“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Monday, November 26, 2012

Goofy Training Update

Week of Nov. 19-Nov 25, 2012:

I neglected to weigh myself until after breakfast and a cup of coffee.  Since that number is not really a happy number, I've decided to make all of your days by NOT boring you with a weigh-in this week.  You can thank me later.  ;)

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: Ran 4 miles at approx 11 min/mile avg.; 30 minute ST with new trainer
Wednesday: Ran 8 miles.  First 3 miles 10:16 min/avg, last 5 miles 11:17 min/avg
Thursday: Flying Feather 4 mile Race, Recap here
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Ran 10 miles, 10:59 min/avg
Sunday: Ran 18 miles, 11:21 min/avg
This is the first week where I've felt like "Hey, I'm training for 39.3 miles in a two day period."  This was a great training week, but I'm not going to lie to you, I'm looking forward to a fall back week this week!

Wednesday morning, I woke up sore (but in a good way) from my strength training on Tuesday.  Quads and hamstrings were making getting onto the toilet a little more tender than usual, if you know what I mean.  (Don't you just love a good visual?)

Nonetheless, I met some buddies for the start of my 8 mile run.  The two that were only doing 3, I knew, were much faster than I typically am.  Silly thing to do when sore and racing the next day.  Luckily, when we sped up a bit too much, everyone was willing to back off a bit.  Before heading back out for 5 more, my friend Lynne and I both looked at each other and said "we're going slower, right?"  Lynne is my running wife if you haven't figured that out yet.  She is not currently training for anything, but does almost all of my mid-week runs with me and some of the long weekend ones too.  I hope we never divorce! 
We'll always have running together, as long as she continues to be willing to run my training plan.
The rest of Wednesday, I was sore enough to send all kinds of whiny text messages to Sarah about how slow I was going to have to run the race.  Nonetheless, the race went great and another PR.  I'm sure Sarah was ready to punch me for all that pointless whining.

The real training issues came on the weekend.  I wore my new half-size bigger shoes for Saturday's 10 miler.  By about mile 3 the outside of my left foot was very tender.  I actually considered quitting after the 5.8 mile loop with my friend Amy, but I'm ridiculously stubborn sometimes and went back out (in the snow) for the last bit.  Surprisingly, it didn't hurt at all for that extra bit.

But, afterwards?  OW.  This time, Laurie got the whiny text messages, since she was meeting me for the 18 on Sunday.  I was preparing myself for the need to call the run off until next week.  I actually prayed about my foot.  Hoping that my foot would make it one more run, I promised myself Monday would be a full rest day.   I think that qualifies me as officially being in the "crazy runner club."  I went to bed by 9 pm, because I'm so exciting, in an effort to provide lots of sleep for my foot.
Besides, icing that part of your foot without using hands is really tough!
I woke up at 4:30 am, and limped to the bathroom.  I almost emailed my friends that I was calling the run at that point.  But, again, stubborn.  Crossed my fingers that it would be better in 2 hours and went back to sleep.  (I never took medication, on purpose.  I do not want to mask any pain.)

I woke up for good at 6:30 am, and had mild discomfort while getting ready.  Since my plan was three loops, 5.8 miles, 5.8 miles and 6.4 miles, I justified it saying that I would quit after the first loop if it was bad.

As an indication, I told my friends that if I limped or changed my gait to tell me so that I would quit.  Once I warmed up though, the peroneal tendon (the cause of the pain) loosened up, and the entire run felt great!  We saw deer, a bald eagle, and I even got hissed at by a pissed off Canadian Goose.  You haven't lived if you've never been hissed at by a goose.  

Note: I did not take the video below, it's one that I found on youtube with a similar hiss to what I experienced.

The run was great, except for the chaffing caused by the zipper on my sports bra, which I noticed at mile 9.  I've been alternating hydration belts, so, naturally, the aquaphor was in the one I was NOT wearing.  Lynne, my awesome running wife, spotted me money (since mine was back at my car) to buy Carmex from the gas station on the chance that it would help.

While Carmex is not what I would recommend to prevent chafing to most people, if you have nothing else, it actually helped!  So, if you ever find yourself in such a spot, worth the $2.23 paid.  (especially if you are spending someone else's money!)

I didn't take a single ice bath or ibuprofen the entire weekend!!!  28 miles, check mark.  Less sore than the first and only 18 miler I did training for Columbus, double check mark.  I think I'm actually going to be able to do this whole Goofy nonsense after all!
Are you STILL typing Mommy?
This week is a fallback week, so I only have 10 and 5 miles on the schedule this weekend.  I'm kind of looking forward to it a bit.  I may do the 5 miler at High Banks just for fun!

