Sunday, May 31, 2015

A day out with Thomas!

The day started out with a long run.  9 miles with my BRF (HEAVEN).  It turned out cold and misty and windy, but I will take that over hot and humid any day.  We had a few pit stops as both my stomach and my BRF's stomachs were NOT cooperating.  Thank goodness for strategically placed porta potties on my long run route.  They are very well appreciated, and I would love to leave a thank you note to whomever keeps them so clean and well maintained.  Stella was a muddy mess by the end, taking advantage of every puddle on the road.  Thank goodness Aussies are dry and brush kind of dogs.  

 The second part of our day was spent with Thomas in Baldwin City KS.  I had heard about this event last year from one of my FB friends and WOW, it did not disappoint.  When we got there, we first got to ride on a school bus from our parking to the event.  Andrew was probably the MOST excited about this than anything else.
We made a mistake that I should mention here.  Andrew fell asleep on the way down, so instead of stopping for lunch as we had planned, we decided not to wake him up and keep on going.  Well, once you get there you will NOT be able to get your kid to sit and eat no matter what yummy food you buy (and there are TONS of good food vendors there) so EAT before you arrive. 

There are tons of picture opportunities, so bring a well charged cell phone camera or good camera with.  There are also two stations where they have a professional photographer taking pictures that you can buy, but they let you take pictures with your own camera too (not like with the mall santas where it isn't allowed to take cell phone pics).  The prices are NOT bad at all if you want to purchase the photos, and they have cute packages you can get that include magnets and photo frames and key chains (and yes I am a big sucker and am now a proud owner of a thomas key chain with our picture with Sir Topham Hatt).
There are tons of free activities in all the tents.  They give you a map that helps, and if you go to all of the tents, you get stamps that gets you a free prize in the end (and it is worth it).  One of the tents had tattoos, coloring pages, and rubber stamps that you could do at big tables with kid sized chairs.  It also had legos and ipads to play Thomas games on and a guy making balloon Thomas things.  It was a huge tent and it was very crowded, but the kids were all having so much fun that no one cared how packed in we were.  The workers or volunteers for the event were super duper nice and so great with kids.  I was amazed at how patient and friendly they all were, since this was already the second day and possibly the second weekend they had the event.  

They also had the trackmaster sets set up and going and Andrew loved that.  We had purchased tickets to ride Thomas at 2:15, but honestly we could have spent all day there with all of the events.  One word of caution though, some of the events had long lines to wait in.  When you have a two year old, this is a hard concept to explain.
Have something with you to distract your kid with.  We had nothing, so we just had to hold him and try and explain why we were waiting.  He sort of got it and was pretty good all day.
When getting on the actual train that thomas pulls, you could choose between an open car ride or a closed car ride.  We choose open car and just about froze to death, but we saw lots of wildlife on the short ride out and back, and I enjoyed the freezing fresh air.  Who would have thought we would be this cold the last weekend of May????  Thomas pushes the train out and pulls it back, so on the way back, we got to cheer Thomas on.  Andrew loved this part.  Thomas has a whistle that worked and he has steam coming out, so the kids get pretty excited to see him work and be really useful.  He also talks, but we couldn't really hear him on the train or when he came in the station.  Every time he came into the station, the announcer would make a big deal, so we had a freak out every time he came in and LOVED it.  During the ride, they handed out certificates declaring your child was a JR engineer.  Word to the wise, either bring a big tote bag to put all of the crafts and sheets that you get in or buy a thomas re-usable bag when you get there.  We did the later.  
I have to admit, we enjoy Thomas, so seeing the REAL thomas was pretty cool.
It's hard to say what his favorite tent was as everyone of them had fun stuff.  This was in the video/story telling tent.  We found out that there will be a Thomas movie in theaters this summer and Andrew was pretty excited about that fact!
Another word to the wise, bring lots of dough.  Seriously, you can drop a small fortune on Thomas stuff.  Andrew's birthday is in two weeks, and I had struggled with what to get him.  Our area stores have a very limited Thomas selection but here, every single thing you have ever wanted to get related to Thomas is all in one spot.  We are now ready for birthday for sure.  While daddy distracted Andrew with the HUGE selection of wooden toys, I picked up a thomas towel for daycare, some thomas flip flops, a new thomas shirt and a 2015 thomas car.  I also drooled over the Thomas stocking and umbrella, as well as the Thomas lego sets.  These are the items I have had trouble finding locally/online, so I am kicking myself for not doing Christmas shopping as well.  

