Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ramble Ramble

Another year almost gone! I really can’t believe that Logan is 3 years old. I read somewhere or someone told me: ‘the days are long but the years are fast’ and that is such a true statement. Particularly when you have a baby, but for most of us in our daily lives.  How many times do we say, wow, where did that week go? But during the week you’re toiling away (doing whatever you do).  This year for me wasn’t very spectacular. I took a risk taking a job that I ended up really hating and it bled into many different parts of my life – most obviously in my motivation with sport. And if you happened to pay attention, you may have noticed my lack of all around racing and training.  I’m not  planning on making some giant comeback this year or anything, but I’m hoping to see a little more competition.  I ended up returning to my prior company a few months ago (in a different department so new-to-me) and I’m much happier.  The other side of the coin is I’ve always felt that there is more to life than racing and training, and I don’t want to miss out on the most important parts of my life – which are, of course, my family.  I will be the first to say that I was reluctant in having a kid, but it is absolutely the greatest thing and I can’t imagine going through life without Logan.  The amount of joy he brings and how much he fills me up is just not quantifiable.  Several years ago, a friend was describing this to me and he used this analogy: you know how much you love your dog? (yes, yes I do, Tassie is the greatest dog ever) Well, multiply that feeling by 1,000.  (hmmm, I don’t quite believe you, but I’m glad you are enjoying your daughter so much). 

Well, he was right.

So I’m looking forward to 2015.  2014 wasn’t bad, really, but there are things I’m glad to have put behind me.  Certainly these are more ‘first world problems’ to have, but you have but one life so might as well make it as fulfilling as possible!

And since this particular blog post is quite rambling, I will start a different topic. I did my run workout on a treadmill this morning. I was really, REALLY dreading it. I don’t really like the treadmill, but the weather outside was super yucky, and doing hard intervals in freezing rain just didn’t sound fun to me.  So I got my butt out of bed, not even early to be quite honest, so I could get to work and use the gym there (love the perk of having an on campus gym!).  Couple of things I hate about treadmills:
  • I have never been able to sync my effort up with what I would think is my pace.  It seems like many people don’t have this problem, but the pace it tells me always seems so much slower than what I run outside. I don’t know if it’s my form (I do have a longer gait than a lot of people, despite working on my cadence through the years) or what, but it is mentally disturbing.
  • The treadmill in the gym is pushed flush to a mirror so you are forced to look at yourself the entire time. The tv is directly above your head so you can’t really watch it. But I also don’t want to stare at myself in the mirror – the treadmill itself blocks most of the view so it’s not like I can check my form (there is not a mirror to the side), and looking directly into my own eyes does funny things and then I end up almost-but-not-quite stumbling.
So I look other places, but there aren’t many options: the clock – who wants to watch seconds ticking by while you’re running? This is extreme torture. The little man running in place with some computer generated graphic behind him – and seriously, why is one of these graphics A TRACK?? Who wants to run on a TREADMILL pretending to be running around the circle of the TRACK? And watching the time tick by? OH MY GOD I’M GOING INSANE.

But. But. The workout ended up being all right.  The one thing I do like about the treadmill is once you actually get going, you can really talk yourself into ‘just one more level up’ for a specified period of time. This works well when trying to run intervals.  Although I really suck at trying to convince myself to run a decent cooldown. I just want to get off the damn thing.  It helped that I had some new music to look forward to on the Ipod: Shake it off (I hate myself for liking this song), Rollercoaster by The Bleachers (I don’t know, it makes me happy listening to it. I think the lead singer was in Fun, although I didn’t really like their songs. Also he is (or was a couple of months ago)dating Lena Dunham so there’s some random facts for you) and Doses & Mimosas by Cherub which is another song that I’d hear and be all be-bopping my head to but now that I actually listened to the lyrics while I was warming up I was like, oh hmmmmm. Still like the tune, though. 

Anyways, rambling post of 2014 done. Seacrest out.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Christmas this year was very fun; Logan really 'got' it. Although, perpetuating this Santa myth and the whole Elf on the Shelf story is already getting tough and he's only 3! He definitely believes Santa brings the gifts and his Elf (who he named Socks) watches if he's good or bad to report back in every night to the fat man in the red suit.  But so many questions!

But this year was definitely more magical (as hokey as that sounds) than any other year has been.  The only thing he really wanted was cars, even though he has SO MANY but he's so obsessed with Disney's Cars and Lightening McQueen we've been slowly buying all the characters.  My mom and sister's family flew in for the holiday's and it's been great having family here after pretty much doing Christmas by ourselves the past couple of years.

