Trick or Treat!

We put the baby we made into the pumpkin we grew.

Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon

I almost didn't show up for the Monster Dash. My knees were injured earlier in the week during an ill-advised cram session of exercise, I knew for sure I couldn't run the whole distance, and I didn't fancy a 13-mile walk. But Jenna convinced me to go for it.

This was the biggest and best-organized race I've seen so far. The start was bananas. I completely failed to meet up with my coworkers due to the huge crowd of costumed runners. With over 4,000 participants it took me over 8 minutes just to reach the starting line after the gun went off! It was below freezing at the start, but I warmed up and stopped shivering after the first mile.

I started off jogging slow and easy. Hundreds of people passed me but I figured I was doing okay... until I saw a pacer with the sign reading, "3 hour goal." Time to commit! I picked up my pace and determined not to let that guy out of my sight. And I didn't, until around mile 7 when I passed him for good.

I chomped down on some Advil to help manage the pain in my knees. It was never unbearable. Whenever they started throbbing I would walk for a little bit, and by alternating running and walking I got through to the end. In fact, by around mile 10 I was feeling better than I had at that point in the Trail Loppet. I finished in well under three hours, a new personal record!

The race was a major production. There were several live bands along the route that helped me keep going. My favorite had to be the guys singing a cover of "the Doug Song" from The Hangover. And my pick for most interesting costume had to be the dude in the gold Speedo with the box on his head (don't watch this video, mom).

Even though I wasn't where I wanted to be physically and I could barely walk the next day, I accomplished my goals and had a great time. My parents even showed up to cheer me on. I would love to do it again next year!

Running out of time

It won't surprise anyone with kids that I didn't exercise much in the week after Paisley was born. Or the week after that. But I am registered for a half-marathon at the end of the month, so I'm trying to get back into the groove.

Last week I tried out the elliptical machine a few times, which got me sweating at least, but it didn't scratch that itch (or work the right muscles). On Sunday I was excited to hit the trails. It was so much fun that I think I overexerted myself. I ran 70 minutes and now everything hurts!

Looking back at my log now the numbers seem insane. I was running four hours a week and over 10 miles every Friday. That's followed by four weeks with totals of zero hours, zero hours, 20 minutes, and finally 72 minutes split into three elliptical sessions. Yeah, 70 minutes of running all at once might have been pushing it.


I grew a beard to celebrate the birth of my second daughter. It was a fine beard. But Jenna's greatest birthday wish was for me to cut it off after three glorious weeks (I also got her one of these). Now it is gone. Goodbye, beard.

Daddy-Daughter Time

I was at home all week after Paisley was born, and I tried to spend as much of that time as possible playing with Natalie so that she would not feel neglected or jealous of her new baby sister. We read hundreds of books. I spent hours in conversation with stuffed animals. She helped me bake cookies and prepare ice cream (the classic Apple Pie and a new "Pretzels 'n' Twix" flavor).

Natalie is currently enrolled in her third Kindermusik class at the Community Center. We arranged it so I can take her to this session of "music school" on Wednesday nights. I really enjoy it and so does she. Plus, she is enamored with the tweenage girls taking dance lessons in the auditorium at the same time. We always stick around to watch them awhile after class is over.

On Saturday we capped off the week with a visit to Deardorff Orchards. The fall weather has been gorgeous. This Sunday I sat Natalie down and explained that I had to go back to work again so Jenna would be the only one at home with her and Paisley. Natalie told me earnestly, "mama will have her work, takin' care of those two girls."