Race Recap: 2014 Indy Mini Marathon

Hi! I’m back with another race recap! My second postpartum half mary is in the books!

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The Mini was the first race I signed up for after Emery came along as it’s close to home and I’ve ran it twice before (read my recaps here and here). Though it’s not necessarily the prettiest race I’ve ever ran, it’s one of the biggest half marathons in the country and it’s always so. much. fun. I tried my best to coerce my Dad to come down and run it with me, but I was unsuccessful (silly work). Thankfully a bunch of Perfect Strangers were registered as well, so at least I had buddies to run with! Long lost ones at that :)

I figured after our decent finish at the ChiTown 1/2 one month ago, I would kick things up a notch and become more consistent with my weekly training runs. Well apparently, excuses have trumped my motivation because I’ve been a super slacker these last three weeks. Anything from, “I’m too tired” to “It’s too windy” or “Sure I’ll have a beer” have taken over my vocabulary. For whatever reason, running just hasn’t been a priority, though I truly wish it were. I managed to eek out one 10 mile weekend, but beyond that, there’s been a whole lot of nuttin’, honey. Even despite my poor mileage, I still had my sights set on running 13.1 Saturday morning come heck or high water.

Emery and I went down to the expo at the Indiana Convention Center on Friday. I loaded him up in the Ergo since it’s usually pretty packed and maneuvering a stroller would’ve been a pain. He was pretty enamored with all the activity around him, which made my expo perusing enjoyable. I ran into Meggie and her husband at packet pickup and we discussed our meet up plans for the following morning. I hit up a few booths to pick up some Feetures, Gu, and a “Crawl Indy” onesie for E before we headed back home for water and carb loading!

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Since Emery only napped once on Friday, he was in bed by 630p, which meant that Mama followed suit, hopping into bed by 730! Sometimes missed naps are a blessing in disguise. My alarm went off at 5a, and after one round of snoozing, I was up and getting myself ready for the morning ahead. For some reason it felt like it had been a long time since I adequately prepared for a race morning, even though it had only been a few weeks. I guess I just missed the ritual. With a coffee in hand, I was on my way downtown by 6a for a race that was scheduled to start at 748!

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I parked and bopped over to the JW (pictured above) where I met up with my PS girlies. This year the race was organized in waves, so with the help of Meggie and a color copy machine, we all “doctored up” our bibs so we could run together. We found ourselves in wave 1, corral E, which I found quite fitting ;)

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The energy at the starting line is electric. It was just as I remembered it two and three years before. It didn’t hurt that the weather was absolutely perfect, 50′s and sunny with just a hint of a cool breeze. We snuggled up in our throwaway shirts for a pre-race pic!

Meggie, Jess, Kelly, Dana, Kristi, moi, Adam

Meggie, Jess, Kelly, Dana, Kristi, moi, Adam (not pictured: Martha)

Our backdrop. <3 Indy.

Our backdrop. <3 Indy.

Wave 1 took off according to schedule and we soon found ourselves cruising past the Indianapolis Zoo. Just like last time, our cute “little” elephant was on the sidelines cheering us on! Meggie, who was two steps behind me, started yelling “Hey elephant! Over here!” while trying to get a pic. Standard antics ;)

Photo cred: MD

Photo cred: MD

We joked pre-race that none of us had truly properly trained and that we were all out to just finish in a respectable amount of time. Kelly said the last time she had ran 13.1 miles was this weekend last year, with about a dozen miles in between ;) After a little discussion, we figured a 10 minute/mile was an appropriate starting pace and we’d take it from there. These kinds of races are the best. Very little expectations with the sole goal of having fun. It didn’t take long for the chatter to ensue, and despite the months away from each other, we instantly fell right back into the groove we have always so comfortably fit.

The first few miles went fairly quickly. As soon as few of us would pull ahead, we would just as quickly fall back to the rest of the group when the gap got too big. As always, the course was crowded, but I really do feel like the wave start helped even things out immensely. We passed a bagpiper, the cloggers, belly dancers, and all kinds of teenage bands who were out bright and early to keep things rocking. We also cruised past a Pancake and Steak House which immediately made my belly rumble. A chocolate Surge gel and Sport Beans sufficed.

It usually isn’t until the second half of the race when things start to get uncomfortable. And that’s exactly what happened. When we ran up the giant hill to enter Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we decided we would jump off course and make a quick potty stop together. We were in and out quickly and continued on our merry way. As we ran, I tried to take a couple over-the-head group selfies. PS, I need botox.

