I hope everyone had a good Turkey Day... I think it's one of my favorite holidays of the year.
For the past two years, David and I have managed to balance both our families with zero conflicts or drama--you have to love that!
After Grandma's outstanding meal, we headed out to let Cher pick her gun for deer hunting.
Larry pulled some guns out of his truck... impressive, no?
More impressive when posed next to some Bud Light.
Cher dressed up for the occasion-- wearing boots, tights, and a dress to practice shooting.
It only could have been better if she was wearing pearls.
David got in on the action...
But I chose to take self-portraits instead.
I think the little guns are scarier than the big ones!
The next morning, Grandma, Mom, and I headed to Kansas City to do some shopping...and nearly ran out of gas on the way. As we were leaving Paola, Mom wanted to fill up, but Grandma refused.
With 39 miles until Empty, you can understand why Mom wanted to fill up.
We pulled into the gas station in Olathe with 9 miles left to go. Turns out, Grandma had a coupon she wanted to use. She assured us that she wouldn't have cut it so close if she had been in the car alone... apparently, she felt safer with Mom and me there.
After shopping, I met up with David and his family for another turkey dinner. Yum, yum!
And some time playing with the baby :)
Saturday, the boys went to the Mizzou-KU game and I went to lunch with Debra, Danna, and Debra's cousins. After that, I met up with my friend Cari to meet her 5 month old, Kai.
At one point he was staring at me and Cari said, "Kai likes you." I informed her that I had just been holding Liam and maybe he smelled the other baby on me.
Wrong-o, Darcie. Babies aren't like dogs when it comes to that.
I need to read a book about babies.
After that, back to David's grandma's house for more Liam time.
My last day of work before the holiday is O-V-E-R.
And I'm happy... we're heading out of town tomorrow morning, hopefully stopping in KC to meet my friend Cari's new baby, and spending the night in Lyndon.
Thursday is Thanksgiving at Grandma Stainbrook's. I'll spend the night there and David will probably head to KC to spend the night with his Grandma. Friday is SHOPPING with Nanc & Wilma until David picks me up, followed by David's family Thanksgiving. David and the men are going to the Mizzou/KU game on Saturday so the ladies are going to do lunch and shop.
Sunday... back to St. Louis, but David's begging for a pit stop in Columbia for a basketball game.
For the first time in years (literally--no exaggeration), I went a whole weekend and DIDN'T GO RUNNING.
Can you believe that?
I've got to say... I'm kind of loving not being on a strict training plan right now. Saturday, I woke up without an alarm (at 8, incidentally) and went to the Farmer's Market, the library, and grocery store. While David watched the Mizzou vs. K-State game, I went for a lovely long swim. (I think it's a smart plan for me to abdicate the house when our alma maters are playing each other, don't you?) Then I came home and cooked.
I forgot how much I love to cook. It's easy to forget fun stuff after and ice bath.
So I made two kinds of soup and french bread. I also cooked up some pork chops for a scrumptious dinner.
I swear, David acted like I had just learned to cook.
Anyway, I also had the energy for a girls' night with my darling Jess.
Sunday was also as glorious...more baking (getting ahead for holiday baking and freezing) and then actually cleaning my disaster of a kitchen :)
I also got to go BIKE SHOPPING, on a bike ride, to church, and do some reading.
It might have been the best, most relaxing weekend in a long time. Maybe it's because we haven't been in town for a whole weekend in, horrifyingly, MONTHS, but it was still lovely. It makes me wonder whether training for a marathon is all it's cracked up to be...
I got my birthday present yesterday...and it's everything I hoped for.
After months of begging/pleading/conniving, we went shopping yesterday.
And here she is, my new road bike!
Isn't she pretty??
I took her on a spin about 7 minutes after the purchase, and it's awesome. I seriously feel like I'm flying--I NEVER got anywhere near that fast on my lumpy old cruiser. I can even pick her up with 1 hand--not two arms, braced knees, and a groan with the old bike.