I am very pleased with our first Day out with Thomas experience.  I can't really say anything negative about anything really. It was muddy in places, but we had heard that was an issue, so we were prepared with extra shoes and pants just in case.  They had wood chips and gravel down in the bad spots, so we thought it wasn't that bad at all. I was impressed with the prices, as I figured they would be much higher, since they know parents would pay.  Most everything there was comparable if not cheaper than what i have seen online or in stores.  As i said earlier, the volunteers/workers were very friendly and very good with kids and very helpful as there was some confusion when we got there about where we needed to go and be.  As long as the Thomas addiction is there, we will be coming back for the experience (and the shopping:).

The End:)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A little catch up

Of course as I started my first week of marathon training, I had to get sick.  Par for the course, right? Not sure where this one came from, but I have yet another cold.  While I would have loved to stay home and sleep, I had new students in the lab all week and tons of research that needed me.  I also had just easy runs on the schedule, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to get them done.  I am happy to say, while I am still nursing this cold, I have been able to make it through everything.
I am seeing lots of these lately.  Big happy, well fed snakes.  I guess the rain is forcing them from their normal places of hiding.  I like snakes but almost stepping on them scares the hell out of me.

This came up on my time hop.  I can't believe I did my very first 5 K 4 years ago.  Wow.  Let the addiction begin.  I did this race and came home and signed up for three more.  Yep.  Addictions!  

 I completed my first strength training work out this week per Coach Jenny.  I had 6 exercises I had to do with a range of reps per exercises, with 2-3 cycles prescribed.  Let's just say I made it through 2 rounds barely.  You think you are in such great shape because you run, NOT!  I was a big pile of jello the rest of the night.
kind of hard to do superman with a kiddo on your back
I also was very bad and bought myself a "I just started marathon training" present.  Ultimate Direction products, I LOVE you.  I have their vesta vest for hydration, and now I am the proud owner of their new "Meow" pack.  Let's just say I can't find anything but super positive things to say about it.  My current pack was beginning to move around and annoy me, even though I had tightened the belt twice.  I can't stand things flopping or moving when I run, plus it was not big enough for my phone +otter box case to fit in, so it was time to find something new.  The new Ultimate Direction Meow pack is large without the bulk and fits all of my crap I like to tote when I run (Shot blocks, phone and occasionally, TP:).  

I am looking forward to using it to run Chicago. It fits nicely on the front or back and BONUS, it's purple, my favorite color!

Okay will have an update tomorrow on my weekly runs and of course THOMAS!  We have tickets to the Thomas Day out at our local railroad.  Andrew has been about to bust since realizing he was going to meet the REAL Thomas.  He wouldn't even go to sleep last night because he wanted to see Thomas RIGHT then.  I promise there will be tons of pictures and tons of fun had today.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Victoria Secret Sports Bra Review: The Ultimate Sports Bra

I am always on the look out for a good sports bra.  I had average sized girls, but they got a tad bit bigger after the kiddo was born.  I have been using Moving Comfort for years per advice from other mother runners, but all of the sudden, I have had big chaffing issues.  I was professionally fitted last year at an event at our local running store, but I don't think they got the size exactly right.  The size of the bra I got was a whole size bigger than what I normally get (the cup size was my normal C cup), and I am sure that is probably what caused the chaffing.  As i have painfully learned, if the bottom band of your sports bra is too big, you will have bad chaffing no matter how much body glide you put on. I  trusted them to know what size I needed, so I kept thinking that I was doing something wrong and thus repeated chaffing.  I do like sports bras that are very supportive and you don't move in the moving comfort bras.   I also like sports bras that are back closures as opposed to front closures, and I like the girls to be firmly held in place.

Enter the Victoria Secret (VS) Ultimate Sports Bra.  I found them by accident really, and was amazed and how wonderfully they fit.  The price tag was more than what I normally pay for Moving Comfort, so I was hoping and praying for better results.  I had a professional fitting and they put me in a 34 DD, which is a much bigger cup size but a much smaller band size.  While I do NOT think I am a DD, the cup size seems to fit well and feel good.  Here are some of the features I really like about this bra:

Underwire and formed cup!  Yes, I thought this would be uncomfortable for working out and running, but I am pleasantly surprised.  They lift and support and don't bother me in the least bit.  I think they help keep the girls in a good position and there is NO movement.

Back closure  I like the fact that I don't have to wrestle this bra on or off over my head. Again, I was a little worried that it wouldn't be as secure and supportive with this type of closure, but I haven't had any problems with it coming open during a run or anything.

Small band at the bottom of the bra  Again I was a little worried that there wouldn't be enough support without a wider band at the bottom but I am guessing that the underwire helps with this and keeps pressure off of the band.

Adjustable straps  While I do really, really like the velcro of the moving comfort bra, these are pretty easy to adjust as well.  I like racerback or just straight shoulder straps, so the fact that it can't be criss crossed doesn't bother me.  According to the new catalog, the straps can be changed from regular to criss cross, so this must be a new development with this line, as my doesn't have the ability to be changed.

