Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Steps

No, Alice is not yet walking.

Without help...

No actual "baby steps" are being taken in our house....yet. My money is on the first week on November. Literally. Mike and I have a little bet going. Sure, she's a little late in the walking thing. Am I concerned? Nah. She'll get there on her own Alice timetable. She's standing, crusing....taking baby steps towards her actual first steps. I don't mind one bit, holding her little body is one of my favorite things. I have a feeling that "the Boss" will not want to be held once she gets the walking thing down.

Miss Ella is taking her own baby steps towards kindergarten. Seriously. I can't take it. KINDERGARTEN?!? I have her kindergarten orientation for next year on Thursday. I might have to tape my mouth shut so as not to scream out in the middle of the damn thing, "NO! My BABY is too little for this! Let's just put this whole thing on hold! Okay!?!?". I guess they break the moms in early by having this thing in October. I have 9 more months to process it and act like a normal person the first day of school. Not a crazy, crying mom holding onto E's foot as she gets on the bus.

My baby at 2. Can't believe this little monster is going to real school soon.

And me? Baby steps towards kicking this sinus infection that settled in my face this week. Ugh. I am thinking I should be fine by Saturday. (Big day. Hallo-freaking-ween and Silver Comet Half Marathon. I'd BETTER be fine). Baby steps towards a PR on this "it could NOT get any flatter" course. I think my pumpkin running costume should definitely help.

Since it is Hallo-week this week. Yeah, I made it up. Some Halloween shots...

Our three dormer windows are from left to right, an Alice witch, an Ella witch, an Annabelle the dog witch, and a a Goldy the goldfish witch. My mom and I did these this year...they look so cool up there.

Pumpkin carving

The masterpiece. (The pumpkin is throwing up, per Ella's request)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Soaking it up.

More often than not, I feel like I am sucking it up.

Suck it up and run. Suck it up and bike. And really, suck it up and swim.

Now that the off season is here. I am no longer sucking it up, rather soaking it up and walking.

Tonight we marinated in a delicious chill in the air, a closed golf course, a willing golden retriever and two more than willing little girls out for a walk in the neighborhood.

Frenchie with the beret and her chien.

Heading out to run free on the golf course.

Alice chilled in the jogger and watched her crazy sister...

...play catch the beret

The girls are king of the mountain

A happy girl

Throwing pine cones in the lake requires 100% focus.

You know it is time to leave when the 4 year old tears start (inevitably) rolling.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Late Harvest Run 5k Race Report

Happy Birthday to me...happy birthday to me....

This race most definitely was a belated birthday present (my 33rd was on Friday).

It was just awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

And that's saying a lot for a 5k, when it hurts from the get go. And maybe get that PR that's eluded me for 7+ years (20:26). Oh, and maybe, just maybe, be the first female. This is something that I've been close a few times, but never 1st female. I've always thought it would be really cool to do that.

I scour active for a flat 5k that's not too far. I want to see if my fitness can get me close to under 20 minutes, but I definitely need a flat course for that. Okay. Hmmm....none of these seem to be flat. Damn. Let's just pick the one that is closest and has the latest start time 'cause it is cold as bleep out lately and I like to sleep. (okay, cold for Georgia).

Late Harvest 5k in Dunwoody is the winner.

Get there and it looks like a smallish race (it was). I warm up, listen to some sweet Miley Cyrus and Black Eyed Peas to get me (and the 6th grade teenybopper inside me and who is in charge of my ipod) pumped up. It works. I am excited to race. Excited that I have my Garmin, so I don't bust out a 6:15 first mile only to fade, fade, fade then BLOW UP.

That's fun.

Wahhh. The air horn blows. Two guys take off, fast. I am in third. Trying not to go out too fast. I quickly catch the first guy...then after about a half mile, the second guy is behind me. I couldn't help but smile a HUGE smile...thinking, I am leading this race. And then, quickly, this can't last that long, can it?

Where's the girl next to me at the start with the supermodel long legs? She's got to be catching me soon. Where's that guy that looked really fast at the start? He'll be here soon, right?


No one caught me. I won overall, girls AND guys.

I had the lead from about a half mile into the race until the finish. I have to say, it was really, really fun. I kept checking behind me to see where the second place guy was (mostly because I was in such disbelief that I was leading this thing) and he was 80 yards, then 100, and then I couldn't see him anymore.....WOOP!! WOOP!!

I knew this was an experience that does not happen often (and most likely never again for me). So, I stopped caring about my time and just soaked up the feeling of leading the race. It was just so cool. The spectators were so supportive and excited to see a girl winning. I felt good, strong and getting stronger as the race went on.

With a half mile to go a guy yells to me "Are you in the lead?" I just nodded. "Wow." And it was an honest wow. Like he was really surprised. Hey, me, too, buddy.

The police manning all the intersections were cheering. Telling me I was going over the speed limit. Giving me updates on how far back #2 was. I felt like a rock star.

I turn the last corner and see the finish and GO....my watch says 18:45 and I am thinking NO WAY. I cross at 19:15 in first, totally excited and dumbfounded that I won the damn thing.

Call Mike. Call my mom, my sister, Amanda, text Jen, update my FB status....seriously, the WORLD is gonna hear about this one. ;)

Get my award and head on home excited to tell Ella for the first time that "yes, Mommy won the race today". She always likes to check.

(Only drawback was that the course was short, so I can't count this time and I think I would have PR'd if the course was 3.1. Damn.)

Some birthday shots...

The Ace(s) of Cake

Allie (and Annabelle) waiting for the cake to be frosted

Uh oh is right. Into the bath!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I've got a new one.

End of swimbikerun, for now.

And welcome. Just run.

Wow. This has been pretty easy. My hours per week are more than cut in half and I don't feel like I am slacking.