My running was going all right until my long run last week where I ran just a little too fast at the beginning on a cold morning and my calf has been saying not nice things to me every since.  I've strained it a few times over the years and it's so temperamental (and annoying). I'm hoping it doesn't keep me out for too much because I feel like it's been so long since I've had really good consistent training.

Marty got me (and him) a pretty awesome present: tickets to see the Foo Fighters in D.C. on the 4th of July!!

Christmas Eve family picture

Belly to the bar at Outback while waiting for our table on Christmas Eve. FYI, call-ahead seating is bs.

Christmas morning family picture

The theme of the day: CARS!

Opening another present with cousin Beckett in the background

Remember doing this? It's still fun.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Apex Turkey Trot

My big 5K showdown with my nemesis Erik was this past Saturday. Not going to lie, it was all a bit anti-climactic and we will be doing a re-do in a few weeks. Short story – I crushed him. Long story – neither of us were anywhere near the top of our game.

Erik had been in Chicago all week for work and got home after midnight Friday night (early Saturday). I started feeling ill on Friday and couldn’t stomach much of anything. Upon waking up Saturday morning the bathroom would not have been a place you would have liked to follow me into. The rest of the weekend was much like this and I really hope this mild bug gets out of my system before Thanksgiving!

Anyways, back to the race.  It was very cold in the morning (30’s) but the sun was out and it wasn’t too windy.  The course was not ideal, a few hills but mostly on a narrow/winding greenway around a lake. I was lucky enough to be going back and forth with a high school boy who apparently could not hold a line if his life depended on it. He would pass me then slow down and weave around when I would pass him back.  I went out a pace that I should’ve been able to hold for the entire race but knew upon reaching the first mile that this was not going to go as I had hoped. No matter, as long as I beat Erik, it would be a win.

I was not counting on Marty to pass me with a ½ mile to go.  He was nice enough to let me know that Erik was well behind  me, but not nice enough to help me get to the finish line. He finished 2 seconds of me, but since he signed up as a recreational runner, he is not in the results and therefore doesn’t count.  Too bad so sad for him.

I ended up 3rd overall female. 1st place got a frozen turkey. 2nd place got a frozen turkey breast.  3rd place got a frozen turkey TV dinner.  Yum yum.

Here’s a 3min video our awesome friend Doug (ofT3 Tee’s) shot of the epic showdown. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Monday, November 10, 2014

La Fiesta's and Hospitals

Halloween has come and gone and our little guy was the cutest racecar driver around. This was his first year trick-or-treating, and although he definitely liked it, he was not one of those kids sprinting towards the door shouting “TRICK OR TREAT!!” as some of his friends apparently were.  Mommy or daddy had to accompany him up to get his candy and he was not always on point when someone asked him a question:

“What are you?”
“I’m two”

Technically correct, anyways.

Marty and I were ready to trick or treat the entire neighborhood, but after one solid block Logan was asking to go home. And eat his ‘new dinner’ which he apparently thought was coming from his bucket of candy.

This past week was a doozy as one of my very best friends was hospitalized for a ruptured appendix. And you may think that this means emergency surgery like the rest of us, but it actually doesn’t anymore. I guess if you’re lucky enough to be diagnosed with appendicitis that’s a fairly easy surgery, but once it ruptures you are in for a world of hurt.  Protocol nowadays is inserting a drain and pumping you full of antibiotics to kill the infection before surgery is even considered. I got to her right after they put the drain in and wasn’t prepared for what I was walking into. I figured she’d be sitting in bed making her typical sarcastic comments but instead walked into a very quiet, dark room with Kari in so much pain she could barely utter a word much less stay conscious. Her mom-in-law was puttering around constantly putting cold cloths on her forehead to help get her high fever down and I tried to stave off the tears and sat and held her hand for a long time. I went to see her every day and by Friday afternoon she was in much better spirits but still stuck in the hospital (until today).  I’m very glad she’s recovering in her own home finally.

Marty’s birthday was Saturday and we had an action packed day:

Birthday party #1 included pony rides, pizza, and cake.
Birthday party #2 included bouncey houses, pizza and cake.
Birthday party #3 included beer, beer, and beer.

