Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So proud!!

I took the kids to the local running track this evening to watch/support Brett while he did a tough speed workout.  I've been talking to Kylie about doing a 5k at Disney World next Feb and mentioned to her that if she wanted to run a few laps tonight, it would be good for her training.  So her and Matthew ran a lap, 1/4 mile, without difficulty.  After resting to catch their breath, they were both ready for another lap so we ran that, making it 1/2 mile.  Kylie sat down and decided that was enough for her.  Then Matthew stood up and started running again so Kylie said "I gotta go too!"   So they both did another lap for 3/4 of a mile!  After that lap, they both got some water and I told Kylie how proud I was of both of them and if she wanted to do just one more lap, it would be a full mile.  Next thing I know, she stands up and says "I can do that." and took off.   I sat with Matthew and yelled encouraging words to Kylie until she was about 1/2 way around then I ran the rest with her.  I heard her telling herself "I can do this, I can do this."  She crossed the finish line with her hands above her head and yelled "I did it!!"  I grabbed her and gave her a huge hug and told her how proud I was of her!  She ran a mile!! 
Then, next thing I know, Matthew lines up again and starts on his 4th lap.  I run with him the whole way with him and he made it more then 1/2 way without walking.  And when he did walk, it was for about 20 feet and he took off again, crossing the finish line with a smile. 
Later when I was giving Matthew a bath I asked him what he thought about running and he said "I liked it, it was practice and I like to practice."  Kylie kept saying "Are you proud of me, I'm proud of me."
I'm so proud of both kids, so awesome!!!  I told them both, mainly Kylie, that if they are able to do a full mile by the end of the summer, we'd buy them each a trophy.  My little runners!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Florida vacation!

We took our family vacation this year in Orlando.  We found a 2 bedroom condo near Disney World that we could trade our timeshare for, making it pretty affordable.  We also invited Brett's parents, Dick and Sharon (D & S) with us.  Our family drove down on Saturday, spent the night in Macon, GA and drove the rest of the way on Sunday.  D&S flew down on Sunday afternoon and rented a car to drive to our condo. 

The condo was at a resort called Summer Bay, which we really enjoyed.  They had 5 pools and a lake with a beach.  We spent most of our free time swimming (it was so hot outside!).  Kylie really became a fish, learning to swim underwater, on top of the water and cannonballing.  She would have spent the entire day and evening in the water if we let her.  Matthew enjoyed the water as well but didn't love it like Kylie did.  He liked digging in the sand and looking for fish in the lake but didn't like the sand to stick to him.  He said it made him messy. 

Tuesday evening we had dinner at Disney World (WDW) at their Whispering Canyon Cafe which we ate at during our last visit in 2008.  The food is so good and the atmosphere is very fun, they take "down  home cookin'" to a new level. 
 Matthew had a bad habit of falling asleep on our way to dinner every night. 

Wednesday we were up early and hopped on the shuttle bus to WDW Magic Kingdom.  The shuttle seemed like a good idea at the time - saved us $14 in parking charges and the hassle of driving ourselves.  Well, the shuttle was packed and it took 90 mins to get to the park with the pick-ups, drop-offs, ect.  So, not much of a time saver.  But we did get there and quickly headed to Fantasy Land to ride some rides like Dumbo's Flight, It's a Small World, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan's Flight.  The lines were not long and we were soon ready to head to Toon Town to find The Big Cheese for a group picture.  We found Mickey and Minnie in the Judge's Tent and had our picture taken and had them sign our autograph books.   I don't care how old you are, everyone smiles when they see Mickey!

Next we hopped on the train and took that to Frontier Land where we were going to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad but Kylie changed her mind so we skipped it.  Instead we watched The Country Bear Jamboree (not really good but the kids liked it and it was air-conditioned).  We ran in to Donald Duck and stopped for an autograph (it was his b-day!) and some pictures.  Donald kept kissing Matthew on his head and Matthew would wipe the kisses off, it was funny.  Then we headed to lunch at Crystal Palace, which is a character meal with Pooh and Friends.  Food was good, seeing those favorite "friends" was better.

