Monday, November 30, 2009

Classic Selah

Gimme that camera.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Studio Pictures

Margie has been asking me for studio pictures for months and I have resisted and resisted and resisted. She finally convinced me today and we went to the mall and I am SO GLAD she made me do it! We ended up with very cute pictures!

Here they are...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot

Mike and I ran the second race of our midwest tour this morning, the Springfield Turkey Trot 5K. We had so much fun! Like the LHF race, there was a huge showing, a record breaking 6000 runners. Marge and her sister Linda braved the early morning chill to cheer us on and watch Selah. After the 1 or 2am bedtime last night, getting out of the house before 7:00 was pretty impressive.

Grandma and Selah playing in the truck before the race.

Mike finished in 17:22, beating his goal of sub-18:00 by a nice margin. He was 25th overall out of 2475 men and 2nd in his age group. The local high school and college cross country seasons just ended, so there was plenty of competition in the younger age groups. The winning male ran it in 15:18.

I PR'ed with 21:16!

My old 5K PR was from my junior year of high school (11 years ago), a pitiful 22:40 for 3 miles. 5K is actually 3.1 miles and that 0.1 would add about 35 seconds, making a total of about 23:15. I really have hardly done any 5K's since then, maybe a half dozen or so in the past year while pregnant or early postpartum. I was REALLY happy with my 21:16 finish today, a PR by about 2 minutes! It was good for 17th woman of 2954 and 3rd in my age group. The winning woman ran 18:30.

More on Thanksgiving to follow!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Family Climbing Outing at Indian Bluffs, Iowa

Monday afternoon Joy and I got out for a quick little climb in one of my favorite old stomping grounds. Just a few miles from the farm where I grew up is a beautiful little chunk of state land called Indian Bluffs. I used to hike and rally my dirt bike around this area as a kid. Later, after I became a climber, I frequented the limestone cliffs which compose some of the tallest rock in Iowa.
Hiking in
The notch in the middle is called the "Gunsight." We scrambled up to its base and climbed the right side of it to gain access to the top of the ridge which forms a mesa of sorts.
Joy, ready to belay with Selah's help.
Looking down at Joy and Selah after I led up the route. There used to be a number of old pitons on the route, relics of the surprisingly long history of climbing in Iowa. There's evidence of climbing dating back to as early as the 30s. Now, all the pitons are gone, but the 5.7ish route can be easily protected with stoppers. Joy climbed the 25-foot route with Selah on her back, tightly strapped in and with a tight belay.
Selah enjoyed playing in the grass and crawling around on top of the formation under the watchful eye of mom and dad.
My beautiful wife, what more can I say.
Here's a cool formation of seashells on top of the ridge.
The view from on top of the formation is amazing, with a number of tall limestone faces in view, bountiful trees, and the meandering Jordan Creek below. Indian Bluff gets its name from the long history of Native American presence there. Chief Black Hawk is a prominent Native Anmerican in Iowa history and Indian Bluff was one of his favorite hunting areas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Selah's First Skiing

Joy forgot to post this, so I'll do it. When the snow was flying a couple weeks ago we got out to Sunlight for a little skinning and skiing with Selah in the backpack. It was her first time skiing unless you count the many days she had bouncing around in Joy's belly last winter, including hiking Highlands Bowl, skiing Mt. Justice, and skinning Sunlight one week before birth.

Snug as can be and totally happy.

Drowned rat

I could have felt like a drowned rat on my run today... but I just stuck my tongue out and caught as many rain drops as I could. I felt so joyful today. It is rainy, windy, and nippy here in Iowa but I just had to get out for a run. I didn't wear enough clothes so instead of getting cold, I just ran as fast as I could. Ended up doing a hilly 7 mile loop in 54:00, 7:42 pace. I am getting faster! Maybe the whole postpartum boost has finally hit, because I have never been able to run even close to that in the past, especially alone in the pouring rain.