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As we approached the Yard of Bricks, we decided to grab another pic. Kissing the bricks is apparently kind of a cool thing to do and the PS girls did it last year. We did our best to stay to the right as not to get trampled by the throng of runners. We struggled a bit as you can see below ;) Some professional-type guy from IMS took a picture too, but I have no idea where to find it. So photographer man, if you’re reading this (fat chance), send it over!

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Right after these pictures was when we all started slowing down a bit. Legs and hips were tight, tummies were upset, and we were over the track (it’s fun to start, but 2.5 miles is a bit monotonous, plus the slope stinks). We took a few walk breaks, but always pointed out something ahead that once we passed, we would start running again.

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Meggie & I

As soon as we left the track, we found Martha’s Dad who was waiting to cheer on his girl(s). COG award!

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And I snapped my own pic and texted it to my Dad. Check my first Mini recap for a better explanation ;)

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The miles after the track are probably the worst of the entire race. Cramped back roads with absolutely no scenery and very little crowd support. It’s also the point where the reality that there’s still about 5 miles yet to run sets in. Our group started to split apart a bit at this point, Meggie, Jess and Dana out front, Kelly and I in the middle, and Martha and Kristy a few steps behind. Though we were all hell-bent on finishing as strong as we could, we figured we could get in around 2:15 (which we would ALL be happy with).

There was, however, one moment during those boring miles that stuck out. We spotted a man earlier in the race that was wearing a neon yellow shirt that proclaimed this was his 20th Mini Marathon. Incredible, right? Well after the track, he was once again close by. I overheard another man congratulate him on his accomplishments. The man thanked him and said something to the effect of, “I gotta stick around for my kids! It’s all for them!” Heartstrings PULLED. And how true is that? Everything we do is now all for them.

Pairing up with Kelly turned out to be the absolute best thing for the both of us. Every time someone asked how I was feeling, I would reply “Good!” And for the most part, it was the truth. Most of my energy stemmed from the fact that I was honestly just happy to be out there and running. But I was definitely not as boppy as I was during the first half. My hips and quads were incredibly tight and I was just pooping out. Kelly was in the same boat as I was physically (not to mention her emotions were also running high due to my ill-timed questions). Every little while she would say, “Okay, I’m going to walk for a minute.” So we would both walk until the next identified landmark. Even though she kept telling me I didn’t have to stop, I did. Every time. Where did I have to go? I wasn’t going to win the race, or my age group for that matter. So a little walk was welcomed. My hips and quads thanked me for the rest.

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The breaks started becoming a little more frequent in the last two miles. And I found that it was my job to keep us both focused on the finish. Eyes on the prize, like my Mama says. I encouraged us to slow down. I pointed out how close to the finish line we were. Simple things took our minds off the pain. At least for a short while. And before we knew it, we were there! And this happened,,,

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Photo cred: Indy Star

Best picture, right?? Sums our experience up perfectly. We couldn’t have done it without each other.

Final time: 2:15:52

We caught up with the three girls who finished just minutes before us and per usual, grabbed yet another pic.

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Kelly and I said goodbye to the other girls, who all had to jet to various activities right away. We, however, had some time to kill so we headed to the post-race party where we had a celebratory beer in the Blue Mile tent. Nothing beats relishing in a personal victory over laughter and ice cold beer. & I’d say completing 13.1 miles counts as something to celebrate! We also met up with Kristi and Martha who finished just a few minutes after us. The post-race air had a bit of a chill to it, but it was truly the perfect spring day.

As I made the short walk back to my car, I couldn’t help but smile. Being back here. Back with my people. All doing what we love with some of the people we love most. It’s something I’ve missed terribly. And something I never want to stop. Despite my occasional slacking and lack of motivation, there’s something deep inside me that will always have a love for running. And like that man reminded me, I do it for my kids.

My biggest fan

My biggest fan

Nine Months

Dear Emery,

 

You’re mine all mine, and now you’re nine!

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[ps,, sorry I'm a week late!]

Month 9 was craaaazzzzyyyy busy, bud! You had so many firsts: first time in the front of the shopping cart, first trip to Chicago, first flight (!!), first time in the ocean, first boat ride, first Easter, and lots of food firsts too. You also topped off the month with your first signs of crawling. To say you’ve kept your Mommy and Daddy on the go is an understatement!

