Monday, February 23, 2015

Taper Time and Remodel Update

It is finally taper time, meaning I bring the mileage down and allow my body and mind to rest and recover so that I can be prepared for the upcoming Salmon Falls 50k on Saturday. This is a brand new race, which also means new trails, that I haven't been running on that much. I have been able to train on parts of the course, but I am still unsure of the entire course.

With tapering comes the doubt that slowly makes it's way into my head. Have I done enough? Did I do enough long runs, quality runs, am I ready? My training for this 50k hasn't been perfect, but what training ever is? I have a newborn at home, I am in the midst of a remodel, which currently my wife and I are doing the work. This means long days as well as long runs followed by working on the remodel and also taking care of our son. One little piece of good news is I am currently on an LOA for baby bonding time so I do not have that stress factory.

With all of that, I can confidently say, I have done enough. My body well remember to run that distance. With each weeks long run in the books, I gained more confidence as my form and strength came back. This race isn't my target race, but a race to help my training for my target race. In the end, what matters most to me on Saturday, is running a strong, smart race and to be able to continue training the next week.

Taper week has played many tricks on me. On Saturday Trailmomma and I ran a nice and easy 8 mile run. Only I felt terrible, my legs weren't working, I was just spent. I internally did a mental check to figure this out and I came up with this conclusion; A, I have been working on demoing, ripping carpet out of bedrooms, ripping tack strips and staples out of the floors, and also painting. B, I am tired due to the face we have a newborn, C, it's life, get over it and move on.

There is nothing I can do about the past but there is something I can do about the future. This week I am making sure that I am resting. I slept in today. I am drinking plenty of water and eating. I also plan on getting a few shake our runs in as well to keep the legs loose. I will ready for Saturday if not then it is the tough runs that I learn more about myself.

Like I said earlier, my wife and I have been working on the house. We have completed a few rooms, besides some minor things like sanding the floors and base broads, which we will do later on down the road.
The first room we completed was our sons room. We ripped out the carpet, wood paneling along the walls and painted. Doesn't sound like much, but it was a lot of work.


During, carpet is gone and next to go is the wood paneling along with the cubby hole.

First coat of paint on


JCM says "Thank you"

The other room we focused on was the office. We gutted this room as well. We removed the carpet, the built in desk which took up a ton of room and painted.

The dogs space and office

The built in desk

Shag green carpet under the built in desk. WOW!!! The entire room before had this carpet

Getting ready to paint

My space. We turned it into a den.

I am so glad that these two rooms are completed. Now we are focused on the master bedroom, organizing the garage and then moving into the guest room. Lot's of work to do, but we are able to make this home our own and that is all that matters.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Confidence Gone

This morning I woke up a bit late for shift change, about an hour late. I have been super tired just as my wife is. We have been doing a lot during the day with our remodel along with loving our son. As she downloaded me with the evening events, IE; he didn't sleep from midnight to 4am besides a little nap here and there and has been cluster feeding it was a pretty good night. Sounds exhausting to me. I took over so that my wife could get some uninterrupted sleep, only I had no clue how it was going to go for me.

Within 15 minutes I had him asleep. Sweet, nicely done, only that didn't last long, long enough for me to down load my pictures I took yesterday, which didn't take long at all. He awakes and I figure I should check to see if he has a dirty diaper, and sure enough it is dirty and wet. So, I change him. Now my confidence had (notice the use of had instead of has) been growing, as he hadn't peed on me in a few days. I have been doing pretty good, with my efficiency during a diaper change. Almost like nascar pit crew, OK so maybe not as quick as a nascar pit crew, but I was getting better with each diaper change.

I was in the midst of changing him, I had a clean diaper ready, wet wipes good to go, this was going to be easy. Then I feel something warm on my arm, crap, he is peeing, but his diaper is wet, is all I could think about. He shouldn't be peeing.

Quick cover it, cover it, I grab a wet wipe as fast as I could and cover it. I quickly clean my arm and hand up with a wet wipe and proceed to change my son. Now, not only do I have to change his diaper he now needs new clothes because of that little incident. He is not a happy camper, he is crying and getting louder and louder, and all I am thinking is "Please don't wake mommy, please don't wake mommy."