A recent changes that are probably affecting my pace:
1. My eye is on the Vegas marathon. I keep visualizing myself crossing the finish line at my goal pace and have thus pushed my pace on my training runs lately.
2. Lost my last pregnancy weight. 5 pounds makes a big difference.
3. Started taking Asmanex, a daily inhaled steroid, for my asthma. My peak flow has increased about 25% in 3 weeks since I started.
4. In Iowa around 800 feet of elevation, down from 6400 at home.
5. Fruits and veggies and veggies and more fruit and more veggies...

I often think about how thankful I am to have running in my life.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Mike and I successfully traveled to Iowa Friday night. . . just barely. Our first flight was delayed by 70 minutes, leaving us with 20 minutes to catch our second flight. Of course, the second flight was in a different terminal and we got there with less than 2 minutes to spare. Mike's bladder was on the verge of bursting, so he had to stop to pee while I ran to the gate. The woman at the gate told him, "You better burst next time!". Amazingly, our luggage made it through the short layover! We had a race Saturday morning and would have been very very very disappointed to not have our bags.

We took advantage of the delayed flight by heading to the park to play. Selah loves swinging, slides, grass, rocks, and playing in general.

Mike and I ran the country's largest cross country race on Saturday morning, the Living History Farms Race. He ran it several times in and after college and actually won it about 10 years ago. The race has now grown to 7500 runners!! We had so much fun! It is all on the LHF, literally through multiple shin to thigh-deep creeks (I think there were 6 or 7 crossings), up mud walls so steep you need ropes to get up them, through corn fields for 7.25 miles. Many dressed up in silly costumes--we saw a pack of Crayons, Santa and his reindeer all tied together, lots of prom dresses on men, men with not nearly enough clothing on, etc etc.

Here we are after the race.

I felt pretty good despite the chill and was happy when I got to mile 2 in 17:30. I didn't have a watch and asked another runner for the time at 4 miles. He said "40:00" and I couldn't believe I had slowed down so much! He must have given me the wrong time because I crossed the finish line at 57:56, about 7:58 pace. That was good enough for 12th in my age group and the 54th woman of 3200 overall! The race gave me a confidence boost for the upcoming Vegas marathon (my goal is 8:25 pace to qualify for Boston). I figure if I can do 7:58 pace through the woods and over logs and through creeks, there's a decent chance I can do 8:25 pace on the flats. Mike ran it in about 45 minutes, good for 8th in his age group and 72nd man.

Selah got to hang out with Grandma while we ran--a treat for everyone involved! Marge is coming to Vegas with us as well.

We're in Monticello now for a few days before driving South to Missouri for the 16th annual AGRA, Annual Great Rieken Adventure. Marge's family has been meeting at her brother Tom's place for Thanksgiving and fun and this will be our first year going. We are so excited!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We woke up to this today:

Beautiful, I know, but I was starting to get used to the Indian Summer that was upon us. I haven't yet had to stop running in shorts (aside from a brief cold spell) and am not ready to self-motivate and get out in the cold. I was able to do Red Hill (alone!) on Thursday after work, one of my fave local trails. I left at 4:30 and forgot that it now get's DARK at 5:15. It's a steep, rocky trail and I topped out at 5:07. One could say it was a mistake, but that just wouldn't be true. It really was a blast skipping through the rocks back home in the dark.

I came home after work to this sweet scene yesterday. Selah has a habit of stroking Mike's hand or my chest while she eats. Those sweet and perfectly soft little fingers make me melt.

We went on a little family hike/run on a new trail near our house. Now that Selah is so big and strong, we can actually run with her in the Ergo, at least uphill and not too fast.

Our friends Nancy and Derek had us over for dinner last night. The kiddos played while we drank wine and celebrated my first night off call in 8 weeks.

Derek and Zach. Z and Selah are 6 weeks apart.

Mike decided to run a 5K this morning in Glenwood. You can see the weather and how every other person is dressed...looks like crazy Mike forgot to bring his clothes! He's the one in the orange shorts and black t-shirt.

S and I snuggled and stayed warm.

One of Mike's XC kids pulled ahead of Mike in the last mile for the win. Ryan is nearly a foot shorter and wore pink polka-dotted socks--just sayin'.

