay has continued to grow and this year there were 191 teams. Start times range from 5:00am until 1:30pm (slowest to fastest) based on submitted times. 10-15 teams start together in 30min increments. I was the 3rd of 9 runners on our team and my legs looked like this:
  1. 5.2 miles, difficulty level: medium (levels are easy, medium, hard, very hard and mountain goat). I started around 9am so it hadn't gotten too hot yet, although it was quite humid. It was unusually hot this weekend for the mountains, unfortunately. This run had one fairly large hill in the first 2 miles but then was mostly flat/downhill to the exchange.
    Getting the baton (slap bracelet) to start run number 1
  2. 6.1 miles, difficulty level: hard.  I knew this run - it was on the Blue Ridge Parkway right where we ride our bikes for Boone Camp. Spectacular views and long grinding hills. I started around 4pm and it was HOT. Although the name of this relay might lead you to believe that it's mostly run on the Blue Ridge Parkway, only 3 of the 36 legs are run here. And it's a good thing because it's really not great for running. No shoulder and lots of tourists out not paying attention. For that reason, even thought it's the middle of the day, you are required to wear a reflective vest if you're on it.
    Finishing up a gnarly little hill
  3. 8.0 miles, difficulty level: very hard.  After my 2nd run, we went to Chik fil A and I stuffed myself with a chicken sandwich and a medium fry. The timing was perfect as I wasn't going to be running again until after midnight. I was still wide awake for this one, which surprised me, but I guess that's the adrenaline. I was all lit up with blinkies and a headlamp for this run, which was on a desolate winding, hilly road.  It was dark and could be pretty unnerving under normal situations. I passed a handful of people but everyone is really strung out so there are long stretches of times where you are completely by yourself in the pitch black.  The occasional van from other teams will drive by but it's pretty surreal. I was holding a good pace on this very challenging run. The uphills were hard, but this is where the downhills really started to hurt.
  4. 4.4 miles, difficulty level: easy. I finished after 1am and a little while later I hit the brick wall. I couldn't keep my eyes open so went to the far back of the van to 'sleep' which never really happened but I did rest I suppose.  Then before you know it it's morning and you catch a second wind.  My last run was mostly flat with the slightest grade which was good on my legs since any downhill was excruciating.  I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to run! But once I got going my legs loosened a tiny bit. They still hurt, but at this point 4.4 miles is a drop in the bucket. I finished and had a pancake breakfast at the church the exchange zone was at.  The best pancakes I had ever tasted, it seemed like.  The bottled butter you squeezed out made them oh so delicious.
It was nice to be done early and be able to cheer on the rest of my team and eat whatever I wanted.  We finished just 15min back of our other team which is really pretty amazing when it's all said and done.  We started at 7:30am on Friday and finished at 2:45 on Saturday. It's amazing how fast it really goes, but you're either running, cheering, eating or driving and the time flies by.

We went to Mellow Mushroom after the finish then took a quick very well needed shower before checking out Green Man Brewery. I finally went to sleep at 9pm Saturday night, making that the longest ever stretch of awake time in my entire life (5am Friday to 9pm Saturday!). I can't wait to do it again next year :)

Waiting for runners in Blowing Rock, stuffing my face with Chik fil a

Making a tunnel for Charles on Railroad Grade in Todd, NC

Typical exchange zone with tons of 15 passenger vans

Carrie finishing her first leg

Sweaty girls

Waiting for Michael on his very hot 2nd leg

RunningJustAsFastAsWeCan finishing all together
Our team's post race picture
Our awesome t-shirts Captain Carrie made for our respective teams

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Things that have happened

In order since my last post!

Boone Camp: So fun, so hard, so much food.

Logan went to the Tweetsie Railroad with GiGi while we were climbing Snake Mountain.

I met some of my best girlfriends from college over the 4th of July weekend in Charleston, SC. We sweated our asses off, danced way too late into the night pretending like we were 20 years old again, and had an overall awesome time.

Logan started soccer! And he scores goals!

We've also shown up to 2 out of the 4 games so far like this:

I cheered for people racing the Triangle Triathlon (I did the run in a relay). It was very hot.

