Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend Summary

This morning I got up at 6.00 am to join a friend, Maryanne, for a 21k run at 6.40 am. I sometimes even wonder how crazy I am to forgo an opportunity to sleep in an extra hour on the weekends.  Today though, I needed to get in my run before 9.00 am for I had signed the girls up for the mini-mile run event that was offered as part of the Run for Southlake event.  My run with Maryanne was great, we chatted the entire way which made the run very enjoable.  Despite it being 10 degrees outside, we experienced a terrible cold wind going east despite and wondered if we shouldn't have worn gloves and a touque. In the end though we felt great and I had to dash before being able to do any stretching. I know I will pay for that tomorrow.

The girls' event started at 10.00 am and it was only $5 a piece to participate. I figured it was a great opportunity to get London exposed to the fun of running and overall it is just a fun thing to do as a family. When we arrived I retrieved the girls’ bibs and proudly pinned them on Reilly and London. Reilly of course was rather disinterested in the whole affair but was glad to be out as a family and London was interested but a little intimidated by all the people so she clung to me like glue.

I have no idea how long the “mini-mile” route was for they roped off some trees in a field which had the kids starting and ending in more a less a circle.  The organizer for this event started the children off in two waves. The first wave included children 6 and over and the second wave was for 5 and under. It was relatively informal which was perfect for the young kids and it was hilarious to see some of the more keen kid’s edge themselves up to the front.

London insisted on holding my hand the entire time; however, I managed to break away a couple of times to snap a picture of her. I must say I am proud that she ran the entire way without stopping and was happy to receive her medal at the end. We turned back to find Reilly and Daddy who were bringing up the rear. Reilly’s legs were cooperating this morning so Mike walked with her the entire route and despite being the last child to cross the makeshift finish line I was ecstatic that she was able to participate. One of her daycare classmates recognized Reilly and came over to say hello which was really sweet. Especially since Reilly never provides any feedback to others in an obvious way.

We then proceeded into the arena to get our pancake breakfast which everyone enjoyed. London accompanied me on running some errands in the afternoon and she proudly sported her medal around her neck to anyone that would listen or look at her.

Yesterday we decided to load up the car with our bikes and go on our first bike trip of the year as a family. I have probably biked 3x total in the last 5 years so I was excited to get on a bike for I did quite a bit of biking before children. So off we went, London being pulled behind me and Reilly behind Mike. We decided to use two bike carriers for a couple of different reasons, one to share the load of pulling some extra weight and two, because we have found that when we put the girls together Reilly slouches considerably which is not good for her spine, as she is now showing extreme signs of scoliosis, so we need to keep her in a good posture. The Wike allows for that due to some special seating we have inserted that includes supportive bolsters.

The Caledon trails were great, the paths varied from packed dirt, to crushed but packed stones, to looser stones. The only downfall is that every time the path crossed a road, it had gates to restrict access to other vehicles but made us slow down to a walk to make sure we eased our way through. There was only one gate that warranted actually lifting the bike carriers over which was a pain in the butt (see below) for an example of the tight fit.

We packed a lunch and some snacks so we could make a day out of our little adventure. We found a perfect spot as you can see for this ended up being the only place with a picnic table, let alone a covered one.  

We were fortunate that we saw an Elementary school in the middle of nowhere which offered the kids an opportunity to stretch their legs and play around; otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to go as long. Here are some snaps from that part of the leg.

In the end we probably biked for about 22k which was an excellent start for acclimatizing my bum to my bike seat. Boy is it sore today!!!!  Since it was such a success Mike and I have decided to try to plan a biking adventure every Saturday with the girls. Next week we have decided to try Niagara Falls, pending weather.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Small miracles can happen

I have been struggling to get 4 runs in during the week due to work, the girls, and everyday stuff and yesterday I had a thought, albeit a crazy one, that maybe we could put the girls in the Wike and run to London's skating lesson. Given that the facility is only 2 miles away. Now on the surface this seems like a very reasonable idea but here is the fine print. My husband does not run, although he has expressed interest in taking it up for the sole purpose of being able to complete a sprint duathlon this year. He loves biking but there are not really any bike competitions and he realizes that if he wants to partake in some fun events he is going to have to take up running. Now you must know that Mike has been vehement in the past about not taking up running, so the mere notion of him wanting to run was exciting.

