Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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All about the pumpkins

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We had planned on going the the pumpkin patch two weeks ago, but it was really cold that Saturday and Allie needed a chill day at home. So we went today, and the weather was so nice! We made it a Halloween-themed family day. We got Allie’s Halloween costume, had a fun lunch at Red Robin and then headed to the pumpkin patch.

Its become a tradition to see “how tall this fall” every year. Look how tall Allie is this year! We didn’t get a family picture on the hayride though because by the time we got on, Allie was pretty tired and not in the mood for pictures (or walking).

We did some of the same stuff and tried new things. Allie really liked feeding the goats!

She didn’t really enjoy the big jumping pillow. I think it scared her. She liked it better when I was holding her. It was a little scary even for Mama. If someone was jumping by you they could propel you high… I realized as we started that maybe it wasn’t the best activity for a 21-week preggo!

Allie got to hold a kitty too!

We got our ride on the choo choo (well, barrell) train. Allie had a huge smile on her face during the ride and I could tell she was enjoying the wind in her hair. The barrells are a little cramped… Mama got in fine, but Dada had to come help me up!

When Allie got to the playground, we couldn’t get her off! She’s not scared of the slide anymore, thats for sure.

We took Allie in the small maze for the first time. We let her lead… that was a lot of fun! The corn was pretty thin though, definitely an effect of the drought. We could see right over the short stalks as well as through!

Talk about an adventureous day! I think we expected to be there about two hours. It was actually three, and Allie was definitely ready to go home. But first we had to get our pumpkins! We decided to get two. One for Mama and Dada (or baby Peyton?) and one for Allie.

She definitely wasn’t in the mood for pictures at this point! We’ll probably wait until next weekend to carve the pumpkins. Right now they’re out on our porch next to the dead flowers that I still need to get rid of.

Look at the slide show for all the pictures from today! Allie’s costume is going to be a surprise… or maybe I’ll post about it later. I haven’t decided yet. Its now hidden so Allie will forget about it and not beg to wear it or play with it until we get it back out. We’re going trick-or-treating this year!

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Piggie sleeper!

We got winter clothes out a couple weeks ago and Allie loves her blanket sleepers! This piggie one is probably her favorite. It makes it kind of easy to get her to go upstairs for bedtime because she’s excited to put on her jammies. The downside is that we have to fight with her a little to get dressed in the morning. She doesn’t understand that she can’t wear jammies to Bridgie’s!

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My next “goal”

I was back out on the road this morning… or more accurately, sidewalk.

It was a nice relaxed 4 miles. I got out there and it was different. I wasn’t worried about my speed. I wasn’t doubting myself. I was just running.

I think even if I didn’t admit it, I was pressuring myself for the half marathon. I suppose to some extent I kinda had to. Its not easy to run pregnant, let alone a half marathon at 20 weeks. But my motivation was definitely waning in the last weeks of training. I don’t suppose I pressured myself too badly though because I was raring to go this morning. I actually wanted to run the last two days, but I waited. I certainly don’t need any injuries now!

And while I usually need a race to train for to keep my motivation, this morning it felt rather refreshing to run without training for something. I wasn’t worried about my speed. I wasn’t in a hurry. I wasn’t trying to make a mileage goal for the week.

I accomplished my goal. I’ll continue running, but I’m OK with stopping whenever my body tells me to. Or at least, I’m telling myself I’m OK with stopping whenever my body tells me to!

Don’t get me wrong. This run was hard. My legs were still tired! Where I would normally be recovered from a race two or three days later, its definitely taken longer this week! I also had round ligament pain, in spite of my support belt. I ran through it though and it wasn’t continuous. I don’t know if I didn’t place the belt right or what. I’m sure its just going to happen. I’ve also been having round ligament pain more often just walking.

My “goal” now is just to maintain running enough to run the 5K turkey trot with my family on Thanksgiving. Hopefully that won’t be too difficult! Thats 5 weeks away and I’ll be 26 weeks by then. After that… who knows.