How was your training week?  Hit any new distances or milestones lately?

Do you have a training spouse?  Your secrets are safe with me.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Flying Feather Recap

Race: Flying Feather 4 Miler
Distance:  4 miles
Date:  November 22, 2012, 9 am start
Finish time:  36:49, 9:13 min/mile
What sets this race apart:  Wine for all the finishers over 21! 

Another race, another PR.  It's amazing what a difference a year and 65 lbs makes!  
Mark and I with our wine at the finish.  Our first start and finish together!
On Tuesday I had a strength training workout.  I woke up Wednesday morning sore, and than I ran 8 miles, with the first 3 miles being fast.  I spent the rest of Wednesday rather tender and begging the child not to make me get up.  I sent Sarah several whiney text messages that I was going to have to change my race goal and asking how fast I was allowed to go.  The big concern is that I have a 28 mile weekend on schedule, 10 miles on Saturday, 18 on Sunday.  Pushing when I shouldn't is not a good idea.

So, Mark and I lined up with some of my friends at the 10:00 min/pace flag based on my new adjusted under 40 minutes goal.  (Original plan pre-soreness had been to shoot for 36 minutes).  Unfortunately, the 40 minute pace group lined up several flags ahead of us.  Based on the crowds at the race, they were right to do so, and we should have moved up there with them.

This is the third year I've done this race.  The first year, they sold 1500 spots.  This year?  4000.  Same course.  Same golf-cart sized path for half of it.  (First and last mile are on the road).  Needless to say, we spent a LOT of energy running around people.
Photo of race start courtesy of M3S Sports FB page.
At around a half mile, we'd been at a cozy 10:15 minute/pace, but I was chomping at the bit apparently.  I looked at my husband and said "I want to go faster."  His response, "well, let's go."  We said friendly good-byes to Laura, Mollie and Adam and swerved around some people.  Around 1 mile, I was getting frustrated (this is where it switches to the narrower path), and Mark was good at reminding me "patience, Mandy, patience."  LOL!  Despite the crowds and the energy spent running around people, we ran pretty perfect negative splits.   
Mile 1: 9:48
Mile 2: 9:17
Mile 3: 8:56
Mile 4: 8:38
Last 200 feet (I ran 4.04 miles): 6:35

We finally caught and passed the 40 minute pacers at mile 3.  My favorite comment of the day was by a friend who was running with those pacers.  After the race he said.  "Did you see me?  Did you see me as you went blowing by?".  Love it!
Mollie and I celebrating the race finishers rewards.
I think we could have finished this race faster with less crowds or a starting position closer to the start line, something to remember if we do it again.  Mark and I both agreed that it might be getting a little too crowded at this point.  Of course, it's a holiday race, so that is to be expected.  I always have to remind myself that these races bring out the rookie runners that stop and start and whine about 4 miles with lots of laughter.  :)

Nonetheless, this race has some awesome swag.  And, can't beat a bottle of wine for all finishers over 21!
Swag Bag: Hat, gloves, hat and a mini bottle of whiskey
Extra shout-out to my awesome friend Sarah for watching Avery while Mark and I ran this together.  It was absolutely AWESOME to run a race with my husband for a change!  And, I sprinted the finish faster than he did, beat him by 6 seconds.  :P
Don't worry Mommy, I was a perfect angel.
After the race, I started cooking an awesome Thanksgiving Feast.  Payment to Sarah and her family for helping with the kiddo.  (Plus, I kind of like them).  We realized afterwards that no one took a picture of the spread, but trust me, it was delicious!

For the record, my previous 4 mile race PR was 45:15.  If I've done the math correctly that's an 8 minute, 26 second PR.  For a 4 mile race.  It's going to be a lot harder to PR after this one!

Anyone else race recently???

What's your take on crowds and holiday races?