So...the marathon is over. You got the update. And you saw my angry vent about being an athlete yesterday...
So what now?
I can drink again... so that's good. But not really a goal I'm shooting for.
I could start training/planning for another marathon, but I'm not feeling that this second. There's always the triathlon dream, but I don't think any of those races are until the spring... I'm signed up for a half marathon in April, but I won't start training for that until January. Should I start strength training again, since that won't eff with marathon training now?
What's my next goal? Any thoughts?
Maybe a non-exercise goal. Clean the house? Twitter?
I just read this blog...and I want to share it with you. Not because it's inspiring, but because it's hurtful and harmful and just plain rude.
The author is complaining that "fools" who run marathons annoy him every year. Apparently, he and his idiot friend believe that running a marathon doesn't make you an athlete. He states, "Marathons are the last refuge for those that couldn't cut it in other sports."
We don't say that basketball players only chose that sport because they couldn't cut it in football. I'll be honest--I can't cut it in sports that require coordination. I could never manage to serve a volleyball overhand or make a basket when playing basketball. But I am dynamite at sports that require endurance. I can run, swim, or ride a bike for hours. I have pure pig-headed stubbornness unlike you've ever seen. Just because I suck at team sports doesn't make me less of a competitor at what I do well.
The author does make an exception for elite marathoners in the top 500 or so, because they're actually competing to win. That's nice. But what' about those on a consistently baseball team aren't athletes because they have no shot at actually winning? You can't tell me that running a marathon (or a half marathon or a 5k or even WALKING a half like my mom did) isn't a competition. Sure, I never expected to win, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't spending over 4 hours trying to do my personal best and fighting through weakness.
McButt Head (or Dave Hollander) says people who run are narcissists, who demand attention for their exercise. Ok, ok...I'll admit that I was a little proud of myself this whole marathon thing. But, dammit, I spent 4-5 months training for this race every day and I deserve to be a little proud. That's actually more time than I spent planning my wedding, and I expected a hell of a lot more people to care about that.
On that note....check out two people who care when I run. They made the paper!!
One final vent about the article. He said, "Kenyans run marathons because they have to. Back home there were no cars, no roads and the nearest school bus or fresh water source was 40 miles away. Their "training" is borne from the necessity to survive. That 36,500 you mentioned [meaning the non-winning competitors], they run to kill personal demons. They beat their bodies swollen and sore to fill an emptiness or quiet a cry."
Hell yes, I run to kill personal demons. That doesn't make me any less of an athlete. Running gives me the opportunity to work out these demons in a healthy fashion. And trust me...before I started running I tended to ignore said demons and quiet them with food and other self-injurious behavior. Running has become about survival to me.
Sunday morning started out pretty darn early... the 4:15 AM wake up call was a bit brutal for me, but was probably worse for David since he had been out at a bar until late watching his beloved Mizzou choke.
David's such a good sport that he didn't complain about getting there crazy early and sitting in the car.
He just napped, which is totally acceptable.
Man alive, it was FREEZING on race morning. It was about 32 degrees at the start and the high was only in the mid-fifties. I looked at the weather report last Monday and thought it would be in the 60's...so I wasn't adequately prepared.
Luckily, we were able to park close to the start and sit in the car for a while. Then Mom and I posed for pre-race photos.
But Mom refrained from being as dorky as I am.
David and Grandma tried really hard to snap a shot of either of us at the start, but it was a little crowded...
But they managed to find me at mile 6.25ish...
I was feeling good, so I started to chat. Then David informed me that I needed to keep running.
Oh yeah :)
do you notice my arm sleeve things? It was colder than I thought it would be so I broke a cardinal rule of racing and wore something new on race day. I body-glided like crazy, but still had a little chafing under my arms. I'm not sure if that's due to the sleeves or the shirt, but I really liked having those sleeves.
They were worth the chafing!