I remove the wet wipe and start to clean him up with a new wet wipe, when all of a sudden just like that he is peeing again. How can something so little have so much? Crap, grab something, I am out of wet wipes, so I grab the clean diaper and lay it as fast as I could on top of him. At this point he has pee all over him, on his face, his chest, his back it is everywhere. I quickly clean him up, which means a new out fit and a washcloth bath. Now, he is really crying because he is cold and I am not moving fast enough. Crying and flapping his arms and legs which makes it difficult to change his outfit. Finally I get a fresh diaper on him and a new outfit and just like that the crying has stopped.

Now my confidence has been shot with this diaper changing business. But at least JCM has calmed down and is now resting comfortable in my warm arms. Everyday brings with it new trials and challenges from changing a simple diaper to trying to sooth him during those long dark nights. But with those trials and challenges comes great rewards and love and affection. Those moments where I am holding him as close as I possible can and he giggles. It starts in his belly and works it's way up his body, and I can feel the giggle coming before it happens. Seeing his eyes light up with pure joy and excitement. Those are the moments, the soft unspoken connection when our eyes meet and for a bit it is just me and him in this world.

Nothing else matters, the peeing incident is long gone and forgotten as he rest quietly in my arms.

Let me give you a quick update on the progress of the remodel.

I focused on removing the carpet from the office/dogs room

Wood Floors underneath. I removed the tack strips, nails, staples and base boards too. The plan is to remove the built in desk, texture and paint this room, new base boards. But for now I am just happy that disgusting carpet is gone. 

Yesterday my wife focused on JCM's room. Her primary goal was to get it ready so that we could paint on Friday, and hopefully get his things back in the room. Because right now all his things are in the living room besides his crib. The house is a bit disorganized and I can only handle that for a little bit.

The cubby hole. That is the master bedroom on the other side, so it took up a bit of the master closet

Sheet rocking

Goodbye. Now that the cubby hole is gone, it gives us more options in his room for furniture placement and wall decor.

Taping the area

Mud, then it will be sanded down and I believe ready for paint, unless we have to texture it.

She also textured this wall so it should hopefully be ready for paint after sanding. 

I am hoping that today we can paint. I think we need to sand down the walls. She used wall putty to fill any holes which there were a ton. After paint we can do base boards, or we may wait until we stain. But we should be able to get his furniture back in the room. Then we can move onto the master and spare bedroom. Which we will be removing the carpet and painting. We are hoping by the end of weekend we are done with the carpet removal. I can not believe how disgusting the carpet it. This house was a rental and had maybe 3 rentals in it before me so I can only imagine the dirt and grim in the carpet. We were lucky though and have the wood floors underneath. 

For now, we are happy with how much work we have completed. I can't wait to get the paint on the walls so that JCM can have his room back and us our living room. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

It's Official, Let The Remodel Began

It is official, we finally closed on our home and now we can make it our own. It has been a long 4 months. We looked at a ton of homes, put a offer in on one, but we couldn't come to terms and then we put a offer on the rental home we were in and that was accepted.

The great thing about that is we don't have to move, but we are starting a massive remodel project. Some of the projects we will be doing ourselves (DIY, good thing that is my favorite show) and others we will be contracting out. Talk about doing things backwards.

I mean who gets pregnant, then just before they are due start to look for a home during 4th quarter for me, finally purchase a home and with a newborn start a remodel in the home?

We do that is who, crazy, but exciting at the same time.

The first thing we did when we heard we had closed was take down the 1970 curtains in the family room and dinning room. Boy, did that bring in a ton of light. The curtains we took down were floor to ceiling and disgusting with dirt, stains and who knows what else. By taking those down that made a huge affect to those rooms. We still have to take down the curtains in our master bedroom, but we are waiting until we pick out window treatments.

Talk about out dated, 1970 floor to ceiling drapes

Taking down those curtain/Drapes really brightened the room

The second thing we did was buy a new washer and dryer. Our washer and dryer went out on Monday, we closed Tuesday and that same day we bought a new pair which was delivered today (Wednesday). You can't imagine how much laundry we have to catch up on, ok it is not that much, but I had big plans earlier this week.

space for the washer/dryer, we took that box down as well. Actually it just came down, it wasn't secured to the wall very well. 

