Monday, December 31, 2012

Review of the Highlights From My 2012

In January 2012  I ran a freezing 10K, the girls and I enjoyed the snow, and I ran my longest run up to that date.

Sledding by our house.
In February 2012 I ran on a trail for the first time and also ran for close to two hours for the first time ever.

In March 2012 I was a wee bit sick. It was the first of only two "sick days" I took in 2012. Whew! Anyways, on that sick day I reviewed some great running books and movies that I was able to catch up on while I laid on the couch. Maybe sick days are actually pretty awesome? I also ran what was probably my favorite 10K yet, even with the terrible weather, thanks to my runner mama friend, Tara. I also fulfilled one of my New Year's resolution by running a sub-55:00 10K! Matt and I also eliminated our credit card debt in March 2012. We haven't carried a balance for more than a month ever since!

Tara and I at the St. Patrick's Day 10K. 
In April 2012 I became a half-marathoner! This is a good post, if I do say so myself. If you read any of these links, read that one! I also went on  a mama vacation to Marco Island, Florida, sans husband and kiddos. It was pretty awesome. I wrote several posts about the trip, the first one is this one.

All smiles post half marathon. (See my sidebar for a pic from the race)
In May 2012 I felt like I was at the top of my running game. I registered for the Portland Marathon. I will spoil the surprise and let you know I didn't end up running it. I also ran my first and only 15K with both of my running besties. I also "ran" (okay, walked) my first 5K with the entire family at The Color Run on Mother's Day. It was So. Much. Fun. A perfect Mother's Day. 

Post-race, colored head to toe! 
In June 2012 I got a minor surgery. My older daughter turned eight. I ran the Rock-n-Roll Seattle half marathon with my friend Ray. We had an absolute blast, though the race kicked my ass. Right after that the wheels starting coming off of my running. 

Ray and I at the RnR Seattle.
In July 2012 I fulfilled another resolution by running my fastest 5K ever and I also went on a beautiful hike up Rattlesnake Ridge. 

On top of Rattlesnake Ridge.
In August 2012 my family went on an epic road trip to Michigan. I wrote many blog posts about the whole thing, including a post about our car accident derailing our plans and a fantastic visit to South Dakota. Admist all of this, my younger daughter turned six (bad mama, no birthday post for her!).

The girls and I in front of a big rock.
In September 2012 I answered 10 personal running-related questions and ran the Athleta Iron Girl 10K with Tara.

Tara and I after the Athleta Iron Girl 10K. 
In October 2012 we took a family vacation to San Diego, which so happened to coincide with my birthday! We had a blast. We did these things, these things, these things, and these things. I also ran the Snohomish River Run 10K and won 3rd Place in my age group! 

My favorite running picture ever.
In November 2012 I got diagnosed with a stress fracture. I also had a blast cheering the Seattle Marathon with my daughter, Eloise. If you can't join 'em, cheer 'em? 

Cheering the runners.
In December 2012 the tables completely turned and I was the one on the sidelines cheering Iris on as she ran in her very own 5K for Girls on the Run. Matt ran with her and Eloise jumped in to run, too! We also had a very Merry Christmas at Grandma's house and at home

Matt and Iris finishing strong.

Here we come, 2013!

Christmas 2012

We had our Christmas in two parts this year. Part one was at my in-law's house with the girls' grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin. It was so much fun to have a toddler in the present opening mix!

Inspecting the gifts under Grandma's tree:

Opening the first gifts with their cousin:

Eloise really, really wanted a wheelchair for her doll. I tried to get one from American Girl but they were sold out. Grandma to the rescue! I think she found this at Toys R Us? 

The next morning, Christmas Eve, it was time for us to head home. We needed to be ready for Santa's visit! 

Driving over Snoqualmie Pass to get home is always beautiful, no matter what time of year. The trees were heavy with snow, but the roads were pretty much bare and wet. It was a perfect drive.

I had to quick get to the gym after we got home, as it closed early on Christmas Eve. It was so fun to see carolers in the gym when I got there!

Christmas Eve this year was pretty low-key. The past few years we have hosted a small dinner for friends and family, but this year just one friend was able to come. It worked well for us, since we weren't home to put the effort in to it! I made pizzas for the girls' honorary Auntie and the four of us, then we ate cookies, drank wine and played the girls' Christmas Eve game. Every Christmas Eve they get pajamas and a game. After the game it was time to watch a pre-bed tv show. The girls chose America's Funniest Home Videos, which, I am embarrassed to admit, is heeeelarious. 