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Physically you’re becoming more and more grown up every single day. One of the moms at swim class this week said you’re even looking older just since last week! Your eyes are still blue as can be and your belly is just the cutest potbelly I’ve ever seen. You’re a blondie just like your parents were when they were little and your hair is as soft as silk. Your mom is also obsessed with your adorably long toes, but just hopes they’ll stay cute forever ;)

Florida feet

Florida feet

Your curiosity is out of control these days! Lately you do this thing with your pointer finger. Well,, you point. At everything. All the time. I wonder when I should tell you that it’s not particularly polite, but right now it’s adorable. Plus it’s your way of exploring, which is very important at your age. You’re also always looking around. You seem to be very content when we’re out in public – lots and lots to see! You giggle uncontrollably in the grocery cart, mostly because your Mama acts like a fool running you up and down the aisles making silly noises. She just can’t resist your sweet laughs. Your curiosity peaks after nap time, when I can usually find you peering over your crib bumper looking for someone to come rescue you. I love it.

Sleeping! Still doing great. After waking up usually between 6-7a, you’re ready for your morning nap about 2 hours later. That is, after your morning dose of Cheerios + breakfast. When your head hits my shoulder, I know you’re ready to snooze. So up we go to your room, where we snuggle in our rocking chair and I read you a story. I love these moments with you. So snuggly and innocent. You’re good in your crib for an hour at least, sometimes two. PS,, I’m SO proud of how far you’ve come on your napping!! On days when you have swim class, you forego your morning nap until afterwards, and usually those are the good ones since you’re so pooped out! You typically take an afternoon nap too, though timing is more random based on the day. You went through a little spurt a few weeks ago when you took three long naps a day! This was pretty short lived, but I think you were growing, my big little man :)

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Your bedtime is usually around 7-730p, which makes doing anything outside of the house at night a bit challenging. Dinners out included. But there’s something to be said for a nice routine. Dinner, bath time, bedtime is usually the sequence. And our theory: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! You average about 10-12 hours of slumber at night, which is beyond our expectations, but much appreciated.

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I wrote allll about our trip to Florida in my last blog post, but I have to reiterate that was probably the biggest, most exciting event of the month! Not only was it a learning experience for us both (learning to fly, travel together solo, etc), it was a fantastic one at that. Sand, ocean, swimming, shopping, dolphins, friends. Couldn’t have been better. In fact, we’ve already talked about returning for spring break next year!

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A couple of weeks ago, Mommy decided that it was time to start feeding you lunch. You’ve still been nursing, though we’ve cut back to about 3-4 times a day (becoming less and less interested + low supply). But your snacking had gotten out of control. You acted like you were starving all the time (which I know you weren’t!), and at times I felt bad. My main apprehension in starting you on lunch was the fact that it would interrupt our day at a time when we’re usually fairly busy. But thankfully it’s going quite well. I usually have a good stash of fruits and veggies on hand for you so it’s just a matter of taking time to whip something up, sit down and eat! It also gives Mommy the chance to eat something herself – she falls short on her nutrition a lot of the time, though she’s not blaming you at all, kiddo ;) You’re a total piggy (you can throw back a whole sweet potato in one sitting), and still give off that starving vibe. But based on your 9 month stats, you’re a very well nourished little boy.

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You still eat purees, mostly at breakfast, but I’ve been a lot more adventurous lately, giving you small chunks of foods. Your coordination is great and you’re very capable of feeding yourself, but Mom is still getting used to the huge highchair messes you make! You’re not very picky at all right now either, which is awesome. Here’s a list of some new foods we’ve tried this month (all homemade!).

  • Plums (w/ oatmeal)
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Green beans (didn’t love them, but probably because of the tough skins. Maybe when you get some teeth – still none yet!!)
  • Steamed baby carrots
  • Turnips (who would’ve thought! Even I’ve never had one!)
  • Brown rice
  • Broccoli (again, not a fan. Will retry)
  • Spaghetti squash

One day I sprinkled a little cinnamon on your applesauce, and shortly thereafter noticed a little redness around your mouth. No other symptoms (swelling, rash, trouble breathing), and the redness went away by morning. But it was probably the most concerning thing I’ve encountered since starting you on solids. Mama had a minor freak out. You’ve done other spices fine (salt, garlic powder, etc), so will just have to keep a close eye on this!