Padded cups  Again I wasn't expecting this to be so nice, but the girls feels supported by the under wire and cushioned by the padding.  I do not feel like I am in a push up bra and the padding doesn't make weird silhouettes.

What I don't like:

Price  Okay the more I run, the more I realize NOTHING is cheap or free as I was told several years ago :)  I finally had just gotten use to paying 50-55 bucks for a sports bra and retail this bra was in the 60s.  Although in looking up the bra online, the price has dropped, so maybe this is not a dislike, just a dislike at the time I bought my bra.  I will say that the bra is very good quality as is most of the bras I have bought from VS so you do get what you pay for.  Most of my VS regular bras have lasted years with repeated use, so I expect the same from this one.

The plastic parts on the straps for adjustment and where the straps meet the bra  They are down right uncomfortable.  When I was being fitted, the sales lady was really rough adjusting the straps twice and I had huge blisters from her pinching my skin. I just thought it was because of those that the pieces  bothered me.  Nope, they still bother me.  I think if I wrapped them in some sort of cloth or band aid or something, that that would help.  They don't move around at all, they just feel like hard plastic on your skin.  You would think they could come up with something more comfortable and less cheap looking.

Overall, the things I like about this bra outweigh the things I don't like.  I just did my first long run with it and had no problems.  I had only previously done 4 or less miles with it just to make sure it wasn't going to cause any problems.   I am looking forward to doing more long runs in hotter conditions to see how the chaffing goes.  Today I did lube up just in case and had no issues but it was pretty cool and overcast/cloudy while I was running.  I will keep you posted as to how this bra holds up but I give it two thumbs up!

This post has gone to the dogs

Poor stella ella.  Hubby took her to the vet, and the verdict was she had licked her pad wound too much and caused issues.  The best at this point was to bandage it and put some steriod cream on it to let it heal.  We are trying to just watch her and keep her out of the cone of shame, and so far, she has left it alone.

To keep an eye on her, she has been going everywhere with us.  

We had decided corn dogs and milk shakes sounded fun after picking up little red from daycare.  Stella ella got a couple of tater tots and a few bites of corn dog as well.  

She has the pitiful look down pat don't you think?

Sometimes she just takes my breath away.  She reminds me so much, in many ways of my first aussie Berry.  God, I miss that dog so much.

Since she is still on the DL, I had to sub in Deuce for my long run, as I honestly didn't think mentally I could go all by myself.  I had planned ten miles, but thought I would do my normal 6 mile loop and drop him off, and then do an out and back for the remaining four.  I also wanted to try out my new shoes and my new sports bra from VS on a longer run.  I have been running in my new sports bra, but short runs like 4 or less.  I want to do a review on it, because I had 0 chaffing today and it is super supportive and comfortable and honestly I didn't expect that from VS.  

First of all, Deuce did awesome.  Out in the country, I was able to let him run off leash, and he had tons of fun running, marking and investigating.  I was shocked when I looked down and we were clocking 9:45-10 minute miles.  He typically gases out at that pace, and I try to keep my long run pace around 10:30-11, but he was just keeping up and seemed fine.  When we got back to the house, we were somehow at 6.75 miles.  The last mile he seemed a little tired, so I had been doing some walk/running with him and that seemed to help him pep up.  When I looked at my watch and realized we only had 0.25 to hit 7, I asked if he wanted to finish at 7.  He seemed to be okay, so we went ahead and did a loop in our neighborhood to hit 7 and get a cool down in.  It was very cool today and very overcast, so I know that helped him be successful, as he gets hot and tired in the KS heat.  I am excited to possibly have another long run partner.  
As soon as I got back, little red wanted to go ride the train in the park.  Rather than heading back out to run more, we headed to the park and did a round on the train and did some playing on the playground.  Then we headed over to the coffee shop and had some coffee and little red had his very first steamer.  
This pic is kind of dark, but this is Jim who owns the coffee shop Paramour coffee.  If you are a coffee snob, like we have become, this is where you need to get beans.  We have a keurig for week days quick coffee, but for weekends, we do fresh ground beans in our french press.  Jim roasts the beans here in Wamego and makes our town smell delicious!  Check out the link I have put above as they ship all over!    