The game this year is Monopoly Jr Party, or something like that. It's pretty fun and very much like real Monopoly, only simpler and has a party theme. The properties you buy are parties, and instead of putting a house or hotel on them, you put a gift box on them. Then people pay you when they land on a party that you already own. Instead of a treasure chest there is a party box that you put money in to. The game can take quite a while to play, especially if you have four players, but it ends when the first person goes bankrupt. 

The girls graciously slept in until 7:00 on Christmas Day. Whew! I think they were both pretty happy with their gifts. It was a tricky year because Iris put 95% toys on her Christmas list (all Littlest Pet Shop) and Eloise put all non-toy stuff on her list, except for one small Littlest Pet Shop thing. I was very worried Eloise would be disappointed on Christmas morning when she didn't have many toys to play with. I trusted the list, however, and she seemed really happy with her gifts. Iris had a little trouble sharing her toys, but eventually they worked it out. All in all we were all happy with our gifts. 

I definitely struggle with how much we should give the girls each year, and how much we should spend. The kid in me wants a mountain of gifts under the tree, to buy everything the girls could want, and then some. I want it to be as magical as can be. On the other hand, we don't go in to debt for Christmas gifts, and our girls are certainly not in need of anything, let alone a bunch more toys to cram in to their bedroom/playroom. I am guessing as they get older their requests will get more expensive and the overall amount of gifts will get smaller, we'll see. But you know what? Every year they are very happy. And when I was growing up I was always happy and I know my parents, while always generous, didn't go overboard with us. Christmas is always magical when you are a child, I think. 

Here is my series of shots of Eloise opening one of her gifts. She requested "really high sparkly sneakers" (or something close to that):

She loves them! Unfortunately she got sick Christmas night and hasn't been able to wear them anywhere yet.

Iris's Santa gift was a Littlest Pet Shop play set. I think she likes it! 

Matt and I have kept our gifts for each other pretty small the past couple of years. Every few years we do something a little more exciting, however. It's hard because we are both fairly practical and there isn't much we are wishing we had. This year I got slippers, which I have requested be an annual tradition, coffee mugs and a portable speaker for our ipad and kindle. Matt got some pants, a t-shirt and a new pair of head phones. 

And that's it! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, or whatever your winter holiday of choice is. On to the new year! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of the Year Review and Goals

Since we are coming up on the end of the year, I have been thinking about my running goals. My biggest goal is to not get any big injuries that keep me from running for more than a few days. I don't want to be concerned about pace, just distance, but I don't want to make any distance goals because my #1 will be "run injury-free". I worry that if I make distance goals I will strive to achieve them even when it is detrimental to running injury-free. When I ran my mile on Christmas day I didn't check pace on my watch even once. I looked at it often because I didn't know how far an out-and-back mile would be, but I didn't care about pace. I was happy to have my doggy run with me and happy to be out there.

I have also been thinking over and over about how much I loved running while I was training for my first half-marathon. Yes, it was work, it was hard, but I never put pressure on myself. After that it felt like every race I put so much pressure on myself to achieve an aggressive goal and sometimes forgot about doing it for fun.

So this year will be about fun. It will be about challenging myself to slow down and take my eyes off my Garmin.

Here are my resolutions from last year:

1. Run a sub 25:00 5K race (which is an 8:03 pace). DONE. I believe I hit 23:45.
2. Run a sub 55:00 10K race (which is an 8:52 pace). DONE. I ran several 10Ks below 55:00 and 49:30 was the lowest.
3. Run a 1/2 Marathon (no specific time goal, just finish and feel good and have fun!) DONE. 
4. Run a "destination" race of a 10K or (preferably) 1/2 Marathon distance. To me, that means a race that is far enough away from my home that I have to spend the night there in order to run AND it has to be somewhere that is truly a destination-- not just some random crappy town. I never did this, though I did get to run in several amazing places across the country this past year!  
5. Take ALL of my supplements at least five days a week. Probably. 
6. Re-name my blog (again) to something that more represents all of the parts of who I am, not just being a mother (added to the fact that I ((after five plus straight years!!)) no longer am nursing). YES! I am so glad I got this done, I love my new name! 
7. Re-design my blog to give it a little pizzazz. I can't do this myself, and don't even want to learn how, but I would gladly pay someone to do it (if you or someone you know is a blog designer!) Yes again! Love my new design! 

2012 was pretty much a success, considering I spent a lot of time injured. I feel like I couldn't make it a goal last year since I didn't realize how easy it would be to get injured and how long I would stay injured. Now I know. 

