Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Portland Marathon

October 9th was the Portland Marathon. After doing the Newport Marathon back in June, Travis, Megan and Angela were all crazy addicts and signed up for the Portland Marathon. A couple days before, Megan decided she wasn't going to do it. She hadn't been training. We all figured she could at least walk it with Angela if nothing else, so when Travis and Angela went to get their packets they got Megan's as well... and Travis convinced Megan to do it.

On race day we left at 4am to be ready for the 7am start time. With roughly 12,000 participants, they were each categorized into "waves" based on their prospective finishing times. Megan had grandiose thoughts at the time she signed up, so was in Wave B, the second fastest wave. Travis was realistic and was in Wave E. The last wave was for walkers, so each of them were in a different wave. After splitting up, I go this picture of Travis in his holding pen and then went to stake out my spot by the starting line.
Portland Marathon Travis

I stood on a bench a block down from the start and tried texting and calling Travis, Angela and Megan to let them know where I was so they could watch for me and get a starting picture. Megan didn't get the message, so I didn't get her start, which was about 3 minutes after the gun shot.
Portland Marathon starting line

15 minutes after the gun shot Travis had his start, all fresh and happy
Portland Marathon Travis

30 minutes after the gun shot Angela, all fresh and happy
Portland Marathon Angela

After they had all been through their start, I grabbed some pictures of these guys who had set up right behind my bench. The guy on the far left was literally standing 5 feet behind me. After more than a half hour of them all through each groups' start, I was pretty much deaf, but they were really outstanding.
Portland Marathon drumline

Then I looked longingly at Pioneer Place which was just kitty corner to my post, and thought how nice it would be if they opened at 7am and I had time for that...

Instead, I hoofed it some blocks away to a spot where I would see them pass by again. Since I had been standing with my big backpack for over an hour at that point, I finally started making some adjustments... just in time for Megan to go whizzing by so all I got was her back. Dang! This was about 53 minutes in.
Portland Marathon Megan

2 minutes later came Travis, which means he was gaining on Megan since he started 12 minutes behind her.
Portland Marathon Travis

30 minutes later (in the rain/drizzle by the way) came Angela.
Portland Marathon Angela

By then the early Half Marathon finishers were rolling in, so I thought I better head for the finish line and stake out a good spot. Along the way I saw this great sign, complete with an operatic female belting over some speakers.
Portland Marathon fat lady sings

About 8:45am I found a perfect spot on an elevated ledge of the Justice Building entrance right by the finish line where I could see people cross, as well as the gun time clock. A nice, hard, wet piece of concrete for me to sit on in the rain for the next several hours...

2hrs 27min 38 sec after the gun shot, Ian Nurse crossed the finish as the winner of the marathon. Obviously he spotted me on my ledge.
Portland Marathon winner Ian Nurse

The first three finishers looked to be buddies all from the same team of some sort. Two of them were from Portland and one from Vancouver, WA just across the river. Not that these two pictures show quite enough, but in looking through the shots I have of the winner I was reminded strongly of my favorite singer, Matt Bellamy of Muse. Just so you know.
Portland Marathon winners John Keane, Jesse McChesney, Ian Nurse

Since Megan hadn't been training, we all, Megan included, expected Travis to kick Megan's trash. I was tracking Travis live via GPS through the iPhone app RunKeeper he uses, and since we expected Megan after Travis, I wasn't watching for Megan...

So it's perhaps a miracle that I spotted her right after she crossed the finish line. Ugh. Megan got the complete shaft on pictures from me this race.
Portland Marathon Megan

Since I was tracking Travis, I could tell that about mile 10 something had happened because his pace had slowed a bunch from then on. Turns out he started getting bad quad cramps at mile 10 and they never let up. He's run longer than that many times and never cramped at that point! His only previous cramping was in the Newport Marathon, but they started a lot further into the race. What happened?! All we can figure is that he started his taper in training a little too early because he was fighting IT band syndrome and wanted to give it a little more healing time pre-race. But maybe that led to his quads not being conditioned enough? He's researched the problem since then, learned some new things and will be making adjustments both to his post-workout recovery nutrition as well as his nutrient intake during the race. In the end, the cramping led him to have a race time roughly 2-5 minutes longer than Megan. They agreed if he hadn't had the stupid unexpected cramps, he indeed would have kicked Megan's trash. On the flip side, we were all impressed with Megan's finishing time considering her lack of training. She did great!

Subract 15 minutes from the gun time clock to get Travis' race time since he started 15 minutes in.
Portland Marathon Travis

Honestly, considering the cramps, especially for a whole 16 miles worth of the race, I'm super impressed with Travis' finish time! Great job, honey!
Portland Marathon Travis

There were some entertaining runners too. I say girls in tutus and the like, I noticed three runners going barefoot the whole way, but the most interesting was definitely this tatted up, fully bearded, hairy man:
Portland Marathon flapper bumblebee

Interestingly, the whole finish area also surrounded the park where the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Portland movement was going on. That was interesting too...
Portland Marathon, Occupy Portland, Occupy Wall Street

Almost an hour before any family finished, Shane showed up with Alli and Avery so that Avery could see Travis come in and Shane and Alli could support Angela. Once Travis and Megan had each finished we met up with them and went to Subway for lunch. The kids were itching to move after an hour on my cold hard ledge and after nearly 4 hours I was definitely ready for a move. I told Shane I knew my discomfort was nothing next to the racers, but he pointed out that they chose their fate, while we were sucked in. Hmm, so true...

