Monthly Archives: November 2013

Never invite a Grandma up a mountain, and other awesome training trips.

Part on my new training “idea” is that I need to learn to like hills. My usual response to something as small as a speed bump is “oh shoot a hill, I better hike!” and I start walking, slowly. Obviously if I have any thought of doing well at a race this strategy doesn’t work on speed bumps or tiny mole hills. So alas I have decided to make myself like hills, or at least not feel like I have an excuse to be lazy the moment on comes into sight.

My new training plan has started, I will hike as much incline as I can in a matter of a mile or two, with both of my little, Little people on. That’s right, one on my tummy, one of my back, and Tay running ahead as he pleases. The goal here is that going up with 60lbs on is going to suck, I will really appreciate having that 60lbs off and will be more likely to run up the hill (or at least wreck it hiking). So far I have had a few trips with them both on, and I can say that things are always interesting, but when is my life not?

My Mom.

My Mom. The original GramCracker.

My Mom is quite the team player and helps me out a ton. When I was little she would often take myself and my siblings hiking up Squaw Peak (Piestiewa Peak) by herself. I had a brilliant plan of taking all my 5 this weekend and enlisted her to join us. My mom is a busy lady and ended up showing up to join us in jeans while the rest of us were decked out in running clothes, poor choice I thought. We got to the park with cheers from Tru, who apparently loves climbing mountains I assume from his squeal. He went on my tummy and Tenny on my back, and we were moving.

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

The Babies and I following behind.

The Babies and I following behind.

Tajh took off and picked places to hang out and wait for us, scaring my mom as he slightly hung off cliffs with a giant smile on his face. After a couple of “get off of there, what are you doing” ‘s I was pretty glad she didn’t see the crazy stuff we were up to this summer. Plenty of people hiked by and told me how “crazy” I was or wanted to have a mini conversation with the crazy lady wearing two kids up a mountain, sorry I gotta breathe. So on we trudged and I began remembering how giant the steps are on the way up and started to think possibly this was a terrible idea (which my bestie Lala had reminded me of earlier. I’m a terrible listener….).

Tenny Taking some "selfies" on the way up.

Tenny Taking some “selfies” on the way up.

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the awesome thing when you think you are some decent runner and you spend you summer climbing crazy mountains and living outside? When you you hear your Mom, Grandma to 7 say “oh guys hold on let’s wait for your Mom”. That’s right, my Mom, in jeans and Puma’s, was kicking my ass up the mountain. At some point wearing 60lbs isn’t an excuse… I am fired. So she kicked my ass up, and then back down (I only wear Tru on the way down, Tenny hikes). And I… I am deflated. This would be a true moment when you are put in your place and realize you are NOT the badass you think you are… sigh…

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

My Gang. Tough bunch.

My Gang. Tough bunch.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Not sure how this training plan is going to work out, but so far I like it. Hills just look all that much smaller without 2 Little People hitching a ride… But I’m pretty sure my Mom isn’t invite to the next one…

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Phi Beta I’m 4 and I do what I want.

While my 2 year old is a drunk frat boy (read that explanation if you haven’t already)-

My 4-year-old Tennyson is basically a gaggle of drunk sorority girls….

1. She squeals a “WHAAAATT!” when you try to get her to do something she doesn’t feel she should be doing.

“Hey Ten please pick up your dirty clothes”

“WHHAAAATTT!!!! I can’t do that, why do I ALWAYS have to do that”

2. She is constantly in a “Oh my goodness I need to pee now, I’m going to cut in line” state. And freely announces said urge in front of anyone.

3. Her make-up technique usually results in “clown face”.

“Look Mommy I put make-up on, with marker!”

4. Her hair usually looks like she rolled around in the grass as her friends yelled at her to get up so campus police doesn’t catch them. (Which often times this is exactly what she has done to cause crazy hair, except it was just me telling her to get up so she would stop embarrassing me in public)

5. She has borderline violent outburst when she thinks someone has taken something of hers, but in reality it’s usually in her hand.

6. She falls asleep in the middle of parties

7. She likes to take her clothes off,  in public, and sees nothing wrong with it.

8. She loves to dance on tables (clothing optional).

9. She loves singing in public and has no qualms trying even when she has no idea what the words are.

10.  One minute she can be telling me how much I hurt her feelings and how mad she is at me and the next she is hanging all over me, hugging me with some much force I’m afraid for my own safety, telling me how much she loves me.