Guess which parties where for Logan and which were for Marty. Har de har har.
Daycare Halloween Parade



Best friends

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Whoah I can’t believe over an entire month has gone by without an update! Blogs have been kind of dying out for several years now, but I do still enjoy reading other people’s.  I have a pretty short list at this point, much shorter than it used to be. Some due to the attrition rate of blogs in general and some due to the fact I just don’t want to always read about random people I don’t actually know.  I still read people’s that I have never met, but these seem to be people I have been reading for so long I feel like I DO know them! Like if I ever find out they are coming to the Raleigh area, I will definitely want to meet them out for a beer.

As with everyone, a lot has happened in a month.  Since my ‘horrible 5K’ I have been fairly consistent with training and my ‘A’ upcoming race is the Apex Turkey Trot where lots of trash-talking has already started with my nemesis Erik.  I had one week of mostly zero’s as I caught a nasty cold that wouldn’t quit. This coincided with changing jobs (long story) which definitely didn’t help matters and probably slowed the recovery.  But I’m feeling good again and will even be doing my first double in many years today.

We’re getting ready for Halloween although me being not crafty and not having the patience for Pinterest, this is what Logan’s pumpkin looks like. 

He is very happy with it as he doesn’t have a clue about actually carving one. He is going to be a race car driver for trick-or-treating which will be his first time. And our new neighborhood looks like it’s going to be awesome for Halloween. The HOA has a house decorating contest and I have never seen so many graveyards in people’s lawns before.

We’ve also had a slew of visitors recently – first Marty’s dad for a weekend, then our friends Sam & Kevin who moved to Texas, then Marty’s mom, and my mom is flying in on Wednesday. It’s really nice to be able to host people now that we have the room for it.

I would also like to give a shout out to the country of Australia and my nemesis Erik for introducing The Wiggles to Logan.  Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy.

Hanging with my best girl, Jade, at Wrightsville Beach

Reading books with Daddy and Tassie



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rock Bottom

Well that is quite a dramatic blog title. I ran a local 5K this past Saturday. It started about 1mile away from our new house so I figured, why not? I convinced another friend to run it and his 14 year old son (who doesn’t run, but plays lacrosse, who of course beat us both and broke 20min) also came. They met me at the house and we jogged over to the start.

My training, if you can call it training, has been pretty hit or miss for quite a while at this point.  I have been running like someone who is just trying to stay somewhat fit, with the occasional tempo/fartlek thrown in.  Mileage-wise, definitely less than 20 per week, probably right around 15. Now that we’re more settled in the new house, I am ready to get back into it and start to feel more like myself on the run. This 5K was a perfect benchmark to see how bad it was.

It was bad.

And I don’t mean to say this to get people to say to me, oh that is not that bad, and you still won and did great and blah blah blah. I ran a 20:40 on one of the flattest courses you can get around here and it felt HORRIBLE. So there you have it. Marty has begun writing me a schedule again and I’m determined to follow it and get faster. I’m going to target the Wrightsville Beach half marathon in March but I’m not committing to any time goal just yet. I’ll adjust my goals as the months go by. I’ll also jump into more local 5Ks and hopefully they will start to feel better.

Incidentally, I actually reached out to a coach who just does specifically run coaching.  I don’t actually know him, but know he coaches some fast people and have read some of his race reports before (he’s very fast, too) – and he seemed funny yet serious and his rates were low as he has a full time job and just coaches for the fun of it (at least that’s what his website said). Of course, Marty could write me workouts and has always done so but he can get very busy and has to take care of his real clients first.  On the flip side, it is sometimes too easy for me to blow off workouts since it’s my own husband writing them.  So I figured I’d email this guy and see what he said.  He said that he was pretty full with clients but he would like to coach me, so I responded: awesome, here is my background and my goals and what’s next?  But that was 3 weeks ago so I’m thinking he is not going to coach me, haha. But under that haha is definitely an irked Bri as geez an email telling me you really can’t take me on would’ve been nice.  I just can’t imagine having someone inquire about coaching and not give them a straight answer (immediately) back.

The rest of Gaal-life has been full steam ahead.  We had a swim clinic at the pool this past weekend, and then tried to take Logan to a car race which was really freaking far away and upon driving up to the gate we found out it was cancelled due to (non-existent) rain.  We took a quick trip down to Florida last weekend to celebrate Marty’s father’s 80th birthday.  We still have a garage full of boxes that are waiting patiently and messily to be unpacked or stuck in the attic. Marty is in full high school cross country mode and Logan is as cute and fun as ever.  Although I do hear myself  yelling correcting him more and more. Boys will be boys, I suppose.

