Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fox Cities Half Marathon Report

On Sunday, September 24, 2006 I ran the Fox Cities Marathon's US Cellular Half Marathon. And it took me almost as long to type out that race name just now.

The day before the race
Nerves, nerves, and more nerves. I was scared.
I was determined to avoid having any "Salad Shooter!!" episodes (see Green Bay Marathon race report for explanation) during this race, so stuck to foods I determined to be safe. Carbs and protein, but not too much fat. As was the case before my last race, the Green Bay Marathon, my stomach was not feeling well all day long. Immodium was to me as slop is to a pig.
I went to the expo to pick up my race packet and was feeling both excited and scared. Libby was excited, too, and wanted to run the race with me. She got extremely upset when we didn't pick up race "numbers" (a race bib) for her, and I had to spend a lot of time talking to her and bribing her with popcorn to help her get it over it.
I created a special playlist for my iPod for the race, with all sorts of fun, upbeat songs to get me through the race. I was pretty happy about it and thought it would really help me out.

Pre Race
When I headed out the door for the race it was still dark outside and it reminded me of the morning of my first marathon...this same race, back in 2004. I ran that full marathon without ever having run more than five miles at one time. And I'd only been running for about six weeks. Thinking it would take me longer than the six hour limit (it didn't, I finished in about 5:30), I had chosen to take advantage of the early start--6am. I think I was on the road that time at 4:30 am and crossed the starting line in the dark. I can picture the start of that marathon like it was yesterday. We started in Riverside Park in Neenah and within a half mile were running around the point on the lake. The image of hundreds and hundreds of marathon runners in silhouette against a gorgeous sunrise over the water was stunning.
As I neared the park and looked for a parking spot on this race morning I suddenly had a vision of me crossing the finish line strong and happy, setting a new personal record. For whatever reason, that instantly took all of my nerves away and left me feeling strong, confident, and excited. It was a wonderful way to walk up to the crowd of racers.
I checked my bag in the "bag n' tag" area and began stretching. Feeling relaxed and comfortable I enjoyed people-watching in the growing crowd. It always amazes me at how diverse the runners are in a marathon....tall and skinny, short and squat, stocky, round, athletic, old, young, and everyone in the middle. At one point I went over to use the porta-john before the race started. If you've not been to a race like this, I'll explain that they always have a long line of porta-potties near the starting line and a mob of people waiting to get in. When I finally made it to the front of the mob and saw the door open, a nice gentleman came out and informed me that there was reading material inside for me. Sure enough. I found a nice running magazine for my reading pleasure. Now, since the smell wasn't exactly like roses, I decided to pass on the opportunity and get out as quickly as possible.
When race-time neared and the runners all crowded the starting line, you could nearly smell the excitement, nerves, and adrenaline. Hmmm, looking back, maybe that was actually B.O. and flatulence..... Regardless, I said a little prayer, spoke with my father as I tend to do when I run, and asked them both to help me in whatever way they could. The starting gun sounded and we were off.

The First Half of the Half
This time the image of the runners along the lake wasn't quite as extraordinary, as the sun was up and shining bright. Still, it took my breath away as I ran in a thick crowd of people with one shared passion...the sun shining on our faces and brisk air nipping at our skin....elbows flying and running shoes stepping on other people's heels...coughing, pushing, and people cursing at others who cut them off.....
I had an enormous smile plastered on my face as I weaved and bobbed in and out trying to get to a comfortable pace. This went on for the first two miles or so, before the crowd thinned out enough to find my own little pocket where I could stretch out a bit.
Three miles in I realized that I was overdressed and needed to lose a layer. I jumped off of the course in downtown Neenah and stripped down to my bra and tossed one layer back on. Put my earphones back in my ears and pushed play to restart my iPod. Nothing happened. It had plenty of battery but when it displayed that it was playing, no sound came out. After fumbling with it for a few blocks, I gave up and carried both my long sleeved shirt and dead iPod. I was hoping that I'd find Chris and his parents, who had all come to chase me around the course and cheer me on, and drop my stuff with them. Which I did a couple of miles later when I saw them on the side of the road.. I ran over and startled them, as they hadn't seen me coming because the crowd was so thick. Passed off my stuff and ran the remainder of the race without music.