After lunch we headed to Adventure Land to ride The Magic Carpets of Alladin, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise (very funny skipper).  Our boat overheated towards the end because of a loading delay so Kylie and Matthew got to be honorary skippers and they pulled us to the dock with a rope.  Next was Tomorrow Land where we rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and saw the Monster Inc's Laugh Factory show.  And then Liberty Square for The Hall of Presidents.

Kylie still wanted to ride The Haunted Mansion so we had Dick, Brett and Matthew find a spot for the parade and Sharon, Kylie and I headed to the ride and did some shopping.  We found the rest of the group and hung out, waiting for the parade to start.  We only caught part of the parade due to needing to catch our shuttle at 10:00 (which was late, should have driven our own car!).

What a fun, fun day.  The kids did great, the lines weren't too long and the heat wasn't too terrible.  Magic Kingdom was magical!

....to be continued.
'nake, 'nack

Matthew doesn't really pronounce his "s"'s very well.  So all works that start with S are shortened.  He might ask you to help him got a 'nack.  Or watch out for the 'nake.  Or help him get something that is 'tuck. 

He's also learned to count to 100.   We didn't really work on that with him, he picked it up from Kylie.  He pauses after every 9 to think about the next set of numbers.  Like "59.......60!"   So 'mart!
Almost forgot!

Kylie finished Kindergarden a few weeks ago.  She has loved school so much and has absorbed everything they have taught her.  It's exciting to listen to her read, talk about her friends, discuss problems with classmates and help her with her homework.  She had perfect attendance this year, 1 of only 3 kids in her class.  We are so very proud of Kylie.

Expedition Everest Challenge Race Report

My family was vacationing at Disney World last week and there happened to be a race while we were there. So I signed us up for it (it was expensive for a 5k but the cost included a theme park ticket so that made the race practically free). It was called “Expedition Everest Challenge” and was a 5k with various obstacles followed by a scavenger hunt throughout their Animal Kingdom theme park. This was a team race so we would have one timing chip, our team name was “Date Night”. LOL.

There was a kids fun run before our race so the kiddos participated in that. Kylie (6 ½) wanted to race hard so I ran with her while Brett helped Matthew (4), who had just woken up from a nap. Kylie took off like a rocket, passing kids and their parents left and right. This race had obstacles as well – she crawled under a net, walked across a 2x4 and climbed over a short wall. Kylie did great on each part, taking it very seriously. She was thrilled to cross the finish line and get her medal. Matthew enjoyed it as well, he has learned that if he stays in the back of the pack, the crowd will cheer more for him because he’s little and cute. Smart boy.

The in-laws took the kids back to the hotel while we waited for our race to start. This is Disney’s smallest race, only 2000 teams so about 4000 participants. They had everyone start in waves so we waited for wave 3. Unfortunately, the waves were based on bib numbers, not pace times so we were mixed in with a hodge-podge of runners/walkers of all ages. The first mile of the race would be around the parking lot and the last 2 miles would be in the park. I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to race since we did a 12 mile training run just two days before, ½ of which was on sandy trails. Add on a few days of walking around the Disney parks and my legs were feeling heavy before I crossed the start line.

The countdown started, the fireworks went off and we were racing! We stayed to the left and got into the grassy edge so we could pass people easily. Since we were running as a team, we had to work harder to stay together in the crowd and not get split up. I didn’t wear my Garmin but it felt like about a 8 min pace. About ¾ of the way through the first mile, we hit our first obstacle, a balance beam. It was about 4 feet off the ground and 4 inches wide. I got on it easy but fell within a few steps, my heart was racing from running and it took a few seconds to calm down enough to concentrate on the beam. Brett crossed without a problem and I finished on my second attempt. We continued to run and entered Animal Kingdom at mile 1.

