How We Survive the After-School Rush (+a Giveaway)

Let me tell you a little about Wednesdays and Thursdays in our family right now. They’re awful. They’re rushed. I don’t really like being rushed, but I also don’t like sitting in the house with nothing to do ever, so we do things.

Right now our thing is soccer. Practice for BigBrother is on Wednesday evening. Practice for LittleBrother is on Thursday evening. Both at 5:00. Pee-em. Five o’clock. Like, quittin’ time. I could turn this into a rant based on “how are working parents supposed to swing that,” but this is the eleventieth time we’ve had a five o’clock practice (and a few times, a 4:30!), so I’m used to being rushed and ticked off, occasionally on a conference call or sitting at the field with my laptop on my lap. I mean, it is called a laptop, is it not?

Instead, I will tell you how we survive.

The boys’ bus rolls up at 3:30. After making our way inside, we look through backpacks, set out homework, and get started. I then serve up a snack. I make/finish dinner and serve it between 4:00-4:15. You read that right. We normally eat between 4:30-5:00, so it’s not a huge departure, but on Thursdays, it doesn’t always work. Thursdays I have a conference call from 3-4. This means I can’t help with homework or finish a meal. I’ve utilized the crock-pot more and more on Thursdays, but what if a call runs over? Or what if I’m finishing a work project?

Or so on. So I decided to up my snack game on Thursdays in case we can’t eat until after LittleBrother’s practice. His practice, being U6, is only 45 minutes, so we’re home before 6. We can eat at 6. We can’t eat at nearly 7:00 on Wednesdays as BigBrother’s practice is an hour and a half (and sometimes runs over). So back to upping the snack game on Thursdays.

Hello, Bagel Bites.

Bagel Bites

I like Bagel Bites. They use real cheese and from-scratch sauce (which is more than I do when I make our own pizza on Fridays, so Bagel Bites beats me). And they’re quick to boot. They only take 14 minutes in the oven, so I drop them in around 3:00, take them out as I’m heading outside to watch for the bus, and by the time we’re inside, they’ve cooled down and are ready for eating.

Bagel Bites

Bagel Bites

The kids like Bagel Bites because they taste good. I can’t disagree.

Bagel Bites

They also think they’re getting something special. Which, I suppose they are. It’s a different snack than the rest of the week, it allows us to finish homework and get out the door on time, and it’s just something fun to do. I’m pleased with our new little routine. (And fully ready for Thursday night practices to be ohhhh-ver.) You can grab yourself a coupon and then win yourself a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of Bagel Bites, right here. Just answer this question: What’s your favorite after school snack? 

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: 13! THIRTEEN!

The Columbus Marathon is in 20 days. TWENTY DAYS. I have three weeks left to train for the half marathon, or really, two weeks and six days because OMG. I just finished my 13th week of training.

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon

I ran 13 miles yesterday.

I need a nap today. Or, really, I needed one yesterday. But after waking up at 6:10 and starting my 13-mile run before sunrise, I decided we should still go to church. Ever sat still for an hour(+) after a 13-mile run? My calves felt angry, but my hips screamed with every step. I attempted to take a short nap after church, but was starving, so I failed at my nap. I ate a light lunch, and then got to sit through soccer games in 80 degree heat… in late September. Then I cooked a great meal while my husband ran his 13-miler. Then I got a crazy idea and ran another mile, bringing me to just over 14 miles for the day. And then I went to bed at 10:00 because, well, exhaustion.

(I’ll explain the extra mile next week.)

My pace for my 13-miler wasn’t awful. I was pacing at 9:44/average for an eternity. I started falling off pace around mile nine, but I refused to stress about it. It wasn’t race day. There were no signs, no spectators. The only other people out on the trail yesterday morning were other people working their long runs for what I assume is also the Columbus Marathon/Half, as absolutely no one was running a partial trail; everyone was running the whole six miles in one direction and the six miles back and making up distance on either end or in spaces in between. My goal became simply to finish as strong as I could, and so I did with a 9:56/pace.

13 Miler Splits

Here’s the thing: If I had held even the 9:50/pace of mile 8, before I slowed into the 10:00s, I would have ended with a 9:46/pace… and beaten my PR set at Columbus last October (which was a 9:42 pace, but there were distance discrepancies). As it actually happened, I was only 2:16 seconds over that PR—and my GPS said my PR was 13.2, not 13.1, while I ran 13.03 yesterday. What do all of these numbers mean?

They mean I have a chance to hit my original goal which was to PR at this race—to beat last year’s time.


Do I Dare to Wish?

Last week, I had all but given up hope of beating last year’s time. I had been pacing in between my two half marathon paces all training season. I was consistently in between. But then I went this past Tuesday for a five miler and blew my paces out of the water. Why? 47 degrees is why. I forgot that I run faster on cold mornings. While we’re experiencing 80 degrees during the day right now, morning temps are consistently in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Go ahead and drop me down to the upper 30s on race day; I’ll run like the wind.

Gorgeous Run on Tuesday
That’s the end of the trail right there.

And so, I am daring to hope that when you combine the cooler temps with the adrenaline and awesomeness of race day and spectators with the fact that I’m running with my husband who paces about 30 seconds to one minute faster than I do… that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I’ll set a new personal record.

I guess we’ll see in … two weeks and six days, won’t we?


Happy After My Run on Monday

Monday, run 47: 4.01 miles, 39:00, 9:44/pace
Tuesday, run 48: 5.00 miles, 46:25, 9:17/pace (!)
Wednesday: 25 minutes on the elliptical and a 1.01 mile walk
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Busy with family back in PA day
Sunday, run 49: 13.03 miles, 2:09:31, 9:56/pace; and a 1.04 mile run, 9:40, 9:19/pace

This week we start the taper. I’ll be running 4 miles, 5 miles, and 8 miles. I’m ready to taper. No complaints here. I need a short break before race day. I need to breathe and stretch and foam roll and not obsess about pace. Oh wait, I’m going to obsess no matter what, so it might as well be with less miles instead of more. I’m also working on something cool. So there’s that. And I’m making a decision about my fall race… likely today. No pressure!

Possibly Maybe Race Day Shorts
Shorts from Fabletics.

Here’s to week 14! (OMG)