I think I will put running a marathon on my list every year until it happens. Hopefully it will happen in 2013, my body will let me know. I also would still love to run a destination race, especially if it involves going up to Victoria or Vancouver to run with my friend Tara. 

I had a goal to read a certain number of books in 2011 and I loved that. If I recall, I didn't quite hit the goal, but it was a lot of fun to read so much. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Running Update

I have officially been cleared to start running. I did a mile on the treadmill last Wednesday and one mile at a time a few times since. I am not sure my foot is healed, however. I am going to ask my PT about it to see what she thinks. A teeny bit of research about it seems to indicate it wouldn't be unusual for my stress fracture to not be healed yet, but also that it is common for your foot to be a bit sore when you get back to running. I think the thing that tells me my foot isn't ready is that when I pushed on the spot on my foot where the stress fracture is it still hurt.

Today I ran outside for the first time since the end of October, so that felt good. Since I was only going one slow mile, I brought my dog. She seemed to enjoy it but I could tell she was tired by the time we got home. She is used to running short, fast bursts, not long slow miles. I was hoping to work my way up to a 5K by the end of January, but I don't know. Lord knows I won't be signing up for any races ahead of time for a looooong while.

OH! Did you hear? is going to start selling race insurance! Heck yes! This would have saved me so much money . . . well, I guess I don't remember if the bigger races I signed up for were through, BUT, you bet your sweet behind I will be signing up for my next marathon through them. Anyways, I am really hoping more race directors jump on this bandwagon. 

But I digress. Right now I have a substitute PT, as my regular PT is off havin' a baby. I really, really like my sub. She is super awesome. Just like my regular PT, she takes good care of me, but she is doing totally different stuff to help fix my problems. That gives me an idea, maybe I need to just see a ton of PTs and follow what they all say and eventually my issues will be fixed! 

One thing I am doing now is a pelvic correction technique because things are all out of wonk, apparently. My PT says she is already seeing some change after a week of doing it. So that's good . . . or else she is just laughing all the way to the bank over making me do these silly exercises. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pre-Christmas 2012

Overall we have had a wonderful Christmas season. Usually by December 25th I am definitely over the craziness of the holidays and ready to go back to the simplicity of regular life, but this year I have to say I am a little sad. I am sad that the Christmas decorations will start coming down. I am sad that stores won't be playing Christmas music anymore. I am sad that we won't be getting any more beautiful cards from friends and family in the mail any longer. This year will definitely contain some post-Christmas blues. I also seem to remember in years past that my kids had more time off of school before Christmas day, now it is right at the beginning of their break and we have a whole two weeks together to fill OMG

I definitely get caught up in the how Christmas "should be" all sugar plums and roses, but real life is hardly ever perfect. My kids have been fighting and acting like lunatics ever since forever they got out of school on Friday. I am thinking the complete lack of schedule, less sleep than usual, and a 1000% more sugar in their daily diet isn't helping matters much. 

This year for the first time we went to visit the girls' grandparents, Matt's parents, in central Washington right before Christmas. We drove there on Friday and came home on Christmas Eve. Matt's sister and her family were there and his uncle came and we got to visit with his Grandmother, as well as take a big family picture, and that was incredibly special. Matt's sister has a baby who is about 20 months old and so it was the first time all of us, toddler included, were ever together in one place. It was just so nice to all be together as a family, even when it was a bit stressful. 

We packed a lot in to our few days at Grandma's house. 

We got there right before dark on Friday and conditions were ripe for snowman building.

Then it was time to head back in to decorate Grandma's Christmas tree! 

On Saturday the girls decorated their gingerbread houses. We usually make graham cracker "gingerbread" houses and decorate them with tons and tons of candy. This year I bought each of them a house from Costco and called it good. I was pretty worried they would be disappointed in how much less candy they had to work with, but they didn't notice at all. In fact, they even had candy and about 3/4 of the frosting left over when they were done. 

Then it was time to bake and decorate cookies! I brought along some sugar cookie dough from my Grandma's recipe and baked them at my mother-in-law's house. Then we all set to work frosting and decorating them. Oh, and of course, I ate them almost as fast as I decorated them. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mothers' Fear

Oh, hello. I am blogging again because I am avoiding doing my never-ending to-do list. Funny how that happens. I have been mulling over posts in my mind over the past few days but didn't really want to post some ramblings about running without first taking a minute to touch on the heart-breaking shootings in Newtown, CT. Every single condolence that can be said, has been said, and so much more eloquently than I can say it. As a mother, all I can add is, I am so deeply sorry. And as a mother, naturally my thoughts immediately went to, "what if those kids were my kids?" My daughter is six. It isn't hard to let your mind go there, but really, you just can't. What does that solve? Adding to your own fear doesn't alleviate even one tiny ounce of the grief of another mother whose baby is gone. 