They also got to see Mom around her mile 9.5 or so. She's looking pretty good!
Here's Nanc at the finish...her goal was around 4 hours, but she finished just under 3:30.
How great for her!!!
David practiced taking this pic...and I love it. I wish I was sufficiently skilled in editing photos to change the time to my Garmin time (4:18:29), because then I would totally blow this up!
I am in so much pain here. I never thought I would finish that race and all I wanted was to collapse.
But I sucked it up for a photo op with a slice of pizza and a trash can.
And then politely hid my pizza for a shot with Nanc.
And here's the official documentation of my Garmin time--twenty minutes faster than last year...
This race was HILLIER than I was expecting. Maybe I was a little cocky about having done the hills in San Fransisco, but I about died on these hills. I didn't prepare, mentally or physically for what 26.2 miles of rolling hills would feel like. ROUGH.
I was faster, but this marathon felt HARDER than the last one. I think it might have been the difference between running to finish (and not die, as I often said) and running to get a PR.
I cried. From pain. Last year I cried a bit from just the idea I was going to actually do this...this year, it was just from hurting. I hit the wall...and hit it hard. Thank God for one race volunteer who shouted at me, "YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK." It snapped me out of my pity-party for at least half a mile :)
Running on my birthday was...not bad, not good, just eh. It didn't really feel like a birthday, you know? It was a unique way to celebrate, but I'm not sure I want to be in that kind of pain on "my special day."
I'm so lucky for amazing family and friends. Having my mom walk the half with me and David, Grandma, and Mary come to watch me (in the EARLY hours and FREEZING cold) reminds me of how lucky I am...plus, the tons of emails, texts, and FB messages were a delight.
Last year when I finished, I was all geared up for another...this year, not so sure. I'm thinking maybe a spring marathon would be better to train for (so I wouldn't have to fight the heat), but that'll put my next a year and a half off. We'll see...anything's possible.
I think if I could start my career trajectory all over again, I would be a chef or a baker. Or I would make something, instead of dealing in ideas and words so much of my time.
I get excited about a finished product. Having a "look what I did" part of the job. Right now I say that all the time, but it kind of loses the effect when it's a super-elaborate excel formula, you know. I'm starting using mail merge more and more...not because it's really necessary, but people notice end products with it :)
Back to my original point...the middle school is having the book fair today, and I got SUPER excited about a cupcake book. I wanted to buy it, but then I remembered that I had the first one at home (this one was the follow-up)...and I have yet to bake anything out it. Somehow, fancy baking doesn't mesh with my diet.
However, I am nothing but if not a problem solver. I'm longing to bake (but not eat) fancy treats. At teacher at the high school is having a baby, so I'm baking for her shower.
I could probably go fancier if I wasn't terrified of fondant, but I have a feeling that would end in disaster. Seriously. I'm not precise enough for fondant...but buttercream, on the other hand, I can do buttercream. Just throw some more on to cover mistakes...and then spoon directly into mouth.
Anyone have anything else they want me to bake for?
This is the last week before the marathon...and I am loving the taper. Yesterday I only had to run 4 miles at an "easy" pace. Since the weather was cooler, Maggie Roo got to go on her first run in ages.
She was thrilled...for the first 3 miles. Too bad there was another mile after that.
Chicago was great...the night after I saw Nate I got to see my darling friend Rach from grad school. I should travel for work more often -- it's a great excuse to visit friends :)
Rach and I met up with some other girls from grad school--Francie and Aqeela--but I neglected to take pictures. I wish I had--Francie and her darling boyfriend were dressed up as Waldo and his girlfriend Wenda.
I got home from Chicago on Sunday - in time for Halloween. David and I went to church and got home about 7pm, missing all the trick or treaters...so we decided to load up Maggie Roo in her bumble bee costume and take her searching for treats at Steph and Jon's.
Maggie promptly stole Wicket and Willow's food.
She has no shame...especially considering that her costume busted open every time she sat down.