After a short run early Friday evening around my neighborhood, we went to my sister's to pick up my nephew Jacob for the weekend. It was the first weekend after baby Isabel's arrival and we wanted to do something to make the weekend easier for Jeff and Michele and also to do something special for my only nephew.
After collecting him and all his stuff, we first stopped at the grocery store to pick up some kid-friendly food. We filled our cart with a variety of treasures: corndogs, squeeze cheese in a can, XBox fruit roll ups, sugar-free creamsicles, roasted peanuts in the shell, and a butterfinger. Once we got back to our house, we set Jacob up in Lucas' room. We changed the sheets and set up the things he brought out on the bed, including roughly 100 stuffed animals, his pillow and blankie (the one I made for him as a newborn - its seen its fair share of adventures and shows it!), and his sleeping bag. We watched lots of Christmas kid movies and had a lot of fun together.
On Saturday, we went to Jake's last basketball game at the YMCA and got to see him a make his third basket of the year. I was so excited for him! I don't usually get to see him shoot it up, so that was pretty cool. His chosen reward was a happy meal, so we went to McDonald's for lunch. We took a little shop to Super-Walmart and got him a pair of jeans and of course a new toy.
Sunday morning was filled up with playing mariokart on the GameCube. After a quick lunch of corndogs we headed back to Jake's house.
We had so much fun with him this weekend. he is just the perfect age - funny and curious, yet pretty self-sufficient. On Friday night, I left the room for a minute and he and Mike were watching TV when a commercial came on - an public awareness ad about human papiloma virus (genital warts). He turns to Mike and says "you know......" As Mike steeled himself to deal with what he might say or ask next, he then said "why is it always about the ladies? What about us men? When is it about US??" all the while he is asking this he made yackety-yak gestures with his hand. I really miss those funny moments with little ones. I hardly see my kids anymore even when they are home - mostly I just see them come out of their room for a ride, a handout, or a meal. It was so nice to spend time with Jake and enjoy hanging out with him having fun.
After we went back home, Mike and I went out and ran 4 1/4 mile. I clocked about a 11:30 pace, but we both thought it felt like a pretty leisurely and I stayed at about 80% of my MHR for most of the run (instead of my usual 100-110%) even with all the hills we had to climb.
I have decided hills need to be my friend. Not only do I have to run them repeatedly to get anywhere in my neighborhood, I think I need to think of them as tools to help me be faster in races. Most of the races we have done were relatively flat, so to train in our hilly neighborhood should theoretically make me faster in the races or better able to deal with a hill during a race. At any rate, I have noticed they are getting easier every time. I no longer call every hill a bad word in my head, nor do I ever have to stop and walk to steepest ones. I just dig in and climb. Yeah me - I think that shows definite progress. Baby steps.