Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Smith Rock Half Marathon

This last weekend in Central Oregon was one that not only offered gorgeous weather for playing outside and celebrating Mother's Day, but also several noteworthy races worth writing about (and adding to your must-do race lists)!  Go Beyond Racing put on two days of races this weekend, both in one of the most scenic places in Central Oregon: Smith Rock State Park.

 On May 9th, trail runners from all over came to take on the challenging but gorgeous dirt trails in and around Smith Rock.  There were options for a 50k, 15m, and 4 m.  These races filled up completely and will likely fill FAST next year.  After seeing the pictures, hearing the stories from other runners, and experiencing first-hand how Go Beyond Racing organizes their races, I can see why.  And I hope to be there for one of these trail races next year if my schedule allows.

A shot from the Smith Rock Trail races that I hope to be a part of next year if I don't go back for the Half Marathon road race.  Photo Credit:  Paul Nelson Photography

After the Saturday trail races, runners were back to Smith Rock on Sunday, May 10th, for the mostly flat and scenic road races The Smith Rock Road Half Marathon and 10k.  I signed up last minute for the half marathon and it did not disappoint!  What fun!  When I sketched out my calendar for my ultra marathon training (May 25th Trail Factor 50k), I knew I wanted to include several races to use as fun stronger runs/workouts.  I ran a 15k in March, the Boston Marathon in April, and now this Half Marathon on Sunday. I waited on committing to this half marathon because I wasn't sure my body would be up for this half marathon so close to Boston but I'm feeling stronger than ever and EXCITED for my first trail ultra in Portland in just about two weeks!  I've really enjoyed these opportunities to get into a race environment with having my only goal to run happy, strong and pressure free.

A Little Personal Background (You can always skim/skip and move on to the race review bullets below)
Two weeks until my ultra?  It's weird writing this because I honestly haven't thought too much about what I'm specifically "training for" this time around.  In fact, I really don't feel as if I have been training for something--I've been enjoying running.   The ultra marathon destination is icing on the cake.  What first started out as kind of loosely following my own plan taken from a collection of running books around my house, has now come to Simply ENJOYING the process of getting out there and running my trails! It's training for LIFE and I don't see much changing after my ultra other than my mileage dropping since it is summertime where the kids are all home from school and my priorities change a bit.  I've been taking my running one day at a time and putting in miles as my schedule allows and as I feel like running them.  I'm more relaxed and happy with my running than ever before.  Gearing up to run Boston as a training run of sorts meant that I definitely made my long runs a priority so I would have the endurance to truly run 26.2 miles with a certain amount of ease instead of DYING and having those last 6 miles feel like the dreaded death march like they most certainly can be if one doesn't adequately train for a marathon.  I also added in random speed and tempo work in MUCH smaller doses than I have in the past.  I kept my weekly mileage on the lower end (average probably in the 40's with a range of 30-55 when I was counting).  And last but NOT LEAST (rather MOST), I have almost exclusively trained on DIRT!  Almost all of my runs have been on these mountain trails in and around Bend, Oregon.  This has changed running for me in some of the best of ways!

Highlights and Review Points from The Smith Rock Half Marathon 
Pleasantly surprised with 2nd woman overall and some really great awards! Great start to Mother's Day!