When I heard about the shootings, one of the many, many thoughts I had was, "how am I going to explain this to my daughters?" I assumed they hadn't found out yet when I picked them up from school on Friday, (and thankfully, they hadn't) and that I was going to have to tell them, lest they hear it somewhere else first.  Last spring when there was a murderer on the loose in my neighborhood, leaving his car just three blocks from my daughter's school and one block from my house, my kindergartner's school was in a real lock down. I just thought, how can I tell my six year old that children were killed in their school, when the memory of a dangerous man wandering her own neighborhood is still lingering? How can I help her truly know she is safe? It felt like too much. On the advise of a psychologist, we decided to not tell either of our girls what happened. I assume they will eventually hear about it, and will be there to answer questions as gently as I can when that time comes. At that time I hope to be able to say "since that happened our city/state/country has done X,Y,Z to make kids even safer in schools" but sadly, I doubt that will be the case. Instead I will simply assure them they are safe, while internally crushing under the fear of not knowing for sure that they are. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Random Non-Running Updates

*I have a huge project to finish for Christmas-- namely, the photo book I put together every year for my grandparents and Matt's Grandmother-- but I'm procrastinating. Besides the book, I am 90% done with Christmas shopping just a couple things left for family and stocking stuffers. BAM. I was all over it this year. Even sent out Christmas cards after taking last year (last two years?) off! Look at me go! 

*This year I had the bright idea of surprising my in-laws with a session with a photographer for a big family picture. Matt's parents, his uncle, his Grandmother, his sister's family and us. It's going to be pretty special, I think, and not sure when or if we'll ever be able to do this again. Heck, I couldn't even tell you the last time we were all in the same place at the same time. Doesn't seem like it should be that hard, but it is! We all get so busy. So, yes, there will be a formal family photo. When talking to my mother-in-law we brainstormed the idea to go with a more casual photo and keep the clothes we wear in the blue/brown/beige/khaki family. I love blues and browns and thought this would be great. One problem is I own zero tops in those colors. I can wear my dark jeans, but I need a top. I spun through two stores today and they had nothing! All of the blues in the stores right now are royal or electric blues. NOT what I was imagining. And it was impossible to find dresses for the girls. I found ONE dress and I have to say, I don't even really like it that much. I ended up paying extra for a few sweaters from Macy's to be shipped lickety-split. Lord knows I am not going within a 10 mile radius of a mall right now. Maybe it's not too late to beg to change the color scheme to my personal favorite color, gray?

*It's not out of the realm of possibility that my pants will no longer fit me once this holiday is season is over. It will be really embarrassing to be wearing my pajama bottoms everywhere. I am blaming the Chex Mix. When Iris saw the empty ziploc bag next to me and my hands coated in salty grease, she asked "did you eat ALL of that?!" Yep, I sure did. *burp*

*The office I work for had their holiday party last weekend. The owners planned a karaoke party and I would be lying if I didn't say I was kinda terrified about it. They honestly asked me in my interview if I did karaoke, and I answered that I had never done it, but I could try! Well, let me just cut out the suspense and  tell you, I loved it, I really did! Here in Seattle there is a karaoke place where you rent a little room (seriously little) and can have up to maybe 15 people in it (we were tight with ten) and then you pick your own songs and sing your little hearts' out. I started by singing along, without a microphone, to the songs I knew. Then my boss jammed a microphone in my hand and I sang along to whatever it was, I think "We Built This City", and was like, hey, this is fun! Then it was my turn to actually put my own song on the playlist. I picked Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me", because, well, I'm a 12 year old girl. I asked another gal to sing it with me, and she mostly did. I couldn't really hear myself so I hoped it sounded okay! Rounded out the rest of the night by being a white-girl rapper (yes, I am aware that is a major karaoke faux pas, but A. I didn't request the songs, I just sang, err, rapped, them, and B. it was SO. MUCH. FUN.) I killed "Bust a Move" (in a good way, at least I think so) and I slaughtered (in less of a good way) "Gold Digger". I did think it was funny that "Gold Digger" has the "f word" in it, but they put symbols in for the letters, like this F***. Good thing I knew what those symbols meant, eh?

