First and Third Grade, Here We Go!

Despite the fact that summer-like temperatures are finally rolling into our area, our summer ended today. The boys went back to school, starting first and third grades. First and third grades. First and third grades.

They’re both very excited. We met their teachers and checked out their classrooms last night at back-to-school night. We dropped off their heavy, filled-to-the-brim (reusable) bags of school supplies. I talked with teachers about things I need to talk to teachers about: hearing loss, reading levels, test anxiety, how much I love my kids, omg, how I’m available to volunteer if you give me more than a day’s notice since I work from home, and so on. The boys walked around and read the names of their classmates, finding friends from last year, years prior, teams, and other programs we’ve been involved with over the years. They started to breathe easy; my panic lessened when I put a face to the name of the two women I’d be entrusting my children to for most of the day, five days per week.

Back-to-School Night

This morning brought a surprise, with LittleBrother up first and BigBrother still snoozing until I woke him up around 7:20. The latter might be due to the fact that someone felt too excited to fall asleep last night and got out of bed eleventy billion times to ask us questions, to make statements, to come up with any number of reasons to talk to us about absolutely anything. They rushed through breakfast, rushed through their personal stuff, got dressed quickly, and put their backpacks on by 7:45 this morning.

We didn’t have to leave the house until 8:35.

He Chose Yoshi

How to Train Your Dragon 2

By the way, both boys acted as if the fact that we drive them to school on the first day of school every year was the stupidest thing ever. So my husband, ever the sport, informed them that we would drive them on the first day of school. Forever. Clear through their senior year. Not having full concepts of time, being only six- and eight-years-old, BigBrother gasped.

“Even in fifth grade?”

“Even in fifth grade.”

Let's Go to Fist Grade

Let's Go to Third Grade

We parked in the overflowing parking lot, and walked our two boys toward their beloved school. The Principal stood outside, greeting students as he always does. He hugged my boys and welcomed them back for the year, calling them by name. Again, my heart eased a bit more.

BigBrother gave us a side hug and headed off toward the Big Kid wing while we walked LittleBrother to his classroom. We asked him to lead us to his classroom so we would know he could find it tomorrow when he rides the bus to school. He had no trouble finding the classroom door with the colorful fishes all over the door. He offered a quick hug and hurried in to join his classmates. I waved at his teacher; she waved back.

And then I turned and walked back down the hallway, out the door, and to the car.

I sniffled a little, but didn’t have time to dwell on the sadness I felt in sending my boys away for most of the day for the next 180 school days. My husband and I ran a rather challenging four mile run around the city, and I felt a bit better when we ended up back at our car. But the day wore long, and the silence of the house left me feeling unnerved. No one interrupted my work once. No one burst into my office dressed as Buzz Lightyear or Hobbes or Waldo or Batman or a super hero or even just as a kid asking for a snack. Or even just as a kid who wanted to be near me, in my space, with his mommy.

I sighed a lot today.

Eventually they came home to find presents waiting for them: new books, of course. BigBrother got the newly released Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus, the final book in the Origami Yoda series. His glee could be felt radiating from his smile. LittleBrother got Hardy Boys Secret Files #2: The Missing Mitt. He discovered the first book in the series at the Emerald Isle book store when we stopped during vacation to buy our annual four book from our favorite bookstore ever. He’s been asking for the second book for awhile now, and the first day of school seemed like a good time to receive such a gift.

ZOMG BOOKS

BigBrother has already finished his book. LittleBrother has two chapters left. I do not know how we ended up raising readers as we have done, but I cannot complain one bit. They were delighted with their gifts and disappeared to read them as soon as they finished their after school snacks. I love them so hard.

Tomorrow they’ll wake again, get ready again, and ride the bus to school. I’ll work at home, take a run, and wonder all day what they’re doing, what they’re learning, if other children are being kind, if they’re being kind, if they’re just plain old okay. And then they’ll come home, tell me about their day, and I’ll breathe a bit easier once again.

And then we’ll rinse repeat for another 178 more school days.