I've never been one for writing good full-on race reports (especially in this situation where it was more of a workout than a goal race).  Rather than write a complete pre race report from beginning to end starting with my alarm clock, taking you into what I ate and drank, telling you about whether I pooped or not and how much, showing you my outfit and race bib, etc., I'm going to move to bullets to list my highlights from this 13.1 run at Smith Rock!
  • Fist off, this was a very well run race!  The Half Marathon and 10k were started together and the course was marked very clearly.  
  • It was easy to pick up bibs either the day before at Foot Zone in Bend or on race morning.  
  • Parking in the State Park was easy BUT I didn't read the details on the website and didn't realize we were supposed to pay for a parking pass if we didn't have a State Park annual pass.  I wasn't prepared for this since I rarely carry cash.  It is only $5 but I didn't even have that.  Luckily, I didn't get a ticket.  They must have assumed from looking in the windows of my minivan and seeing the kid mess, dirty car seats, and finger prints on the window that I was a MOTHER.  And it was Mother's Day...how cruel to ticket me!  ha!  Or they just had grace on us runners and assumed we'd be out soon enough.  
  • I didn't buy a shirt.  I usually pass on the shirts because I have so many race shirts and running clothes.  However, I heard from my soccer mom friend (2nd place woman in the 10k) that the shirts were AWESOME.  She raved about them for several minutes and said how they were the best race shirt she has had.  So, note: Buy the shirt if you run next year!  
  • These Smith Rock Road races did not fill up like the trail races.  I'm pretty sure many of the people in Central Oregon or traveling to Central Oregon for a race are either A. Looking for a challenge and wanting the outdoor experience of mountain trails.  or B. Assuming that even a road race in and around Smith Rock would be brutally hilly and hard and wanting something flatter and faster.  Well, another NOTEWORTHY point:  These races on this week have something for EVERYONE.  No joke.  If you want a mostly flat and faster half marathon course and still have the beautiful scenery that Central Oregon offers:  these road race options are it!  I imagine more people will flock to this race next year.  And if you do, note that there is also a team option for the 10k that you can read more about on their website.  This options sounds great for families, work groups, and high school runners to name a few.  
  • The course.  Yes, it was mostly flat and fast as the website describes.  However, I must say that it isn't completely flat as a pancake.  The person marking the course AFTER the trail options probably thought it was the flattest darn course they had ever run compared to the intense climbs on the trails.  Ha!  After running my 18 miler on Tuesday and being less than 3 weeks out from Boston, I might have noticed a few spots that felt like inclines but still nothing that was challenging.  If anything, a few small hills, followed by gentle downs and flat again.  
  • Yes, I ran an 18 miler on Tuesday of this week and then this half on Saturday so it was a good week of training.  Granted, my 18 miler was on trails and slow and I walked in several spots.  I guess it still counts for 18 though.  :)  
  • The volunteers on the course were friendly and helpful.  They offered an energy drink (I think GU Brew?  I need to check on that.) and water.  This was one of those races where I wasn't in a rush and didn't mind stopping to drink and then carrying back on.  
  • Since there weren't a lot of people in this race compared to other races like say, Boston (ha!), I ran by myself for much of the time.  I love this kind of course/race though!  There was always at least one person I could see ahead of me and there were a few times during the race where I ran in a small pack but otherwise, mostly in my own zone.  Next year will likely be a fuller race but still offer the same serenity and space.  
  • Being out there on open country mountain roads without a lot of people and having it be such a beautiful day (scenery and weather) reminded me of a couple popular Portland races that I've run.   If I described this course to some of you that have run in Portland, I'd say it is a mix between the Sauvie Island Marathon and Helvetia Half but without the huge hills that Helvetia has! Truly a great course to drive out for!  
  • The race directors and volunteers were so efficient with things...from announcing race finishers, giving out medals, having the food and drink set up, getting us started, announcing winners/awards in a timely manner, and so much more!  Very organized!!  
  • Every mother that finished the race got a special medal and a rose for Mother's Day.  Way to start our day off so special!  
Flowers for all the Mother Runners! 

  • Good AWARDS!  I was pleasantly surprised by the awards!  As 2nd woman overall, I got a really nice pint glass (who doesn't love a good pint glass for beer when you live in Bend?!) and a $50 gift card to one of the local running stores, Foot Zone!  Sweet! This is half of a new pair of trail shoes or a trail pack for my husband!  Thank you Food Zone!  The overall winners got a pint glass and a new pair of Skora Running Shoes! I have no doubts this race might be a bit more stacked with runners next year.  Who doesn't want a new pair of shoes and $$ to spend at a running store?
The winners got to choose a new pair of shoes!  Sweet!