I’d also like to keep running outside as long as possible. Its so weird how late the sun comes up now! Its like this every year for me, just surreal when I get done stretching and go in house when the sun isn’t even peeking over the horizon yet. But anyway… the outside thing will depend on temperatures, since I’m a wimp, as well as my need for a bathroom!

I’ll be running three days a week and I’d like to log at least 15 miles a week. I had dropped to three days a week a couple weeks ago, but my mileage was still a little higher because of the long runs. I have no reason to run long anymore and I certainly don’t want to! I’m thinking I’d still run a little bit longer on the weekend, but probably no more than 6 or 7. I’m still kind of hanging on to my mileage goal. I won’t make it to 900, but my goal now is to pass 800, which is still more than I ran last year.

I’m going to cross train on what used to be my fourth running day. I didn’t do that after I dropped the fourth day while I was training because I knew I had to save my legs. Who knows… I may still find I need to save my legs. My legs are pretty tired tonight after cross training on the elliptical Tuesday, bodyflow yesterday and 4 miles this morning!

So I guess I am still “training” for something, but its definitely not a serious thing for sure. If I have to walk the 5K, I’ll walk it! And if I have to walk the 1-mile walk instead, so be it! I’m still moving!

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Goofing around

Just look at our goofy almost-3-year-old! Allie’s really getting into football, thanks to Dada. Mama didn’t make enough of an effort to mold her into a Colts fan, so she’s gravitated toward the Redskins. Everything she sees related to football is Redskins to her. Grandma and Grandpa Swanson got her this Redskins shirt (as well as a Colts shirt) when she was really tiny and it finally fits!

And her hat… we can’t get this kid to keep her coat on when shes outside, but she likes to wear her winter hat all over the place as well as the matching mittens. Such a goofball!

I was trying to take a picture of her outfit, and she told me she wanted me to take a picture of her leg instead!

And then another picture of her leg while she laid on the dirty floor. Actually, its not too dirty right now, I think I did mop recently. Not sure how recently though.

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Half marathon, 20 weeks pregnant, in the rain, DONE!

Wow. I did it. It hurt, a lot. It was amazing. Kind of like child birth!

The short version: I was amazed at how amazing I felt the first two hours. I didn’t even really start to fatigue until around mile 8-9. But once it hurt, it hurt pretty good. The weather wasn’t quite as terrible as was expected. And my shirt was a big hit! When I could finally see the finish line, I almost cried because it just seemed way too far away. But I made it!

On to the long verson…

I’m starting with Friday night. I was looking forward to a carbo-loading dinner to also celebrate finding out baby is a boy. But packet pick up was in Middleton, at a place that didn’t have adequate parking for such a big event. So it took awhile to get there and then to get everything. I’d figured if we got to a restaurant early, we’d be able to get in. Was I ever wrong. We couldn’t park at Biaggi’s. We all wasted the time getting out of the car at Olive Garden to find out the wait was 25 to 30 minutes. Then we drove that long to the other side of town to find the same wait time at Benvenuto’s, but at least I was the only one who got out of the car there. We couldn’t even park at Noodles ‘n Company! By this time it was way too late and I was out of ideas. Allie hadn’t taken a nap that day. So we fed her a quick PBJ and ordered from Glass Nickel. I was mad, but I got over it and we still got good food for the carb factor! But I had a good amount of bloating after eating and decided maybe the carb loading wasn’t a great idea. Luckily that was gone before I went to bed.

Anyway, it was an OK evening after all, and we’re still going to celebrate with a dinner at Biaggi’s sometime soon. We watched a show and then went upstairs where I got my race stuff ready, including a complete change of clothes, and got in bed by 9:45. The alarm was set for 6.

We woke up to find a break in the rain, and I was encouraged that at least the race wouldn’t start in the rain. We all got dressed and ate, took a few pictures and then it was on to the race!

