Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ann Arbor Hands on Museum (for real) and Team Aquaphor

This week was a pretty busy week for us. I felt like I needed to cram in a bunch of things since we are leaving the area soon (or so I thought) and I wanted to keep my pre-race week really low key. Turns out, we (or I plus the kids) may stick around MI for a few more weeks before heading down to KY. We started the week low key. I did a nice long slow swim while Keira was at school, and then took Soren to play at the mall for a little bit before getting her. We also had a blast at home getting the bikes out again. Sadly, it got super cold again later in the week. On Tuesday, we did a few errands after my workout. They are getting shorter! That afternoon, Keira thought she wanted to take a nap with Soren. That lasted about 5 minutes. On Wednesday, I was able to do my long run at the gym since I am tapering and done with biking and bricks until after the marathon. We decided to get some lunch at Aleko's in South Lyon. They have the best breadsticks, and Mark, the owner, is from my tri club. I had won a free entry to a T-Rex tri as a door prize from him last year, and he got me all set up for the Pterodactyl Tri in July. On Thursday, we hit the Hands On Museum. We received a free pass and a buy one get one pass from there when they visited Keira's school last week. I did not want these passes to go to waste, and I did not want to go the week prior to my race or during spring break, so I thought I had this week. Keira and Soren had a really good time. Typcial of them, they did not want to leave any of the exhibits, so transistioning was difficult. They really liked the foam block building, the traffic light, and the big bubble maker. Ryan also had a delay at work that will keep us here a little longer. I am not really sure how long I will stay, but I think I will be keeping Keira in school a few more weeks, and will need to go pay for those days. Friday was a busy morning. I was hoping to run over to Village Oaks to turn in Keira's kindergarten paperwork (as a backup, just in case we have issues getting enrolled or moving to KY) while she was at school. I had to run home to get her winter stuff for going outside at school today, so I got a little behind. I got in a quick workout, and then took Soren to storytime. We opted to do this in the afternoon, and I was glad we waited until after lunch because it took a long time, and Soren likely would have missed storytime. We got Keira all signed up! After that, we stopped at Meijer where we were given a free roasted chicken! It was past the time for selling them, so they were giving them away. A couple stopped us and asked if we got one, and I wasn't aware of the "giveaway", so they gave us theirs. It made for a tasty and easy dinner for this evening. Keira was excited to wear her OSU shirt, she asked to wear it today, I am not sure if it was because of March Madness or not, but the timing seemed fitting. I also learned tonight that I had made the 2011 Team Aquaphor! Since Team Marathon changed their criteria this year, this was my main hope for a sponsorship. They are a bit more hardcore than Team Marathon, so hopefully I won't have trouble fulfilling the requirements of 6 MAJOR endurance events. It looks like the 5ks and shorter races won't count, but I will know more after the conference call. On Saturday, we had a full day. It was Art Day at Linda's montessori school, so I dropped off Keira at her house for the morning. Keira made so many projects and had a blast. I ran a few errands with Soren and hung out with him at home while Ryan rode. Ryan rode his mountain bike and his road bike with his Wolverine friends at Island Lake this morning. It was very cold, but sunny. Kris and Linda dropped off Keira just a few minutes before Ryan got back. Here she is with her loot: I ran a little under 9 miles with Cristina and Monica for my last big run. We averaged 8:01 min/mile, so hopefully that wasn't too fast for the week before the marathon. It was a sunny day, but chilly. I am feeling very good for my upcoming race, and now just want to rest rest rest! I have a few miles to run next week before the race, but not too much. Once I got back, we went out to Poole's Tavern in Northville, sticking with the trend of going to places that are unique to our area. We ate in the Bak Bar portion of the restaurant, and it was decorated very nicely. On Sunday, we attended church. I helped out in the nursery with Valerie, which is not Soren's class. Keira and Soren were really wound up this evening, so they went to be rather early. Hopefully they won't wake up too terribly early, but with tomorrow being a school day, maybe that will mean we won't have to rush too much. I also have a bunch of artwork from this week and last week that Keira made: Up for next week, I have the Martian Marathon! I am really looking forward to it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bowling and Ann Arbor Hands on Museum

This week was a very fun week. Keira had 2 special events at school this week and I was able to go to both of them with her. We also had some great spring like weather and were able to get outside and enjoy it.

We started off the week with Keira's field trip to Novi Bowl. Keira had never been bowling before, and really struggled to get the ball down the lane. She takes after her parents. I had to help her "push" it, as when she did it herself, many times it ran out of steam and stopped in the middle. She had a blast, which was the point. She loved hanging out with her friends and did not want to leave. She even bowled a few extra frames at the end for a classmate that didn't finish. She didn't do too terrible either! Soren was also fine with just hanging out at the bowling alley and eating pizza. I couldn't believe the tiny bowling shoes!