Aid Stations
The aid stations are wonderful in this race. Nearly all of them are themed. Some of my favorites were the boys in toga (nice distraction), Wizard of Oz themed station with all of the characters, the barnyard theme with a good ol' fashioned ho-down and people dressed as farm animals, all of the high school cheerleading squads (they were at several stations) and the little five year old cheerleaders from the local cheering club, and the M.A.S.H. unit with everyone dressed as army medics (fitting for how I felt at that point).

The Spectators
It was awesome having Chris and my girls and Chris' parents at the race to cheer me on. They made a big difference for me, always looking for them in the crowd and wondering where I'd see them next. It gave me something fun to look forward to. They chased me along the course and caught me several times. In the first few miles I was still moving too fast for them and they nearly missed me twice. The first time (maybe around mile four or five?) the crowd was still very thick as I mentioned above and they didn't see me until I darted out to drop off my things. Next was a couple miles down the road when I am crossing an intersection and hear, "GO REBECCA!!!!". I look over and see them just starting to get out of the van, yelling to me, and then jumping back in right away. I laughed for quite a while at that one. I had left some Sport Beans (like energy gel) with Chris and asked him to pass them over when he saw me along the course so I didn't have to carry them. Somewhere around mid-race I spotted them on the side of the road and Libby tried to give me the beans, but wasn't quite ready for me. She gets a little freaked out by all of the runners during events. Chris and his parents were telling her to give them to me and I stopped, backtracked, and grabbed them. A couple of runners around me witnessed this and thought it was super cute. That was another thing that kept a smile on my face for a while, however Libby apparently was upset by the ordeal. For two reasons: 1. She thought she screwed up her bean-pass job 2. She wanted to eat the beans.

Last half of the race
I couldn't believe how strong and good I felt for the first five miles of this half-marathon. I was bouncing along without soreness, fatigue, or anything but pure enjoyment and energy. Then I passed mile five. For the rest of the race my glutes felt as though they were made of lead and my energy vanished.I started to panic a little and doubt my ability to PR (get a personal record) this race. The glute issue remained a struggle until the finish. When the glutes got lonely and felt like they didn't belong, however, my very caring hamstrings decided that they'd better join in to make the glutes feel better. Awwwww, how sweet, I know. That's just the way they are.
This was the quietest I've ever been in a race. Usually I'm with a running partner and gabbing the whole way, making jokes and smart remarks to spectators and other runners. This time I was very focused (aka in pain, nervous, trying not to puke)and kept to myself.In fact, I only spoke to one other person (aside from thanking all of the police officers as I passed them at intersections). A couple ran by, and I overheard the woman saying in a very sarcastic tone, "And I even got my eyebrows waxed for this!" I put on my best spa voice and told her that they look fabulous, darling...
As I eluded to above, there were a few miles spent scoping out the sidelines for good vomit spots. I was having some difficulty getting my Gatorade and beans and GU down, then keeping them where they belonged. With my seizures I have to be very careful about keeping my electrolytes in check during long runs or I start flopping around and seeing stars. I have found that if I grab one cup each of Gatorade and water at every aid station and mix them together, then stay on top of eating some beans or gel, I'm usually okay. During this event, however, Mr Epilepsy and Ms Electrolytes must have been having a spat and didn't want to work together at all. Thankfully I convinced them to try counselling and everything stayed down and there was no major flopping.

It's always a great mix of people, but usually I see more wackiness than I did for this event. There was one barefoot runner, but it wasn't Barefoot Bob from the Green Bay Marathon (see that race report for details on Bob). Also spotted one man wearing a flannel shirt, very fancy and colorful racing tights, and sporting a LONG braided 'rat tail' circa 1983. Otherwise, just a lot of fancy pants people and one person running the entire marathon carrying a large american flag.