I love these nice pint glasses that were given as overall and age group awards!  And the $50 gift card to Foot Zone  for being 2nd woman?  So cool!  I will be putting this towards new trail shoes or my husband's trail pack! Thank you Go Beyond Racing and Foot Zone

  • Post race Atlas Cider! I'm pretty sure they had good beer there too but I wasn't into drinking alcohol before noon this time so I passed.  
  • As far as my personal race...what fun!  As soon as we started, I knew there wouldn't be a ton of people to run with so I settled into a pace that felt happy but strong and enjoyed being out there pushing my body a bit!  At around mile 7 or 8 there was one of those kind-of hills that felt bigger than it was.  I snapped out of my zone for a bit and started hearing all those negative voices that used to fill my head.  I felt tired and distracted.  Then a bigger hairy guy came up behind me.  I said something about the hill and he gruffed back: "Ah, this is nothing...just a tiny bump.  I do Ironmans." And on he went, plodding right by me.  What?! Did he just call me a wimp?  Ha Ha.  Clearly, he DID NOT call me a wimp.  No such thing.  But in my head, I felt a little made fun of over my pathetic whining over the not so big hill.  Right then I decided to stand up straight, run with my natural but awkward and so not beautiful form, and return to my zone:  "Stay Within Yourself Amanda.  You drive this bus! You're in control. Run on. And don't let that big hairy dude beat you!"  After this, the rest of the race was comfortable and strong again.  As if I never had a rough patch at all.  Weird how our minds work. My finish time: 1:37:32.  Splits: 7:14, 7:14, 7:22, 7:19, 7:36, 7:28, 7:39, 8:02, 7:40, 7:32, 7:29, 7:18, 7:01...6:29 pace for last .1.  Lately, these moments in races have been so powerful for me in seeing what it's like to really be in a ZONE and know how to tap into my own mind effectively.  I haven't always been able to do this.  Granted, I'm not in race situations where I'm pushing myself to my limits or racing all out but I have found that I have more control over my mind/body connection.  I love this!  Now, if I ever go for a sub 1:30 half marathon, then I might be struggling with this again!  I'm pretty sure the sub 1:30 ship is about to pass though...if I'm going to do it, I need to train for it before 40!  

This is right around the finish. If you look closely, you can see a herd of deer grazing in the field.  Where else can you see snow capped mountains, jutting rocks, dirt trails, and finish a race next to a herd of deer who keep on eating as if you aren't even there?  Maybe they were watching the finish?  

I'd highly recommend any of these races!  If you're looking for a fast and scenic road half marathon or 10k in one of the most beautiful places in Oregon, this is such a good one to do!  Not only do you get to run a fabulous well-supported course with fun awards and pre/post running environment, but you can finish off the weekend exploring Bend, OR and the surrounding areas!

Happy Running,


Monday, May 11, 2015

A Letter From My Daughter on Mother's Day

Written yesterday on Mother's Day and posted later.

Mother Daughter handstand contest at Crux in Bend.  

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  What a great day (and continues to be)!  It started with an early morning half marathon --The Smith Rock Half Marathon (race report/review SOON) that left me smiling and feeling good.  Then I came home to a very clean house, happy kids, and small but BIG and meaningful gifts.  Every one in my family showed their love in a way they knew would mean much to me.  The kids cleaned their rooms, my middle daughter had small notes and handmade gifts she had been hiding around the house for a week or two, my husband matted (soon to be framed) a piece of art that I've had stored away since we moved (and cleaned the house from top to bottom), and my oldest daughter presented me with a bottle with a letter in it....

A couple of hours of quiet alone time on Mother's Day after my half marathon.  A clean house, words of love, and a matted piece of art just waiting to be framed so we can finally get some art on the walls in this front room.  

All of these gifts of love meant so much to me.  But the letter...the letter made me CRY.  It made me feel so truly SEEN, appreciated and VALUED!

Let me back up a bit.  This year is my oldest daughter's 4th grade year.  She has a teacher we all dream of having for our kids.  She has THAT teacher. The teacher that changes lives.  The teacher that sees these students are HERS and wraps them up with love, holding them to high standards and SEEING them for the individuals they are.  This teacher.  Wow.  If anything, she needs to be wished Happy Mother's Day by all her almost 30 students because she truly is a second mother of sorts...She's their teacher but she loves them and teachers them beyond anything I've seen.  My mama heart is full and THANKFUL to have her in our lives!