What's your favorite finisher's reward (other than a medal) for a race?  
I think I have to go with the wine.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I want to spin in circles, plus training update

Week of Nov. 12-Nov 18, 2012:
Current Weight: 156.8 (Up 0.8 lbs from previous reported week)
Total Lost to date: 64.0 lbs
Waist: 32"
Hips: 42"
Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: Ran 4 miles, 10:48 min/mile avg. pace; ST and Step class
Wednesday: Ran 4.31 miles, 10:16 min/mile avg. pace (last 2.2 miles avg 9:30 min/mile)
Thursday: New Trainer evaluation, no other significant exercise
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Ran 8 miles, 11:13 min/mile avg
Sunday: Ran 16 miles, 11:11 min/mile avg
Every time I looked at my dailymile image this week, I felt totally lame for my skipped 7 mile run.  I was tempted to add my trainer evaluation from Thursday to DM for the sole purpose of eliminating that big blank spot for Thursday/Friday.  I have issues.

I made a long run rookie (but delicious) error by eating pepperoni, sausage and banana pepper pizza Friday night.  I paid for that during Saturday's run, which felt harder than it should have.  I generally can get away with pizza the day before any run that is 6 miles or less.  Both times I've done it the day before an 8 mile run, that run has felt way more difficult than it should have.  Some day, I will learn this lesson, maybe.  I was pretty beat the rest of the day, which made me nervous about Sunday's run.   So, I did all the eating and hydrating stuff right on Saturday.  Water, pasta, etc.

Sunday's run felt a million times better, despite being twice the distance, and I spent the rest of the day energized and happy.  Again.  I may have issues.

And, apparently, this "I have issues" thing is one thing that my kid may have gotten from me.  Either that, or my husband drugged her while I was out running 16 miles.  You be the judge...

Other good things accomplished this weekend?  I was able to exchange the shoes I bought at the Columbus Marathon expo.   At the expo, I was talked into buying the PureFlow because my preferred shoe, the Brooks Launch, is being discontinued at the end of the year.  Brooks is replacing it with the PureFlow.  The shoe was a beautiful shade of purple, but once I got it home, I never wore it on a single run.  The day I'd intended to try it out on a run, I took it off after wearing it around the house while getting ready to leave.  That's how much I didn't like it.  It hit my heal in a funny place and I just knew blisters would result if I wore it for a run.  Utter Fail on the replacement shoe Brooks.  Luckily, I was able to exchange the PureFlow for another pair of the Launch.

I'm not sure what I will do on the whole shoe situation going forward, because I have run all my races (except the pregnant ones) in the Brooks Launch.  I'm a firm believer in "if it's not broke, don't fix it," but unfortunately, Brooks is in charge on this decision. I don't think I can talk them into continuing to make the shoe just for me.

For those who were wondering, I did apply for the lottery for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC this April.  I should know whether I got in the week of December 10th.   If I do get in, please remind me, repeatedly, that it is a training run and that I am not allowed to race it.
Don't worry, I'll remind you. Repeatedly.
How did your training week go?  Anyone race this past weekend?

Are there any "rookie" errors you repeatedly make during training??

Have you ever tried to get into a race that had a lottery for getting in?

Don't you wish spinning in circles was still as fun as it were when you were a kid?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  Met with a new trainer today at my no-frills gym.  Did an evaluation session to see about setting up strength training sessions.  I made it clear that my goal with strength training is to improve my running (and mountain climbing) and not strength for strengths sake.  The amount of effort he put into evaluating where I am and where I want to be was really nice.  I kicked a$$ on the push-up evaluation too, just saying.
Damn.  Must get faster!
I do remember the first time I tried push-ups a couple of years ago, and I could barely do any, even if I had to do them to save my life.  There is still room for improvement, but I'm pretty happy I can do them.
Push-up recovery requires lots of crackers.  All. At. Once.

2.  I always have these grand plans for all the things I will get done during naptime.  In reality, it's like.  Hmmm...naptime.
Blast from the past in celebration of naptime's awesomeness.
September 2011
I typically wind up just enjoying me-time and brainstorming how I can get the household chores done while Avery is awake.  I know, not my proudest moments.

3.  The Nike Women's Marathon is adding another location and race this spring.  Half Marathon distance only.  Of course, there is a Tiffany Necklace as the medal.  This lastest addition is in DC, the week before Flying Pig.  A bunch of my running buddies are talking about putting our names in as a group for the lottery.  

If I got in, it would have to be run as a training run with a marathon the next week, but a pretty shiny necklace for a training run?  I could live with that!
Do it Mommy, I love necklaces!

When was the last time you did a push-up?  Love them or hate them?
I used to hate them, but now that they aren't as hard, I kind of like them.

