Snow Day!

As you saw on our Instagram feed, we woke up to a snow surprise on Thursday morning. Maybe it had been in the forecast or on the news and we just missed it, but considering it had been 60-degrees and thunderstorming the day before… well, it was just not what we expected to see out our window.

It was probably only 3-4 inches, but it was beautiful. It was that fluffy snow that gently coats all of the tree branches and it made for a pretty awesome “first time” of seeing our house all covered in white.

Temperatures quickly moved above freezing as the sun rose, so the roads were clear in no time (there weren’t any school delays or cancelled activities for anyone).

Clara was more excited about snow than she’s ever been before (I credit Frozen for that) and she gobbled down her breakfast and was dressed in record time to go outside. Thankfully last year’s hand-me-down snowsuit still fits… sorta.

Once outside, she was like a movie montage of snow activities. There was running and making footprints…

…a brief and very lop-sided snowball fight…

…some snow angel making…

Whatever this is happened too.

Things culminated with the creation of a small snow family (complete with Burger and tiny bun out of the oven – which Mommy is holding). The snow wasn’t actually as good for packing as I thought it would be, so we couldn’t roll anything much bigger than this.

My only regret from the morning is that poor Sherry was inside dealing with morning sickness for most of it (although she did get to peek out on us occasionally).

And let it be known that right now Clara’s only “make a funny face for the camera” is a frown. But it is pretty funny…

Oh and as for our tiny snow family, it became a game to check on them out the living room window. In case you’re wondering who prevailed the longest, I fell off the deck within hours, Sherry stuck around a while, but the final two remaining snow-folks were Clara and Burger, which is pretty funny because they were the smallest, so you’d figure they’d melt away first. Small but mighty…

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Half Crazy (Running Richmond’s Half Marathon)

As you Instagrammers saw this weekend, on Saturday I ran the Richmond Half Marathon.

It was actually my second half marathon, but the first was six years ago (pre-blog and pre-wedding!) so it’s not like I was an old pro or anything. Especially considering that first half marathon was very tough for me, despite training for it (I finished in 1 hour, 52 minutes, and with several blisters).

But after surviving a local 8 mile race this September, I had the confidence to push myself towards another half marathon – a goal that’s been in the back of my mind for years now, partly just to prove to myself that I could run one with more success (i.e. less discomfort). So on Halloween morning I pushed myself and churned out 12.5 miles, which sealed the deal that I wanted to officially attempt 13.1 again. That, plus another 12 miler last weekend, were the confidence boost that I needed.

Race day had enough little hiccups to potentially throw me off my game. I left the house later than I meant to. I had trouble finding parking. It was raining. So I arrived at the start wet and with just 7 minutes to go. Yikes. But in spite of all that… I HAD A GREAT RACE.

My run was challenging, but not painful. I didn’t stop once, despite needing a few stretching breaks on my practice runs. I hit my main goal (just finish) and even my secondary goal (finish in under 2 hours). And in spite of the weather, there were lots of spirited spectators and inspiring athletes along the way. I was particularly touched by seeing a few teams from Inclusive Racing along the way. They’re a group that helps those with disabilities experience the race by pushing them in adaptive strollers (I’m borrowing some of their language here). They even had the name of the racer pinned to their stroller so we could cheer them on by name. Just one of the many reasons I love doing events like these.

Things did get a bit tough around mile 11, but I forged ahead knowing there wasn’t much further (and thank goodness the finish is downhill!). Finishers were given a medal and a fleece blanket to keep warm after the race. Once home, Clara basically claimed both as her own. She told me the medal was “sooo pretty” and she kissed it, also commenting that it’s like the medal that Wreck-It Ralph has. She has also slept with the blanket the last two nights.

As accomplished as the medal made me feel, I really was just happy to have some pizza. I’m used to getting bagels or bananas at the end of a race, but this piece of pepperoni pie was like a slice of heaven to me (though in retrospect it’s a bit bedraggled looking).

I finished the race in just over 1 hour and 54 minutes, just 2 minutes slower than my 2007 time. And for anyone interested in the course (and familiar with Richmond), here’s the map from my Nike+ app. It was a pretty nice (and relatively flat!) course that actually mimicked a lot of this moonlight bike ride that we all did this summer as a family.

With this race having gone so well, I definitely want to tackle another half marathon sometime in the next year (just to see if I can do any better… or to see if maybe this one was just a fluke). I know the obvious question now is if I’ll try to run a full marathon. My confidence isn’t there yet, but I wouldn’t be mad if my body was ready to run the Richmond Marathon next November. It falls right on my birthday, actually. Could it be a sign?

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