So the first part in making this idea work is convincing him that this would be an excellent way to start. We could take frequent walk breaks and break up the running in two sections with a huge rest in-between. Another factor is that since my husband does not run it only makes sense that I be the one to push the Wike, at least most of the way, to even out our running levels; however, I have never run before the Wike, let alone do it with both girls with a combined weight of about 90 pounds. So I did not know what exactly I was getting myself into. The last factor is that although it is only 2 miles to our destination, it is marked by significant up and down hills. I was determined though to give it a try and make it work. To my pleasant surprise, my husband agreed to give it a try. So off we went...

It was the longest, hardest 2 miles I have ever done. I have no idea how others run with a stroller and maybe they have a better designed stroller than we do and/or less weight to deal with. I found that going downhill was actually harder on the body than going up hill for you had to actually hold the stroller back so it wouldn't take you flying forward, needless to say my upper body got an incredible work out but my form was terrible during the process. The uphills also proved to be a challenge and I had no choice to share the burden of pushing it up the hill. Although we were only going 2 miles given the load, the newness to the whole running with the Wike experience and Mike's virgin running legs, we did a run/walk strategy and made it to the arena just in time. On the way home we decided to try a different route for the hills were just too steep to really make it enjoyable and had a much better experience on the way home. We still had to alternate pushing the stroller and took frequent walk breaks but in the end we covered over 6k total and most importantly Mike was not scared off from doing this next Monday.

So there is hope out there to all those with significant others who have declared not to join the running club. Some day it might just happen and when you least expect it. Now here is to hoping that Mike will completely catch the running bug and maybe one day we can cross a marathon finish line together but I know I am getting ahead of myself now.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Reilly!!!!

I can't believe it has been almost six weeks since my last point. There have been a few reasons for this absence but I will get into that in another post.

First and foremost I need to recognize a special little girl's birthday, Reilly Roo!!!! Today Reilly is 5 years old and what a journey the last 5 years has been. Even though we have had some considerable ups and downs it is amazing how quickly 5 years can pass. We were invited to a friends bowling birthday party for their two girls that were having a combined birthday. The two girls turned 4 and 6 and also have birthdays about 3 weeks apart. We were told in advance by other friends with special needs children that they actually have a "wood frame device" that can be used to push the ball from. It was great to be able to include Reilly, although truthfully she probably cared less.

Seeing all the other children at the birthday party I got a little ticked at how much Reilly has been robbed of and how lucky the other parents are with respect to really seeing the personality characters of each of their children. I often wonder who Reilly would have been should she have been normal. Would she still sport her beautiful smile all the time and be the centre of attention or would she be a little reserved and the one who observes others before acting. The worst is not knowing what is going on in her mind and whether we are truly meeting her needs and desires. Damn Rett Syndrome. Well Reilly Roo I love you dearly and will continue cherish your smile and the desires you do express and will do my best to make the next 5 years of your life as happy as possible for you.

On a running note, I am just getting back to running after a huge set back from a bout of pneumonia 5 weeks ago now. I did a 14k run last Sunday and today I was aiming to do 17k. Unfortunately I had to run alone today which I am not used to for long runs and started off very stiff and slow. To help with the run this morning I uploaded all new music to help distract me. I must admit at about 5-6k I wondered how the heck I was going to do 17k today and I was looking at my Garmin obsessively at my progress each kilometer. I tried to refocus and eventually at about 9k I fell into a nice groove and then at about 13k I realized that if I wanted to follow a certain path home then this route might actually bring me to about 18k. Well let's just say I estimated wrong and I ended up having to do 20.5k. However, I actually felt stronger and more confident in the last 5k then in the first 8-10k of my run and felt like I passed both a physical and psychological milestone.

As I mentioned earlier I am clawing my way back from illness and my pace has suffered terribly. Today I managed a 6:15/km average for the 20.5k run. Given the circumstances I am ecstatic with that pace.