Tips for being more motivated during Avery's naptime?  Or should I just give in to temptation and nap as well?  LOL

Have you ever done a women only race?  Would you?  Anyone else looking at this Nike Women's one?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday Training Update

Week of Nov. 5-Nov 11, 2012:
Current Weight: 156.0 (Down 0.2 lbs from previous reported week)
Total Lost to date: 64.8 lbs
Waist: 32"
Hips: 42"

Second week of training for Goofy = lots of running.

Lots of running this week, and despite the best of intentions, not much else.  I'd intended to either add in a strength training session this week OR go to a strength/pilates type of class at the gym.  Neither happened.  On Monday, the kiddo was still somewhat sick from her weekend of cold, so no exposing her germs to other kiddos at the gym.  I'm nice like that.
Picking me up and putting me in that crib would be a great workout Mommy.
Wednesday, I unintentionally ran 10 miles.  I did my scheduled 5 mile run in the morning.  And it stunk.  I'd intended it to be tempo, tried to run it as tempo, and my brain (and lungs) were never into it.  I actually stopped every 1.5 miles or so for the sole purpose of STOPPING.  Not, I slowed down and walked for a bit during the run.  No, I came to a complete stop.   I tried a couple of strides to get myself into it, and it never happened.  Nonetheless, I give myself points for not bailing at my 2.2, 3 or 4 mile loop possible cut-out points.

Afterwards, I felt none of the normal stress relieving benefits of having gone for a run.  Cue Cranky kiddo.  Avery had her 3rd day in a row of crying most of the day.  Luckily, hubby allowed me to join my usual group for their 5 mile run that night.  And, that's how you accidentally run 10 miles on a Wednesday.

Avery seemed to be more herself by Friday, thankfully!  The weekend was beautiful!  Both days I ran and then went to breakfast with the people I ran with.  Without the kiddo.  My husband is clearly stocking up on those brownie points for something big!
What are you talking about?  I'm more fun than runs, races and breakfast!
The New Rules of Lifting for Women book arrived in the mail this weekend, but I haven't started the lifting part yet.  My intention was to start today.  I have to admit, the first set of workouts looks like a LOT less than what I was doing with Adam before a took a break for the marathon.  BUT, I've had over a month off from strength training, so it's probably going to kick my a$$.  

It may be stupid, but I didn't realize that the book was a "lose weight" program rather than simply a "strength training" program.  As a result, reading the initial chapters has me a tiny bit annoyed.  I can't explain why, that's just the way it is.

I had good intentions of doing the short program during Avery's nap today, but then her 15 month appointment at the doctor was more stressful than I'd expected.  Loudest. Screams. Ever.  For the first time, I almost cried during her vaccines and hemoglobin test.  Let's just say, the experience involved me having to hold her down for the exams and for the needles.  I've used it as an excuse to read and eat candy during her nap instead.

Speaking of eating - I can't STOP eating the past few weeks.  I even started texting Sarah when I was making bad eating choices to see if it would help.  No, instead it almost seemed like I was boasting about how bad I was eating.
This may explain the weight plateau

How was your training this week?  What are you currently training for?

Anyone else ever training the New Rules of Lifting program?

Do you ever go through those phases where you just eat all the time?  How do you break the cycle?

Note:  Wrote this Monday and forgot to publish it.  I am moving through life in a fog these days!  Anyone have a lighthouse handy?  HA!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Buckeye Classic Recap

Race: Buckeye Classic 10K
Distance:  6.2 miles
Date:  November 11, 2012, 9 am start
Finish time:  1:01:49, 9:59 min/mile avg.
What sets this race apart:  The Cliffs of Insanity, the dressed up Buckeye Fans

The main gimmick of this race is that it is the "Buckeye" Classic, so many people dress up like Buckeyes.  I am not a Buckeye Fan, but this is the second year I've been talked into this race.   What makes this race challenging is that it takes place at High Banks Metro Park, a place that one running group I run with calls "The Cliffs of Insanity."
The Group that coined that phrase. Pre-race. RUN DMC.
I tried to keep up with my friend Tara in the beginning of the race, and she had her heart set on a killer PR.  Thus, I started way too fast, especially for a training run.  The first mile is the closest to relatively flat though, so I guess that's the time to do it!
My only trail shot - so blurry or no, posted!  This was in the first mile.
At the start of the second mile we hit one of the toughest hills of the course.  Starting up that hill is when the early speed caught up to me, and I slowed to a walk for a few minutes and let Tara go ahead.  I reminded myself that this was a training run for Goofy and reset my mental pace.  Successfully reset, I didn't walk again, except when drinking out of a cup, twice. (need to figure that drinking on the run thing out already!)
Focused on the finish - and yes, I caught them.  :D
Despite the required slow down and the many hills (one of which was actually STAIRS), I PR'd this course by 25 minutes and 30 seconds.  Yes, I said 25 minutes!  My only other 10K that I have run was this same race one year ago.  At the time, I was 3 months postpartum, still working on getting back in running shape, and still rather overweight. 
From last years race.  You can tell I cropped this picture to not show as much gut!
My only goal coming in to this race (other than running it) was to beat that horrible time.  I never expected to beat it by 25 MINUTES!  Not only that, but I finished 199th out 454.  I was in the top half of the field!  WOOT!

