Thursday, May 29, 2014

Soldier Field 10 Miler

This is a race I've been wanting to do since I found out about it a couple of years ago.  I'm not a football fan, but I'm enough of a sports fan to appreciate getting access to the inner sanctums of the professional sports world.  I mean crossing the finish line at the 50 yard line is pretty cool.  Doing it in Soldier Field (obviously so named to honor those who have served their country on Memorial Day is even better

The last couple of years I hadn't trained enough to do 10 miles this early in the season, but this year I was determined to do it, so while my family slept in on Saturday, I drove down to Soldier Field.  I've driven there a few times and for some reason this time asked Siri for directions, rather than just going the way I probably could have done on my own no problem.  Mistake #1.  She led me the wrong way - opposite side of the train tracks, so I ended up parking at McCormick Place and running over to the start.  Found my corral a few minutes before the race, so had no time for a pit stop before the start.  Mistake #2.

Since I had had to take a few days off due to my sore knee after falling when the dog bit me, my plan was to run the race with 9/2 intervals adjustingfor water stations, and hopefully shave a little time off my previous 10 miler in the fall.  

It was pretty congested for mile 1 and we ran under McCormick which I never like, but there aren't a lot of other options around there.  After that the course opened up a bit, and even though I felt great took my first walk break, and was passed by a lot of people.  Stopped in the port a potties at the first water station and after that everything went smoothly.  The course does get a little tight along the lake front which made doing intervals a little tough.  You really need to watch your back before slowing down, but you can't beat the view as you return to the city.

When we got to Soldier Field I noticed a family of 4 running in front of me (Mom, Dad and two kids probably about 9-10 years old).  I was not about to be beaten by a 9 year old so I got ahead of them a little before heading in to the stadium.  I tried to video the final 1/2 mile or so, but failed.  We entered into the players parking lot and then came out one of the tunnels to the field, with the finish line on the 50.

Servicemen and women were on hand (most in uniform) to hand out the medals and water.  They don't let you linger too long on the field as there isn't enough room for everyone but you get a few minutes to soak it in before they shoo you out.  As you leave the stadium they handed out goodie bags - water, banana, clif bar, fruit snacks and pretzels.  The bag is actually pretty cute and a good size for bringing kid snacks to after school stuff.

I headed over to the post race tailgate, got my 312, stretched out and headed home.  All in all a good day.  Final time 1:40:44.  Only 20 seconds faster than my previous 10miler but I blame the pit stop for that.  Obviously the intervals worked.  I was able to run stronger/longer and never bonked, still had energy to burn at the finish.  I'll continue with that for my next long runs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Little Reader aka Little Runner

Every fall and spring my kids have to do a fitness test in school including some running - 100m dash, 400m dash, 600m dash and 1 mile run.  Little Reader surprised me by saying she didn't want to do the runs.  Now admittedly when I was her age I never liked Field Day at school either, but I wasn't a runner then.  She has PE 4 days a week, plays soccer and is doing Girls on the Run so I was surprised by her anxiety.  Still I told her to just do her best.  

She came home from school yesterday and said that she had done the mile.  I asked how she did - 8:09!! Almost a full minute faster than her previous time.  And 3rd in her class.  So then she asked me how fast I can do a mile?  Honestly, I'm not sure, haven't tried to run just a mile in a while, and I don't think Endomondo's stats for that kind of stuff is accurate.  It has me listed as doing a mile in 6:45 as part of my Hot Chocolate in 2012, which is basically impossible given my average pace for the race was 10:00 min/m.

But now I'm curious and plan to find out the next time I can run her course (the perimeter of the school's fields) when there are no kids there.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Preschool Graduation

Little Man had his preschool graduation last night.  I always thought the whole idea of having a graduation from preschool was kind of silly, but after getting their "diplomas" all the kids sang this which was really cute.  

They had 3 classes so they walked out one class at each chorus. 

I gave him a copy of Dr Seuss' a book about me as a graduation gift which he has already started filling out.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Beware of Dogs

Last Wednesday, my son was going to a friends house after school, which meant I had plenty of time for a long overdue long run.  The weather was good so I set off along my usual route.  I'm doing the Soldier Field 10 miler so was hoping to get 7 miles in.  After 5.5 I was still feeling good, so I kept going.  I went down a street I've done plenty of times before on my long runs, just in the opposite direction.  As usual, I was running on the street facing traffic.  A third of the way down the block I saw some dogs runnign around in a front yard.  I didn't think much of it at first since so many people in our area have Invisible Fences.  As I got closer I noticed there was no owner and no Invisible Fence sign.  Two of the dog were small just yippy dogs, the other one was medium sized and started crossed the sidewalk and started running after me.  I yelled at it to go home, but that did nothing.  I kept running and then damn thing bit my in the ankle and knocked me down.  I got up as quick as I could and crossed the street and ran away cursing out the absent owners.

I hobbled home with a skinned knee and scraped hand.  Since I hightailed it out of there I didn't get a good look at which house the dogs belonged to, so spent the next couple of days driving by to see if I could see the dogs.  No luck.  I called the local police department and left a long message for their animal control officer, with as much info as I could provide but never heard back.  Needless to say, I will no longer be running along that block and will be bringing my pepper spray with me from now on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


A couple of weeks ago my 4th grade daughter and I went to a presentation led by a school district nurse about changes - yes, puberty. Even though I've told my daughter about having your period and we've covered sex - or as she calls it "the gross thing" she was a little nervous. Girls sat on the floor in the library, Moms sat on chairs behind them.  