I ended up wearing a hoodie under my shirt, which was ultimately a good idea. I also wore a hat over my diva band, also a good idea!

We parked and got to the start in plenty of time, stopping to take some pictures along the way. One of Allie’s favorite things lately is pumpkins, and look what we saw on our way to the start!

There was a bit of drizzle as we waited for the start. Doug and Allie left right away to get out of the rain and drive the course to see me. We didn’t have any plans for where he’d go, but in that weather I didn’t think it would be too hard to spot him. It was raining off and on, but it pretty much stopped during the first mile.

I went to the start and lined up next to the 2:50 pace group. I did start feeling a little nervous, but I knew I could do it. And I had a great start. The course was pretty crowded in the first half mile or so, which kept me from going out too fast. I moved off to the side for my first walk break, but didn’t have to worry about that much after the first mile. The field thinned out a lot, probably since I’d lined up so close to the back. I passed the 2:50 pacer pretty early, along with a few other people. It was a much better ego boost to line up so far back and be the one passing people instead of being passed, except when I was walking, of course!

I was amazed at how amazing I felt the first two hours. I was running a decent amount faster than I had been in awhile. When I saw Doug and Allie at mile 3, I felt amazing. I spotted them right away and Allie ran up to me and I picked her up for a big hug! That was so nice!

This picture is blurry, but I like it because it shows that I was feeling awesome! I didn’t have a running interval over 12-minute pace until I stopped to hug Allie and Doug when I saw them around mile 6.5!

The course was an out and back with a loop in the middle. Shortly after seeing Doug and Allie we turned to run through the Pheasant Branch Conservancy, which was so pretty! I was feeling so good, I delayed my first fuel until after my sixth interval, which was right around mile 6. After coming out of the conservancy we went through an industrial area and park/recreation area. It looked like a short turnaround as I got there, but that was the loop, which was actually pretty long. We went a ways up a road to a turnaround, and thats where I saw Doug and Allie the second time. Allie ran up to me again and I picked her up for another big hug! It was a little harder to do at that point, but I still could! They had good timing, I saw them just getting there as I apprached the turn!

After the turnaround, I decided to stop for a bathroom break just before mile 7. I’d been trying to decide when to stop and figured I had to at this point… I’d been feeling like I needed to stop for awhile and felt so much better after! Unfortunately as I came out I saw the 2:50 pacer. So after grabbing a water I set out to try and pass him again. We got on a path that lead back through the conservancy and I did pass him a couple intervals later. I was still running pretty good at this point, and ran a little of the next two walk intervals to try and make up for the stop.  There was a bit more rain, but not much. My goal was 4.5 miles each hour, so 9 after two hours. I made it to 9 with a few minutes to spare, even with the bathroom break. It was raining a bit harder at this point, but with the tree cover it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was kind of nice. I’d considered giving Doug my jacket when I’d seen him, but as I was more wet at this point, I was cold and glad I still had my jacket.

I took another fuel and when I got to the aid station after mile 9 they told us the course was a yellow flag, meaning use caution. They said there was heavier rain on the way. We were back into the residential area we’d run through at the beginning, but there were some different areas. I reached the mile 10 marker right at the end of an iterval and I was really starting to struggle. In spite of my support belt, I started having some bad round ligament pain as I was starting to run again. I was running, but it was hard. At this point too we got to a pretty hilly area. I had to walk it. As I approached mile 11, the round ligament pain was dissipating, but my hamstrings were getting really sore. I was also starting to have the now-familiar pelvic pain. I didn’t have the stamina any more to even try to run the hills. I ended up taking most of that interval as an extra-long walk break. Miles 11 and 12 just seemed way longer than they should have been! It was sometime during mile 11 that the 2:50 pacer passed me and I couldn’t catch him.

