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Monday, October 24, 2011

Since I saw you last...

Honestly, I feel like nothing has happened in the past week (!! how often do I go a week without boring gracing you with my presence in the blogworld?), but I guess a few things have.  Between the kitten tragedy, the Halloween party, N starting back up with club volleyball, and two nights of parent-teacher conferences, there's been little time to do any kind of training.  Strike that, it's not completely true.  There's been little time that doesn't require me getting up earlier to do any kind of training.

When I'm not running or riding, I don't feel like I really have much to say.  I'm not doing anything all that creative with my family, I tend to avoid talking much about school because of confidentiality and all that jazz, and I've spent a lot of time on my butt.  Exciting! (If only there was a sarcasm font).  But, it's been a week, and there are a couple things I can tell you about.

This weekend

 In return for working two 12-hour days, we got 1/2 day off Friday.  It was GORGEOUS out.  I had big plans to go home, eat, and hit the local mountain bike trails.  To illustrate the dangers of me sitting down, I got home about noon, sat down while my food cooked, started reading, and read until nearly 5:00.  Then I had to hit the trails after Jeff and J were home.  Perhaps not the best scheduling, but it was a beautiful ride.

SIUE
Trail 2...there are 6 different trails here.  It's about 10 minutes from my house, so it's a great spot to go ride or run.
Saturday morning we were up early for J's last soccer game.  He scored again, for the third time in three games! This, after a 3-year scoring drought.  I'd be excited to get to sleep in later on Saturdays from now on except for the fact that the end of soccer means I'm free to do my long runs earlier.  Rats.

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Batman ride after dark
After soccer, we headed to Six Flags for the day with J, N, and N's girlfriend.  J is finally old enough to ride the big roller coasters, but we weren't so sure that would actually happen.  He definitely has a big dose of his mama's yellow streak.  He did it, though.  I think I was as scared as he was...I was so worried he'd fly off.  I was holding on so tightly to him that my arms hurt the next day.

We got on the Batman ride first, he started getting nervous in the seat, and by the time it was cranking up the first big hill he was all "I'm scared, I'm scared".  Unlike his mother (who has little to no voice still today), he resisted screaming.  Instead, when I looked at him after the ride stopped, he was holding his breath. :)

It was a really great day at the park.  It wasn't too crowded most of the day, the weather was just beautiful, and there was no fighting or whining. 

Six Flags
Plus, we got to play dead.  How much better does it get?
Sunday morning I was up bright and early to head to Marquette Park for a training run.  This is one of my favorite places, and its hilly trails host my club's Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run, a demanding course that kicked my butt last year.  I have a score to settle with the race, plus some smack talk I need to be able to live up to, so I'm trying to actually put in some real training for my comeback. :) (I know...me...who'd have thought?)
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This picture doesn't even begin to capture how pretty the drive was.
Turned out I didn't need to worry so much about being on time since I was the only one there.  I still had a good time.  It's more fun to run with friends, but I don't mind running alone, especially in such a great place.  Last week I hiked most of the course with friends and ran the hills; Sunday I ran as much as I could.  There was a good stretch during miles 4-6 that I walked, not because my legs needed a break, but because I really really needed a bathroom and was a little delusional about how much farther it would be.

Pere Marquette
I know I'll be complaining once winter hits, but right now I'm really thankful to live somewhere with seasons. :)
 I couldn't be too worried about the walking.  It was just too nice a day to stress out.  I'm hoping to make it out there several more times to run before the race in December, so I've got time to improve.  After my bathroom stop, I headed up for the last 1.8 miles of the race.  And it starts with a LOT of up.  First steep hills, then big steps. 

Pere Marquette
These babies, and a bunch more just like them, only taller.
Trail running is so much harder than road running, but it's SO much more fun.  It makes me pay attention to what I'm doing, so I never think about how much longer, how far I've gone. I just enjoy myself and the trails. I had the park pretty much to myself until the last 30 minutes or so, when I started seeing other hikers out there.  It gets pretty busy on nice days.  Last weekend we were out later, and we saw a bunch of families out on the trails and picnicking at the visitors' center. 

The good news is that I felt great after the run.  The not as good news was that I had to drive to St. Louis because I'd volunteered to help at registration for the grade school club volleyball tryouts.  It wasn't bad, and since I was going to be over there anyway, I had brought my mountain bike and intended to ride at Creve Coeur afterwards.

I got finished, and while I wasn't tired, I just wasn't feeling the ride at all.  I just wanted to go home and sit and read.  But it just felt way too lame to have packed all my bike gear and then go home without riding, so I drove to the park anyway.  I ended up riding around 5 miles, and I'm getting a little more confident on the switchbacks and downhills.  I still have a long way to go before I'm not riding my brakes, but hopefully I'll get there.  While it was a fun ride, I just wasn't into it.  I think it was the whole being out there alone thing.  Mountain biking is way more fun with other people.  I do better when there's a stronger rider to follow...plus, then there's someone to call the paramedics for you. :)

Anyway, since I still wasn't feeling it, I gave myself permission to head back to the car.  On the last section, a guy rode up behind me.  He wasn't close enough that I felt like I should get over, and he didn't ask to pass, so I stayed ahead of him.  Having somebody behind me definitely made me push a little harder than I would have otherwise, so it was nice to have the company, even if it was just for a few minutes.  No pictures of the park, sorry, I didn't need to stop, so I didn't want to stop and take pictures.  Bad blogger.