Movement! Last month we worked on getting you interested in crawling, of which you had little to none. I tried putting things just out of your reach to get you to scoot towards it. No luck. Not even food would get you to move! But at the end of this month, you started showing more promise. You started pulling on stationary things (mostly me), which would force you to scoot little by little. We let you stand on your feet as much as possible (with help of course), and you have some seriously strong legs!

So on your 9 month birthday, you were on the floor playing while Mommy was getting ready for the day. I looked over and saw you army crawling on the floor. You were kind of just turning around in circles reaching for toys, but there was definite movement!!

And since then, you’ve been pulling your knees underneath you and propelling yourself forward, which usually ends up in a forward flop. But you’re getting there!! It won’t be long before you’ve got those arms and legs coordinated, that’s for sure.

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If I had to say something negative about this month, it’s that you’ve turned pretty clingy. Mostly to me. One might even call you a Mama’s Boy (not me of course!!). I suppose it’s because we spend most of our days and nights together, huh?! When your Dad gets home in the evening, you’re usually on the tired side. So that plus clinginess = a fussy little man. I find it best to just stay out of your sight when I hand you off to someone else. That way you’re not reminded that I’m close by. As much as I love the attention, sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming. I keep reminding myself that these days are short-lived, so enjoy it while I can. Someday you won’t want to love on me as much. Though I hope that day never comes.

 

9 Month Stats:

Weight: 18 lbs 8 oz (18%)

Height: 28 1/2″ (60%)

Head Circ: 17 1/2″ (26%)

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Milestones Achieved/ Firsts:

  • Sitting in the front seat of the shopping cart.

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  • First walk on the Monon!

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  • First road trip to Chicago.
  • First time as a race spectator (see above).
  • First flight.
  • First time in the ocean.
  • First boat ride!
  • Three meals a day.

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  • Pulling up on things, mainly Mommy.
  • Standing (supported).

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  • First time behind the wheel.

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  • First Easter! Check out these great pics from our weekend in Michigan!

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Things You Like:

  • FOOD!
  • Tickles
  • Your paci/ wubbanubs

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  • Allie
  • Bubbles at bathtime
  • Any songs Mama sings. Well at least they make you smile :)
  • Toys: your doctor set, Mo the Monkey, Morty the Moose, your carseat monkey.

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  • Story time! Gigi gave you two big boxes of older books last weekend, so we have a lot of reading to do!
  • Walks outside in the stroller,, in your Superman sunnies.

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  • Gymboree
  • Swim class – you’re learning how to kick and blow bubbles!

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Things You Don’t Like:

  • Being away from Mom when she’s in clear sight.
  • Diaper changes when you’re just waking up/ about to fall asleep.
  • Not getting enough attention!

Places We’ve Been This Month:

  • Chicago
  • Destin, Florida
  • Michigan

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Exciting Upcoming Events:

  • The month of May is an exciting one in Indy! I’m sure we’ll find some good stuff to keep us busy. Just being outside sounds exciting to Mom!

Things Mommy Is Looking Forward To:

  •  Her first Mother’s Day!

 

Last Month,,,

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This Month!

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Oh, Emery. I should start calling you my little lightbulb, because you light up my life. I guess there’s a song about sunshine that would work just as well ;) I have a sneaking suspicion that this next month is going to be pretty pivotal for all of us. So bring it! Let’s show May whats up. Til then, keep up the good work. We love you so much!!!

 

Love always,

Mommy
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Experience: Destin-ation Florida!

Back in February, my friend Jaime and I were commiserating about the awful winter weather and how badly we could both use a warm vacay. Truth be told, we commiserate a lot together. But I digress! She mentioned her uncle had a condo in Destin that might be available. Before I knew it, she was booking the unit for the week AND inviting Emery and I to join her and her boys! Umm, let me think about that for a sec,,,,, YES!!

J planned on driving from Indy to Florida, but recommended that E & I look into flights because 12 hours in a car would likely be a little much for an 8 month old (agreed). She would bring some of my bigger items in her truck (i.e. pack and play/ Emery’s “crate,” diapers, carseat base, etc) so I wouldn’t have to lug as much through the airport alone. Not gonna lie,, I put off booking our flights for a LONG time due to my general anxiety about flying solo with my baby. I’m not a huge fan of flying in the first place, so this was pretty over the top for me. My list of concerns was ridiculous: packing, checking luggage, the actual plane part, layovers, etc. I eventually bit the bullet and booked the flights, and thankfully felt some relief. But every day leading up to our departure was still full of fear. I wished I could just magically transport the two of us down to the beach and avoid the whole travel part! No dice.