It was pretty cool to run through this park since it’s not one that I’m very familiar with and it normally isn’t open at night due to the animal’s schedules. So it was a rare opportunity to see it at night. We did stop a few times on the route for pictures, we weren’t running to win but have fun. The heat started to get to me and I grabbed a water about mile 1.75. We hit our second obstacle about mile 2 which were tires on the ground that you had to run through. I did well with this, legs felt fine. About 2.5 miles I was starting to feel pretty sweaty and crappy. I slowed down a bit and was passed by a girl wearing long yoga pants and a black sports bra with numerous tattoos. I remarked to Brett “Who runs in Florida wearing yoga pants?” and Brett, knowing that I was slowing down, said “Doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, she just passed you.” Well, enough said, it was now my mission to pass her back! I picked it up and starting to catch her, running hard and feeling focused. I soon passed her and Brett told me I had about 15 feet on her. We came up to our next obstacle which were 6 hay bales that we hurdled. We exit the park on the side road now so I know that we’re closing in on the finish. I started to let up a little, only to see that “yoga pants” had caught up with me and was running hard as well. So I kicked into high gear and we stayed neck and neck. The last obstacle at mile 3 was a net that we had to crawl under so I did that a quickly as I could and ran across the 5k finish line, ahead of “yoga pants”! Our time was 28:16 – extremely slow for a 5k but we did stop for several pictures and had the obstacles to deal with.

We walked though the line of volunteers who were passing out our scavenger hunt clues, tiny flashlights and Sharpies. I quickly read the clue and figured out that we had to get to “Camp Mickey and Minnie”. I had cooled down enough to want to run hard again so we took off for the entrance of the park and found a volunteer who was passing out park maps. We run to Camp Mickey and Minnie, weaving around the remaining 5kers (there were at least 7 waves). We arrive at the first location and get our next clue. This one involved counting every 7 letters of a group of letters to spell out our next clue. That part wasn’t hard at all, it spelled “Ziwani Traders”. We search the map and find NOTHING about Ziwani Traders. A few other hunters gather in our area and we quickly find out that there are several different clues so working together wasn’t going to help. After about 5 minutes, I just tell Brett that Ziwani sounds African so why not run to the Africa area and search there. After we push through the crowd (so many people were in this area, trying to figure out their clue) we dash up to Africa and see several volunteers, standing in different areas. The first 3 volunteers tell us we’re in the wrong area so we go to the last one, who was standing in front of a bus that had “Ziwani Traders” writing in tiny letters on the side. She gave us our next clue which we deciphered to say “Lower Gardens”, which were again, not listed on the map. As we were debating about the Gardens being in Asia or on Discovery Island a volunteer overheard us and said “Asia, head to Asia” so we took off again.

As we enter the Asia area, Brett suddenly yells “Lower Gardens!” and makes a fast turn into a sunken garden off to the right. He finds the volunteer, shows him our completed clue and gets our next clue. This one told us to find the “Yen Palace Hotel Future Location”. We decide that Yen sounds Asian so we were staying in this area. We run down the road and I see “Yeti Palace Hotel” written on the side of a building with a volunteer sitting in front of it. I figure the clue must mean that once we capture the Yeti (the whole point of the Expedition Everest Challenge) they would rename this hotel to be Yen so I hand the volunteer our clue and he gives us our last clue. Woo-hoo! This clue instructs us to head to Dino Land for the finish. We have a new surge of energy so we hit It hard, pass as many people as we can (not easy on the narrower park roads) and see the finish line. We cross together, hold our hands in the air with a time of 58:07. We get our medals (very cool, they were compasses!), drinks and our gear bag. Then we get our picture taken with Mickey and Minnie, who signed my Everest tech shirt and hit the rides.

It was a great race. It was my second Disney race and I was so pleased with it. It was well organized and supported. The clues were tougher than I expected but that made it more fun too. And the most important part – team Date Night had a fun date!! Our official results showed that we finished 33rd out of 695 in the co-ed team division. Not too bad considering we struggled on a few clues. We were very happy and I’m looking forward to my next Disney Race, which hopefully will be the Princess Half Marathon in February.