She may be sassy, but boy is she cute!

She may be sassy, but boy is she cute!

 

Clearly, a drunk sorority girl. Hopefully she will outgrow this in the next 14 years… Hopefully….

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yup… That’s poop on my floor

And yes, its human.

How we roll... literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2....

How we roll… literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2….

As I’ve said before, my parenting has always been very natural. Even in my babysitting days the idea of changing an older toddlers diaper just bothered me. Why does a 2-year-old want to sit in their own excrement? So when Tajh approached 2 I knew I had to handle this before it became a disaster. By his second birthday Tajh was out of diapers, Mommy win.

Teagan was for sure my first super hippie baby. everything I had done with Tajh was now done to an even higher hippie degree. I wore her, all the time. I nursed her, everywhere. Disposable diapers were for the people who clearly didn’t care about the environment, I cloth diapered. I started looking into all the “extra” hippie mom stuff and came across Elimination Communication (EC).  Basically the idea that if you connected with you child (in all the hippy ways I was) you could start having your baby use the potty as early as 6 weeks. Now I thought this sounded crazy, so I waited until 6 months. I simply put Tea on the potty when I thought she needed to go, and by 9 months she was using the potty regularly. By a year we were completely out of diapers. Time consuming you ask? Not really. She sat and we read books, played games, had a snack, we made it work. The only real problem being, they don’t make underwear small enough for a 1-year-old. She did however go back down in clothing sizes due to the lack of diaper which meant less clothes to buy. Mommy win.

Hippy I still was, but this Little Orangie threw me for a loop. Around 18 months we were out of diapers again (yeah EC took a little longer with this one) but then he got sick. I don’t really know what it was, but he had terrible “sick poop” and it just wasn’t working. Also around that time he had a fun “habit” of peeing in random bowls, cups, boxes, anything he could find. Always up for keeping life interesting…. Still at 2 for little Orangie Tay, there were no diapers. Mommy, still winning.

Now it was on to Tenny. This Little Lady had the joy of being our first little one as we lived outside more. Being naked was the norm for her (and still is) so obviously going to the bathroom outside was normal too. She also was around a lot of ultra runners during those formidable years, and for those that don’t know, ultra runners tend to use the outdoors as restrooms. So my Little Tenny made the world her potty, sigh… honestly I didn’t mind except when it was in the front yard, in front of the neighbors (which FYI, she did last week). No diapers after 2 again, just a pooper scooper…. Mommy win?

On to our adorable Mr. Tru. When I realized Tru would turn 2 during our crazy homeless summer, I decided he would spend time naked as much as possible, but I still wanted diapers on in the van. Why you ask? Laziness. I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to stop 30 times during a 9 hour van ride. Having Miss Tenny already who required frequent stops, I just couldn’t handle another. The plan was after we were settles into a kid house diapers were gone. Somehow I hadn’t counted on a broken femur and the amazingly large awkward cast that would come with it (SPICA cast). I felt guilt and decided diapers would leave when the cast was off. So here we are… my 2 1/2-year-old has decided he doesn’t mind diapers and would much rather have them on. Sitting on the potty? Well screw that I’m busy! Ugh… As you can see, this Mommy always wins, so yes, he is diaper free. And yes, that is poop on my floor. Currently the potty is his least favorite thing and he will avoid it at all costs. He loves his train underwear, so why does he soil them so often? Sigh… And I thought the Orangie was bad!

Right now we have a work in progress. Little Miss Tenny still needs to “sit” for a couple minutes sometimes until she can stand and make her way to the bathroom (to be honest I did that when I was little too, too much fun stuff going on to miss), and Mr. Tru still poops ad pees where he pleases. While you sit back and judge think about this, people stick their hand in a bag and pick up dog poop all the time. At least the fecal matter on my floor is all fruits and veggies, totally natural and not weird at all… Not a Mommy win… YET!

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Javelina With A Little Lady

Running in the mountains with my Big Two. *Happiness*

Running in the mountains with my Big Two. *Happiness*

Getting ready to start the Javelina Jundred I knew Tea was trained. She had put in the time, running 4-5 mornings a week before school (around 30 minutes) and long runs on the weekend including doing the Pemberton loop (the race course) twice. The girl knew where she was at on every inch of that trail. She knew what it felt like to run a “fast” loop while still hiking every hill. She knew what it felt like to run the loop in 95 degrees, and running to finish before dark the one time we didn’t bring lights. I knew she had it, the only question was, did I?