Instagramming a picture automatically makes it look 10% better

We got to one last Durham Bulls game. Beautiful night and no crowd.

With cousin Jamie

If we're not careful, Logan's hair can look like this.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oh, You're Still Here?

We moved into our new house 2 weekends ago, and the past week has been spent trying to unpack essential boxes while continuing to clear out the old house. It is unbelievable how much crap we have. And I knew this going into the move from prior moves – when you think you are almost done packing up everything, there is still MUCH more to go.  But we are finally at the point where we should hopefully be putting our old house on the market by the end of the week.

It’s been a long time coming. Our old house was great – good location, nice neighborhood, but we were just bursting out of it and needed more space (and a garage).  It was maybe even a little tougher since Marty worked from home and our only spare bedroom was taken up – and without having family close it always made it difficult when someone wanted to come visit.  We had a small walk-in water heater closet outside and it doubled as our bike closet, which was ridiculous. 

Anyways, this is a two paragraph explanation of why, once again there has been radio silence here.  I have been trying to keep up with a few runs a week, one swim, and zero biking.  No more tri’s in the future for me this year, but I would like to increase the run volume real soon so I can do some road racing this fall.

In other news, Logan’s awesome, Marty’s awesome and I’m absolutely loving the Outlander book. OMG. I had heard of this book from a coworker years ago but never got around to reading it until last week – probably my memory was sparked since the cable Channel Starz has picked it up and there’s been a lot of buzz about it.  Incidentally, anyone know how I can watch this since we don’t have a Starz subscription?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lots going on

Things that have happened since I last updated:
  • We bought a house – same general area but I am now only a 4 min drive away from the Kari Mayhew. Next up will be selling our current house.
  • We went on vacation to the Jersey Shore, which I actually hate saying because everyone thinks of the awful MTV show.  We rented a house in Ocean Grove which is a quiet, super cute little beach town. It was lots of fun and Logan has said he wants a beach house. We’ll get right on that, kid. We might be able to afford that once you are no longer in daycare.
  • I did a sprint triathlon, which was quite a disaster in reality, but at least I didn’t end up in the hospital or throwing up across the line as some others. 
  • Logan gets more and more verbal each day and it’s quite amazing to hear what will come out of his mouth. Here are some recent favorites: 
    •  What’s that? X 1,000 – literally, we have hit that stage where he asks what everything is.
    •   What doing, Mommy? Or What doing, Daddy? Again, all the time.  He started saying this suspiciously to me last week when he would wake up from his nap and find me in the living room with cartoons on.
    • No, my do it! – he is getting quite independent
    • He calls any type of dessert item ‘Happy Birthday’ which is quite adorable (except when I ask him what he wants for breakfast and he responds with ‘Happy Birthday’ and then gets mad that I won’t let him).  On our drive back to NC on Sunday we asked him what his favorite part of vacation was and he said, “Ummmmmm, happy birthday!” I guess he did get a lot of treats during the week.
    • He is obsessed with cars.  OBSESSED.  Other moms have said to me, oh yeah, so-and-so loved cars too, but I have yet to meet another little boy at this point that wants to play with cars as much as Logan.  Even at the beach he was constantly playing with cars, and every little kid would get a car courtesy of Logan so they would play with them. But inevitably, after a short time the other child loses interest and wants to do something else.  Logan is content playing with cars anywhere, which is really quite great sometimes for us.  If you begin to watch, a lot of pictures include cars in his hand.
  • Today is Tassie’s birthday – 8 years old!!  
  • And now, pics from our vacation:

  • At the bounce house

    Enjoying some happy birthday

    Burying legs

    The weather was great, the water was freezing

    Beach day every day

    Favorite beach game: throw the ball into the waves

    Some of the houses in Ocean Grove

    Getting ready to watch the last lifeguard competition: the very exciting Beach Flags!

    They all start face down, lying down. Whistle blows and sprint 60 yards and grab a flag. Like musical chairs, there is one less flag then people.

    On the Ocean Grove boardwalk looking toward Asbury Park (any Bruce Springsteen fans out there?)

    Heading toward the beach Saturday morning to watch Daddy in a biathlon (or aquathon)

    Lucky shot, right in the middle of the pic

    Marty ran super fast and was 6th heading into the water

    He finished in 5th place

    Logan and his trophy

    Dinner in Asbury Park

    Happy Birthday, Tassie!