SIUE
It looks a lot like this, though.
Miscellaneous

  • I applied for grad school.  I've only been out of school for ten years.  Sigh.  I never thought it would take me this long to go back.  I'm both dreading it (not sure how I'm going to manage fitting it into my schedule with N's volleyball stuff) and excited about it (I love school....I like the thought of adding to my skills...more money is always good).
  • Club volleyball = 3 x a week practice in St. Louis.  Here's what that looks like for an 8-10 (PM!!) practice: Leave at 6:30 so he can be 1/2 hour early to warm up, etc; sit from 7:30-10 (when practices are during daylight I run or ride); 10-11 drive home.  Repeat 2 days later.
  • Grad school + club volleyball = schedule clusterf***.  Here's my dilemma: if I register for a Monday or Wednesday class, I can't get him to practice in St. Louis.  If I register for a Tues or Thurs class I miss basically all of his high school volleyball matches when that starts up in February.  My husband could maybe take care of the Monday practice, but Wednesday would be a problem.  Hmmm
  • I put down the wrong birthdate for myself on my grad school application, so it's quite possible that they'll decide I'm not smart enough to go to grad school. :-/

13 comments:

  1. When do you hear back from grad school?

    Those trails are beautiful. I prefer trail running over all other kind of running. It clears my head and lets me work out problems, because while I have to pay attention, I don't have to listen to traffic noise or worry about getting hit by cars.

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  2. Your last comment is great!

    Your son has the best dead look for sure.

    I have conferences starting next week and I am so busy this week I get a headache just thinking about it.

    I want to know what you were reading that you didn't move for hours.

    Good luck on the grad school not discovering your real birth date.

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  3. For someone that hasn't had much happen in the last week, you sure sound busy :-).

    I love those mountain bike trails. I've been riding alone and I worry about crashing and not having someone to call for help.

    Congrats on enrolling in grad school! might have so add another Super to Super Kate once you learn to juggle all that stuff.

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  4. I'm with you on The Girl........ Liked not loved. I did read all three. I liked the second one more. I just saw the previews for the movie and I don't think I need to rush to see it.
    I'm reading The Long Run right now and it's one of the better running books I've read in awhile. That could be because I heard him (Matt Long) speak at Lake Placid though.

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  5. Grad School huh...good luck although I doubt you need it (cuz you smart like dat). I love the tags you put at the bottom (excuses excuses excuses)...I've felt like that for a lil while now.

    By the way, you're never a bore-not to me at least!

    And oh..I followed your advice and signed up for a half marathon in April. Now to dust off the treadmill! :O) have a great week.

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  6. You're definitely keep busy, girl!! I know what you mean about blogging when you're not training or racing anything....I'm sure I lost about 20 followers in my heel fiasco...how many times does one want to hear my heel hurts? :) But you had a great trail adventure(s), such pretty trails to be running on...like when you're training for that IRONMAN in 2013!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    I've thought about grad school a time or 40,000...I just feel I am not going to be able to juggle everything. Just logging onto FB makes me manic, it sucks 10 minutes out of my day!! :) Good for you for doing it...hope you'll be entering as a 25 year old!

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  7. Good luck with grad school...I went back at 35 :) it was tough at first, but you quickly get the hang of it again.

    Busy lady for sure...somehow though I'm sure you'll manage it all!

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  8. Yay for the end of the scoring drought!
    Ahhh those trails look beautiful. I too love me some seasons...even if one of them is freeze your ass cold and one is sizzling hot.
    All the best with grad school. I know the trigger pulling part is hard but YOU CAN SO DO THIS!

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  9. Beautiful places for the trail. I MUST try to run a trail race next year.
    Good luck with the Grad School.

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  10. That is certainly a busy not doing anything week! Those trails look so inviting. All the best with grad school. You are very brave.

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  11. Kate! Would really like to go run with you sometime. I have posted this here b.c. I have shut FB down for a lil while. hit me up on email at oneaklein@gmail.com

    P.S. My Halloween 10K was a blast!

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  12. Totally agree on the trails - harder, definitely, but so much more fun. Especially this time of year.

    Good luck with the grad school stuff! What do you plan to study?

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  13. hi Kate! I've been meaning to get here for a few days now. Thanks for your great comment where you shared your story about your motherhood moments recently. I wanted to respond in e-mail but your comments are not set up that way and I can't find your other e-mail. I can imagine that that report card would have put you in a weird place. You're a great mom and you inspire me.

    Grad school...awesomeness. HOping you get in. I love school.

    And I love trails!! Don't get to run on them often enough.

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