The Big Finish
Somewhere in the last couple of miles I started to think that walking might be a really nice change of pace. My glutes and hamstrings were now asking for the support of my calves and lower back, and were getting it. Everyone was joining in the cramping party. I thought that my PR was lost, but then realized that if I could somehow get my pace back up a little I might make it after all. So I ran and ran and when I felt as though I was nearly at a sprint I checked my Garmin and saw that my pace was about 30 seconds slower than it had been all race. Someone noted that we could hear the music from the finish line and I decided that there was no way I would walk or give up when I was that close. So I ran my heart out for the last half mile and managed to keep a smile on my face for most of it. I kept picturing myself laying down on the cement as soon as I crossed the line. I saw Chris' parents at the start of the finishing chute but never saw Chris and the girls. When I crossed the line I had absolutely nothing left. I thought I was going to be sick, pass out, or just fall over. I was herded to the volunteers who removed my timing chip, gave me my space blanket and medal, then I staggered out to find my family. I didn't even stop to pose for a finish line photo...I knew I'd fall down. After some searching and confused dizziness (standing in one place wondering how to get my feet to move and how to find my way through the crowd) I found everyone, posed for some photos, and set off on the great Popsicle hunt. Libby believes that it is her right to eat one Popsicle at the finish line of all of my races. And I agree.

I did it. 2:11 finish for an average pace of 10 minute miles. A new PR, while running all alone. I'm a runner. I proved it to myself. That was what this race was all about.

Final Installment of Amelia's Monthly Puppy Photos!!

Wow....12 months of photos of Amelia on this puppy. Unbelievable. You can see the full set of hers (and Libby's 12 months on a big frog) if you click on the flickr box in the sidebar over to the right and then select the folder for Amelia or Libby. Here are the 12 month photos.

Race Photos Are In

The race photos are in... Not as horrid as they could be, or have been in the past, but I'm pretty sure that I'll never look good while bouncing up and down :)
But here you go.

I'm Back From Charlotte

Wow, I'm exhausted. I've been in North Carolina all week for work and it's great to have a nice slow-paced day. I had fun, learned a lot, and met great people, but those were five very long days. Fortunately that will be reflected by a very nice paycheck in two weeks. That is helpful with paying for the new pink paint job on the bike and the 'warm and fuzzy family photos' (see sidebar).
I'm going to work on my race report soon, so hopefully I'll get that posted sometime tonight or tomorrow. My legs feel great one week post-race. The first couple of days were a little rough with all of the sitting on airplanes and in long meetings, but by Wednesday they were feeling good. Good thing, too, since I spent Wednesday afternoon shoveling mulch for a volunteer project. Now my lower half is good but am still moaning and groaning about my upper half. I think I may have actually injured my right shoulder, but I'll give it a couple more days before I decide. It has hurt pretty badly since that afternoon and feels more like joint pain/injury than sore muscle. It's the shoulder that has been worked on twice in the past, so it wouldn't surprise me all that much.
I start my class on the technical aspects of photography later this week and I'm very excited. It's at the technical college and only lasts six weeks, but I think that's all I really need to feel totally competent as a photographer. Next step is to invest in a nice portfolio of my work and try to wrangle up some more business. I'm hoping to talk to the local newspapers/magazines about freelance work in addition to the portrait and wedding work I've been starting to do.
I am preparing myself for the death of my computer. The mother board or hard drive or something is going. I've put all of my photography on disk and am trying to convince Chris that it's a good idea to start looking into laptops now, rather than waiting. I think that if we used this one less and took most of our stuff off of it (and moved to another one) maybe this one would even hang on a little longer... He has a laptop for work, so if I had a laptop we'd be set, with no need for a tower/monitor anymore. A laptop would be much more practical for my uses and would be a great tool for my photo jobs. Anyone wanting to join my fight and attempt to convince Chris that this is a better idea than waiting for this computer's death would have my full support.
Off for a trip around the block with Libby. Keep your eyes peeled for a race report soon.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I Did It!! 2:11 at the Fox Cities Half Marathon--Photos

I got my PR today in the half marathon!! I'll post my race report later on, but here are some photos for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Amelia!! And Tomorrow's the Marathon!