My sweet girl with her teacher who came to watch her last soccer game.  It was wonderful to see how joyful this made my daughter...to see her favorite teacher there to support  her in her sport.  

Anyway, for Mother's Day, she has spent weeks with them ...guiding them through the writing process to write a letter to their mothers.  She challenged them to go deep with their letters using all five senses...What they hear, see, smell, taste and feel when they think of their mothers.  I'm pretty sure her goal was to get the kind of authentic writing from them that would make every mother cry from being touched so much...and she NAILED IT.

I asked my daughter if I could publish her letter on my blog so I could have it on here for my own purposes.  She smiled and thought that would be great so I'm sharing it here (more for me than anythings else...I will print this blog out someday!).

My Wonderful Mother...
When I think of you, I see...The hard working and loving woman who cares for me each day.  I see you tired after cleaning our home.  I know you do that so we don't live in a pigsty.  I see you in the kitchen working to prepare a great dinner.  I see you calling and texting our friends' moms so we can have play dates.  I see you tucking us in at night to make sure we know we are loved.  

When I think of you, I hear you saying.. "I love you."  I hear your footsteps as you run on the treadmill. I hear your fingers click clacking on the keyboard as you type up your book that you're writing.  I hear you singing in the shower.  I hear you saying I'm sorry after a fight.  

When I think of you, I smell...your sweat after a run.  I smell your Burt's Bees lotion as I kiss your neck.  I smell your Aunt's Italian sauce.  I smell your avocado shampoos after a shower.  I smell your minty breath after you brush your teeth.  

When I think of you, I taste the thoughtful lunches you pack for us every day.  I know you don't have to do that but you do since you love me.  I taste the wonderful dinners you have never made before and then you do make them they turn out perfect.  I know you don't like to cook much but when you do they almost always turn out great. I know you do that so we have food in our bellies.  

When I think of you, I feel...your soft skin when you get out of the shower.  I feel your soothing dark brown highlighted hair as it brushes against my neck.  I feel your comforting body heat when you comfort me after a bad dream.  I feel your warm breath as you kiss me goodnight.  

When I think of you, I feel... determined to do whatever I want to do when I grow up like you.  I feel calm, hyper and energetic.  I feel I want to get outside and exercise.  I feel inspired to pursue my dreams and go to any school I want, even Harvard or Yale.  I feel that I want to be like you when I grow up.  

As far as celebrating MY beautiful mother and artist Cher Odum.  I was so happy to be able to drive up to Portland on Thursday for her opening night in a new gallery in the Pearl District. SO SO proud of her!!  It was so special to be a fly on the wall in this gallery and hear what everyone had to say when they saw her art.  Here are a few pictures and captions from this:

A picture of us viewing our picture before the artist reception.  Love her! 

J Pepin Art Gallery 

From earlier:  "Darn near moved to tears sitting here on a bench in this gallery...seeing and hearing strangers marvel at and comment on my mom's work and the story behind these pieces. I am especially moved because I know her story...what it took for her to keep going with her dreams and passions despite the obstacles...the doubters...naysayers...financial struggles...anxiety/depression...FEAR! I know some of what it took for her to hold fast to her dreams and honor her gifts as an artist! I am also moved by the vision of this gallery...its purpose to reframe the perception of mental illness through art, and recognize the beauty and creativity that can come from it. Another step to overcoming the stigma associated with mental illness! "


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Legos, Like Life and Motherhood

Around Christmas, I was in Target shopping for gifts.  The Target employee next to me was price checking different items...plugging numbers into her hand-held machine and marking items down, rearranging the merchandise, etc.  Right as I was about to leave the Lego section, she shook her head and said aloud:  "Wow!" Then she told me that she thinks there was a mistake but for now, this huge Star Wars Lego set was being marked down from $60 to $14 or around there.  I knew my son five-year-old wasn't old enough to put together a set like this yet but I agreed with her that this was a deal too good to pass up so I put it in my cart and took it home to stash away for SOMEDAY.

