It's been a whirlwind of a weekend, with much beach time, and much family time, and much running.
Carmine has been doing really well with the beach this year. I was worried that now that he's mobile he'd be taking off and getting lost, but so far (knock on wood), he seems pretty content to stay close to our chairs and play with buckets full of water and dig in the sand and get as dirty as he possibly can. He mostly enjoys himself, but when it gets to be naptime, things get a little iffy. Scott has been able to get him to nap, but when I brought the three boys by myself one day last week, I had no luck getting Carmine to sleep.
So I think our plan is going to be to get to the beach early, stay through lunch, and then see how much longer Carmine can make it. Some days that might mean leaving at 1, and other days we might be able to stay later. And other times, we might wait and go after he naps - those afternoon/early evenings at the beach are always really nice - cooler, and less crowded.
But all in all, I'm feeling less nervous about beaching it with all three by myself, and although we won't be going quite as often as we did the past two years, I think we will make it there pretty frequently this summer, which makes me happy.
All the boys did well at our big family picnic yesterday. Gabe and Dante spent the entire day playing with their cousins and having the time of their lives, and Carmine was absolutely enthralled with his two new baby cousins. He's been a little crabby the past week or so, and walking around chewing on his hands a lot, so I had assumed he was probably teething, and I was able to get a glimpse into his mouth the other night and saw that he is in fact getting both his top and bottom molars. That definitely explains the crabbiness! Hopefully that process is over soon, because the poor guy is very uncomfortable.
We kicked off summer vacation with a trip to Mystic Seaport last week, and had so much fun! The boys absolutely adore the Children's Museum they have right on the grounds, and we spent a ton of time there. We also went for a ride on a steamboat (which Carmine did not like at all - he clung to me the entire time, and was very, very nervous), and climbed aboard several of the ships, and had a nice lunch outside. It was such a fun day that all three boys fell asleep on the car ride home!
We checked out a new beach last week, and there's a windmill right on the beach - or, as Dante called it, a "windmeal." He was talking about some of the songs on Gabe's iPod the other day, too, and I had no idea what on earth he was referring to when he kept saying something about the song "Fritter." Finally I figured out that he meant "Thriller." He's also a fan of that Beatles song "That Squid In My Garden." : )
Anyway, summer is in full swing. And now that it's finally here, I feel like I'm going to blink, and it'll be over. The weekends are already flying by - and my calendar is so full, not only with activities for the kids, but with races for me!
Today was the first of the four races I'm doing in July - the Camire's Firecracker 4-Miler. I last did this one when I was 13 weeks pregnant with Carmine, so I knew I was guaranteed a PR today : ) I wasn't expecting to go super fast, since I just ran 13 miles yesterday morning, but I was going to count this as my speedwork for the week, so I was going to give it my all.
It's a hilly course (hills aren't steep, but they're enough to slow you down, and there's several of them), and it was pretty hot this morning. About 75, with bright sun, and high humidity. Not ideal racing conditions, to say the least.
I knew a few other people who were running the race, so after I got my number and shirt and made a stop at the bathrooms, I chatted with a few folks, and then got lined up at the start. I listened to the race director remind everyone to be conservative in the first two miles, and reminded myself to heed that advice!
I did, too. I was lined up pretty close to the front, but I didn't let myself get caught up in the frenzy. I started out nice and easy, and waited for the pack to thin out a bit. The first mile went by pretty quick, and although it was hot, we were running through a neighborhood in town, and there were a lot of trees providing some nice shade. I saw 7:23 on the Garmin for mile 1, and was a little disappointed, but had to keep reminding myself that I had just run 13 miles, and it was a hot day, and a hilly course, and that I couldn't expect to hold a 5K pace today.
I did want to aim for negative splits, though, so picked up the pace a little bit for mile 2, and passed a few people along the way. I was still feeling pretty good. Tired and hot, but good. Mile 2 - 7:14.
Mile 3 was the hardest of the whole race. My energy was waning, and the hills were relentless. Like I said, not steep, but just one after the other.... Luckily I run a LOT of hills on my regular training runs, so I do pretty well with them, and I passed quite a few people on the hills - one woman in particular who I had had in my sights during mile 2. When I started the race, I had vowed to just run my own race and not be chasing after anyone, but I couldn't help it. I saw that she was tiring, and I knew I could pass her, so I did. So, mile 3 was tough, but I still pulled off a 7:16.
I was so, so glad there was only one mile to go. My energy was really flagging at this point, and the heat was getting to me. But I was encouraged by the fact that I had almost caught up to a woman from the local running club who's really fast, and usually finishes way ahead of me in races. I had actually run with her Thursday night, and kept up with her for most of the run, but she and another woman pulled ahead for the final few miles. I was just behind them the whole time, but was never quite able to catch up. But I was happy just being able to keep them in sight, because they are really, really strong runners.
So the fact that I had almost caught up to her made me feel like I was definitely doing something right! I knew I wouldn't catch her, but there was another woman who was just ahead of me, and as we headed into the final mile and I was in need of some extra motivation, I made it my goal to pass her, and I succeeded. After we finished I thanked her for pushing me and keeping me going. I love a little friendly competition : )
I finished mile 4 in 7:19, and crossed the finish line in 29:36. A huge PR over my 13 weeks pregnant time, of course, and good enough for 5th place in my age group. Given that this is a pretty competitive race, with some really fast runners, I'm thrilled with being 5th! And in light of the long run yesterday, the heat, and the hills, I'm ecstatic with my time. I put in a good effort, and got good results.
After dousing my head with water, and drinking many, many cups of it, I grabbed a bagel, chatted with a few friends, and then headed home to swap my running clothes for my bathing suit so we could get to the beach!
Final stats -
5 out of 45 in my age group
86 out of 349 overall
A great way to finish off the holiday weekend!
And a great way to start my new July challenge - a PR in every race I'm running this month. Next up is the Hazard Castle 7-mile race on Saturday. Last year I ran it in 59:02. I'm fairly certain I can run it a bit faster this year. And I'm hoping for a PR in the Blessing, too. And with my new bike, and my new speedy 5K times, I should be able to pull off a PR in the triathlon.
It's a lofty goal, but I think I can do it! One down, three to go......