The third thing we did was buy paint. This house needs a paint job bad. The paint is so bad that when we would wipe a wall down the paint would come off with it. I can't wait to paint the bedrooms and bathrooms. With all that excitement, today my wife and I decided we would start painting our son's room. Only that didn't happen. What happened instead was a massive overhaul.

Look what we found under the carpet!!!

As I was taping off the wood paneling, (yes wood paneling, the fake kind) I causally said "Hey, I think the paneling will come off pretty easy." and with that simple sentence our little project turned into an overhaul. We took off a panel in the corner behind the door, to see if what I thought was true, and sure enough it was pretty easy, and there wasn't too much damage to the wall as who ever installed the panels only used glue on one wall, so that was a nice surprise.

But of course we couldn't stop there, since we had removed a small section of the panel we decided to see what was under the carpet as we had plans in the near future to replace the carpet with new wood floors. What do we find under the carpet, wood floors!!!! Score, who in their right mind would cover up wood floors. With that score we checked all the bedrooms and sure enough each room has wood floors under the carpet. Another Score

Carpet is gone, wood paneling is next to go!

With the find of the wood floors, we started to rip out the carpet, the tack strips, nails, staples, wood paneling and anything else that didn't belong. When we fully uncovered the floors we were very surprised to see that they were in really good shape. Another score!!!!!

Wood paneling gone.....

So what started as "hey, let's paint JCM room." Turned into removing the carpet, removing the wood paneling (not real wood paneling), tack strips, base boards and nails and staples. A pretty big project, but one that was needed and would have been done in the near future. All that is left to do is repair the glue damage, paint, new base boards, and bring JCM's furniture back into the room, currently that is sitting in the living room except his crib as that wouldn't make it out. It is going to be a pretty big change from what he had when he was first born, but one that will be worth it.

JCM giving us a fist bump for all the work we did today!

Even with closing on the house, and the remodel in full effect I have been able to get in some solid quality runs this week. Monday I took a rest day, Tuesday was hill repeats. I did a mile warm up, then 6 repeats followed by 1 mile cool down and then 200 step ups at the park. The step ups were done on the equipment at the park, specifically for step ups.

I would step up with one foot on the small circle, then pause at the top on one leg and very controlled step down and repeat with the other foot. All of this motion was very controlled and really works my leg muscles. Today, I ran 6 miles and then did 100 step ups. So far this week has been off to good start. This coming weekend Trailmomma and I are doing the Western States Training Run. It is the last 20 miles of States. Looking forward to it.

I can't believe how long he is getting

I am sure you have noticed my blog going in a different direction. I will be writing about my running as well as my family and now this remodel, in hopes to one day share all of our crazy/fun adventures with JCM. Stay tuned and see what else we turn up during this remodel and see how my training is coming along. I have also finalized my race calendar which I plan on blogging about soon.

Sleepy time.......

Until then Run Happy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Long Run Saturday

This past Saturday was long run Saturday. On the schedule we were to do any where from 20-26 weather depending as we had a big storm come through. What I wasn't expecting when I woke up at 3:00 am for shift change, AKA JCK Baby Duty, was not being able to get anything done that I needed to get done before leaving. As in I needed to eat, pack my gear, get my clothes, ect......JCK was having a rough morning and only wanted to be held, but that didn't sooth him, the only thing he really wanted was food, so I feed him which also meant his diaper needed changing. Pretty much from 3-5 I held him, eventually though I was able to get him back to sleep. As soon as that happened I quickly gathered my gear woke my wife and ran out of the house to meet Trailmomma and Jenn for our run.

We were lucky as the weather system that came through looked like it might hold off. I wore a short sleeve shirt, my vest, and shorts and a hat. The vest was for if it did rain, at least I could keep my core warm. Well about 1.5 into the run (if that) I took my vest off and never wore it again. It was muggy out on the Salmon Falls course. The trail was super nice though, it was soft but not to soft on the single track where you fell through. It was a fast trail this morning.