When I got to mile 12, it was a downhill. The downhill wasn’t nearly as painful on my hamstrings, so I was cruising for a bit. I think I actually ran a good portion of that interval, but not the whole thing. I was really having a hard time as I got closer to the finish. I could hear it but couldn’t see it yet. It was taking a lot at that point to continue moving myself forward. As I finished a walk interval, we were back on a bike path with a decent incline. As I got to the top of the hill, my Garmin beeped to start running again and I could finally see the finish. And it just seemed SO far away! I almost cried! I was determined to run to the finish, so I set out in a slow and determined run. I finally got a little closer and realized the finish wasn’t quite as far away as it had looked. The bike path connected with the road and as I neared the turn for the end, I saw Doug and Allie again and gave them a big wave.

My facial expression in this picture doesn’t really show how much pain I was in. The pain was replaced briefly when I saw Doug and Allie.

I turned and I could finally see it… the actual finish line. Instead of crying I was just focused on the point where I could stop. As I got closer I really booked it to the end! I did try to cry as I finally crossed the line, but I don’t think I had it in me at that point! I’ll be interested to see what my finish photos look like, I’m sure they aren’t good!

And I totally thought about giving birth as I finally crossed that line! I finished one adventure, and now I have the other to look forward to!

I was finished! I made it 13.1 miles! I stopped to get my medal and I think just the booking it to the finish and then stopping made me a little light headed. I almost fell backwards. The person who gave me my medal said lets go to the medical tent. I said no, I just needed to walk. But a more official person had seen me and wouldn’t let me go without stopping in the tent. I don’t know if they were that careful with everyone or because they’d seen my shirt. I think they’re just that careful with everyone, which I think is really good. That was my first time having to get a little medical help at the end and I did appreciate it. In the couple seconds since I’d finished I was getting a little out of it. It ended up being really nice to sit down in the tent next to the big heater. I think it was raining more at this point and it was definitely cold. I sat for a bit and had some water and started trying to get up but that was hard. A trainer helped me gently stretch my hamstrings. I texted Doug and told him I was in the medical tent, but not to worry, I was fine.

Then I left to look for food and for Doug, not realizing Doug would go to the tent looking for me. It didn’t seem like there was much food to choose from, but I think it was just hard to tell because of the rain. I think I heard something about pizza, but that didn’t sound good when it was raining. I grabbed a bag of chips, some cookies and then some hot chocolate.

I probably shouldn’t have left the medical tent when I did. An online friend was there and tried to introduce himself to me, and I didn’t realize who he was and basically blew him off! I felt terrible later when I realized that! I remember being really cold and wondering where Doug was. Then I got the text from Doug that he was at the tent and where was I?

We finally found each other and I got my victory picture.

The medal is the ghost next to the chip bag, blending in with the mylar blanket. Its a pretty cool medal!

My official time was 2:51:34. So I achieved my goal of under three hours. I didn’t quite make the 2:50, but I got close enough! All in all, I was only running for less than four minutes in that final interval, but it sure seemed a lot longer than that!

I’d picked this race because I liked the long sleeved shirts from the year before and I’d heard from a few people that it was really fun. I think some of that was lost in the rain, but I did like it (even though this year’s shirt was short sleeve)! My shirt was a big hit on the course and I got so much awesome support from the few spectators as well as race volunteers and other runners. I could totally see this being my comeback race next year!

We slowly made our way to the car and I was so glad to be done. I will keep running as long as possible, but definitely no more long runs.

As we got to the car and I changed into some of my dry clothes, it was raining the worst it had all day. I was SO glad I’d brought dry clothes. I changed my shirt and my socks and shoes. I didn’t have the energy to change my pants and they were a little wet, but not too bad. We blasted the heat and headed home, picking up McDonald’s on the way home because I wanted a big cheeseburger. I couldn’t decide if I wanted a chocolate shake or Coke… so I got both! It was so good! After my eventual shower and nap, I was feeling pretty good, except for the pelvic/lower back pain. Sleeping last night wasn’t great because it was so hard to turn in bed. But I’m feeling better overall this afternoon. I think an extra visit to the chiropractor may be in order this week.