Today is Amelia's first birthday!!
One year ago today my head was spinning in complete circles and there was green smoke coming out of my ears. Strange screams and moans were thrust out of my voicebox. My eyes rolled and fingernails scratched grooves into whatever I could reach. Then I gave birth to a gorgeous little girl who's lungs and belly were filled with fluid. She was quiet, as were the nurses, doctor, Chris, and myself. Suction.... and then, after a long scary wait, the most beautiful cry in the world filled the room.

I swear I can still hear it.

Oh. Wait. I can. She gave Chumley her cookie and she's not happy about it.

Tomorrow is my Half Marathon!!
I went to the marathon expo and picked up my race bib. I've got a good, strong number. I like it. And the bib has my name on it nice and big. That makes such a difference in an event. Spectators call out to you by name, cheering you on. ...."Rebecca, keep going--you're halfway there!!" .... "Go Rebecca!!".... "Rebecca, get up off of the street! Do you need an ambulance??"

The Green Bay Marathon bibs didn't have names on them, so Jo and I added ours. Looking back, we probably should have been more creative. Maybe Jo could have had "Slow" and I could have had "Slower". Or she could have had "Help" and I could have had "us!" Or possibly "Wait" and "For us!"

I created a playlist for my iPod. All country music. I figured that if I made myself listen to country until I finished I'd run REALLY fast.

Okay, so there isn't actually any country on it, but it's not a bad idea......

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I'm fa-REAK-in out!!!! The race is in three days!!!!
I did it. I made it official tonight. After days of waffling back and forth and giving myself the option to make excuses(we're broke and I shouldn't spend the registration money....Jo can't run it with me....Chris won't run it with me....blah blah blah) to not do it....I committed and registered. Now there is no turning back. I'm running the Fox Cities Marathon US Cellular Half Marathon BY MYSELF on Sunday morning. And they are predicting cold weather and a chance of rain.

And I'm determined to make it good. I'm at least determined not to quit. I'm not shooting for a PR, I did that a couple of weeks ago. I'm just shooting to go out, have fun, and prove to myself that I am a runner-- that even when I'm all alone and don't have anyone to lean on or pull me along by my fragile pride, I can do it. That I am a runner. Not a phony, a fraud, or a fake. That is what this run is about for me. This is all me. Nobody is there to pull me along, encourage me, or push me to finish. This is me being a runner. On my own. And when I finish these 13.1 miles I will not be able to say that it was because of anyone but me. And the same goes if I don't finish...

(and I'm scared)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amelia Had Pudding and Libby Rode Her Bike

Amelia fed herself chocolate pudding tonight.

And Libby went for her first bike ride

And I had a colonoscopy. But I won't show you photos of that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A POLL. Please answer. (UPDATED)

Yesterday I asked if you saw my header image on top or if there was only a blank spot on top. Looks like nobody was seeing it. Tonight I think I got it fixed.... so, the question is: Do you see one large header image, two overlapping images, or nothing at all?

If you wouldn't mind leaving a comment to let me know, I'd appreciate it. It's the weirdest thing...somepeople were seeing a header, some were seeing two headers overlapping, and others saw no header whatsoever.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Missing Title Banner and the Big Night Out

You may have noticed that nothing is up at the top of the page... For some reason, it always looked normal to me (one image of the biker gnome and blog title over a bunch of 26.2's) but everyone else apparently saw two images, one smaller and over the top of the larger image. I had no idea, since it always looked normal to me, whether or not I was logged in. WEIRD. So I took it off until it gets fixed. I can't figure it out for the life of me.