On the way out I took the lead and set the pace. We weren't exactly sure of how many miles we were doing, but the goal was to be on our feet for at least 20 miles. We weren't the only ones out there today. There was a large group that started maybe 15-30 minutes behind us, so for the time being we had the entire trail to ourselves. It was absolutely gorgeous out. My legs were feeling really good, I think the consistency in my workouts has been helping me tremendously not just in the physical aspect but also the mental aspects. Mentally I was feeling strong.

The three of us were making some good timing along the course. There are a few significant climbs at the beginning, but on the return those would all be some pretty fun descents. Soon we hit the fire trail and it was wide enough for us to run side by side and take in the views. We were making our way to the Movie Set, which of course once we arrived, I took a look around to check it out. At this point I was feeling pretty good and we only had a little bit to our turn around.

Once at the turn around we looked at the trailhead map and decided we would add a couple of simple loops to get our mileage up. We took off on this climb that brought with it some spectacular views of valley. The sun was shinning and it was a sight to see. The climb was pretty good, a constant grade and once we reached the top it was a very gradual down hill with some small rollers. Soon we were back at the Movie Set and added another loop along the river. This loop was interesting as there were a ton of porta potties. I chuckled at myself as there were so many bathrooms, but neither one of us needed to us them.

After this short loop we decided we better make our way back. Jenn and Trailmomma took the lead, I was glad about that as I needed a moment to myself to assess the situation. I was feeling a little low on energy, and I knew I needed to do something about it. I decided that now would be a good time enjoy some more Skittles. Instant energy, but I also knew it wouldn't last long so along with the skittles I took in a Special K bar. Now I was feeling better. I knew this because I saw some runners ahead and all I could think about was catching them. I took the lead and increased our pace a bit. We put together a nice stretch, running a bit of the uphills and keeping a strong steady pace on the climbs. It was go time, it was time to challenge myself and see what I could put together.

We were getting closer and closer to the runners so I kept the pace going, even on the slow and steady climb. I gave us a few minutes though to recover before putting together one final push on the climb. Soon we were passing them left and right. They were really nice and made room for the three of us. I knew though that once we passed we couldn't relax, we had to keep the pressure on ourselves and that meant running more of the climbs. We did just that, though I gave us a small section to recover. We were about 3-4 miles from the finish with only a few minor climbs before the long descent down Red Dragon. Here I took in more skittles, and offered Trailmomma her 1 skittle. (A joke between us) When I offered her the skittle she just took off up the hill. I yelled to her in a joking way "Fine, no skittle for you." She and Jenn were gone. They crushed that hill and hit the descent like they owned it.

I at this point was feeling the push we had made earlier and was just focused on keeping a steady pace up the hill. Once on top I let the hill take me down, dancing around the loose rocks and being carful not to let the hill take me to fast. Slowly we winded and turned and made our way down. We arrived back at the car all three of us feeling pretty good.

Back at the car we quickly stretched and changed our shoes and I jokingly  said "The sky is going to open up any minute now." And as if on cue, the sky opened up. We all three laughed and quickly jumped in the car before getting soaked. Overall this run was pretty solid. We put together some nice sections and with each long run I get more confidence in my fitness. Thanks for the great run ladies, I can't wait to do it again.

Next weekend Trailmomma and I are doing the Western States Training Run. This run is the last 20 miles of the States course. Always a great run, I haven't done this run in a few years, so I am really looking forward to it.    

Hanging out with this guy after the run. Miss him when I am gone

This past week training was pretty solid for me. On Monday I did 6 miles followed by 100 step ups. Tuesday was a rest day as JCM had his 2 week check up, Wednesday was hill repeats, 6 repeats. Thursday  I did 6 miles, Friday rest day (doctors appointment) Saturday 20 miles, Sunday 8 Miles. Pretty good week. I always enjoy the hill work outs. I feel stronger each week after completing them and I look forward to them each week.

Friday, February 6, 2015

4 Diapers Later

Have you ever had one of those moments that you really just can't believe is actually happening? Like, when you close the front door only to realize that the keys are still inside and you had locked the door already? Or how about that moment you get all the way to work only to realize you left your cell phone on the night stand? Or that moment that your son is still going #2 (poop) and you don't have a diaper ready? Yup I am talking about that moment. 4 epic diapers later.......

