Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cooper's 10 Birthday

 Cooper was very excited about turning 10 - double digits!  He kept saying that he just couldn't believe he was turning ten.  I'm right there with you buddy!
 Cooper opted for a "friend " birthday this year.  He invited four of his closest friends over to the house for lunch, cake, and a little Nerf gun/light saber time. 

 After opening presents, we headed to the local roller rink.
 Miss Mae wanted to get in on the action.
 Scott and I skated with Mae while keeping an eye on the boys from a distance.  They had a lot of fun and all get along so well!

The next morning we met Mimi, Gak, and Griffy family at Top Golf.  We spent almost three hours golfing, laughing, and eating.  It was a great ending to a fun birthday weekend for Cooper. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chevron Houston Marathon 2016

After last year's 1/2 marathon performance, I immediately came home and signed up for the 2016 Chevron Houston (full) marathon.  This is something I said I would never do! 

Why?  My excuses focused mostly around the time needed to train properly and the toll it would take on my body.

I also signed up for the ABB 5k.  I was excited to run this again with Cooper, twelve months after we ran it together the first time.  It is a special race as Cooper set a goal after running to run 12 5ks in 2015. A goal that he surpassed! Way to go, Cooper!

Long story short, I didn't train as I should have for a full marathon.  Life got in the way.  There were plenty of excuses...kids, work, after school activities etc.  I continued to run but no more than 12 or so miles for my long run.  I also had a DNF at a 30k in the early part of December that destroyed my confidence. 
The two weeks leading up to the marathon, I was following the taper even though I hadn't trained......meaning I didn't run at all the two weeks leading up to the race.  I struggled with putting my  goal time aside and creating a new goal - finishing without an injury!
Race day came and I found myself sharing a hotel room and dinner with a friend.  My plan was to take in nutrition (Gu) something I have never done and run at an 11:00 min pace for the first half.

The race is a bit of a blur but I did make it to the finish line in one piece.  I struggled quite a bit with having to take nutrition and using the bathroom 10 times over the course of the race.  This definitely affected my time but I had no other options.  
I felt great after seeing Scott and the kids at mile 22 but was struck with a bit of anxiety the last two miles.  I still struggle with the image of watching a man collapse and die at the finish of the San Jose Rock N' Roll 1/2 marathon over 7 years ago. 
I was very proud of myself upon crossing the finish line. Primarily for not giving into the fear of another DNF and not allowing the anxiety to control me.

I was feeling a bit shaky and stopped by medical mostly for reassurance.  After eating a banana and drinking some more fluids, I was given a warming blanket and an all clear. 

My time was 4:47:07. Not the Boston qualifiying time I had originally planned for but I will take it!
I am not sure if I will ever run a marathon again but it is certainly not out of the question.  I am excited to see where my running adventures will take me!














Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Year's Weekend 2016

Not everyone was ready for the loud fireworks and....
 cold weather!
 The older two had a lot of fun with Effie, Uncle Erwin, and Daddy.
 The next morning we were up bright and early and ready for Top Golf.
 Mae made sure to stay behind the red line...just barely.
 I was so glad to have my sister in town!
 And Mae was pretty enamored with cousin Effie too!
 The boys headed off with the rest of the crew to Galveston.
 They spent the weekend fishing, building fires, and hanging in the hot tub.

 Cooper caught a fish and Dad caught some seaweed.


 The girls and I stayed home and read Pinkalicious a few dozen times and made pink cupcakes.
 The boys returned home just in time for a New Year's lunch with Mimi, Gak, and Griffy group.
 Mae loved showing off her cupcakes and was even willing to share.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter Break

 I love the days after Christmas when we are all still on winter break.  The kids play so well together most of the time and we have tons of fun.
 The big kids spent quite a large amount of time rollerblading and pushing Mae in her pink car.
Charlotte and Julia had fun with a robotic mouse and the kids had lots of free time to play with their Christmas gifts.



 I couldn't have too much free time so I scheduled a few activities - soccer training for Cooper, tumbling privates for Charlotte, and swimming for both the girls.


 She is getting close to her back handspring!
 Cooper worked hard during the training and had a lot of fun too!
These two were glad to have us home too!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Boxing Day

The Clark kids together again!
 I have the BEST family!
 Uncle Greg and Cooper playing Star Wars chess.  They think and think before making a move.
 The boys off again - this time playing Magic.
 Happy hour and a few rounds of rats behind. Next up....the official Clark white elephant exchange.
 There were definitely some shading dealings over a bottle of Hendricks gin and a Pappa's Bros gift card.
 Another trip to the movies to see Star Wars in 3D this time.
I am so thankful for my fun loving crazy siblings!