We returned home from our trip to Chicago on Monday afternoon, giving us very little time to put the finishing touches on our suitcases and preparations. We were, however, able to enjoy some quality time with the hubs, who would be staying back home because of work. Mamas & babies only on this trip! After putting E to bed and packing up the car, I hopped into bed as it was recommended by many that I get a good pre-flight night’s sleep.

E was still on central time, and unfortunately woke us both up at 530a, well before my alarm clock. Never fails! It worked out fine though because the early wake up gave us time to say our goodbyes to Daddy, have breakfast, and get on the road by 8a.

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Thank goodness Jaime took the PNP and the carseat base, because Mama’s hands were FULL heading into battle!! I decided to bring our stroller (which I gate checked) for when I needed to take E out of the Ergo carrier. And I had bought this sweet backpack carseat carrier from Amazon, which was a lifesaver. Carseat on my back, baby on the front, stroller/ diaper bag in one hand, suitcase in the other. Let’s do this.

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Heading in!

We arrived to the airport plenty early, so I did my best to keep E visually stimulated for the hour and a half pre-board. This included his favorite food group: carbs :)

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We boarded the plane and took our window seat (which ended up being the wrong one, so we switched). I pulled out all his goodies in Ziplock bags and put them in the seat back. When the plane started moving, I gave him his juice bottle, which he anhiliated quickly, leaving me with nothing to give him as we actually took off. This is when the cries began. E’s new thing is to arch his back and throw his head back when he’s mad, and that’s exactly what he did. While trying to refill his bottle with water, the passenger next to me made some odd comment, telling me I should relax because he didn’t know any better. Um, thanks but obviously I’m going to be a bit unnerved with a crying baby on his first flight. He at least offered to help me with the bottle. After 10-15 minutes of tears, E finally passed out on my chest and we enjoyed the rest of the flight snuggled up together with a little playtime post-nap.

Post-nap

Post-nap

We had a quick layover in Houston, where I found us more carbs before boarding flight #2. We were shoved in the last row of a mini plane that bounced around frequently with a window shade that didn’t go up. But we were fuss-free and actually had a bit of fun drinking my Mighty Mango Naked juice together! First flying experience: success!!

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We landed in Fort Walton Beach and were immediately met by Jaime, Luke and Jacob at baggage claim! This little heartthrob took some of my precious cargo off my hands ;)

After a quick 20 minute drive, we arrived in Destin. We stopped at The Crab Trap for a late lunch/ early dinner. Popcorn shrimp and a celebratory Woodchuck Cider for all! && more bread for the little one.

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After lunch, we drove up to Publix to get some grub for the next couple of days (“Turn right, then turn right.” Oh you’re right across the street? Kthx). Once we returned, we made our way down to the beach, which was literally a hop across the road. No words can describe how excited I was to put E’s toes in the sand for the first time. It didn’t hurt that it was the most gorgeous beach I had ever laid eyes on.

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Perfect toes in perfect sand

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Wind? Whitecaps? Pssh.

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Wednesday morning we had some business to tend to right off the bat. Sadly, there was a death in Jaime’s family the day we arrived and she needed to get home by Friday instead of Saturday like we had planned. Thankfully, after a quick call to American Airlines, we were able to switch our exact flight from Saturday to Friday for just $8. Clearly we were both a little bummed to have to leave such a beautiful place a day early, but life happens. There’s too much to be thankful for to be sad over something so small.

Plus, we had this:

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We picked up a few more goodies at Target that morning (pool floatie included!) and headed to the pool upon our return. Well, let me rephrase. The other family went to the pool. This family was stuck inside the condo for TWO AND A HALF HOURS while someonE took a coma! Figures he chooses Florida as the place he’d like to take his longest nap ever ;) The second he awoke, we sunscreened up and headed outside!

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It was still a bit breezy, but we kept warm floating around in the water!

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Like my new Superman sunnies?!

Everyday, the Mamas had to do some coercing to get the boys to go to the beach. For some reason, pool > beach in their kiddo minds. So despite a little sassiness, we eventually made our way down to the water, where we ended up spending well over an hour walking, kite-flying & playing in the water/ sand. It was perfect.

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My little lovey

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L & JLo

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Later we enjoyed a frozen pizza and made a trip to the outlet mall down the street, after which the Mamas drowned their crazy kid sorrows in all of this:

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The perfect accompaniment to ’19 Kids and Counting’ and ‘Cyberstalkers’

If only they weren’t so darn cute.