The Big Night Out (BNO) was great! We had a long and detour-filled ride down, were a little late for the show, saw only a few Parliament songs (but they only played for 45 minutes at most!! not fair!!) and then Dave came on. It was awesome. The Dave Matthews Band is so amazing live. It's the second time I've seen them and I think they were better this time. I was the lame old lady who crashed first (I'm ashamed to admit it was only Midnight...but I'd been up late the night before with Amelia's ER trip and I couldn't sleep most of the night....) , but Dani wasn't far behind. It was the young Megan O'Wallace of The Shire who made it all the way to 3am. We hit downtown in the morning, had lunch at the Rainforrest Cafe, and headed home in time to get Megan to a wedding with a couple minutes to spare. It was great to be away and it's great to be home.

Amelia's First Trip to the ER

Thursday night I was getting things together for my big night away and Chris had the girls in the bathtub. Because she finds sitting very boring these days, Amelia stands up over and over in the tub. Over and over we tell her to sit down and plop her back onto her butt. This time Chris wasn't quite fast enough and she fell face first into the tub. There was blood in her mouth and on her face. That from inside her mouth was due to a cut on the roof of her mouth, while that on her face was from the deep cut to her chin. It wasn't too long, maybe 3/4 of an inch, but it was deep and wide open. I threw her into her pj's while Chris bandaged her up. Tossed her in the van and cruised over to the hospital. Poor Libby wanted to go the hospital, too, because she needed a new sticker (she constantly says she has to go to the doctor because she's sick...only to find out that she's fine, she just wants one of the stickers they give her when she goes).
Amelia and I spent about three hours there because a couple of ambulances came in while we were waiting. I couldn't set her down to crawl around on the germy floor, and if I sat down she screamed. Since I didn't want any of the other hurt/sick people to have to listen to a screaming child for two hours, I walked, bounced, swayed, rocked, and patted for the entire time.
The cut inside her mouth was starting to heal already (that was from her bottom teeth, so imagine the force it took to shove her jaw back far enough to tear into the roof of her mouth) so they didn't do anything to that....but they superglued her chin back together. Looks pretty good, just bruised and crusty from the glue. She was a trooper and has been doing great. My arms are still sore and my heart is just now slowing down to a normal rhythm.
It was at the same age that Libby made her first trip....when she had just started to walk and fell face-first into the ceramic pot which holds my Ficus tree. Her injury was a little more extreme, however, as she'd pushed her front tooth all the way back up into her head...x-rays showed that it was sitting between two adult teeth which were already formed way up in there.

The Many Faces of Amelia

A little portrait study outside this afternoon.... Ahhh, the subtle differences in expressions tell such a story on their own.....

Friday, September 15, 2006

George Clinton and Dave Matthews, here I come!!!

I'm leaving work at noon with two girlfriends, jumping in The Hornet (my bright yellow Vue) and going to Chicago for an outdoor show tonight with Parliament and the Dave Matthews Band!! Staying in a hotel, doing something fun in the morning, and heading home in the afternoon. 24 hours of no-whining, no-crying, no-diaper-changing, no-testosterone, no-bottles, no-black-lab-barking, no middle-of-the-night-bottle FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!
you're jealous, aren't you?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

All On My Own....... (sing that out loud for me)

Chris officially bailed on the half marathon tonight. While he was intensely playing with his Zip Zap remote control car. He said that spending time with the Zip Zap was more important, as was his french fry habit. Plus, Chris says, "running makes me want to poop". Yes, that was a quote.
So, I'm on my own. My running partner is Muslim and marathon day is the first day of Ramadan so she's out, Chris is too obsessed with Zip Zaps, poop, and Tom's Drive in, and Amelia is just too darned whiney to run that far. Okay, crawl that far. Whatever.
Now I'm nervous. I've never done a big race alone. Maybe it will turn out to be a great experience...proving something to myself...
I'll probably end up running with an invisible gnome friend.