After lunch we headed back to the finish and since it was far enough into the race and the crowd wasn't as thick, I could reclaim a spot on my ledge to wait for Angela.
Megan, Avery and Travis wave her in.
Portland Marathon Angela, Megan, Travis, Avery

Gun time minus 30 for her race time. Angela didn't do as well as Newport, which she expected to do better than due to the heat of Newport, so perhaps she started out a little too fast this time but definitely her hips gave her a lot of grief this time.
Portland Marathon Angela

We yelled hard to get her attention up on the ledge so she could see Alli waving at her.
Portland Marathon Angela

Before we left, we found Travis and Megan on the posted finish times. Wait... why is Travis' net time and gun time the same? Oh. Apparently he got the tag on his shoe wrong and the antenna was getting cracked so not all of his splits were registered and apparently his start time didn't register so they had to officially just give him the gun time for his start time. Well, we know by my pictures time data that he started 15 minutes in, so we can unofficially give him an accurate time.
Portland Marathon Travis, Megan

The amazing finishers! I'm both so impressed and so confused by your bizarre addiction.
Portland Marathon Angela, Travis, Megan

This is what their medals look like
Portland Marathon Medal

The obverse and reverse.
Portland Marathon Medal

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Halloween Food

Last year I did a couple of Halloween dinners, but they were all ideas I found online. This year, I miraculously thought of two (TWO!) dinner ideas on my own. I'm not saying others haven't done something like this, just that I haven't seen them elsewhere. They came to me on my own. I'm thinking I've limited out on creativity here. Last year I had one great unique decorating idea and this year it's food. I must be done. It's too easy to see so many great crafty ideas online these days that I really feel like it's hard to come up something unique, especially since crafts and food are not my creative genres. I still feel shocked at the unique things I come up with in photography and maybe that area zaps any other creative areas... Anyway, without further ado, I give you Spider Soup and Ghost Toast:

Halloween Spider Soup

Spider Soup: A "nacho" soup variation, ie. anything with beans in it for my kids.

A bloody base (tomato)
Maggots (rice)
Flys and beetles (black beans)
Spider's web (sour cream with milk to thin for piping on)
Spider (homemade tortilla chip)
Additional homemade Halloween tortilla chips via Halloween cookie cutters.
There's a slice of cheese under the web because shredded would have covered the bugs more and made an undesirable surface for the web.

Halloween Spider Soup, Halloween Tortilla Chips

Ghost Toast = french toast + ghost cookie cutter
The kids wanted other Halloween shapes after their initial ghosts, but I really liked the name that came to me when I first thought of it.
Halloween Ghost Toast

Friday, October 14, 2011

Emmett's First Day of Preschool

This year Emmett started preschool for the first time. The first day he was excited to go until it was time to go. By the time we got there he completely fell apart and apparently cried most of the morning. He wasn't the only one, being in a 3's preschool it was all of their first experience which meant it was a rough day for most.

Emmett goes two days a week and on his second day he told me before hand in a brave little voice, "I'm not gonna cry." When we got there, I walked him into the front yard where some kids were making giant bubbles. "Do you want to go make bubbles?" No. And a big fat crocodile tear rolls down his cheek as his lip quivers. He was trying so hard! "Do you want to go play basketball?" No. After several other options all with a No response, he said Yes to Teacher Jana asking if anyone was ready to go in for music time. And that's how my brave little guy was able to say goodbye.

On his third morning he again informed me he wouldn't cry. As we neared the gate I could hear his breath hitch a bit, but no tears. As soon as we walked through the gate he dropped my hand and said in a brave, quavering, sad voice, "Bye, Mom." I told him I'd walk him all the way in and that I wanted a hug goodbye first. We went into the kitchen where the play-doh always awaits first thing in the morning. I got a quick hug and had him whisked busily away to play because I could tell that if I had doted he would have started to cry. But he didn't cry, so he got to go out to lunch with Mom and Dad that day as reward.

Day four he was cured. Happy to go, happily saying goodbye, he would proudly tell anyone that he doesn't cry anymore. It was just so cute how brave he was actively trying to be on day two and three!

So here's his first day pictures before he fell apart.




It's funny to me that these were sequential shots. I have no clue what that middle image is supposed to be in between the Emmett-the-Conqueror poses.

Nice... and cheesy.


The progression of images always makes me laugh... until he's done!

My sweet boy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Carson's First Day of 4's Preschool

Carson started back up in preschool on Sept 12th. He was super excited to see his "best buddy" Theo from last year. He'd been talking about Theo for about the last two weeks before starting and apparently Theo was doing the same about Carson. Now we have a standing playdate every Monday and those two couldn't be happier.



I love his wide eyed looks.



Oops, we interrupt this regularly scheduled Carson show for a psycho running through the studio.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

He's so handsome!

And cute!

And just down right fun.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monster Trucks and Military Vehicles

The boys went to watch their Papa in a tractor pull and then watched a monster truck show that the Sublimity Harvest Fest puts on early in September. I didn't go this year, staying home to work instead, but Travis took pictures.

On the way in, the boys saw these Humvees. They had fun climbing around them and trying out all the cool guns.

Avery on the Mark 19 full auto grenade launcher

All the boys got to drive this rig

Then they all tried the Browning M2 full auto 50BMG "Ma Deuce"!
Travis, Avery
Travis, Emmett
Travis, Carson

And of course they watched monster trucks. Same as in 2010 and 2009, so I'll let those shots and videos stand. In the end the show wasn't that great anyway because the last three trucks in a row broke almost immediately. First a big piece of suspension broke and was dangling in the back, then a transmission went, then the third started spewing hydraulic fluid. Oh well, the boys still had fun.
monster trucks