She trained like a pro.

She trained like a pro.

Packet pickup was the day before the race, and so was Tru’s big day of getting his cast off. We picked Tea and Tajh up early from school to go with their little bro on his exciting day (SPICA cast coming off and an update and how Tru is doing to come soon) and then headed out so Tea could spend some time with her big people friends at pick up. It’s wonderful to see her interacting with all the adults that she loves and respects. To see how happy they are to see her makes me a very proud Momma. She is a an amazing Little Lady in so many ways, and as a Mother there is nothing better than knowing your child brings joy to others.

Sleep is a tricky thing to come when you are nervous about the morning, but eventual I found it. Tea and I woke to watch the 100 miles start and then got ourselves ready in the hour we had to wait before our own start. I recently found out i had superficial blood clots in my lower legs (superficial, don’t be too scared!) and running caused them much more pain. I found Hokas to be a help (not that the pain went away) but along with that came blisters from the Hokas. I got my feet taped hoping that would help and Tea and I stepped up to the start.

A little chilly for a Tiny Little Lady at the start.

A little chilly for a Tiny Little Lady at the start.

For the first couple of miles we were keeping a great pace. Pemberton is all “run-able” but we knew hiking the hills would help to ensure we would finish. Some people passed us in the beginning, but we also had a nice train going on behind us. Many people had great words of encouragement for Tea while there were also a lot of surprised looks. Teagan found it exciting that people had read about her and wanted to meet her. With all this the first loop flew by.  A little over 15 miles in 3:30, and Tea was still feeling great, just the plan we had.

Tea sees a camera and takes off! Still wrecking it near the end of lap 1

Tea sees a camera and takes off! Still wrecking it near the end of lap 1

The second loop was counter-clockwise which is not our favorite direction. We hiked a ton and she continued to talk my ear off! This Little Lady has the best stories. Not only that but she remembers key markers and enjoys doing the math to decide how much longer we have to aid stations. We got to Jackass aid station which was basically half way around the loop and she was dragging a little.  It was starting to get hot and we were now over 20 miles in, it was time to  pour some cold water on her and get moving. We got the info Tonto (the water only station just a little over 3 miles out from Jackass) was out of water so we stayed cautious with our water. Luckily we were well prepared to make that entire 6+ miles from Jackass to Coyote Camp aid stations without needing to fill up again. The end of this loop Tea had Starbucks waiting for her (soy chai) and was ready to down some vegan pizza!

The kind of service you get when you are 8.. Just so you know.. no one brought ME pizza or rubbed my feet!

The kind of service you get when you are 8.. Just so you know.. no one brought ME pizza or rubbed my feet!

We hung out at Jeadquarters for a while so she could eat and drink, and we could learn she doesn’t like her special treat of chai! She sat for a while and Seth took off her shoes and rubbed her feet while I went back to medical and got my feet taped even more. Apparently taping my feet and preventing the usual blisters I was getting angered the blister gods and I was getting blisters in places I had never experienced before, perfect. We had now finished 50k and started out on our way to miles neither Tea nor I had done before. Because it was dark we were allowed pacers, so Seth joined us for this loop. I knew it was going to be a long one, and I was happy to have someone else take the lead for a while.

We were well bundled and planned on walking everything we wanted to, even downhills. Tea spent time holding hands with Seth and just marching along. It’s funny, even though this girl can run crazy miles, she is still the kid that falls asleep at bedtime no matter where we are. From movie parties with friends to the Alabama Shakes concert we went to a couple of days before the race, Tea falls asleep between 8-8:30 no matter what is going on. We were now past her normal passing out time and we were definitely dealing with a sleepy 8-year-old. Luckily an amazing sound came ringing across the desert right in the nick of time. The loud New Yorker voice of one of Tea’s favorite big people friends, Justin, AKA J-Lu. She knew he would be at Jackass (which is funny because she would only refers to it as “jackbutt” no cursing for her!) aid station and she could not wait to see him. She ran down the hill and was lifted into a big hug by him. She sat, ate, drank, and talk to everyone there. It was a huge lift for a sleepy little lady on her way to finishing 75k. We headed out again into the darkness but on our way to a little sleep for her.

