Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm not really always convinced I like running, especially when it is running for exercise. Running for exercise is not my favorite kind of exercise. I like to run with friends or my wife but by myself is mostly a dread.

I do like to train for something; there is an end goal. I need something to strive for, something to win. This weekend was my opportunity to test my training for a 5k race. I have been running, pushing myself hard to get my 5k times down to a competitive level. I do need to define the competitive level I’m looking for as average people competitive. You can go run almost any 5k in Austin, and find people in most age-groups who are capable of running in the top tier of any age-group. You’ll have 60 year-olds who can out run most of the 30 year-olds and 30 and 40 year olds who are just as fast as high-school and college students who are in peak performance.

Luckily the cost of most Austin races starts at $25 which is prohibitive for budget, when my wife and I both like running in races. This forces me outside of Austin, where normal people exist and have regular lives where they go to work, hang out with the family and try to fit exercise in as best as they can. Best of all is the cost of races goes down. This weekend, my wife and I ran in the Blue Bell Fun Run. My wife did the 10k and I did the 5k. Our original plan was for me to push Mayzie but since my wife was nursing a neck injury we decided to push our little girl, which turned out great because she fell asleep in the stroller which gave her plenty of time to get a nap something, that she probably wouldn’t have gotten on my short 5k. Both races only cost $15 per person, but included a day trip and lunch with a lot of friends.

I finished with a time of 21:13 which comes out to a 6:50min/mi pace. Overall not bad, that is 8 seconds faster than the previous weeks 5k race in Lockhart. My mile splits were 6:26, 13:42, 20:32. That 2nd mile has always been a slower mile for me. Unless I run with my GPS, I always run a slower 2nd mile. The course was really hilly, which I knew from the previous year, but I still managed to scrape together a 2nd place finish in my age-group (30-39.) I got a nifty plague too. There were 138 men in my age group, and I finished 41 seconds behind the first place guy. There were a total of 1680 people in the race, but they were average people not crazy fast Austin people.

This weekend I’m running in the Dragon 5k in Wimberley. It supports the school I used to work for and will be a great opportunity to try to get my post baby 5k time under the 21 minute mark. My ultimate goal is to get back to the sub 20 minute range, which I hope to do before a race ($15 with Groupon) in Austin this June. I am looking forward to this weekend’s 5k because I have not been back to the school I worked in since 2004. It has been a long time and I can’t wait to see how it has changed, plus I have a long-shot chance at winning this small event. I should at least get a top 5 out of this one.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Having another kid

I think I might have seen a glimpse of what the future could be. Yesterday, my wife helped a friend out by baby sitting her 18 month old little boy. Now, I've kind of figured out that most boys aren't talking on the same level as girls the same age. I see it at church and I see it at the playground and I see it with my friends and family. This boy was no exception. He might has well not have been talking at all when compared with our Mayzie who easily throws together sentences of 7 to 15 words, can easily answer questions, perform complex tasks when asked and tell us what she wants or ask us questions. But she's a girl and girls I've noticed are much more developed in that skill than boys the same age. She recently even started saying, "Yes, sir" or "No, sir" which of course me being the parent thinks is really cute, even though I'm sure nobody else but Aunt Jackie does.

He, on the other hand, says one word at a time and they are difficult to understand. Another attribute of boys you often hear but until you experience it is hard to imagine in a daughter only family is the rough nature of boys. He threw everything. He would push something over just to push it over. He would run as fast as he could everywhere he went which of course was the opposite direction of you. He would run smack into something, an event that would bring Mayzie to tears and ask for kisses, and all he would do is roll over look at you with an "Ouch" expression but get up and start running again. All of my friends boys are just like that.

Now, he and Mayzie are just 4 months apart so it was non-stop the entire time and I found myself counting the minutes or sometimes the seconds until his mom came back. Not that he was a bad kid but really it was full-time the entire time. Mayzie will sit and play independently without destroying stuff for long periods of time. You had to keep your eye on him the entire time. Mayzie has never fallen down the stairs. In fact we don't use our baby gates and really only used them for the dogs, but he fell down the first time he went up. It wasn't a fall down gracefully either it was a, "hey this could be serious if I wasn't right here" type of fall. BTW it didn't faze him at all he wanted to keep going, but up came the baby gates.

My wife and I have talked about having a second kid here and there and we tentatively set the official "try" date as sometime in June. If it happened it happened but June was the "try" date whatever that meant. Anyway, yesterday changed that. I had been thinking that since Mayzie was going to be 2 meaning she was going to be almost 3 when the new baby came we would be able to easily transition to a 4 person family.

This shook that thought process to the core, especially if I was considering the 50/50 chance of getting a boy the second time around. Mayzie can tell us what she wants, she understands what we say. She for the past several weeks has been going peepee in the potty and tells us before hand that she needs to go which leads me to think that for sure in the next 12 months (before the baby) we'll have her diaper free. She is easy to get to bed, feed, and she'll tell us about her day and read us books. It is easy, we're on autopilot. I figured it was time for another one because it takes 9 months before you get the second one. My wife and I were non-stop the entire time, until they went to bed. Afterward I was tired, realized if they were both time, I would have had to do it all over again tomorrow and questioning my readiness to embark on having another kid.