The nurse talked on a very basic level about menstruation, puberty and hygiene and showed a movie where a young girl gets her period at a slumber party and has to go to the friend's Mom for help.  She followed up the movie with a q&a.  There were quite a few questions and a lot of nervous giggles.  I was proud to see that none of the questions asked were ones we hadn't already covered at home.  

On the walk home, I asked her if she had any questions.  She said, yea, but I wasn't going to ask some lady I never met.  So I asked her if she had any questions for me.  She had a few like does having your period hurt (the nurse kind of glossed over that one, probably since they can't give out ibuprofen from the nurses office.  I told her cramps can hurt a bit, but for me Advil took care of it). She got a little sample kit of pads which I told her I could give her a more subtle bag for to have in her back pack.  

As for most girls, she's a little nervous about her first time.  Will she leak?  Will everyone know?  I've already told her that though my sister and I had our first two years apart we were at our grandmothers house each time.  Considering we only saw her a couple of times a year, that's pretty crazy.  My sister was wearing white shorts (so Mom had to go to a nearby store to pick up a new pair of shorts).  I happened to be wearing black jeans so dealt with it when I got home.  You never know when it's going to happen but after a certain point, it's good to have supplied with you.

She asked a little about tampons, which I admitted I don't use (only because I've never really had a problem with pads), but told her that most people I know use them so when the time comes she should try both and use whatever she prefers. 

With all the talk about light colored clothes, you would think I would have been smarter and not worn a brand new pair of white pants during my most recent period, but I did. I had an event I wanted to look nice for, so wore one of my Stitchfix outfits (including white pants).  Well, I got a little stain on my pants.  My daughter came into the bathroom when I noticed it, I asked her to get me a new pad from the other bathroom - the one I was in didn't have any.  She did, and then I told get what happened and told her about the wonders of hydrogen peroxide. I took the pants off, cleaned up the stain, soaked them for a while in detergent before washing, and now they are good as new.

She's learned a lot in a short time, and while her actual period is still probably a couple years away, she's pretty well prepared.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

New 5k PR

Yesterday I did my first repeat race and first 5k in a while.  It's a chip timed charity 5k in our town.  Last year I ran it solo and had a good time - 27:51 (3rd In my age group).  

This year the whole family signed up.  I told Little Reader that I wanted to run this solo but will run her Girls on the Run with her at her pace in a few weeks.  I wanted to go for a PR.  She understood.  Little Hugger and Little Man were planning on walking the whole thing.  My husband said he would walk, but actually ended up running quite a bit.  

I was determined to get a PR today, but I knew I would have to consistently run faster than my regular pace.  The course was easy enough - flat, and straight for a little over a mile then a small loop before heading back the way we came.  I had Endomondo set to tell me my expected finish based on current pace at each mile.  I knew I was off to a strong start in the first and second mile but by the third mile I had a side stitch and I was losing steam. But at mile 3 endomondo told me my expected finish and I knew I still had it.  Just at that moment one of the elite runners (who was already done) saw me and said,"Great job!".  I crossed the finish line with the gun time showing less than my previous time.  

Final times - 26:35 (1st in my age group), 3rd female overall.  Unfortunately there are no medals given in this race, but at least I know I got it and 1:24 faster than my previous best.

Little Reader - 34:15 (5:16 better than 6 months ago thanks to Girls on the Run).  
My husband finished in 39:13.  He had never done a race before, and admitted that while he did walk a bit, whenever he was crossing a street or running past volunteers he felt he needed to pick up the pace.  Yep, I know that feeling. 

Around 45 minutes after the start we still hadn't seen Little Man & Little Hugger, so I walked back to find them, since I knew the police were starting to open the streets up.  They were fine, just taking their time, ran the final block and finished at 1:01.

Monday, May 5, 2014

When Everyday Is Saturday

We met with our financial advisor the other night for a review.  My husband wanted to know if we needed to plan for the best/worst case scenario for our future were we on track and if not what would we need to do.  

So what is the scenario I mean?
- 4 year private college for all 3 kids no scholarships (hurray, they get in to good schools, but they cost a fortune)
- he or I live til the ripe old age of 95 (which is what advisors are recommending you plan for)
- have enough saved to be able to retire at 62 at which point everyday is Saturday. 

What do I mean by everyday is Saturday?  Think about it, what do you on Saturdays?  Eat out for breakfast lunch or dinner?  Take the kids on an outing somewhere? Go shopping.  All the fun stuff you don't have time to do during the week right?  So once you're retired there will be nothing stopping you from treating each day like Saturday - except $ of course.  So the idea of your expenses going down during retirement not necessarily true.

So, what do we need to do to make all this come true? An extra 6400 per month in various investment vehicles. Yikes!! And how how do we do that and still enjoy life now?  

My husband still has med school loans which won't officially be paid off til August 2033 (when he's 60 - yikes again) and all three kids are out of college. Seriously, we'll be paying his loans and tuition bills at the same time.  Hopefully as we get closer to that time we can just make a lump sum payment and get the student loans over with, but with interest rates being do low, it's not really worth it.  

So where is this money supposed to come from?  Hopefully my husband income will continue to rise, but with all the changes in healthcare these days, who knows.  I keep reminding my husband that these docs he knows who retired at 55 also were docs in the 80s when compensation was very different.  

Anyway, Little Man starts Kindergarten in the fall so I could try to find something part time or work from home that I could ramp up once he's in first grade the following year, but what would that be?

In my pre-Mom days I worked in incentive travel - planning trips for groups of 50 to 500 people.  Fun job, but lots of overtime and a few weekends a year of travel - wouldn't really work with kids, and the pay sucked.  

So my question to all of you med-spouses with kids?  Do you work and if so what do you do?  Any ideas for me?  I am considering direct sales as anyone who has read my blog before knows, but I also know that's not enough.