Have I mentioned that Chris calls me "Bloggyna"???? (blog-jina)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ran the Shartlek Tonight

I've had a lingering cough/cold thing and a serious lack of energy lately. After we got our new half-marathon PR last Sunday I haven't had much ambition with running. I ran a shortie on Friday night and it was hard. My shins, knees, hips...everything was sore and fatigued still. I kept making myself feel better by saying that had it been an actual race last week, I wouldn't have run all week. That would be fine and dandy if I didn't actually have to run the real half-marathon in 1.5 weeks. So to get myself motivated, break up the monotony, and have some fun I ran the famed Shartlek workout tonight. If you recall, it's the Reb version of the Fartlek. Inspired by my....ummm....gassy and...well, my husband. Ran two fast miles, walked a quarter mile, ran an even faster one mile, walked a quarter, and ran an easy mile to cool down. My fast mile was 9:00/mile pace, the two mile section at 9:40/mile pace. Now my legs are pooped, but my new shoes (got them today!!) felt great and the shins/knees didn't bother me.

Yesterday we went over to my brother's house. His son, Ben, is the same age as Libby and they go to daycare together. They were playing and we were all standing in the driveway talking. The kids were in the garage. Suddenly Libby comes running out and yelled, "Oh Shit!!!!!" as she's being chased by Ben on his bike. Stunned, we all looked at each other and asked, 'did she really just say that??'.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Maternity Portraits

This afternoon I shot maternity portraits for the girls' sitter. I'll share a few of my favorites:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Frog and Puppy Photos--a tour of Libby and Amelia's first years

Take a look at Amelia's monthly puppy photos since month one

and Libby's first year on the big green frog

Looking at these all together blows my mind. It's hard to remember how little they were when they were new. Libby saw an ultrasound photo of herself tonight and asked me who that was. We looked at it together and it brought so many feelings back to the surface. The love and joy...the fear and stress of her pregnancy after having, and losing, our twins before her...the excitement and anticipation...
Tomorrow we're having Amelia's one year photos taken and that is just unbelievable for me. This year has gone quicker than any other, I'm sure of it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One Week

Only one week until I go with two girlfriends to Chicago to see the Dave Matthews Band and Parliament! We planned this so many months ago that I cannot believe it's almost here! We're staying overnight and generally making mischief and mayhem. It's an outdoor show, too, which will make it even more fun.
Later in the month I go to Charlotte, NC for a week for work. And next month I have an overnight trip to Minneapolis for work. Chris is going to be getting a (tiny)taste of what it's like for me when he travels for work.

I haven't run since the new Half PR on Sunday. My legs finally feel good today, though I'm still sore from my fall at the end. I'm just glad that I was too tired to stiffen up and fight that fall. I think I was so fatigued that I just rolled with it and only ended up with a few bruises. It's sort of like how a drunk usually isn't hurt during an accident. Except that I wasn't drunk. Really. I swear. I mean it...there really was a seizure and an uneven sidewalk!!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Hairdo Photos

My sweet girls look so much older with their new hairdos!!!!!
and they definitely know they look good. :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Amelia's 11 Month Puppy Photos

Here is the eleventh installment in the Amelia-on-the-Big-Pink-Puppy series. Only one more to go and the series is complete. We did the Libby-on-the-Big-Green-Frog series for Libby's first year, too. You can see that whole series in the Flickr set called "Libby's Frog Series" (or something like'll figure it out when you get in there (just click on the link to more photos on that Flickr box on the right)

This was also the last installment with Amelia's pigtail!! Her new hairdo photos will come soon...