M, Ryan, S, and a couple of the XC girls.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


My parents came to visit for the weekend. What a treat!
Daddy and I on a campus tour.

Me, Selah, and mom.

Mom and Selah laughing at each other during bath time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Two more things...if you think the smoothie sounds disgusting, try it! Also, I am hungry by 10:30 and drink hot tea with a touch of honey to hold me over until lunch.

Back to Prepregnancy weight!

After gaining over 40 pounds during my pregnancy, I am officially back to my prepregnancy weight this week. I exercised my entire pregnancy--ran about 4 miles most days to 38 weeks and skinned and skied to 38 weeks. Everyone told me the weight would slide right off because of the exercise, and they were mostly right. Except for those pesky last 5 pounds! I am in marathon training right now and no amount of running was getting those pounds to budge. Finally, just over a week ago, I got serious and made some changes. The weight fell off in one week! Some of it was probably retained water from eating carbs. Here's what I did...

1. Traded my normal bagel, cream cheese, and jam breakfast for a green smoothie:

1 banana
handful of berries
handful mixed frozen fruit from Costco
1 cup full fat yogurt
small scoop of orange juice concentrate
enough water to blend smooth (1-2 cups)
a few handfuls of spinach

it makes just over a liter

2. Avoided any refined carbs. I have a candy jar on my desk for my students and I have a tendency to dig in a little myself. I moved the jar so I can't reach it and now keep it nearly empty instead of full. I also have a guilty pleasure of a bowl (or two) of sugar cereal at night. I refused to buy more cereal and when Mike did, I made him hide it from me. I don't really eat bread (aside from the breakfast bagel), crackers, chips or other refined carbs very often, so I was really just cutting out the extras.

I feel great! I have been running faster and can feel a big difference with just 5 pounds. My training pace is down to sub 8:30 min/mile while pushing Selah in the stroller. My goal is to qualify for Boston at the Vegas marathon, which means 8:25 pace, or a 3:40 marathon. It is going to be a big challenge for me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We now have an I-Phone

And that means that we always have a camera at the ready. Here are photos from Mike's new phone, enjoy (that means you, grandmas!).

Yesterday, the three of us did a little climbing, a Costco run, and a hike until dark. Selah found her new favorite past time...

...digging in and eating mud. She was scooping it in by the handful and all I could do was watch and laugh for a while. She got pretty pissed when we made her stop.

What, mom, geez? What's the problem?

S and I walking to the crag.

Our hike.

Nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby.

Apparently she didn't want those peas.

Selah has learned how to sit in a high chair and feed herself bits of food. This is very convenient when most of your meals are spent in a cafeteria surrounded by coworkers and high school students, ie she can't crawl around on the floor and play while we eat. This entertains her well and we get to eat hands free.

It snowed 8 inches or so here last Wednesday and was still cold and gloomy on Thursday. We layered up and took the girl out for a run anyway. She was so cozy bundled up in down jackets in the Chariot--she slept the entire run.

My ninja outfit--even my shoes were black.

Layer 1: diaper and socks, Layer 2: onesie and pants, Layer 3: hat and hoodie, Layer 4: Patagonia bunting, Layer 5: Patagonia synthetic suit...and surrounded by multiple down jackets.

Thankfully they plow all of the local bike paths very quickly. They are SO NICE for pushing the jogger.

The two of us warmed up in a hot bath when we got home.

It looked a little different out today:

Mike and I are running the Las Vegas marathon December 6th. This is a self-portrait on an 18-miler today. It was GORGEOUS and I felt incredible, like I could have turned around and done it again. I love days like that. I have started eating "green smoothies" for breakfast-- basically fruit smoothies with a salad's worth of spinach thrown in. I drank one this morning and took the leftovers on the run in a waterbottle. The smoothies don't taste like spinach and the day starts off right with fresh fruits and veggies (who wants to eat spinach salad for breakfast, ech). As I ran, I kept thinking that it was cool to be fueled by spinach and blueberries.

Here's a link to another video of Selah eating, if you're interested.