Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Edinburgh half marathon 2013

Well.....we did it! My sister Margaret and I ran the Edinburgh half marathon last Sunday in 1 hour and 48 minutes. I'm thrilled with our time but more importantly, the way we ran the race.

It started at 8am so I got up at twenty past 5 to make sure I had plenty of time to eat, hydrate and digest. Freddie, who's getting a new tooth (it'll be his 7th), joined me at 540. Luckily I had just finished my oatmeal topped with blueberries and a giant mug of tea, so I got him up and we spent a little while together before William got up and joined us. There's definitely something about safety-pinning your number on the morning of a run. I started to get a little nervous but the nerves quickly turned to excitement when Margaret and our friend Sam (running his first half!) came to get me.

We left the house at 730 and jogged/walked the short distance to the start line. It was a beautiful sunny morning so we didn't even need a long-sleeve to keep us warm. We got to the start line in less than 10 minutes. Another big bonus to living so close- we did out last pee at home and didn't have to wait in the endless port-a-potty line. Sidebar- what do they call them here? William had never heard of honey buckets, as I referred to them, but I don't think they use port-a-potty either. Hmmmm. Enlighten me if you know.

Margaret and I each wrote down 5 topics to discuss during the run since we had decided to forgo our ipods. I was a little uneasy about this since I'd never done a race without my pod but I've always heard you run better without it (maybe because your focus is more on your running form than the Bon jovi song blasting in your eardrums). We analyzed the latest episode of Mad Men, talked about my skipping school career in high school and whether or not Madge should cut her hair short, amongst other things.

Our strategy worked well- we kept up a pace of about 8 minute miles for the majority of the race and kept chatting the whole way. At mile 10 we snacked on my tic tac container filled with honey (way better than any of those sick energy gels) and dumped water on our heads at every water stop (the reason I look bald in all the pics taken afterwards. Regretted it instantly when I saw those!). The sun was blazing for two thirds of the race at least and that was honestly the toughest part. It was a relief when it hid behind the clouds for the last couple miles (the only time I will EVER say that).

I have to admit I got a little emotional crossing the finish line. Even though I've run a few half marathons, 10k's and even a full marathon, this one somehow meant more. I guess it stems from being 50lbs (at least!) more than my usual weight and barely able to walk because of a giant baby inside me just a year before. Yikes! It was SO great to see our male cheerleading squad of William, Freddie and Andy (Madge's other half) at the finish line, too. Actual supporters! Thanks for coming guys!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Half marathon training- update!

Well, the half marathon is almost here! The Edinburgh Marathon Festival begins tomorrow and the half marathon is on Sunday. As is always the case with these things, I could have trained more, but I am happy overall with the training that I did.

Freddie and I have more or less kept up our once-a-week run together, I have done another short run during the week by myself and then my sister and training partner (other than Freddie) Margaret and I have done a long run on the weekends. We did just over 12 miles the Saturday before last so I think we're as ready as we'll ever be.

We've decided to be professional about the race and are not going to be bringing our ipods. Just like the elite runners, we'll be focusing on our form and breathing rather than distracting ourselves with T-swift's latest tune. We've also agreed to make note (on our hands) of five interesting stories to tell each other along the way. These can be about friends, coworkers, family, neighbors, friends of friends, TV etc. Anything interesting to get us talking and keep us running!

Freddie and William will have to leave the house at almost the same time as I will on Sunday to ensure they get to the finish line on time. We live right on part of the race route so the road closures will make their journey almost as painful as mine. :) Thinking of them at the finish line will definitely help me through the race though. It's been quite a year with Freddie and I'm excited to be able to say I lost 50+ lbs and ran 13.1 miles one year after having a baby. :) (WOW- that's a lot of poundage.)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Photo of the week- toes in the sand

Ok, I still can't keep it to one photo but here are my favorite two photos from the past week. These were actually from this morning when Freddie and I went to the playground at the Meadows. We had a fabulous time going down the slide, throwing woodchips and playing in the sand. The sand was definitely Freddie's favorite arena. Only problem was- he kept trying to steal the sand toys other kids brought.

To solve that problem, I just bought him a few from Amazon. I went for the ones on the right- classic sand toys and a steal of a deal for only £5. Another cool thing I noticed this morning was Freddie isn't as into eating the sand and woodchips as he once was. Progress! He's growing up so fast. :)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Freddie texts...

When you have a baby, everyone tells you it becomes all about them and you really have to make time for your boyfriend/partner/husband etc. or else your relationship will suffer. And... it's true! You can easily get so caught up in your child/ren that you forget about the other adult in the mix. Thanks to Freddie's aunt Margaret and "uncle" Anthony for babysitting recently so we could go out to dinner and a show!

That being said, William and I are just obsessed with Freddie. I already knew this to be true but it hit me once again when I was scrolling through the texts between William and myself the past few days. In between the photos of Freddie eating lunch, playing with his new shoes or picking a flower in the park are these gems:

William to me, May 12th 3:19pm. "I think he is over the swings. :("
Me to William, May 12th  3:22pm. "He totally is. Wants to move! Watch out for glass and rocks there. The grass is gross too- better over in Holyrood park."

William to me, May 12th 3:58pm. "I can't bring myself to put him in the stroller and head home. He just loves walking around by himself."
Me to William, May 12th 4:00pm. "Just be careful of him eating rocks and glass!"