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This walk was slower and honestly I questioned if we would make it all the way. She was just a tired 8 year old, and I was her mom feeling for her. I got down at one point and looked her in the eyes. I explain that we didn’t have to finish if she was tired, we could get Jamil (RD) to drive out, we could meet him at the road, and we could go back and she could sleep. We could be done. Her only response was a stern “NO” and she turned and began walking again, on a mission. Apparently she was not quitting, so on we trudged.

Holding hands with Daddy. I'm pretty sure it's the only way to walk through the night.

Holding hands with Daddy. I’m pretty sure it’s the only way to walk through the night.

Coming into Jeadquarters meant she got to eat then head to bed. I ate also but sleep alluded me. The plan was to be up by 5 and head out again, and I think a part of me was worried about making that happen. I ate and spent time with friends before heading to my tent and getting a couple of hours rest. Before I knew it we were up and heading out again. My Little Lady and I had 15 miles between us and our buckles, we were on it!  We hiked the entire first half to Jackass aid station where we saw Seth (who was picking up runners who had dropped to drive back) and a couple other big people friends. They (said big people friends) thought it would be funny to tell Tea to drop her Mommy right at the end and sprint in to the finish, pointing out I had blisters (which were terrible at this time) and she wouldn’t have any trouble. Tea being my amazing Little Lady gave them a “yeah right, why would I do that” look and we headed on our way.

Always with a smile.

Always with a smile.

Tea wanted Seth to run in with us so he headed out to meet us about 3 miles out. We ran a little and Tea was feeling alright, just excited to finish. In another half mile she went to brush a bee off her back and ended up getting stung in the hand. This cause uncontrollable crying from her. Look, she is 8, she is tired, she is 60 miles into her 100k, and now she got stung by a bee, crying was more than allowed.

Damn Bee!

Damn Bee!

So we gave her a couple minutes and allowed her to have her moment before we started moving again. Crying continued on and off until we got to the road crossing (meaning we were almost to the finish) and saw Jamil waiting on the other side to take pictures. Tea stopped, composed herself, and we were off and running again. Jamil continued to run ahead a little then stop and take pictures until Tea saw the finish, at which point she took off! I found myself, blisters and all, sprinting to try to keep up. At the end of her 100k Teagan was sprinting it in! It was amazing to watch, and difficult to keep up with, then we were finished. My 8-year-old had just finished 100k and was handed her buckle.

Tea was FLYING!

Tea was FLYING!

JJ Tea and Catra

One of Tea’s Favorite big people the amazing Miss Catra, and Tea’s favorite little running dog Truman!

Tea promptly took off her shoes, put her buckle on her new belt and wore it around. She played with her friends, walked Catra’s dog Truman, talk with people, and took pictures like a pro.

JJ Tea and colby

The cutest runners out there!

She was happy to see Colby (12) finish his 100 mile (we had seen him out on the course a lot as well which she was excited about) and happy to eat some otter pops.

I was happy to take my shoes off and stare at my blisters for a while. I can not express how thankful I am for the amazing ultra running community. All the kind words and support out there on the course really helped keep Tea moving. I am also forever thankful for having so much special time with my daughter out on the trail. Between Seth and my Mom caring for the others I was able to know they were in good hands and able to focus on Tea and her needs the entire time.

What she ate– A LOT! She ate many gels, stinger chews (pink lemonade being her favorite), avocado roll ups, veggie burger, vegan pizza, and all the normal vegan ultra food.

Animals– Tea loved seeing rabbits, shooed a tarantula off the trail for safety, watched some lizards run around, and even saved a hurt lizard from getting stepped on the trail.

Gear– Tea loves New Balance. She ran the entire race in her brand new New Balance 890 v3’s, and had no blisters, her feet felt great! She carried her super cute Pink Ultimate Direction Bottle, and of course had two Buff’s with her at all time. They really came in handy at aid stations to dunk in the water to keep her cool.

"stretching" along the way.

“stretching” along the way.

The important things to note from this race are, I was with her every step, she was determined to finish, she got 6+ hours of sleep during the night, and she had fun majority of the way. I understand running 100k isn’t for every 8 year old, but it is for this one. So the question was, was I ready? The answer is yes! Training with her and following her “take things as you go” approach made this, my first 100k, go as smoothly as it could. I am so proud of my Little Lady for the determination and hard work she put in, and I am extremely proud we are now buckle buddies!

Buckle Buddies!

Buckle Buddies!

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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