I didn't do a very good job at hiding this Lego box so it hasn't been a secret that we had it but it has been understood that we would be waiting to open it until my son was closer to the suggested age of 8-11.  For the most part, he agreed.  However, he has continued to weakly ask for it every once in awhile even though he knows the answer.  The answer has always been the same NO, not yet.  I wanted to wait until I knew he could independently built and I didn't think that would be for awhile.

Boy oh boy did I underestimate him!

On Monday, I took him in the office/treadmill room with me so I could run while giving him math problems to work out at the desk.  This lasted a good fifteen minutes before he was asking to do something else and proclaiming his BOREDOM.  Desperate to finish my run, I looked around for other  activities to suggest.  Then we both spotted the Star Wars Lego box.  Why not?  I opened the box for him, pulled the directions out and told him to go for it.  I figured this would at least buy me a few more miles with him engaged and enjoying his time. I had no idea, he would then spend the rest of the day following along with the instructions, intently focused on placing each piece where it belonged and  nearly completing the Lego set that I not only thought would be entirely too hard for him but figured would take weeks, not hours!

The next morning, the first thing he asked to do was put the finishing touches on this Lego project.  Knowing that we had to make it out the door in time for school and that transitions can be rough for this little guy, I was hesitant to agree.  Pulling him away from the Legos when it was time to go might end up making for a not so fun start to the day but I agreed and he agreed that he'd stop building as soon as I said...with no fits!  Deal.  Then it happened...
Two minutes before we had to walk out the door...
I waited until the last minute again...
I called into the office to tell him it was time to go...
He wasn't done but happily got off like he agreed but instead of leaving it there, he wanted to show me his progress that he was so proud of so he picked up the ship to bring to me...


The Legos broke.  Meltdown.  Screams. The Legos weren't everywhere but certainly enough to where there was a significant mess up and we would have to go back many a step to fix it.  Even though there was a rational solution and it made sense to me, this was a huge crisis to a little boy who just spent hours working so hard on something like this!  Yes, there were tears.  Not just tears but INTENSE EMOTIONS.  This was a BIG BIG deal in his world.  "I can't fix this! This is ruined forever! I hate these Legos!  I won't be able to fix it!!"  Meanwhile, we were late and I had three kids to drop off at three different schools and one angry and sad and frustrated boy...

Many deep breaths later, lots of patience and reminders to myself to VALIDATE my son's feelings, and we only had one stop left before he was at his school.  In that short car ride, we had such a significant conversation that led to life lessons for both of us.  I didn't handle the situation perfectly but I did feel present and mostly calm with him...in a way that brought us both to some big understandings about life.  At one point in the conversation, I went into lecture mode (never the best idea when you're trying to validate someone's feelings...ha!) and began to rationalize with things like:  "Sam, these are Legos.  You didn't lose your house to fire or have something really bad happen to someone you love or...."  Then he stopped me right in my lecturing tracks....

"Mom, it feels like that to me!  This is just like that to me!"

Ah, WISE WISE ...children are wise if we slow down to listen.  YES!  You are so right my sweet boy. This might not be a life or death crisis.  It might not be an adult problem or seem that big to me but this was HUGE for him...this Lego set meant for older kids that he built with his five-year-old mind and hands from start to finish was a big big deal in HIS world.  His words instantly pulled me back from frustrated, intolerant and exasperated to PRESENT and empathetic.  I had compassion and grace and was able to see things from his perspective.  I told him that I heard him.  I said I was sorry and I understood.  But then it turned into something even better: A lesson about life. For both of us.