 It was my shift as we call it around here. Meaning I was in charge, feeding, diapers, burping, cuddling, all me.   My wife was resting and it was up to me to keep the fort down. Up until this point I have been really good with the diapers, he has only peed on me twice, or three times, I sort of lost track, but hey, who is counting. Certainly not you, but I bet you are.

Anyways, I decided that I would change his diaper. I went to the changing table and took off the dirty diaper, only it wasn't dirty. (I am still learning) When all of a sudden my son goes #1, and pees. I do what anyone would do and quickly grab the clean diaper (Diaper #1 here) and cover him so he doesn't get everything soaked. Crisis diverted right, nope. As I am cleaning him from the incident #1, he goes #2. Now there wasn't any warning, it just came flying out. It startled me and I screamed a bit. I froze not sure what to do, and then I realized he was still going, so I quickly grabbed a clean diaper (diaper #2) to catch the remaining #2. OK that has to be all of it, right. So I gather diaper #2 up and throw it away and grab a clean diaper (diaper #3) and put it on him, only I didn't realize that I missed the mess on the changing table from the explosion and I had just placed the clean diaper in #2.

Are you laughing yet?

Because I wasn't.

Now I grab another clean diaper (Diaper #4 if you counting) and quickly get that on him this time being sure to miss the mess on the changing table. 4 diapers later of what should have been a simple task turned into a 2 person task as my wife came to my rescue. You see what I didn't tell you was I screamed again and she came in to see what all the fussing was about. She helped on diaper #4 as by this time I had it under control.

4 diapers later he is all changed.

Now I am sure this will happen again or something like it. This was one of those moments that I replay over and over again in my head and say "Did that really happen?" and the answer each and every time is "Yes, yes it did happen."

This is something no one tells you, but that is OK. I laugh at myself just about every day over something. I am learning something new every day and I love it. I don't mind the dirty diapers and the sleepless nights, in fact those moments I am sure will be long forgotten as he gets older.

I am enjoying when he is sleeping and grunts and stretches is little tiny arms above his head and he holds his breath until his face is red and grunts some more and then whimpers just a little whimper but enough of a whimper, then I pick him up and look into his sweet little eyes and he smiles, like ha, I just got you to pick me up. Hehehe. Those are the moments I love.    

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Simple Cup of Coffee No More

It is amazing how routines can change just like that. Change is typically something hard for me, I love routines, I am all about them. Change is tough for me, ask anyone I know. So it is hard to believe I have adapted to my new routines rather quickly and without fighting them since the new addition to our family. It didn't freak me out or turn my entire world upside down or into complete chaos, in fact the new routines were rather simple and something that just naturally developed, a unspoken routine I would say.  


 It all started this morning that had me thinking about routines. Typically the first thing I do when I wake up is enjoy a cup of coffee, I look forward to coffee just as my dogs look forward to being feed. It is a constant, something I am familiar with, something that starts my day on the right foot so to say. No, it doesn't have anything to do with the caffeine, just the simple motion, the simple routine of making coffee. It soothes me so to say. That is the best way I can describe it. Soothing.

This morning as I was sitting in the living room having cuddle time with our son, I just smiled to myself, this simple act of cuddling was now my new routine. I look forward to our special one on one time each morning. A time for us to bond and connect over the little things in life right now. Those little things being dirty diapers, feedings, cuddle time, more dirty diapers, and best of all story time and connecting with my son.

Now the first thing I do in the morning isn't reaching for the coffee cup, but rather reaching for my son and soothing him when he starts to cry. We have our morning escape, just the two of us in the early morning hours, just the two of us and eventually when everything calms down and he is settled back in then and only then can I enjoy my coffee, although sometimes I make it, but I don't always get to it on my schedule.

A simple cup of coffee no more, but rather a time to cuddle and connect with our son.  Morning coffee is one of many routines which have changed and I am sure as he gets bigger and older my routines will change again. But for now coffee can wait.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

One Step Forward is Another Step Closer to the Finish

Besides the new addition in our family I have been focused this week on running and getting back on track with training. I have a very supportive wife, who encourages me to sign up for races and also to go run. Not only does she encourage me to sign up for races but she reminds me that she will be there as well. With that this week I have been running.