Me to William, May 16th, 8:40am. "He won't go to sleep! Really frustrated by something. :("
William to me, May 16th 9am: "Nurse him."

Me to William, May 17th 9:40am. "Did Freddie happen to pee in my slipper this morning?"
William to me, May 17th 9:46am: "Not that I was aware of anyway..."

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

New pair of shoes!

Freddie got his first legit pair of shoes today! He's been sporting some soft, somewhat flimsy flippers that I bought online for awhile but they are still too big for him and are not even close to being waterproof. As soon as he takes one step on the wet grass they are soaked through. So, today we trekked to Clarks on Princes Street and got him his first real pair.

I also must say the sales assistant at Clark's was great. She didn't bat an eye when Freddie freaked out getting his feet measured (must happen a lot? anyone else?) and gave him a "My first shoes" certificate to take home. It even included a polaroid she took of him with his shoes!

Freddie's aunt Margaret came along for the big event and got some great snaps of Freddie checking out all his shoe options, getting his feet measured (they are size 4G) and trying out his new kicks in the park.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Photo of the week- A new seat

We just got back from Freddie's weekly swimming lesson and there was one big difference with our usual trip. Freddie got a new carseat! Our little 1-year-old is now riding in a big, comfy, forward-facing seat. We got the Maxi-Cosi Pearl carseat which fits in the base we already have and Freddie LOVES IT. He wasn't interested in any books or toys during the ride- he only wanted to look out the window and at us when we turned around to say hi. He got such a kick out of seeing me turn around from the front seat. I'm hoping this is a good sign for our 5-hour trip to H-in-A in a couple months!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Freddie is 1 year old!!

Aunt Margaret making Freddie's carrot cake.
Our little Freddie turned 1 on Sunday. It's STILL hard to believe that a year ago we were in the hospital waiting and waiting and thinking that baby would never get out of me! Well, thankfully, after two days in labor, he turned up at 10:34pm on a Saturday night, screaming his head off. He was just too comfortable in there and didn't want to come out.

Freddie's favorite food- blueberries- on top.
And at 9 lbs, 13 and a half ounces, we are thankful he didn't stay in there much longer. He was a little overcooked, with wrinkly fingers and long nails, but he was sturdy and smart and got the hang of nursing very quickly. He was "one of those really hungry babies" as the midwives put it- translation: he wanted milk every hour. But finally, after five sleepless nights in the hospital, we were able to go home.

Freddie with his "I am 1" button.
I'll never forget the drive home- it was an absolute monsoon outside. My paranoia set in and I ordered (I mean, asked politely) William to drive really slow just in case. He did, of course, and with the combination of people passing us and Freddie crying the whole way, it felt much longer then the 20 minutes it actually took us. We were so flustered when we got home that we couldn't figure out how to unclick the carseat from the base (it's SO easy) so I carried Freddie and William held his coat over us.

William lighting the candles.
It's so funny to think back on those first few weeks, when showering and getting out of the house is SUCH an achievement. We've just had the best year with Freddie with so many fun adventures. He's been to Ireland three times, Seattle twice and is off to the Open Golf and Hampton-in-Arden later this summer. He's been on the move in some way or other since he was 7 months old and is now trying to transition that to walking. It's so fun to see him work up the courage to stop holding on to our hands or the couch or chair.  
Blowing out the candles! Freddie went straight for the blueberries.

He's getting better at using a spoon now too and is so proud of himself when he can do it. I think he's showing a little more interest in playing with the football too. He's so much like his dad it's uncanny. You can really see it when he is focusing hard on something- picking up a piece of grass or trying to turn on his piano. I could go on and on, but I'll cut myself off there. 
Chowing down on some cake.
Family photo. Happy Birthday little guy!

We had a great party on Sunday with some of our family and friends. Big thanks to the Irish crew for coming over to celebrate!! Freddie had a blast playing with everyone and his new toys and, of course, eating his first piece of birthday cake. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Photo of the week- new rainsuit!

Freddie got an early birthday present today- a new rainsuit! It's supposed to be a nice day ("white cloud") on Sunday, his birthday, so I decided to give it to him today. As you can tell by the photo, he LOVES it!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

World's most terrifying toy... the Jack-in-the-Box!! There's no getting around the fact that this so-called toy is enough to give you nightmares. It is truly terrifying.

I had the great idea of getting one for Freddie for Christmas. I'd been struck by a sudden disgust at these modern-day toys which are all about teaching you colors or how to count to ten. I'd heard them say "1-2-3 count with me!" in that chirpy voice one too many times.

Instead, I thought, why not get Freddie a good, old-fashioned, simple toy. One of the classics. Without thinking about it too much, I quickly came up with the Jack-in-the-Box. It doesn't try to blatantly teach you something and it's pretty cool that you crank a metal handle and a clown jumps out of the top. Right?

Wronggggggggg. It is SO scary. As soon as Freddie hears the start of the song he pushes it away and leaps into my arms. He can't get away from it fast enough. I have to admit, it's kind of nice to have him initiate the snuggle but sad that it is out of pure fear.

Anyone else out there have a Jack-in-the-Box? Will Freddie like it eventually? Or should I bite the bullet and give it away?

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