Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy, Busy . . . Plus a Monsoon Thunderstorm Run

Howdy all! I can't believe an ENTIRE WEEK has passed since I last posted. What have I been up to? Well, there's school, of course. And studying. Then there's running--I've been doing a fair amount of that. Oh, and there's the trip I made to SC to visit my sister, bro-in-law and niece last weekend (5 hours both ways--whew!). There were many highlights of this trip. But first, let's talk about what WASN'T a highlight: My pathetic attempt to navigate my way through pitch black rural South Carolina with a nasty case of night blindness. Holy crap. I seriously can't see in the dark, y'all--I probably shouldn't even have a driver's license! It was super freaky, and I was lost, lost, lost. But luckily, I eventually found my way--only pissing off like 5 or 6 cars in the process--and best of all, I was immediately thereafter greeted with an ice cold pint of beer. My sister knows me too well ;)

Anyway, I had lots of fun catching up with them all . . . especially my 4 year-old niece, Iris (see photographic evidence of her adorableness below).

Iris and I had an exciting day of pumpkins, hay rides and cupcakes on Saturday, and then went on to dance the night away to the music of a live band. This fun was all a part of their neighborhood's Fall Harvest Festival (and by the way, dancing with a 4 year old = pretty darn exhausting). On Sunday, we played together for hours and hours. It's amazing how long you can keep a kid entertained just by making stuffed animals talk! Iris showed me the medal she had earned playing peewee soccer, which led me to believe that she will one day be a marathoner. I mean, c'mon . . . who else would be so darn impressed with a silly piece of metal looped around a ribbon? Also, at one point, as we were attempting to put together a Hello Kitty puzzle, Iris turned into the cutest kid on the face of the planet. Just imagine those gorgeous blue eyes staring up at you with nothing but love and saying this:

Iris: Aunt Bailey?

Me: Yes, Iris?

Iris: I love you.

Me (trying not to spontaneously burst into tears): I love you too, Iris.

Iris: I really, really missed you.

Me: Aw, I missed you too, Iris.

It was officially the cutest moment of my entire life. I was definitely a bit choked up. It also made me want to pop a kid out right then and there (tick tock, tick tock). Luckily this didn't happen (although I DID have a dream last night that I woke up one day and was randomly like 7 months pregnant with twins--all I could think about was how I hadn't received prenatal care and my kids were probably all effed up!). Anyway, aren't kids the cutest? I wish I could convey the absolute sincerity with which Iris spoke. It totally broke my heart and made me want to move next door to my sister so that she'd never have to miss me ever again . . .

But alas, the time came for me to hit the road. Conveniently, this coincided with nap time for Iris. This worked out perfectly because I didn't have to have my heart torn to shreds by her crying and begging me to stay as I walked out the door. Mallory sent me off with a HUGE bag full of veggies from their farm share, as well as half a loaf of homemade banana bread. YUMMY. I got back to Orlando around 8 p.m. and was forced to cram for a test that would be taking place during class on Monday morning. It was not fun. But somehow, I managed to pull the highest grade in the class despite my lack of motivation to study. So it all worked out in the end.

Yesterday, I started to feel like I was coming down with something--maybe a sinus infection? Maybe swine flu? Blech. But despite feeling a bit crappy, I still really wanted to get a run in. I checked accuweather and noticed it was supposed to storm later in the evening, but I thought I had time to squeeze the run in before the weather got too crazy. WRONG-O. As is just my luck, I got to my turn-around point at the 3-mile mark (also known as the furthest point from my car possible) and turned around to see the darkest, most ominous sky ever staring me down. Oh shit. I tried to push the pace in an attempt to get back to my car before the storm started, but no such luck. I made it only 50 yards before a torrential downpour began. It was somehow raining sideways and was raining so hard that the rain was slicing into my eyes in all kinds of painful ways. Ouch. I couldn't see ANYTHING. I forged on, praying it wouldn't lightening. Of course, two seconds later, I saw the first flash. Here I was, 2.5 miles from my car on a tree-lined path. If that doesn't make you run fast, I'm not sure what will. I managed to make it back to my car unscathed, covering the 6 miles in 53:18; that's an 8:53 pace for all you keeping track at home. Not bad. Not bad at all. Perhaps I should go running in Monsoon Thunderstorms more often?