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I should note that Emery’s sleeping was wayyyy out of whack the entire trip. The condo had one bedroom (which was generously offered to us), so E slept in the pack n play next to my bed. It’s SO hard sleeping SO close to your little one. Every move I made I felt like I was going to wake him up. And wake up he did. At 430a on day 1, 230a on day 2, and 530a on day 3. We survived, but at the time it was a bit brutal. Thankfully he napped almost every time I toted him around in the Ergo.

Day 3 was my favorite day (“What day is today?!”). We woke up and had coffee/ breakfast per usual while E played on the [sandy] floor.

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We headed down to the water bright and early to soak up as much beach time as possible. The day couldn’t have been more gorgeous. The wind was gone, the sun was out, and the water was crystal clear. Can I live here? Please?

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Babywearing = naptime. On the beach. Under the sun. Toes in the sand. Not complaining.

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Once E awoke, we went straight to the ocean!

And we got some of my most favorite pictures ever.

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Including a non-selfie with my girl (thanks Luke!).

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We played in the sand. And ate some of course.

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I think E had fun :)

The afternoon is what we had been looking forward to all week,,, DOLPHIN CRUISE!!

But first. Let me take a selfie.

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;)

We drove down to the marina and snapped a group pic while waiting to board our cruiser, the SeaBlaster!

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Sunnies for everyone!

And the boys played in the cutouts!

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When J had asked if I was interested in going on this boat ride, knowing good and well I may say no because of Emery, I hesitated for about 2 minutes. Sure it’s a boat. Everyone’s at risk of flying off. But we would have a baby lifejacket in tow, and there would be no death defying stunts. So again,,, YES. Sign us up.

Baby's first boat ride!

Baby’s first boat ride!

The ship’s crew were fantastically attentive, and the whole atmosphere of the cruise was so. fun. We were told when we signed up that we would get a free drink, but apparently this meant we could have as many as we wanted! Oh darn :-P No worries, we were responsible. We were given saltines to feed the seagulls, who took them directly out of our hands. And we listened to throwback music, which was hard not to love. All the while, we headed out further into the water in search of dolphins. And holy moly, did we find some!

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J & I decided that running a dolphin cruise would most definitely be the best job in the world. It was so incredible to watch. There were at least 15 dolphins out there, a baby dolphin included! Lots of people commented on how this was the most they’d ever seen. And as if watching them swim wasn’t enough, when the boat sped up, the dolphins followed! WATCH!

(you can watch more videos on my YouTube channel here)

We cruised for a total of 2 hours. The older boys drove the boat. We laughed and enjoyed the warm sunshine. It was glorious.

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We followed up our boat ride with lunch at Margaritaville and some trampoline jumping at the marina. We also randomly ran into our friends Mark and Denise, who spend some time in Destin during the cold midwestern months! Such a small world.

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High rise high chair!

It’s safe to say that after all that activity, we were exhausted by time we got back to the condo. We put the boys to bed and finished up the remaining beer & wine in our fridge while packing our things. 530a came early the next morning, and after loading up the truck, we started our trek away from the beach we had absolutely fallen in love with.

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Apparently after flying with a baby once, you pretty much get the hang of it. Either that or my baby is amazing, because our two flights back went absolutely seamlessly. Our flight out of Pensacola was on a little plane, but only half full, so we had a whole row to ourselves (in which E napped). And though our plane out of Dallas was a big/ full one, the lady next to us was wonderfully kind, and E napped again for well over an hour. The drive home from the airport was probably the most stressful part of the day, and that wasn’t even that bad! Just call us a well-oiled machine ;)

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And that’s it! What a week. My emotions have truly come full circle. From flying anxiety which morphed into vacation excitement which morphed into complete gratitude. I truly couldn’t be more grateful for the time spent with one of my best friends and our boys. How special for us to even be able to take a trip like this. I now have memories that will be forever etched into my mind. And E has checked off so many firsts! So stinkin’ fun. I already cannot WAIT to get back to that beautiful beach. Destin 2015,, who’s in??! Maybe we’ll even pack the Daddies next year.

Luke & Jacob ~ thank you so much for inviting us to Florida! We had so much fun with you! Thanks for watching Emery when I needed a little help, and feeding him too! You two are such special boys. We love you!