And then I jumped in Mission Man which is another local sprint triathlon.

Logan can swim! More of a doggie paddle/drown but he is getting there :)

We flew down to Miami to visit family and play on the beach

We went to this awesome city pool (Miami Shores) that was basically a small water park.

We're heading to Asheville this weekend so Marty can race the Lake Logan half.  Logan and I won't be watching (not spectator friendly) but we'll be cheering from the cabin.  Summer, as always, is flying by right before our eyes.

Monday, June 20, 2016

What's happening and a quick race report

Literally the day after the American Triple T, I caught a cold.  Not too surprising as after an effort like that the immune system is down and it’s easy to pick up a bug. I was just thankful it waited until after the race! We celebrated my birthday that week and then had a nice long Memorial Day weekend.  I took most of the entire week off, save for one short easy bike ride and then a swim on Memorial Day with our master’s group.  There was lots of eating and drinking during this time.  Too many celebrations and lack of willpower equaled yummy desserts and beer much of the evenings.

The following weekend we drove down to a very hot and humid Charleston so Marty could do the Low Country Splash.  We stayed at a house with the Honnold clan and enjoyed the beach and downtown Charleston. I’ll be returning there for the 4th to meet up with some college friends – can’t wait for that!

The training front was fairly non-existent that 2nd week after the Triple T. I was not ever very sore from the races, but I was incredibly tired. And that lasted for longer than I expected. It was around this time that I told Marty I didn’t think I wanted to do the Three Little Pigs race on June 17th.  I’ve done it a couple of times, and although it is a fun, short sprint, it’s also usually very hot and I wasn’t feeling like I wanted to suffer through that, particularly with how rotten I was feeling on the fitness front at that point in time.  I had signed up early for a bargain basement price so didn’t feel that bad about not doing it.

The next week I started feeling better, but still wasn’t planning on racing. Truth be told, work had been very busy and stressful (I have taken a new internal position and the learning curve has been fast and steep) and thinking about training and racing was at the bottom of my list. I was enjoying my usual group workouts and hanging out with Logan and Marty and friends on the weekend.

The week of Three Little Pigs rolled around and we knew a ton of people doing it. The forecast looked unusually awesome for this time of year.  Then the last straw, Whit said he’d be happy to watch Logan during the race as he’d be there watching their 3 kids.  I had no more excuses and decided to go have fun, go as hard as I could on that day, and enjoy it all.

This is the best race to bring kids to. They have a big playground next to transition, a bounce house, lots of sidewalk chalk, free sno-cones, and after the race they open their kiddie pool which is awesome.

It’s a pool swim seeded start and my ‘time’ (which was a lie) had me going in 21st place.  This was unfortunately around 2min behind Carrie so chances of seeing her were slim. The whole thing would’ve been so much more fun if we had been able to start near each other.  Anyways, everything was fine.  I knew I needed to have lickety-split transitions and at the end of the day, that’s how I won.  Had Carrie had equal transitions, we would’ve been only seconds apart. As it was, I ended up 30 seconds ahead of her. But she doesn’t have nearly the sprint tri experience like I do. I did give her all of my secrets that evening so expect her transitions to be fast from now on. 

Very quick race report:
I swam comfortable because the pool swims always seem to suck and I didn’t want to crush myself to get an extra few seconds.  I probably over-biked a little and paid for it the last mile of the run, but all in all it was a very tough race as I knew Carrie is super fast and wasn’t going to give up.  Marty had a solid day and finished second overall so we both got our big bad wolf trophies for another year. Logan had a blast with the Hughston’s, as usual, and then he legit swam in the kiddie pool after the race.  

Here are random pictures to make this more interesting.

Logan and I had a picnic in a local park after work one day

Waiting for daddy at the Low Country Splash. It was HOT and we waited a very long time. Logan did awesome.

We went to the Aquarium in Charleston

One of these is not like the other

Sometimes we spill our breakfast all over the place


Silly faces on Father's Day

Slaying dragons at Dave & Buster's

With their matching t-shirts Logan made