4

Twilight Recap and Running Buddies

This is slightly delayed (as are most of my posts), but I guess I should go ahead give the race recap for last weekend’s Twilight 4 miler. I know you’ve been dying to hear about it 🙂

after the race, hanging out with friends in the beer garden

after the race, hanging out with friends in the beer garden

It was part of Potomac River Running’s Race Series, so I knew it would be a good, local run with lots of families. The race was advertised as a family event, so there were a lot of things for kiddos like a moon bounce (ok, kids and grown men), face painting, animal balloons, a one mile fun run, etc. I didn’t let my kid partake in any of it – not because I’m mean, but because he’s still too little. I mean, he would have LOVED both the moon bounce and the animal balloons, but I fear that both would have been hazardous to his health. And for the grown-ups there was a beer garden and pizza. This is how we got our friends to come.

It was a night of firsts for me. For starters, this was my first evening race. I’ve seen 7AM many times, but this was my first PM. It was also my first time racing a 4 miler (if you recall, I walked a 4 miler with my mom on Mother’s Day). I’ve run 5ks, 8ks, 10ks, 15ks, 10 milers, half marathons and a full marathon…and now I can add the 4 to my PR list 🙂 And finally, this was my first time racing with Graham! We’ve done plenty of stroller runs and family runs, but there was something a little extra special about having my two guys with me at the start line. I love running and I love racing…and what’s better than sharing these things that I love with the ones that I love?!

family racing

family racing

The first couple of miles Steve and I took turns pushing the stroller, but then I took over the second half. I really love running with Graham. I haven’t always enjoyed it – you know, the whole pushing a kid while trying to run, which is already painful challenging fun rewarding challenging…not what most people call fun. But now that he’s trying to talk I love listening to him during my run. It usually sounds something like, “mama mama mama MAHHMAHHH!” My interpretation, “Wow, mommy, you’re fast! Go, mommy, go!” 🙂

how Graham wishes he could race

how Graham wishes he could race

or maybe like this?

or maybe like this?

but really he's in the BOB.

but really he’s in the BOB.

His babbling was just the encouragement I needed on Saturday! I had forgotten my watch, so I couldn’t constantly look at my pace and distance (which is nice for casual runs, but not for race day). I was able to set my Nike+ on my phone, so while I couldn’t look at it constantly to see my pace, the kind Nike lady in my phone gave me updates with each mile.

Mile 1: 8:04
Mile 2: 7:50
Mile 3: 8:04
Mile 4: 8:59 (mostly uphill)
plus an extra .14 Mile: 0:46 (because apparently I’m terrible at running tangents).

This was the second race that Steve and I have done together and he says I’ve become a much more “agressive” runner. I’m not sure what that means, but I think he meant it as a compliment.

maybe this is why? ;)

maybe this is why? 😉

Steve also swears that I placed 2nd in the “stroller division” (MIL, this is not a real thing – I did not place). Of course, the woman who came in 1st in the make-believe stroller division was Dorothy Beal and she was pushing not one, not two, but THREE kids in her stroller! She’s kind of my hero and I want to be her when I grow up. Trying to keep up with her (and failing miserable) was pretty exciting! Another exciting thing that happened was that I saw Sue from This Mama Runs for Cupcakes! She was volunteering at the water station. When I passed through the first time I was thinking she looks familiar, then it dawned on me – I read her blog! So when I passed through the second time, I was all like, “Oh my gosh, I read your blog!!” Except it probably came out like, huff puff “I” huff puff “read” huff puff “your” huff puff “blog”. Stalker much?? Kidding…I’m not a stalker…promise.

Summary: Fun race with the family. I saw two bloggers whom I stalk follow. I ran almost at my goal pace (that last mile killed me). And I ended the evening with friends in the beer garden. Doesn’t get much better 🙂

I think I mentioned this in my last post, but I recently (like, last week) joined a running club! This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a lonnnng time, and I’m so glad to have finally found one! It’s a great group and I’ve now done about 6 runs with them. The first run was a pub run, which clearly I wanted to be a part of! Then they got me coming back with the promise of cupcakes the following week! Unfortunately, that cupcake run took place in the pouring rain.

apparently I'll do anything for a cupcake

apparently I’ll do anything for a cupcake – rachel and I are drenched in this pic!

With a couple big races coming up in the fall, I want to do my best to stay strong and healthy and injury-free! My plan: run more, cross-train more, and strengthen my core. Have you ever done core with a toddler?

Graham crunches

Graham crunches

side plank & story time

side plank & story time (in package: steve’s father’s day present – shhhh)

With Steve getting ready to head overseas in a couple of days, I have a feeling I’m going to have a lot more stroller runs and Graham&Mommy core workouts 🙂 It’s a good thing he’s a cute kid.

Now, off to enjoy the weekend with said cute kid and my cute baby-daddy 🙂 ….and our cute dog.

xoxo,
Jo

3

Love, 30, and Fail.

“I, I’m so in love with you 
Whatever you want to do is all right with me
‘Cause you make me feel so brand new
And I want to spend my life with you” -Al Green 

Love is in the air! The past two weekends Steve and I attended weddings for some of our dearest friends. Weddings are one of my most favorite things in the world. With every wedding I go to I get chills/tears as the bride and groom say their vows. At no other time in our lives do we make such a huge promise before God, our family and our friends. To have and to hold, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, through sickness and in health. That’s some pretty serious stuff, folks!