One Tuesday, I kicked off my virtual race that I am doing, the Cupcake Marathon. I am to run 26.2 miles over the course of a 2 week period. I plan to do it this week as part of my regularly scheduled training for the Martian Marathon. For all the updates on this, see here.

On Wednesday, I was able to volunteer at Keira's school for the visit from the Ann Arbor Hand's On Museum. It has been tough to get to school early enough to get a spot on the sign up sheet, but I was happy to get this one, as well as Keira. She grabbed the sheet and handed it to me when she saw there were blanks on it still. I worked at the measuring station, where we had the children measure dinosaurs in units of sponges. We also measured the children in units of rubber chickens, fish, and lobsters. Keira liked this station, as well as the sorting station. They sorted plastic animals based on criteria of has legs, has not, and things like that. She also liked the fishing station.

I was also able to take the kids outside today for the first stroller run of the year. They had a good time.

Keira also got to take her bike out for the first time this season (beating me to it).

The Keira and Soren also enjoyed playing with chalk.

On Thursday, it was St Patrick's Day, so we dressed in green.

After my long run at the gym, we picked up some Lucky Charms cereal. Keira and Soren spent the afternoon picking out the marshmallows and just eating those.

They did also get to play outside again today. It was even warm enough for Keira to wear shorts while biking!

On Friday, I took Soren to storytime while Keira was at school. The theme was monkeys, so Soren really enjoyed it.

Right after the Keira was done with school, we headed out to the outlet mall to take advantage of the Gap Give and Get sale and meet up with Linda, Ellyn, Bryn, and Lleyton. It was fun for Keira to hang out with Bryn and we were able to find a few great deals. We ended up being out there so long that Soren missed his nap, especially since he didn't fall asleep in the car on the way home. He skips it on Sundays now, so while it wasn't ideal, it wasn't the end of the world. That night we met up with Cristina and her boys for family swim at Botsford. Keira loves swimming, and was so excited to go. Soren also really enjoyed himself and while he stayed on the stairs for a lot of the time, he did have fun "swimming" in the water. We will need to see if we can find him a life jacket that lets him float upright instead of the infant style that floats him on his back, and I think he will have more fun. If I really knew what I was doing swimming, I could just teach him how to swim for real!

Saturday was another really busy day. We started off the morning by heading out to Ann Arbor. There was a tri demo at the Running Fit that is just down the street from the bike shop where I needed to look at helmets and check on my "draft box" for my new bike that Ryan had ordered. The strangest thing about the morning was that while I was driving the kids over to Ann Arbor, Ryan was on his bike, riding with the Wolverines for his first outdoor ride of the season with them, through Ann Arbor, to Dexter, and back. He wasn't able to stay with the lead group for the full ride, but finished with an average speed of over 19mph, which is not too shabby for the first outdoor ride of the year. I was able to try on an aero helmet (which will be called an "alien helmet" from here on) as well as pick up the draft box. It finishes the air foil shape on the rear of the box as well as provides storage for necessities of riding, such as mini pump w/CO2 cartridge, tire levers, and spare tube. I am glad Ryan installed it, because it was a pain to install.

After finishing up at the bike store, we went down the street to Running Fit for their tri demo. The most interesting part is the "transition race", where they have 6 local athletes race through the transition process only of the tri, with just short laps of the parking lot on the bike and run. The winner was under 3 minutes for T1 and T2. I actually knew 4 of the participants this time around. Soren was kept amused the entire time by a toy VW bus. I saw it sitting on one of the tables as an advertisement for the "Run Woodstock" event, and knew Soren would go for it. We almost forgot to put it back, but stopped outside on our way out for a photo op with the real Running Fit VW, the "school bus" as Soren called it.

Ryan and I arrived home fairly close to each other, and I headed out to Kensington to get in 12 miles, which is a step down from last week's 20 miler. It was really nice out, and a good change to be able to run without a jacket and hat and need sunglasses for the sun and not to block the snow. Cristina and I posed for a few pictures for our Cupcake Marathon. I finished it up (totaling 4 runs) in 3:40:43. Not too shabby for a taper week with the jogging stroller and walking between sets of 800s and 400s included.

That night we went to Bagger Daves for dinner. It was packed, so by the time we finished up, it was bed time.

On Sunday, I taught the Relief Society lesson on the Word of Wisdom. I love the blessings that are received by following this commandment, and I have a testimony that following them will allow me to "run and not be weary, and walk and not faint". It makes me very excited to have the opportunity to run a full marathon in less than two weeks from today! We also went over to Kris and Linda's for dinner this evening. It was great to visit with them, and we won't have as many opportunities to do this in just a few weeks!