I forgot how easy it is to fit in just RUNNING (especially with new, superfun Garmin 305. I LOVE this thing.) I am training for the Silver Comet Half Mary on Halloween. And a fun 5k this weekend.

Well, as much fun as a 5k can be. Which is really no fun at all. I guess the fun part is that you are done before breakfast, before (if you're lucky) you want to puke, before the rest of the family wakes up, and hopefully before you realize just how much this gd thing hurts.

Bang. Huff. Puff. Curse. Dry heave. And....done.

Speaking of focus...before triathlon I was 100% focused on soccer. For my whole life. I was a soccer player. I loved it. My big brothers both played and all I ever wanted to do was be like them. So, as soon as I could play, I was out on that field....being rough, getting yellow cards, sliding in mud, getting banged up, and generally loving life on the field. It just seemed to fit.

I was lucky enough to get to play in college. At Wake Forest. In the ACC. That (and going anywhere out of the tri-state area) was my goal. I loved every second of it. I loved Wake. Loved my teammates. Still do.

I had my first alumni game (in 9 years) this past weekend. I can't really even express how much fun it was to play with those girls again. Here we are 33 and 34 years old and the most surprising thing....WE CAN STILL PLAY. We were, and still are, unapologetically competitive. I think that is just awesome. "Team MOM" (our name) held our own against the 22 and 23 year olds who are playing in the WUSA. Yeah, we got tired and sure our touch was not what it once was, but still...we HELD OUR OWN. I am so proud of us. I can't wait to do it again next year.

Our team.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lake Lanier Islands Sprint Tri Race Report

In short, a good swim, good bike and good run. FINALLY!!

1st AG/5th OA. Yahoo!!!

So, so happy and thankful that all three sports came together for me for this race. (I think it was the first race of the year that it seemed to really gel.) Great timing, huh? My last race of the year. Doh. But, hey, no complaints. I am just pumped that all the hard work paid off on Sunday.

I had read Jen's blog about focus the week before the race. Something really grabbed my attention..how she says she's so focused in her race that it is like she's almost in a trance...and I thought, "I am NOTHING like that.". I am the complete opposite of that. I am really unfocused during my races...thinking about everything else but the race...since the race HURTS. Watching other racers, waving, talking, looking for my family, for anyone's family to be honest.

So, I tried to really focus. On what I was doing, how I was feeling, where I was going next, who was ahead of me...etc. A novel concept.

But, it seemed to work for me. I was 100% focused out there. Not that hard for just over an hour, but it's a start.

SWIM -- 400 yards/7:40
Wore the wetsuit and pushed hard here. Tried to remember that feeling of going anaerobic on the swim for the first 100 goes away and not to panic! It did. And I was fine. Mike said he could tell where I was in the water because I was taking 2 strokes for every 1 of the (amazingly fast and smooth) girl in the lead. Hey, you do what works. 400 is over pretty quickly....2nd out of the water! NICE! And then the HILL. The long, steep, dry-heave inducing hill up to transition. She's a bitch. No joke. Wetsuit was a struggle to get off...I was super dizzy and could not find my balance to to the "dance" to get off the sausage casing as fast as I wanted.

BIKE--13 Miles-37:07/21mph
Rolling hills. Hey, it's North Georgia....we don't have much else. But, no wrong turns (this is the same course as Iron Girls where I added an extra 4 miles to the bike course) and I pushed and worked on staying focused. I didn't want anyone to pass me (that was my goal for the race. DO NOT let anyone pass me!). Goal accomplished (for the bike.) Roll into transition and zip out onto the run.

RUN --3.1 Miles --20:53
I really wanted to have a good run here. I have not yet felt strong on the run all year. And I have run out of chances! Time to GOOO! Run was hillier than I was expecting (or told Jill. I thought it was going to be the same run as Iron Girls, which was pancake flat, this was a different course and it was not quite as flat as I said. Er, sorry, Jill!) But, I felt strong and actually felt stronger as the miles went by. At the turnaround, I saw 2 super fast girls booking it about 50 yards behind me....and I did not want to get caught. I picked up my pace. I tried. But, I heard those footsteps. Those super fast, light on her feet footsteps.

With about 1/2 mile left, the eventual overall winner caught me (damn! she was from the wave behind mine, so had already made up 4 minutes on me) and I tried to stay with her, and did, for a little, then started to dry heave and slowed down to my own pace. Saw Mike. Then headed on to the finish...happy and done.

Results are here.
1 33 724 Kate Parker 33 Roswell GA 2 7:40 2:31 2 37:07 21.0 0:54 1 20:54 6:45 1:09:04

So glad to end the season on a high note. Huge thanks to my mom for coming over to our house before dawn to watch the girls so Mike could come with me. And a big congrats to Jill on a great race, especially after a migraine the night before. Oof.

Me and Jill post race

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Fall is here...

Hear the yell"
-Jack Johnson from "We Are Going to be Friends".

Can you hear it? It's me. Yelling. (On the inside. Mostly.) I am so happy fall is here.

The weather is just awesome right now. My apologies if I sound like a broken record.

It doesn't really fell like fall until October for me. And today?

OCTOBER! Woot. Woot.

Rock-tober is more like it. 'Cause it rocks. Holla. ;)

Cool air. My birthday. Baseball playoffs. Hallo-freaking-ween.

As if I need another reason to love it...so far, October is Oc-TAPER. (I promise I am done with the fall-love posts and most definitely done with the October puns.) Yep. Tapering for my last tri of the season on Sunday. Lake Lanier Islands Sprint. If I do not bonk, want to quit the race on the run, get sick for two weeks beforehand, or add 4 miles to the bike course, I will consider it a successful race.

Since it is officially 10/1 and officially acceptable to decorate for Halloween...what's been done so far....