What makes this race so much fun for me is that so many of my friends are involved.  Many of them run it, others spectate it and even others volunteer as course marshals or at the water stops.  I LOVED screaming out for my friends when we passed each other at the point where the course loops itself for a short period.

After I finished, I cheered other friends still running.  Then I joined Sarah and Mollie for a victory lap, bringing them some water, socializing and running them in.  Most fun I had all day!  We took some great group shots of those of us that started at MIT together plus some new additions...
Finish line MIT photo op!
I wish I had more pictures of the course.  The weather today was absolutely PERFECT weather.  Sunny, cool enough to be comfortable running, but not cold at all.  The course was GORGEOUS.

Every week, I've been too chicken to go run at High Banks because trail running and potential injuries seemed like crazy talk pre-goofy.  I even told several people I regretted signing up for this race.  I take it all back.  Yes, it was a TOUGH course.  But, it was gorgeous and fun!  I'm already saying that I have to come back next year to try and get sub one hour!

Anyone else race this weekend?

Do you prefer trail races or road races?  
I kind of enjoyed this trail race, even though it's only my second one!  (Both the same course).

Edited to add:  I reread my recap of this same race from last year.  In it, I said that I was planning to come back the following year, and hoped to better my time by 15 minutes.  Success!  Kind of fun to read my perspective from a year ago!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Woohoo - it's Thursday again!  I ran 10 miles yesterday (unintentionally, kind of), and I'm still going through my day TODAY with the good mood I got as a result!  Gotta love that!

1.  Things I'm obsessed with.  I just ate the entire bag of these "chips."  
Yes, I'd already opened it, but the smart close let's me fake like I hadn't.
Arguably, they are healthier than normal chips, but not when you eat 3.5 servings in one sitting.  I first tried these when a sample bag was placed in my Rock N Roll Virginia Beach packet.  I'd say that was fairly successful free samples on their part.

2.  Funny how things change.  When I first opened my new Tupperware set a couple of years ago - I thought these were the most annoying and useless pieces of Tupperware ever.  Who needs such small containers?
Oh magical tiny container!
Now.  With a small child, I have realized that THESE ARE THE BEST CONTAINERS EVER!  I use them all the time.  Leftover yogurt, cut up grapes for snacks, cut up strawberries for snacks, pretty much any toddler snack you can imagine - perfect in these containers.  I may have to buy more.  They are almost always all in use.  I really should have taken a picture with me huddled in the corner hugging all these tiny containers to my chest like someone was trying to steal them - because that's totally the image going through my head right now! HA!

3.  I have realized that Relay Around Columbus isn't possible for me this year.  Even if I were to find away training wise, the dates are during my husband's climb in Ecuador.  Since they frown on leaving young children home alone while you run an overnight relay, and since she's too little to be on the team, that means no relay for me this year most likely.  
Why can't I be on your team Mommy?  I run good!
Until it was taken completely off the table this way, I didn't realize how much doing it again actually appealed to me.  Funny thing since I'd said afterwards that I wouldn't do it again.  Funny how the brain works, isn't it?

How's your week been?

What's your current food obsession?  Ideas on how to break those kinds of obsessions?

Have you ever had that "but I wanted to" moment when you realized you couldn't do a race you didn't think you actually wanted to do?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Second Chances

Two posts from me in one day - I know, your minds are blown, aren't they?  :D
Mt. Rainier, July 2012
So, it finally hit working hours on the West Coast.  A phone call was placed to RMI Guides.  And it is official.  I'm going back to Rainier for a second attempt for the summit August 20-23, 2013.
I made need this when it sinks in.
Both of my parents will be on the same trip, which makes it even more fun.  In addition, my friend Wendy just signed up to be on the same climb team!!!  Woohoo to not being the only girl on my climb team!!!!
I can't decide if this is a woohoo face, a freaked out face, or both.
I have all kinds of plans for how I will train differently this time around.  Starting at 156 lbs instead of 220 lbs certainly can't hurt.
Where I started last time.
Where I'm starting this time.
Other than adding back in some strength training (slowly), most of the training for Rainier will start AFTER Goofy is over.  I'm a big fan of no overuse injuries.  
Ok, perhaps I'll stop BEFORE this point.  :)
I already have two big training trips to Colorado in the works though!  Anyway, that's my news!