This is how life is, isn't it?  A little like these Legos.  We work hard towards things we care about.  We have an idea of how life will and should go.  We take pride in our work.  Life can go so smoothly and bring with it some really stimulating, rewarding, and fun moments.  And then, just like this Lego Crash...it can go terribly wrong.  Life serves us lemons.  We get knocked down.  Loved ones die.  Rejection.  Failure.  Disappointment.  Relationship struggles.  Life doesn't always go as we expect and when our pieces break apart, so often we feel just like this five year old who is so devastated and angry.  We can feel hopeless and fill our head with messages of "There's NO Point!  I can't! This is stupid!! I give up!" but when we take a step back, we can see that if we can rebuild and work through it, there's lots of good to be found on the other side:
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Peace 
  • Empowerment
  • Awareness of our own capabilities
  • Understanding how to work through problems, crisis, challenge, adversity, etc.
  • Personal experience to draw from later in life
These are lessons and understandings I want for all my children so when I was tempted to go home and rebuild the Legos for him, I thought again... what would I be teaching him if I went back home and scooped up his entire mess and fixed it all so he came home to a perfectly built lego set? Certainly not a bad choice for me to do this.  He would have seen that I care and can help him with his problems.  He'd probably even learn the value of helping others in times of "crisis."  Maybe it would have made him happy and made things easier, yes.  But I wanted him to experience the satisfaction that comes from working through a problem on his own so he would have this to draw from later in life.  Sitting down with him and problem solving together rather than rebuilding the  set for him felt like a better solution in the long run.  And it was.

After school, he was in a better mood but still fixated on his broken Legos. When we got home, we sat down at the desk with snacks and patiently took pieces apart and looked back over the instructions.  We slowly solved the problem.  Not only did he see and take part in problem solving, he experienced the satisfaction and pride that comes from getting to the other side of something difficult.

Gosh, I admit, when my son was freaking out over the broken legos and the time on the clock was staring me down with "You're LATE!" and my girls were whining, I was closer to break-down mode than I was problem solving mode but I have to give myself a little credit for once (I'm making progress in my goals of kicking motherhood guilt to the curb):  I was (and not always able to be) present, calm and clear-headed enough to

  • HEAR
  • Understand
  • Validate
  • Communicate
  • Teach
  • Learn
At the end of the day, these broken legos meant more GOOD than HARM. They were an opportunity to LEARN about LIFE.  These broken legos, the intense emotions (on both our parts), our process of working through the situation with patience, self talk, and understanding, and the steps we took to solve our problem...all of this led to some pretty valuable tools to add to our life buckets!  

I love how motherhood continues to show me some of life's greatest lessons.  I have no doubts that this is a memory I will think back on at some point down the road when I'm reverted to my own inner five-year-old in reaction to something life throws at me.  And I have no doubts this memory will  be something my son thinks back on as well.  

Here's to broken Legos and the power of listening, understanding, validating (ourselves and others), and making the most out of the life we're given (good and bad).


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Funday, Five Miles with My Girls, and CELEBRATIONS!

That's not me on the paddle boards (SUPS), however, this is on my list of things to do this summer!  We were out shopping at the Old Mill for my daughter's 10th birthday.  Walking with a coffee and seeing this made me so stinking excited for summer!!

Happy Sunday! Oh, what a much needed Sunday it was!  After a busy few weeks for all of us, today was full of everything family, fun, and relaxation.  Today we took some time to enjoy Bend like a tourist might...shopping at the Old Mill, strolling the river watching people on their paddle boards, visiting Worthy Brewing Company for the first time (add this to your list when/if you visit Bend), and driving through a few new areas.  It was one of those days where we had absolutely no plans other than to be together as a family. Heaven!

Lots Going On--Hard Work and CELEBRATIONS! 

The last few weeks have been pretty big ones.  As my husband continues to grow his engineering business, he is filling many roles and working countless hours.  His current job has been getting a hydropower plant up and running. Hydro Power=turning water into POWER! Pretty cool stuff but most of it is way out of my field of expertise and more often than not,  I'm nodding and saying "Wow, honey, this is impressive." even when I don't entirely understand everything he's talking about.  This job he's been leading is one that would normally take much longer and require a much bigger support staff but was pulled off in record time.  However, it meant sleepless nights, early mornings, late nights and seeing my husband work harder than I have ever seen before.  Me going to Boston for the marathon was not an easy trip for him and I'm so thankful that I was able to go despite all we had to juggle to make it happen...I'm not quite sure how he pulled it all off...doing his job AND mine:  being there to run around 3 kids in 3 different schools plus soccer practices, early releases from school, and different schedules.  Woooweee!  It certainly takes a village...we had lots of help.  But...drum roll (at least for us).... Friday night, they went on GRID...their power plant was GENERATING.  I know, I know, so boring to write about on a running blog but a BIG BIG deal around here!!  Saturday was still a full day of work but today, as I said, was a day OFF where we could all BE as a family!!