Traildog Toby standing watch while JCM takes a nap

Monday- 6 miles, 4 with Traildog Toby and 2 with Remi, who by the way is 130 lbs. A big strong dog, so running with him is more of a cool down for me as Traildog is more of a tempo.

Tuesday- Hill Repeats times 6. Now that was fun. I always enjoy hill work outs because I feel stronger immediately following the work out.

Wednesday- Rest day, super tired from being up with the little guy JCM, so I took a nap, a 3 hour nap.

Thursday- Mile repeats, 1.5 warm up followed by mile repeats times 4, 1.5 cool down. This was fun.

Friday- 4 miles, recovery

Saturday- Long Run, 23 miles on the trails in Cool.

Before this 23 miler, my longest run was.......will I can't remember my longest run. I think it was 18. Like I said before this week my training had been inconsistent, I was dealing with going on LOA from work so handing off my workload was a bit stressful which had me doing long hours, then JCM was born and now that we have a few routines in place I can once again focus on my training.

Saturday's run was in Cool. It was the training run for the Way Too Cool 50k, it was the last half of the course which is beautiful and very runnable. I carpooled up there with some friends and we decided that it would be best if we started early, to avoid the large amount of people who will be at this event. We started bright and early just when there was enough light to see.

It was a bit chilly at the start but warmed up as the day grew. We hit the trails and just enjoyed the quiet and each others company. I didn't push the pace on the descent into the canyon, I kept my pace nice and comfortable and found myself in the back of our group of 5. We hit the quarry fire road and the pace quickened, but again, I just kept it nice and easy, power hiking the hills. Soon we hit the single track and I found myself in the middle. By this time I was warmed up and in a good space so I really enjoyed this section. We were keeping a nice and steady pace and were making some good time. My legs at this point felt good unlike last weekends run where I ran out of steam during the last 4 miles of our 14 mile run. The views along the trail were incredible and the trail was lush and green.

We hit third gate and I was still feeling rather strong. We transitioned into a very steady power hike and just put our heads down and kept on moving. My motto for the day, "One step forward brings you one step closer to the finish"

We hit the aid station at about mile 12.5 or so and I enjoyed the sweet bubbly carbonation of Coke and 2 squares of PB&J. This next section is my favorite as you can make up a bit of time as it is totally runnable and I always like to test myself. I quickly took the lead and increased our pace for a few miles. During this stretch all 5 of us put together a nice stretch of constant running. It felt good to open the legs a bit. We were also approaching Goat hill. Goat hill is about .7 of climbing, and this would be a nice little test for my legs. We arrived at goat hill in no time and started the climb. Trailmomma climbed it like she owned it and quickly put some distance on me. I guess all those stairs she climbs at work have been really helping her. (I wonder where I can find some stairs). She looked strong, so did everyone else in our group. I felt good going up and my legs were holding together as well. Soon we were at the top and were greeted by another aid station. Here I took in a gel and I knew we only had about 5ish miles to the finish.

During the descent I could feel my quads a bit, but everything was holding up just fine. We kept a nice steady clip going down and power hiked the hills. Soon I could hear the cars on 49 and knew were getting closer. We crossed 49, and had only 1.5 to go. Trailmomma took off up the climb. She had some unfinished business on this hill. Let me tell you she owned it. We all did as a matter fact. The home stretch was near. "One step forward is one step closer to the finish" I hit the parking lot and felt pretty good about this training run. We were consistent, my body and mind held up for 23 miles on the trails and overall it was a strong training run.

After we finished we hung out and I caught up with all my running friends. It was good to see everyone and I can't wait to do it again. This was a strong week of training for me, now I just need to be consistent and remain focused all the while balancing my home life and family time too.

Just chilling 

Story time with  my son, I read books each night to him

Oh please mom, not another picture

Precious little boy

JCM, is doing great, though I think he has his days and nights a bit confused. He is a super chill baby and I am enjoying spending as much time with him as I possible can.