 

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: It’s a Family Thing

The Columbus Marathon is in 62 days, or 2 months and 1 day from today. I have 9 weeks left to train for the Columbus Half Marathon as I just finished my seventh week of training.

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon

This week the boys joined the Columbus Marathon weekend FUN when I registered them for the Highlights Kids Run. They fall into the 6- to 8-year-old age group, so they’ll be running .35 miles. I already knew they could run .35 as they ran .5 with me earlier in my training season.

So we headed out to the track last week and ran .35 together.

First Run Together

Their first pace was “around” 10:16, with BigBrother running a little faster, LittleBrother running a little slower. They ran again in a parking lot near our neighborhood with an average pace around 9:40, the boys pacing in front and behind the same way they had on their previous run.

Second Run Together

They are so excited. BigBrother tried to tell a fellow teammate on his new soccer team that he could run 3.5 miles, so the other little kid said, “Oh yeah, well I can run 3.6 miles.” I laughed out loud. They’ve asked me a lot of questions about the race itself, but I am low on knowledge as we’ve never made it into the city early enough on Saturday to hit the Kids’ Run. When I figured out it would work this year, I felt so excited for them. The races (by age group) kick off at 1:00 PM Saturday, October 18 at the start of the race, which is at North Bank Park.

Right now, two runs into their twice weekly “training,” they’re loving it. So am I. Running with my sons is so much fun. We even ran extra one evening, running laps around our house. (BigBrother beat me. That wasn’t as awesome.)

Speaking of Family, my husband is back to training fully this week, his toe fully healed. As school wasn’t in session last week, we didn’t get to run together, but he got his runs in a day behind due to work. While I was running my long run (8 miles) on Saturday, he was running his 4 mile run. So we ran the first half together, proving that running with him makes me faster, and then I finished the last four miles on my own. I love running with my husband as he encourages me, pushes me, talks with me, makes me laugh, and doesn’t speak negatively to me when I need to slow down or take a breather in the shade because the August Sun is the August Sun. He’s running paces in the low- to mid-9s right now. I’m so proud of him I could burst.

Hot, Happy Runners

Personally, I had a great week training wise. My paces weren’t much slower than I wanted them to be due to the humidity and previously mentioned August Sun, and I feel okay with it. Eventually it will cool down and I will speed up and this half marathon will be so awesome.

Monday, run 25: 4.01 miles, 40:33, 10:06/pace
Tuesday: Rest Day/Kids’ Run Training, .35 miles, 3:36, 10:16/pace (and a race with BB the .16 back to start; I won)
Wednesday, run 26: 5.03 miles, 48:53, 9:43/pace, plus a 1.6 mile bike ride
Thursday, run 27: 4.01, 38.23, 9:35/pace
Friday: Rest Day/Kids’ Run Training, .35 miles, 3:23, 9:40 pace, plus a .14 walk to and from.
Saturday, run 28: 8.01 miles, 1:21:52, 10:13/pace, plus a .82 mile dog walk to stretch out my hips and legs after the run
Sunday: 24:03 circuit training (that kicked my butt, omg)

So, this week qualifies as one of my most active weeks ever. I’m thrilled with the amount of activity, because I’m feeling very strong, very happy with my progress thus far. I’m working hard, but I’m having a blast doing it. My back is feeling better. My feet are starting to feel tired, but I am going to steal the dog’s tennis ball in the evening to roll under my arches. My legs after the circuit training workout I did yesterday evening are omgsodead, but I still went out in the hot August Sun and ran my four miles. I did it, because I needed to do it. I did it, because I wanted to do it.

Sometimes You Have to Off Road It While Road Running

This week is one of the kickback weeks to give my legs a bit of a break (whew!). I only have to run 4, 4, 4, and 6… but I have to run them back to back to back to back due to travel this weekend. At least I’ll have some “rest” time this weekend, despite walking all the places this weekend. The boys are running on Tuesday and Sunday as they have soccer on Wednesday and Thursday (and that’s enough running for one day). And starting tomorrow, once the kids head off to school, my husband and I can start running together again! HOORAY!

Here’s to week 8!