In addition to work, marathons, and the normal go go go, our sweet firstborn turned 10 this week!  Her first decade!! How did this happen??  How am I the mother of a 10 year old when I'm still 24??!  Okay, at least that's how I see myself in my head until I look in the mirror.  Then I remember where I was emotionally at 24 and I feel much better to be a woman at 36!!  To celebrate this decade birthday, we threw her a surprise party with all the girls in her class and I baked my first cake from scratch, which I'm pretty darn proud of since  A. I don't really enjoy baking but did it anyway because I knew it would be special and B. it turned out pretty darn good for a first cake!  Birthday parties are exhausting to plan and pull off but it makes it all worth it to have seen the smile on her face and the gratitude in her attitude.  :)

Run With My Girls
This morning I was scrolling through Facebook on my phone with coffee and saw my friend Tia (Arkansas Runner Mom) post a picture about her and her daughter's 10k.  Her daughter is only 10 or 11 but already such a strong runner.  All four of her kids are runners.  Tia has always inspired me with this!! Running is a huge part of their family life.  She does such a good job at making it fun and lets them decide how much of a challenge they want when they are ready.  Her oldest daughter clearly takes after her amazing mother with running.  She ran her age in miles at 9 and 10 and now runs a 10k in just over 8 min pace.

Tia's picture from this morning.  With caption:  "So incredibly proud of this girl! 50:18 in the Toad Suck 10k this morning! (That's just over an 8 min pace!) Was also able to pick the win for the 10-14 AG. Most importantly she had a great attitude and did her very best."  

My oldest daughter was so inspired by this post and begged me to take her out running today.  When we got home from our morning of birthday shopping and exploring Bend, she and my 8 year old daughter headed out for a run with me where our only goal was to have fun and go as far as we wanted.  We ran 5 miles. Five miles of running and the best conversations!!  We laughed, talked about the future and our goals, and enjoyed our time bonding.  While running with my girls, I realized yet AGAIN how much value there is to be found in running with our kids:

  • Opportunity for them to stay fit and healthy
  • Quality time
  • Life Lessons
  • So much less expensive (um, it's free!) than some of these sports fees and club sports!  
  • Sense of accomplishment for kids
  • Building muscle and strong bodies will carry over...start now with fitness and your kids will benefit so much when they are older!   
  • The conversations that come up are priceless
  • Being outside together
After our 5 miler!  Tired and happy!  And proud!  
I had originally planned on running 18 to 20 miles today but I ended up only running 10 (5 of my own miles after the miles with them) and will save the long run for Tuesday.  I also plan on running the Smith Rock Half Marathon on Sunday, Mother's Day.  I'm pretty sure I will run this for a strong fun training run and not race all-out.  I will also be continuing to try out my Adidas Smart Run that I agreed to review.  This device has been a major technology learning curve for me...Yikes!  It is capable of SO much and I use SO little.  All I need is time, pace, and distance. This thing has a GPS, Bluetooth for music, Wifi, Online data, specific workouts, Online coaching, and so...much...more!! At this point, I'm overwhelmed but I will continue to test it out as it fits in my life.  If anything, I'll review it based on my needs and include all the things it CAN do if you want.  

The Smith Rock Half Marathon and 10k on May 10th should be a fantastic event put on by Go Beyond Racing.  There is even a team option for the 10k...families, businesses, high school teams...check it out!  

Adidas Smart Run..talk about SMART!!  

A random picture before I end this post!  

We saw a big hairy Harley Davidson guy in Claire's today.  He was there to get his ear pierced.  Something about him...that big biker dude with his little purple Claire's bag that said "I just got my ears pierced at Clarie's" that was so funny to me.  Now, THAT's one self confident dude!  Smart!  A guy that probably has granddaughters and knows the value of his money.  It's probably cheaper to get his ear pierced at Claire's than it is at some of these tattoo shops.  Love this!  But I still laughed.  

That's blog post #2 this week...I'm on a roll!  A blog comeback?  Nah.