But I’m still basking in my victory!

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It’s a boy!

Yesterday we had the 20-week ultrasound! It was so exciting to see our baby again. Everything is looking good. He’s developing as he should and they found no sign of defects! The doctor told us that combined with the good results from the first trimester screen give us indication that everything is great and I can just enjoy pregnancy!

Perhaps the most exciting news of the day… we’re having a BOY! I’d been kind of indifferent, it didn’t matter to me one way or the other. Whereas I really wanted Allie to be a girl. But I thought this was a boy and I was right! That makes 2 for 2 because I knew Allie would be a girl too!

So we have to get a whole new wardrobe, which I’m sure won’t be too difficult. The hard part will be storing everything. We have boxes and boxes of clothes from Allie’s first three years. We don’t have room to store that many clothes times two! I may have to donate some of Allie’s old clothes or something. Or I do still have a lot of stuff from college and earlier in the basement that I could stand to get rid of. I’m sure I’ll figure something else out later in pregnancy when I’m nesting.

The easier part of a boy is the name. We’d come up with a possible girl name that wasn’t final. But we had they boy name.

His name is Peyton Dennis Durso. No, not after the quarterback! We like the name and think it goes well with Dennis. Dennis has been picked out for a long time. I decided a long time ago I won’t name any of my kids after anyone but my dad, who died when I was 12. So we had Dennis picked if Allie had been a boy, though at that time a different first name.

Peyton weighs about 12 ounces, based on measurements taken of his head, his stomach and femur. I don’t remember what they said Allie weighed at that ultrasound, but she measured at 20 weeks 6 days. Peyton measured at 20 weeks 1 day, so I’d assume that means he’s a little smaller at this point.

Its so amazing how the technology has changed in just the three years since we had Allie. These are such good pictures! I can’t believe I’m halfway through pregnancy already. Just 5 months until Peyton joins us on the outside!

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Pre-race preparation

Look what I’m wearing on Saturday! This turned out way better than I expected!



I came to the realization last night that I’m not nervous about this race anymore. I’ve met my goal! I’ve successfully trained for a half marathon at 20 weeks pregnant! I will start this race and barring something out of my control, I will finish it! And it doesn’t matter how long that takes!

Of course, I’d be lying if I said I don’t have any goals for this race. I know I shouldn’t. And its not really much of a goal. I know I’ll finish. I’d like to finish in under three hours. But if its longer than three hours, thats OK! This has been such a neat experience. I’m so appreciative of all the support I’ve gotten! I know so many women runners who have dealt with people being unsupportive of running in pregnancy, when its one of the best things you could do.

And I’m finally acknowledging their compliments too. It IS impressive that I’m running at all at 20 weeks, let alone a half marathon!

I went to the gym this morning and did an elliptical workout. It was kind of weird not running, but I know I need to save my legs. My legs definitely fatigue a lot quicker at this point. But the easy workout was perfect. My legs are feeling great.

The only thing not really going according to plan right now is the weather. While the temperature is supposed to be good, the amount of precipitation is not. Its supposed to rain basically for the next two days. I will run this race as long as they don’t cancel it. And I certainly hope they don’t close the course in the middle! That would be a bad trend for me if my two big races in a year are both canceled mid-race! I got an email today outlining weather issues including delays and what happens in case they do have to call it off.

The real bummer if the weather is bad is that Doug and Allie won’t be out on the course. They’ll be there at the finish of course. But I certainly wouldn’t expect them to stand out in the rain too much waiting for me to hobble by.

But I’m not going to worry about that right now! The big events are finally here! Tomorrow morning we find out if we’re having a boy or a girl. Then tomorrow night we go pick up my race packet and have a dinner out in celebration of the day and carbo-loading for Saturday. Then its the next big day! I’ve spent so much time thinking about these two days, I can’t help but wonder what comes next? Thats a topic to tackle on Saturday afternoon!