Red Daisy

Red Daisies just aren't as pretty as pink Daisies.
Here she is, my Daisy in red for the last time..... Next time she's in one piece again she'll be black and pink!!!!!!! (Edited--I decided to go with all pink, instead! She'll be some sort of light glittery pink or light metallic pink)
Also see Libby's new 'do from the front in one photo and back in the other.

New Half-Marathon PR!!!! New look for the blog!! New teeth for Monkey!! New Hairdos for the girls!! New Paint Job for my Motorcycle!!

All sorts of new stuff in the last few days!
New Half-Marathon PR
Yesterday Jo and I ran our new personal records for Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) and in doing so ran a new PR for a 15K, as well! Two, two, two PRs in one! We ran the Half in 2 hours 11 minutes, shaving two minutes off of our previous best and averaging a flat 10:00/mile pace. We are very pleased and both of us are quite sore, as well. Now I need to rest and run easy for the next two weeks as I get ready to run the Fox Cities Marathon. I'm running the Half-Marathon event with Chris. I must admit that I'm a bit concerned about it, as he's only run four times now, the longest distance being four miles. As I always say, there is a bit of a flaw in your training if tapering for a race means increasing your mileage.

Because of my lack of time, I'll give you the Cliff Notes version of the 13.1 Mile Adventure Run Report this week.
** Jo and I saw another Heron. That's something like three adventure runs in a row where we had Heron sightings. Trying to tell us something? Hmmmm.....
**Jo respected the "No Dumping" signs along the trail....for once.
**A baby bunny ran by and Jo swore she could smell it before she saw it...said something about recognizing animal pee smell...smelled like a Guinnea Pig... and then I asked if it could have actually been the horse farm we were running by.
**Seizures. I have a mild form of Epilepsy which sometimes get worse during long training runs if I am not careful about keeping up on my electrolyte intake. I apparently wasn't careful enough of it yesterday. It was seizure galore throughout the run, and I actually fell and did a complete sommersault in the last quarter mile. I figure it was a combination of fatigue and seizure. Poor Jo was behind me and so focussed on her feet (staring at them, willing them to keep moving) that she wasn't aware of the fall until she saw me laying sideways in a weird position on the sidewalk. I am fairly certain that she was thinking that it served me right for yelling at her to keep running despite leg cramps and fatigue in the last couple of miles.

New Look For the Blog
I've been a bit behind on posting because I've been trying to change up the look of the blog. I switched it over to Blogger Beta, which I like a lot more, but I've had trouble getting everything back the way I want. For instance, the long string of jibberish on the right should be my Race Day Countown ticker. I hope to have that fixed soon. I also used my meager graphics art ability to create a new header for the top. I like it, and FINALLY figured out how to get it up there....after hours of trying (and hours of driving Chris nuts with my OCD-like focus on the computer and not him and the girls), but now must figure out how to make it fit the space better. It's currently too small and off to the left side.

New Teeth For Monkey!!
Amelia (aka "Monkey-Monkey") pushed out two more teeth this weekend. That brings her total up to eight.

New Hairdos for the Little Ladies
We don't cut our children's hair until they turn a year old. It's a Moroccan tradition that Jo follows with her children and we really liked it. Monkey has been unable to see unless she had a Pebbles-style ponytail for months. I cut her hair a little early because she gets her 1 Year Old photos taken next week and wanted to have it done before those. While I was at it I spontaneously decided to give Libby a 'big-girl-hairdo' and cut hers, as well. It's a short, trendy do that is super cute on her. I'll be sure to post photos of both girls soon.

New Paint-Job for My Motorcycle!!
WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I'm getting my bike painted!!!!!!!! If you are familiar, my biker jacket is pink and my helmet is white with sparkly pink flames..... any guesses about the new bike color??? OH YEAH, BABY, IT'S PINK!!!!! I'm so excited. My bike is currently black and deep red. We're having all of the red parts painted pink to match the helmet. I am SO freakin' excited!!!!! Libby and Chris are out there right now taking the parts off so we can take them to the guy. You KNOW I'll be posting before and afters photos.