I also made a roller-blading friend on this run. We were stopped at a traffic light at one point and he decided to inflate my ego by telling me that I was "really cruising back there." Never in my life has anyone described my running in such a way. It felt . . . really good :) I could get used to hearing that kind of thing! We also discussed how we were both clearly in better shape than the high school-aged kids who had run past us earlier, and really looked like they were struggling. Go old folks! Anyway, I came into contact with this man twice more--once as he passed me on his way back to his car in the middle of the monsoon, and then again in the parking lot where he was pulling out as I was walking to my car. "Glad you made it back okay!" he yelled out his window. How nice is that? These Florida folks are much nicer than I am used to!

Well, I'm off to Philly for a weekend full of Pearl Jam, Wilson and cheese steaks starting on Friday :) Since I will be computer-less, I want to be sure to wish all of you running the NYC Marathon this weekend luck! There are oodles of you! Run like you mean it, kids! I'll be anxiously (and somewhat selfishly) awaiting your race reports!


Anonymous said...

"..I hadn't received prenatal care and my kids were probably all effed up!"

ha!! your niece is a Doll!! glad you made it there safely (despite night-blindness)!

Gotta love some unexpected Tempo-runs too, even if it was solely in the interest of personal safety ;) have fun in Philly!!

chris mcpeake said...

cheese steaks always make me run faster...

Marlene said...

Awww, kids are the sweetest, aren't they? Hanging with my nieces and nephew actually has the opposite effect on me, though. You see, I can just enjoy them all the time so I don't have to have my own (yet). :)

Nice job on the thunderstorm run!!

Have a great weekend in Philly.

Paul said...

Cute pic! Young kids are so honest with their thoughts so you can be sure Iris meant it when she said she loved you.

Likewise, imagine my horror when my five year old turns to me after a race where she joined in for the last 100m and says "dad, I crushed you like a paper cup!"

Not so cute. But very funny!

Enjoy life without kids. And when you have them, enjoy that too!

Paul :-)

Morgan said...

That Monsoon the other day was CRAZY!!!!!!!! That my dear is how the summer's are here Glad you made it back to the car ok!

What are you in school for anyway??? I have been wondering what has brought you down to my neck of the woods.

Your niece is so stinking cute! Love the kiddies!

Spike said...

wow, you just dropped the "ticking clock" reference...WILSON PAY ATTENTION!!!

great run in the rain; rain running is the best...especially if you have to dodge lightning/wind downed trees.

The Laminator said...

Oh...your little niece is so absolutely adorable I could eat her...ah, another notch on my belt for reasons why I love my job!!!

Thanks so much for all your kind words and support on my last couple of posts...they really did mean a lot!

Have fun in Philly! I've heard they can get kind of rowdy there, especially now with their Phillies in the World Series!

Have a good weekend. Hope to bring you a good race report next week!

DelDean said...

Little kids innocently saying cute things: priceless.
Friendly strangers with no agenda: priceless.
Final concerts at the Spectrum: priceless.
Wake up from a dream that ur 7 mos. preggo with twins? NIGHTMARE!

LOL - jk. I'm sure they'd be fine, prenatal care is over-rated. Women have been giving birth to babies for like a million yrs, just be healthy & lay off the boozing, K?

Yo, heading up to my town for the weekend? Awesome, I'll be running this 10k:

Anonymous said...

Kids usually "tell it like it is" so the sincerity means even more! And your preggers dream is funny!

Running and living said...

They make kids cute for a reason...take your time, though, take your time:) You sound happy, and excited, and full of energy. Awesome. You changed your life a ton in the past few months!