*Speaking of F***, I got my first ever email complaining, somewhat passive-aggressively I might add, about Eloise dropping the F-bomb (once!) during her sister's playdate. The playdate's mother was not so amused. She requested future playdates be held without sister in attendance. BWAHAHAHA. One thing I really love is being told how to run my family, so that suggestion went over really well. Of course I had to inform playdate's mother that Iris is WAY better at swearing than her sister is, so maybe she wants to rethink what child of mine her kid plays with?

*And speaking of Taylor Swift I stalked the pre-sale tickets and paid an insane amount of money for three tickets for the girls and me. WHY WHY WHY are these tickets so expensive? They aren't even that close, but there are in the bottom half of the arena. To be honest the upper seats weren't that much cheaper and I figured if we're going to do it, we're at least going to want to see Ms. Swift without binoculars. 

Okay, okay, back to working on the photo book. I swear every year they just look more and more half-assed because I seriously lose my steam for the project! Is there someone out there I could pay to do this? It would probably cost me an insane amount of money considering how many hours it takes me.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Squat-a-Thon Drop-out

So you know how I was so excited about doing all of those squats in the December challenge? Well, five days in to it and my IT band was seriously unhappy with me. What the heck? Tonight I consulted Dr. Google and sure enough, squatting can cause IT band pain. I am guessing adding weight to many of my squats and seriously increasing the amount I do every day was the real issue. Can't do anything half-assed! Now I am totally off squats until my leg stops aching. At the rate I am going the only thing I will be able to do is sit in a chair and lift 2 lb weights for my work-outs.

This week in a fit of despair I ordered myself a pair of Altra Intuitions that were on clearance.

Have you tried these?

They are HUGE! Not only did I have to order size 12s, but they are just much wider than a typical shoe. I have worn them to the gym to do my elliptical and they were fine. I did like not having my toes smooshed  in my other shoes while on the machine and I often have trouble with my feet getting that tingly falling asleep feeling. Then I did something on Thursday I really shouldn't have, but like a true junkie, I couldn't bear to stay way. I ran on the treadmill. Very slow, like 12 minute miles, for just under a mile. For what it's worth, I had zero foot pain while running (though it was a teensy bit sore afterwards), and the shoes felt great. I have 30 days to decide if I want to return them so I am crossing my fingers I can get in a few runs in them before the trial period is over.

My "thing" right now is trying to figure out what shoe I should start back running in after this break. Going through shoes can be crazy expensive as well as can have horrible consequences for wearing the wrong pair for any length of time. My podiatrist says a shoe like the Brooks Adrenaline is the right shoe for me. My PT says that those shoes are too built up for my running style and I need something that is lighter with less structure, which is why I moved to the Brooks Pure Cadence. Of course, while wearing the Pure Candeces I developed a new injury that may or may not have been caused, at least in part, by the more minimal shoes.

I am a sucker for shoe's claims, so I was putty in Altra's hands when they advertised that their shoes would help with a whole host of running injuries. My next PT appointment is this Wednesday, so I will run it past her (get it?!) and hopefully start back to running ever so slowly in the perfect pair of sneaks.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Leaving Behind the Doubt

You might have seen this video floating around Facebook. It tells the story of a man who had all but given up on himself how he found the courage and the strength to regain his health and his power. It's a pretty cool video, so please check it out if you haven't watched it yet.

As you probably expect, the video, and this man's story, are quite inspiring. Most of us don't have what he has to overcome, but we all have our challenges. We have to face them every day, working on what is right in front of us while keeping our eye on the greater prize. 

Right now my challenge has been my injuries. I go back and forth, day by day, minute by minute, feeling alternately defeated and hopeful. What if I can never become the runner I want to be? How can I keep working towards my goals? What ARE my goals? 

I used to think my goals were to become faster and faster, though I wasn't sure what the ultimate goal was after all of that. My goals were also to become a marathoner, even an ultra-marathoner. Both of those goals seem worlds away right now, when I can't even run. When I look back on being injured for almost half of the last year. Half! I am getting pretty close to even being injured for half of the time I have been running, period. I don't know what this means, but I do know that I need to re-adjust my expectations and work even harder at getting strong and healthy. 