Wedding #1

Wedding #1

Caroline and Hunter got married down in, Bland, VA. It was soooo beautiful. Caroline and her super-crafty friends (NOT the Nottoway girls) did all of planning, decorations, flowers, etc. They did an amazing job – if you’re trying to get hitched in southwest VA, I know people. 😉 The weather during their outdoors ceremony could not have been more perfect. It got a little chilly during the reception – but there was plenty of bourbon and a bonfire to keep you warm.

Rehearsal - oh my gosh, the food. I could write an entire post about the cornbread salad!

Rehearsal. Oh my gosh, the food. I could write an entire post about the cornbread salad alone!

Giving our favorite ring barrer some love.

Giving our favorite ring bearer some love.

Bridesmaids getting our hair done. (missing Tina)

Bridesmaids getting our hair done. (missing Tina)

Nottoway bridesmaids :)

Nottoway bridesmaids 🙂

Caro with her flower patrol and ring security :)

Caro with her flower patrol and ring security 🙂 Yes, Widget is wearing a vest!

Such a fun bride! Rocking her boots :)

Such a fun bride! Rocking her boots 🙂

*stole this pic from fb* I love these two and couldn't be happier for them! xoxo

*stole this pic from fb* I love these two and couldn’t be happier for them! xoxo

Wedding #2

Wedding #2

Emily and David got married in one of my favorite places…good ol’ RVA! The ceremony took place in the heart of historic downtown Richmond, in the beautiful garden of a historic museum. It was absolutely picturesque. After the ceremony we drove over to Monument Ave. for the reception that was in Emily’s uncle’s backyard. It was a perfect garden wedding and reception! Maybe it was the JMU crowd, but this wedding was destined to be a party. Between the harlem shake (yes, we did that), corn hole, and taking over the bar, it’s possible that Em and David’s relatives and out-of-town guests are questioning their choice of friends 😉

JMU girls

JMU girls

The whole crew!

The whole crew!

I know this is blurry, but I think it accurately sums up the group.

I know this is blurry, but I think it accurately sums up the group.

IMG_5312

Sweet girls

Silly girls

Silly girls

My hot date

My hot date

Now that I’ve been the big 3-0 for a whole 6 days(!) I’d like to take a moment to offer some advice to the newly weds. Yes, now that I’m 30 and I’ve been married for a whopping 3 years, 7 months and 20 days, I’m pretty sure I’m all sage and whatnot. So here goes:

– Don’t go to bed angry. Sometimes you will and don’t worry, you’re not going to get struck by lightening – you just wake up angry.

– Put your spouse first. Babies are going to come, grow, demand, etc and take up so much of your time, but don’t lose sight of your relationship with each other. The kids are going to leave eventually…or at least that’s what I’ve been promised 😉 Make sure you’ve nurtured your relationship b/c when the kids are gone – it’s just the two of you! (clearly not speaking from experience – just what I’ve been advised to do)

– No passing gas under the covers when you’re cuddled up together. That’s gross. And definitely no passing gas in the kitchen. That’s also gross.

– Remember your vows. No one ever said it was going to be easy.

– Let him load the dishwasher. And then when he’s not looking, rearrange it so that it’s loaded the right way.

– Marriage is NOT 50/50. Nope. Sorry. I think that marriage should be 100/100…but it’s not always. In fact, most of the time it’s 70/30 or 85/15 or 100/0.

– Give compliments. And before you give the compliment, make sure you’re giving it without expecting anything in return – because sometimes you’re not going to get anything in return (which drive me bonkers…..yes, this is something I’m working on haha) and that’s okay.

– And finally: communicate. We are not mind readers. Ask questions, listen, talk like “normal” people, etc. Simple, yes, but often one of the most difficult.

That’s all. I’m 30. I’m smart. Listen to me.

*DISCLAIMER: Please note that I do not claim to be an expert in anything. While I’m sure my parents and my husband think that I’m perfect, God and I both KNOW that I am not. I am currently sitting on my couch quickly brainstorming some quick tid bits of marital advice. Yes, I really am 30, but no, I’m not really sage. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. The above bits of “advice” are just a few of the things that I work on strive to work on every day. Take it or leave it 🙂

RUNNING:  Now, I’m sure you’re all wondering about the FAIL in the title. My marriage advice. Ha. Kidding – that stuff is golden. Here comes a huge confession that, as a self-proclaimed runner, I am mortified to say: I did NOT run on National Running Day! WTF, right?!?!? Gah! The day got away from me. But I did celebrate running by purchasing my new favorite running tank top from Old Navy. Score! Hungry Runner Girl said that it’s okay if I didn’t get a run in, so long as I celebrated this thing that I love. So I bought TWO of my new favorite tank!
Another confession: I’ve been trying to streak with Runner’s World and I’ve failed miserably at that, too! No, I’m not talking running naked – I’m talking about running every day (at least 1 mile) from Memorial Day to Independence Day. I’ve already missed 3 days. I wasn’t a good streaker in college (meaning I never did it), guess I shouldn’t expect to be a good streaker now…especially now that I’m 30!
One way I haven’t failed in the running department: I joined a running club! Yay! More to come on that later.

xoxo,
Jo

PS Sorry this got wordy and a little all over the place in the end. And sorry there weren’t any pictures of Graham. Here’s just one to hold you over:

Graham and little Miss Hadley :)

Graham and little Miss Hadley 🙂