Anyone else want to climb a mountain???

Anyone want to help watch my kid or do some training climbs with me in Colorado?  HA!

Have you ever signed up for something that made you both excited and REALLY scared at the same time?

And So it Begins, again.

Week of Oct 29-Nov 4, 2012:
Current Weight: 156.2 (Down 1.2 lbs from previous reported weight)
Total Lost to date: 64.6 lbs

My last reported training week was at the beginning of September.  So, I've lost 1.2 lbs in 2 months.  Not exactly a great result.  However, I gave myself permission to eat and focus on training for the marathon, because it was just getting too stressful otherwise.  At one point, I even stopped weighing myself at all.

This past week officially started my training for the Goofy Challenge I am doing January 12-13, 2013.  For those that don't know about the Goofy Challenge, it is a set of races in one weekend at Disney World.  You run the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday, and then run the Disney Marathon on Sunday.  Doesn't that sound like fun?
No Mommy.  SUNGLASSES are fun.
I am not posting my full training schedule on my blog, because the lawyer in me screams of possible liabilities if someone follows it and gets hurt.  I guess someone could try to extrapolate it from my training weeks, but that is a little too much paranoia for me.  For the record:  ATTEMPT TO COPY MY TRAINING AT YOUR OWN RISK.  There, the lawyer in me is appeased.  The main difference from the Columbus Marathon training is the back-to-back long runs on the weekend.

My intent was to add back in strength training this week.  The bottom line is that I am no longer comfortable with my trainer.  It is nothing he has explicitly done, it's just happened.  I have decided (this weekend) to let my husband continue working out with him on his own, and I will do my own thing.  To that end, I have ordered the New Rules for Lifting for Women as a possible answer.  I have also taken some copious notes from another training source, but more on that later.

I have other things in the works that will definitely change my training post Goofy, but until some calls are made to the West Coast this morning, you'll have to be satisfied with this little teaser.

After Goofy, my next big thing is the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. I intend to take more advantage of my newer speed this time around and actually PUSH during the race.  That means, I'll be adding speed work to my workouts for the first time ever.
My Mommy is crazy, not fast.
Today, I'm taking a rest day and taking care of a sick kiddo.

How was your training week?

What's your next big thing on your training schedule???

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Three Things Thursday

I'm not usually a big band wagon jumper, but as it turns out, I have three things to say that don't require separate posts, and it's Thursday.  Winning!

1.  Avery was a cute little lobster for Halloween last night.  Kind of.  She absolutely REFUSED to wear the hat portion of the costume, which made her costume a little less clear.
Quick!  Caught one photo before the hat was ripped off
Her preferred pose is nontraditional
She absolutely LOVED running up to strangers houses, but thought the point was to go inside and see what fun toys they had.  By the time we didn't get to go inside the 10th house, she was done with this trick-or-treating in the rain nonsense.

2.  Last week, my husband's office had their annual chili cook-off.  Every year my husband comes home from this and says - you would've won.  So, finally we tested it and I submitted my chili.   I came in second place!  The winning chili had bison meat that had been slow-cooked in bacon fat.  Since that's cheating, we'll just say I won.  Hehehe.  Also, my chili was the one consumed first.  Of course, I had to make more so that I could actually eat some, especially with the dreary cold weather!

3.  Early voting with a 14 month old in a swing state is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy!  When we first got in line, Avery was happy.  Eating goldfish, playing with her little toy car, smiling at everyone.  By the end, she was screaming and trying to run away.  So much so, that my vote almost didn't count.  In the rush to catch her, I did not press the "confirm" button hard enough.  After I caught her, I ran to escape the room before she completely melted down.  Luckily, the election official chased me down so that I could push the stupid confirm button.  Thank goodness, I would have hated to waste over an hour of suffering at the hands of Angry Avery!
Next time Mommy, bring more yogurt raisins.

Do you vote early?  Is anyone in the states ready for the political ads to cease and desist?

Did you and yours dress up for Halloween?

Most importantly, what's your favorite Halloween treat?