Jaime/ Aunt Yaya ~ no words, Mama. None. Except,, Alvin’s Island :) I love you and am so blessed to have you and your family in my life! Can’t wait for our next adventure!

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Race Recap: ChiTown Half Marathon

My first postpartum half mary of 2014 is complete!

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A little backstory on this race:

In April 2012, I planned on running my second marathon. Long story short, I injured myself and pulled out of all my spring races, the marathon and the ChiTown Half included. I debated on whether or not to run a shorter distance in Chicago, but instead decided to play cheerleader for my Dadyo, who ended up setting a PR. Ever since, Dad and I have talked about running it again, together this time. So a few months ago, after some brief emailing/heckling back and forth, he registered the both of us for 13.1! I was extremely skeptical since I hadn’t truly gotten back in the saddle since Emery was born. I even begged him to change our race to the 10K! But since having a race on the calendar always keeps me on track, I decided to take it on.

When discussing logistics, Dad realized that him and my mom had actually planned a trip to Mexico the week before the race, with flights that would bring them back into the USA literally the night before. Though it had the potential to be an absolute disaster, we decided to go on for it and see what happened!

Leading up to race day, my training was pretty darn erratic. I’d blame the weather again, but this time it was my own fault and my continued lack of postpartum motivation. The weather was behaving as best it could for spring in the midwest. I logged a few solid distance runs in the preceding weeks, an 8.25, 9.99, and 6 miler. I  also sprinkled in a few shorter stroller runs during the week, but nothing consistent. And the week before the race I ran only once, a short 3.5 miler on Tuesday. I definitely didn’t feel prepared going into the weekend, but figured at the very least, this race would be a reality check. Letting me know just how capable my body was to run this sort of distance after such a long hiatus.

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Since the hubs was on call all weekend, Emery and I made the trip to Chicago solo on Saturday morning. I timed it so we’d be on the road during his morning nap, which worked out perfectly. He slept for a solid 2 hours early on and during the final leg he played happily in the backseat. Such a good travel buddy! After hitting some tedious downtown traffic, we arrived to my brother’s condo around 130p.

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We chilled inside for a bit after arriving, so this guy could catch a few more z’s ;)

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We had a pretty low key day, taking a nice walk around his new neighborhood and getting take out chicken dinner while immersed in WWE. I hopped into bed around 10p CST in attempts to rest up for the big day ahead!

Even though I should know better by now, I set my alarm for 545a just to ensure that I’d be up and situated on time. But likely because of the time difference, Emery was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 5a. I guess it could’ve been worse. At least we were both dressed, fed, and ready to rock by 7a (race start was 815a). Oh, and remember how I said Mom and Dad would be flying in from Mexico the night before? Well turns out, their plane was an hour late, getting them to Detroit by midnight, at which time they jumped in the car and spent the next 4 hours driving to Chicago, getting in just after 4a. Holy smokes. Such dedication. Thank goodness for 5 Hour Energy and a wee bit of adrenaline!

I handed E off to Gigi, then Dad and I took an Uber cab down to the race start at Diversey Harbor where we picked up our custom bibs :)

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It was an absolutely gorgeous morning, blue sky and sunny, though chilly in the high 30′s. Temps would be in the low 40′s by time we’d finish. We snapped a few pre-race pics while hopping around trying to stay warm.

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We chatted briefly about our pacing plans, and casually agreed to hang around the 10 min/mile pacers, knowing good and well we were capable of running faster if we wanted. Or vice versa. We shoved our Gu and Sport Beans into our pockets (junk in the trunk!), Dad turned on his Pandora, and before we knew it, we were off!

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From what I can remember, the course was slightly different than a couple years ago. We started our run heading north around the harbor but quickly turned south onto Lakeshore Drive less than a mile in. I took a quick vid!

After Lakeshore, we looped back north at the edge of the Lincoln Park Zoo around mile 3. This took us back around Diversey Harbor and then up to Belmont Harbor by mile 6. There was quite a bit of bobbing and weaving due to some mud puddles leftover from the previous days of rain. But overall the course was on paved road, which was nice on the legs. Dad and I felt good to start. Breathing was controlled, legs felt loose. No issues early on! We cozied up to the 9:55 min/mi pacers and stayed put, checking in with each other regularly.

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Happy Hap! Don’t fall!

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Our ‘Old’ Friend!

