Summer Break – It’s time for an adventure!

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No school. Late mornings. Warm, sunny days. Splashing in the sprinkler. S’mores. Popsicles. Fireworks. Summer is always fun.

This summer, we’re doing it a little differently. We’re still going to do all those wonderful things that are quintessentially summer, but we’re not going to hang out in North Dakota to do them. I’ve given myself a week past the last school bell of the year to do laundry, pack, and prep the house, and then the kids and I are hitting the road, Jack. For the entire summer.

If everything goes according to plan, we will hit 18 states this summer. Whaaat?! I know. It sounds totally nuts. Some of those are drive-throughs. Some will just be a stop in an airport to change planes. Most of our time will be spent in Tennessee, Florida, Hawaii, and Texas. Great places to be, if you ask me.

I’m not at all sure how the blogging will go while I’m away. I don’t have a laptop. I’ll have my camera, but I’ll be relying on the generosity of others to do the occasional photo dump. It may become the summer of Instagram. We’ll see. I’m not worried about it. So much of the summer is planned out already that I am doing my best not to overthink and stress about the little things. I’ll see you when I see you.

 

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Running with Kids

Track

School is out. Summer break is here. Now, how do I get an outdoor run in?

Just a few days ago, I had an epiphany. There is a middle school on the base, just a little way up the road from our house. The school has a track. The track is fenced. Mommy can run; kids can play outside. Sounds like a win-win to me. We tried it out for the first time yesterday morning.

I kept my expectations fairly low. I thought I’d probably get one, maybe two miles in if I was lucky. Little did I know the kids would want to run, too. I ran three miles before deciding to call it a day. Neely brought along a purse with some toys in it. She had been sitting in the grass playing, picking dandelions for a little while, and I wanted to leave on a high note. I didn’t want anyone becoming miserable and unhappy and never want to return to the track again.

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I’m proud of these guys, though. My boy (7) ran 2 miles, and my girl (4) ran/walked or was coerced/dragged by her brother 1.25 miles. As soon as we were in the car headed home, they asked if we could do it again. Score!

Are you drinking enough water?

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I saw this the other day and almost wet my pants laughing. It’s so true. I know I’m drinking enough water when I’m in the bathroom 15 times a day. But seriously, divide your body weight in half, and that’s how many ounces of water you should be consuming daily. My goal each day is about eight 8-ounce glasses of water. I usually try to err on the side of more, though. By the time I finish this morning’s run, I’ll already be at five glasses. Summer is near, though, and it’s super easy to get dehydrated. Drink more water! 🙂

Last day of school…let summer begin!

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Last Friday was Neely’s last day of school. To celebrate, they had a luau – complete with tie dyed t-shirts for all, beach balls, leis, and fruit kebab snacks.

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Neely doesn’t like fruit at all. Can’t you tell? 😉 Also, I’m pretty sure her eyes are turning green. I had a different filter on the photo to begin with, and they looked brown. I changed it, because it was just too weird. No more blue-eyed girl, I suppose.

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It’s this guy’s last day of 1st grade today. So handsome, even though he desperately needs a haircut and I can now see that he didn’t get all of his eye crusties when he washed his face. I can’t believe that at 2:45 this afternoon, I will be the proud owner of a 2nd grader. How did this happen? Where has the time gone? The only good thing is it means I have survived my first North Dakota winter and lived to tell the tale.

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Aidan sure was a good sport this morning, letting me take his picture over and over in the driveway before school. I’m still trying to get the hang of my new Lensbaby, so it took a little longer than usual.

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By the end, all I could get out of him was this fake grimace-smile. Oh, well.

Anyway, school’s out! It’s summer! Woo woo! We are celebrating with a trip to the ice cream shop this afternoon, and we’ll hopefully be sleeping in tomorrow!

Run – Hill Workout for Treadmill

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I’m running a race in Tennessee in a few weeks – the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival 10-miler, to be specific. It’s in a town I’m not very familiar with, so I’ve been doing a little internet hunting to find people’s race recaps from previous years. What have I learned? It will be hot. Tennessee in June, duh. It will also be hilly.

Funny thing, there aren’t very many hills here in Minot, North Dakota. Actually, there are none to be had on the base, which is where I do all of my running. With the kids out of school for the summer, I’m going to be hard-pressed to get very many outdoor runs done at all. My only idea so far is to head over the the middle school track (it’s fenced) and hope that the kids will play happily while I run. Hope being the key word there. The only way I’m going to get any practice on hills is to simulate them on a treadmill.

I tried to make up my own hill workout for the treadmill on Monday. It went…okay. I kept my usual pace and upped the incline every few minutes until my legs couldn’t take it anymore. This morning, I showed up at the gym with a better plan in place.

I found an article on Runner’s World called Four Great Treadmill Workouts. I chose to try The Pyramid today.

Here’s what you do:

Set 1: steady pace 1 minute each @ 4, 5 and 6 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 2: steady pace 1 minute each @ 5, 6 and 7 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 3: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 7 and 8 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 4: steady pace 1 minute each @ 7, 6 and 5 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

Set 5: steady pace 1 minute each @ 6, 5 and 4 percent incline
2-3 minutes recovery @ flat jog

By the third and fourth set, I was flat worn out. I think I maybe made it up to a 6% incline on Monday. It definitely wasn’t 8%. I had to drop my speed down pretty slow to survive it, but I did it! It took me about 30 minutes to complete all 5 sets. Don’t feel bad if you have to practically walk during those recovery minutes. By the end, I had to.

Once I get to Tennessee, I’ll find some real hills to practice on, but until then, the Pyramid will be my go-to.

The Voice – Judith’s hair

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Let me start out by saying, first and foremost, that I think Judith Hill is great. She is lovely. She’s a great singer. But as the The Voice‘s live shows continue I find myself asking over and over, “What is UP with Judith’s hair?” She’s not the only one who has a new hairstyle every time you see her. The stylists seem to have something new to try for most of the female artists each week. But poor Judith. When they leave her hair curly, it’s good. See?

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But for some reason, somebody is really determined to straighten it out. When the do, the results are sometimes…strange.
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This one isn’t terrible. It was just a little too Pebbles, in my opinion. Maybe she loved it. I hope so.

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Last night’s hair? Super weird. Sorry, Judith. It’s not you. It’s the hair. Take a closer look.

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Why is it all sticking straight out the side like that? I don’t get it. I clearly do not have the artistic vision her stylist does. Leave Judith’s hair alone! She has pretty hair. Just let it be!

Okay, that is all. I don’t have a lot to talk about today, clearly.