Since I am not racing right now, I decided I wanted some sort of challenge to shake things up in my workouts. One relatively easy challenge I decided to take on was the "Holiday Squat-a-Thon" that many bloggers seem to be posting about. It is a schedule of a certain number of squats every day for the month of December. The first week or so is pretty easy, so I have busted out my squats for the last couple of days without a ton of effort. Well, when I do them my way, they aren't a lot of effort. If I do them the way the trainer at the gym wants me to do them . . . well, I may never walk again. Let's just say she wants me to drop it looooooow (which is different than dropping it like it's hot, FYI.) Just wait until a couple of weeks in! Hoo boy!

Maybe you want to join in, too? You can even do your squats on Christmas morning, maybe while chugging your eggnog?

Maybe I also need to challenge myself to regularily accomplish the exercises on my list from the PT? I do them most days, but I can only get stronger doing them more often than I do. Plus, the exercises are pretty fun. I mean, on my list of to-do exercises are "Jane Fondas" and "Apollo Ohnos". Intriguing, right? 

No matter what, though, I will keep pushing. I will not allow myself to wallow in self-pity or doubt about being able to heal and become and the strongest I have ever been. 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Girls, Girls, Girls on the Run!

This morning marked the culmination of all of Iris's hard work in her Girls on the Run group, it was the big 5K run! Despite having some challenges with the after-school practice (and declaring, at one point, that she didn't really like to run), Iris was pretty excited about the 5K. Other girls from her group told her about all of the wonderful things that happen at the run, so I think she thought more about the event as a whole, rather than just the running part.

Matt was all ready to be Iris's running buddy! Before I was overcome with injuries, I had signed up to be Iris's running buddy. All girls in the GOTR program run their 5K with a running buddy, be it a family member, friend, or a community volunteer. Luckily Matt was able to step in and take my spot! 

As a gift to Iris for reaching the goal of running the 5K I gave her a sparkly skirt. The fabric was identical to a Team Sparkle skirt I recently got, but I bought Iris's at Fred Meyer and it had three layers on it. She loved it and was excited to wear it to the race. Since GOTR asked everyone to dress up in super hero garb, Iris also adorned herself with accessories from an old Wonder Woman costume of Eloise's. 

Matt, Iris, Eloise and I piled in to the car to head over to the race, cautiously watching the sky. Last night the forecast said something like 80% chance of rain today. We got to the park, found our group and hung out for a while waiting for the warm-ups to start. Some of the girls got their hair sprayed with different colors while we hung out. Eloise got a free frisbee and promptly threw it in to the water.

Ready to run!
After the warm-ups it was time to head over to the starting line! Eloise decided she would run with Matt and Iris instead of hang with me and cheering. I said goodbye to them all and off they went! After seeing them off at the start I shuffled as fast as I could (no running!) to the half-way point in the race and held up my "You are AWESOME" sign (recycled from last weekend!) and cheered all of the girls and their buddies on until Eloise . . . . and then Matt and Iris came running past. It was so cute, Eloise was off on her own. Matt and Iris looked great and there were no complaints out of either of them. Yay! As they went on I hustled back around the park to the finish line. 

This was only part of the crowd, it was probably double this size!
Blurry shot of my runners taking off!
Posing for me at the half-way point.

There was a huge crowd around the finisher's chute! I couldn't' believe how many people were there to cheer the runners in. I snagged a spot, got out my camera and my cowbell, and waited for my family to come through. First came Iris and Matt, then shortly after Eloise ran by. Everyone had big smiles and seemed happy!

Matt reported that Iris stayed right behind Eloise for the whole race and then sped past her to finish in front of her. Ha! Where in the world would she get that competitiveness from?! 

It was so fun for me to do a complete role-reversal from what we usually do at a race . . . me running and the three of them cheering! I might love cheering almost as much as I love racing! 

After the run was over we found snacks and water, took advantage of some photo opportunities, and caught up with Iris's coaches. They were so sweet, they had one medal left over and they gave it to Eloise! She was so happy. It was hard for her to understand that this was Iris's event, that she wouldn't get a shirt or a bib or a medal, but in the end she was totally thrilled. I think she'll be a great GOTR when she is in 3rd grade. 

My girl and her medal!

We all had so much fun. Iris declared it one of her best days ever (of course, that was a combo of the  5K event and other exciting things that happened to her today!) so I consider that an absolute success. 

I am so proud of her. For a while I wasn't sure she would stick with GOTR and I worried she just wasn't enjoying it that much. And maybe parts of it she really didn't, but she saw the ten weeks of practice through and rocked her 5K. It is a really big accomplishment for her! 

Athleta was one of the sponsors, so Iris put her tattoo on her cheek.
I thought it looked pretty cool.