Somewhere around the halfway point, we were definitely starting to feel the burn. My right hip and leg were tight and Dad’s kneecaps were on fire (“Ignite my kneecaps!”). We would frequently pull ahead of the pacers, but each time we’d walk through a water station for a quick break, they’d pass us again. This back and forth kept happening for most of the second half, which didn’t bother me too much, knowing that we still had it in us to pull ahead when we were ready.

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Somewhere by Montrose Harbor, mile 9-ish. Still beautius!

Every race, miles 10-13 are the longest and most painful. Both mentally and physically. This race was no different. During these miles I still had hip tightness that I was trying to ignore. Dad was feeling his sleep deprivation. And it felt like we would never turn back towards that darn finish line. Maybe we should’ve prepared a little better? Nahh. We ran by a couple hospitals towards the end and wondered if they had an express lane for runners. And when an ambulance flew down Lakeshore, we’d tried to flag it over to pick us up ;) At least we kept each other entertained with our ‘Poor Me’ attitudes.

I texted Ricky around mile 10 letting him know where we were. And around mile 12.5, we saw them heading towards the finish area. Mom and Ricky were walking, and Emery was cozied up in the stroller, pushed lovingly by his uncle.

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Pre-race selfie. Love.

I decided to record a follow-up video at the tail end of our adventure.

As you can see, not feeling so hot. But determined to finish strong. Ps,, a PW = personal worst. For some reason, our 9:55 pacer went flying past us during the final stretch, to which I said to Dad, “I’m sure as heck not sprinting this one in.” His response: “This IS sprinting!”

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Per usual, we grabbed each other’s hands and crossed that finish line together with them held high in the sky. Our final time was 2:07:53,, not our best yet definitely not our worst. And in all honestly, I am extremely proud of how we did. Sure we struggled at times. Things didn’t always feel great. But we kept moving, even finishing ahead of our projected pace time (average 9:45 min/mi). The race itself was also very well run, with well-organized water/ gatorade stops and lots of volunteers pushing us runners along. And the hoodie is awesome too!

Though our 7 P’s weren’t in order for this race, thankfully we have another attempt at the Bayshore Half in about 6 weeks. And we’ve already determined that that race will be our best. Daddy got his sub-2 hour finish in this race 2 years ago. Now it’s time for us to get one together!

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Finishers & our cheerleaders!

Oh,, we had a great rest of the weekend too :)

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Afternoon snack

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Pick me up!

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Anyone seen my puff?

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Post-race lunch/ cocktails at The Southern

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I have a baby! In a bar!

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Dinner @ Hot Chocolate

 

Til next time, Chi!

Next stop:: FLORIDA!!!! 8-)

Wordless Wednesday: Photo Dump!

You know what? I’ve realized that the majority of my WW posts are almost always NOT wordless. More like much LESS wordy than usual ;) Either way, here’s what we’ve been up to lately, with shorter captions!

 

E & I visited our friends The Fellers a couple Fridays ago. Pizza, playtime for the boys, and wine time for the mommies. Thankfully I changed E into his jams before we left, because this was the scene upon returning home. Signs of a good time!

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E typically hangs out on the counter while I’m doing stuff at the sink. So lately the window crank has become a new fun object to chew on. Good view at least.

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Our family got together up in Michigan for a [very] belated Christmas dinner a couple weeks ago, so E & I sent the group a pic during his dinner to say hi!

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These are some of my favorite moments of each day. Rocking E to sleep. Kairos.

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Someone has graduated to the front seat of the grocery cart!

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A lazy morning on the lumpy couch with Curious George.

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Another lazy morning, this time in Mom & Dad’s bed, with toys and Cheerios.

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I went into E’s room the other day to retrieve him after nap time, only to find him peering over his bumper. His curious looks turned to smiles as soon as he saw me :)

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Umm, when did you turn into a toddler??

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On our way to our playdate with Angie & Dom! (Gator not included)

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Spent a lovely Sunday morning running solo in our subdivision. Couldn’t help but snap a few pics of the greens, which are now actually green! Spring is [finally] springing!

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Emery sporting yet another hand-me-down,, Osh Kosh overalls! They were so. darn. cute.

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& those toes!!! (note: nails were cut immediately after this pic)

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Emery and I took our first walk together on the Monon the other day! It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed the Vitamin D!

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Sunny selfie, with sunnies.

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Fresh air = good naps. More kairos.

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Spring means:: open windows, fresh flowers, and fruit smoothies. Yesterday’s deliciousness included blueberry, banana, kale. Now time to invest in a better blender!

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xo!