All in all, we have had a Wamego day, checking out the thrift store for some good finds and the other new little stores that have opened up.  So far the 10 days of forecasted rain haven't happened, so we are getting lots done outside, and are going to continue planting our garden and flowers this weekend.  Plus, we get to celebrate my hubby's birthday this weekend and have a three day weekend!  Have a great weekend Y'all!!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Shoe review and Oh Stella Ella

The story of the week yet again.  I have been lucky in that I haven't had any days where I had to run in the rain as it has cleared up usually about my running time in the afternoon.  The skies have been dreary and cloudy for all of my runs, and I am starting to really miss the sun. I need some vitamin D therapy!
The sun did peak out on one of my runs.  This big dude has been subbing for stella ella as she is on the injured reserve list.  Honestly the cooler temps and cloudy days have been a big blessing for him.  He has a ton more undercoat and top coat than stella and even though I keep them brushed out, the heat affects him more than it does stella.  
Her paw looked really really good, and then all of the sudden it has taken a turn for the worse.  I am going to take her into the vet today to make sure we are doing everything right.  So far my only goal has been to keep it clean and not bandage it, but we may have to bandage it.  She went from not really messing with it, to licking it at night, so we may  have to look into the cone of shame as well.  I can't for the life of me figure out how she did this.  I don't run her on hot pavement, and we haven't seen the sun in a weeks anyway.  The only thing I can think of is running on wet pavement last week caused a blister?  I hate not running with her, but I don't want to damage her paw even further.  She doesn't even limp, but I know it has to hurt!
On to better news! My news shoes arrived this week!  I was pretty nervous about switching brands, as that did not go well the other time I tried (sorry brooks, I LOVE you clothes but just can't make your shoes work for me).  I wore these around the running store, and they felt amazing, but I will still super nervous to make the leap to a new brand and new shoe.    I found them during a huge sale on and had to get them for the sale price they had them it, because sale price = must buy right now, right? I got them in on monday and finally got to road test them last night.  Since we have 10 days of rain chances forecasted yet again, I thought while it was sort of sunny that I would do a short run with them to make sure they were going to work.  All I can say is WHOA!  These shoes are seriously like running on pillows.  I immediately appreciated the extra room they seem to give my foot.  The saleswoman had told me that they run wide and I thought that might be a bad thing.  My feet felt so comfortable and not squished at all the whole time i ran.  I have lately been feeling like my foot swells during my run, and that my nike's were some how constricting them.  I never felt that feeling at all during my 4.5 miles.  I did feel some calf pain that came and went in my right leg, and some pain in my right knee, but I am dealing with some right quad issues (possibly IT band issues, NO!!)  anyway, so I don't think the shoes caused this.  I was a little worried as I laced up, because they didn't feel as snug as my nikes, but my foot did not move at all during my running and have absolutely no blisters. I stayed mainly on the road so no gravel running yet but again, was really pleased at how cushioned these shoes were without feeling clunky.  I also noticed that my foot felt more flat without the larger heel drop, and I kind of liked that feeling.  
Overall, two big huge thumbs up.  I can't wait to put more mileage on these babies and see what they can do.  I love the color combo as I am a true KSU Wildcat fan and I  love ANYTHING purple.  Since we are suppose to get rain this weekend and we have had tons of rain making my running routes a bit soggy, I probably won't wear them for my long run as I do most of that on my gravel roads.  I just want them to stay pretty for a little while:)  
Deuce gives the new Sacouny Triump ISO's his paw of approval!  Will continue to update on how they perform, especially as I start my marathon training NEXT WEEK!!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rain rain and more rain

The story of the town here lately has been rain.  The days have been super cloudy and humid and have rained at some point during the day or night.  I am sure all of this rain is a good thing but don't april showers bring may flowers?  What the heck do may showers bring?  I hope a good crop!  Not much to report on the running.  My right quad is still being tight and hateful despite lots of couch stretch, ice and advil.  Advil does take the pain, away so I know it is an inflammation.  I can't get in with Doug the master of pain till May 25th, so I will just have to suffer a little while longer.  My mileage has been pretty low this week with my target being 15-20 easy miles.  I did a monday, wednesday, friday, and saturday plan this week, just varying the mileage from 3-4 miles during the week and 9 on the weekend.

I have this new habit of listening to podcasts during my long run since my BRF is running her long runs on different days now.  I have caught up on Undisclosed (the new podcast about Adnan Syaed) as I had kind of forgotten it was coming out.  WOW!  I am blown away by all of the new stuff they have dug up.  I so hope that if he is innocent that they get him OUT of jail!  I also listened to the latest AMR podcast.  I sure hope I am still running in my 80s!  Inspiration for sure!

Sounds like next week is going to be much the same as this week plus cooler temps.  Cooler temps are awesome MINUS the humidity!  I will probably follow the same plan, 15-20 miles of easy running.  
I don't mind no sun, just easy on the humidity.  
At least the flowers are super happy right now with all of the rain.  Our front yard has exploded with color.  Stella and I even ran in the rain one of the days because it just felt good.
I did try something new after my long run this weekend.  I shared a breakfast pizza with andrew.  I wasn't sure how to feel about egg on a pizza but it ended up being pretty darn good.  

Well, this is a super random post but have a great sunday and the rest of the week!