Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our First Half Marathon!

It is no secret that I can put on the pounds during pregnancy. And each pregnancy has gotten worse! Once I stopped nursing Jacob, I was determined to get rid of all those extra childbearing pounds. The occasional treadmill running and Jillian's 30 day shred videos just weren't cutting it for me this time around. While running on the treadmill one night and watching, "The Biggest Loser," I got this crazy idea that I should run a half marathon. I thought, "If those people can do it, so can I!" I began my search on the Internet and discovered the Baltimore Running Festival to be held on October 15th. It was a Saturday! I had more than 7 months to train. Somehow, I convinced David to sign up with me. Misery loves company. And most of you know that if a Behrmann pays money to do something, they will do it. Funny how that $75 got me to run on more than one occasion when otherwise I would have skipped out. I mentioned that we had signed up to my sister Alison and told her she should come and run it with us. You can imagine my absolute joy when she agreed! A visitor and a running partner!

Our friend, Destry, provided me with a 16 week training program. It called for 3 days of running per week and 2 days of cross training. He loaned us his water belt and schooled us in the world of gus, gels, sport beans & energy bars. During the week, I ran on the treadmill at night after the kids were in bed. I did my best to get outside on Saturdays. For my cross training days I did random P90x videos (something I eventually grew to enjoy). Near the end of the training schedule our Saturday runs got much longer and took up much more time. Many thanks to my expert full marathoner friend Liz for watching the kids on more than one occasion so David and I could get those long miles in together. I can't tell you how many times I thought, "What have I gotten myself into" and "David and Alison are going to kill me." My mother will tell you that I am a pretty determined person (and just a tad competitive) so for me there was no backing out.

Alison arrived into town on Wednesday, October 12th. We had a great time together. I loved having someone in my family visit Baltimore and it couldn't have been a better time to visit. Baltimore is beautiful in the fall. Kate especially LOVED having, "Aunt Alice" here. Kate even made Alison a purple P necklace at preschool and claimed she was her best friend. The kids loved playing on her ipad. On Thursday, we ventured to the running expo at the convention center to pick up our bibs, goody bags and orange shirts. We were all set!

On Friday, Alison and I had fun shopping together while Kate was at school. Friday evening we went to Nick's Fish House. Alison and David enjoyed the crab cakes while I stuck to my traditional pasta dinner. I bought some last minute songs off of itunes for the big day before we headed off to bed. Alison quickly learned that I am still listening to the same 80's songs she introduced me growing up.

Saturday morning, we dropped Ben off at his friend Cooper's house and took Jacob and Kate to Liz's house. We drove to the light rail and after some stressful malfunctions with the tickets we successfully headed to the city. We arrived at the starting line just in time to see the full marathon's head pack race by. They were AMAZING! They looked like gazelles. The Baltimore running festival is huge. In addition to the half marathon there is also a full marathon, a relay marathon, a 5k and a kids fun run. All together there were over 25,000 runners (not to mention their cheerleaders). It was very crowded!

We lined up in holding bins according to our "predicted" finish times at registration. Unfortunately, we were placed in the 3rd bin. This meant a lot of passing. I spent the majority of the race weaving through slower runners. The worst was when the person right in front of you decided to stop and walk with no warning. I thought things would spread out after a couple of miles, but at mile 3 our race merged with the full marathon and the relay marathon which created even more traffic. Nevertheless, mile after mile slowly ticked away. The course was incredibly hilly. Every time I saw a hill, I thought "Alison and David are going to kill me." We had run a 12 mile course preview during our training and for some reason I didn't remember so many hills that day. I had told Alison the course was pretty flat. Definitely not the case! The weather was perfect (60s) minus a strong wind which of course we had to run against from mile 7 on.

After crossing the finish line it became a very difficult task to find each other. David and I had our phones and even then it was hard to find each other. We were lucky to find Alison! We reminisced about our runs, complained about our aches and pains, and slowly recovered while heading towards the results tent to get our times printed off on stickers for our bibs. We walked back to the light rail and were fortunate to get seats for the ride home. We needed them!

After taking the best shower of my life and resting a bit, we headed to Fells Point (near the Inner Harbor) for some pizza. We were STARVING. Alison had seen the pizza joint "Brick Oven Pizza" featured on the show, "Diners, drive-ins and dives." It did not disappoint. It was some of the best pizza any of us had ever had. Maybe we were just that hungry. David found the absolute best parking spot nearly in front of the restaurant. We needed that! And his parallel parking job (in the van) was actually more impressive to me than any of our finish times! I had never been to the Fells Point area before and afterwords found myself wondering where this side of Baltimore City had been all my life....I wasn't even scared for my life!

All in all, we had a great weekend. I met my goals....I lost all of my baby weight and I finished. It was actually better than any cross country meet I ever attempted to compete in during high school (but that's not saying much)! It will be something that I think David, Alison and I will always remember doing together. And I would even do it all over again.




Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Red Rockets!

After years of watching Ben play soccer, today was Kate's turn! She was soooooo excited! She picked out her new pink shorts and wouldn't you know it her jersey turned out to be red! Somehow, she made it work. Unfortunately, Ben had a game at the same time so I missed Kate's game. As a good husband should, David thought to take the camera to capture some moments for me. He has been trained well! David and I were a little worried that Kate's feisty personality might show up to the soccer game, especially when someone took the ball away, but she proved us wrong. Her other half showed up instead...she was all smiles! She even scored her first goal! I have a feeling she is going to be one good little player!


Where did September go? We had a great month. Kate started preschool again and continues to love it. She is in the 4's class now and gets to have "a job". Her favorite so far...trash helper! Here is Kate on her first day.

The highlight of our month was our big visit from Boo and Nana (David's Dad and Step mom)! The kids (and I) loved every second! We of course were all spoiled rotten. It was so nice to have two extra sets of hands around the house. Every time I turned around the dishes were magically done and Jacob's diaper had already been changed! Not to mention the constant entertainment and attention they provided the kids. Ben asked Boo one afternoon, "Are you rich?" Boo replied, "No." To which Ben asked, "Does Nana steal all your money?"

We started off our weekend with a trip to Hershey Park and the Chocolate Factory. The kids loved it. Ben especially loved riding the "Super Dooper Looper." David was proud to have such a brave son. Kate's favorite ride was the Frog Hopper. And of course they loved playing the fishing game...especially since they both miraculously won a prize on their first round. Jacob was a little trooper as usual and was rewarded with a ride on the carousel at the end of the day. Here are some pictures from the day.

Randy spent most of Monday and Tuesday at home with the plumber! Unfortunately, we were having some issues with the kitchen sink, bathroom sink and toilet. Randy mowed the lawn for me and was put in charge of bus duty for the week. It was so nice. I wondered this week how the mail man knew David and I were running a half marathon in October. I told David and without hesitation he smiled and said, "I bet my Dad told him!" We are guessing Randy became friends with the mailman during his walks to the bus stop. :) Not an uncommon thing for him! Jerry graciously offered to help me with some things around the house that are too difficult for me to do alone with David's busy schedule. Ben was sick of the bunk beds so we debunked them and in order for them to fit on the ground we had to switch Ben and Kate's room with Jacob's room. It was a lot of work. We had to take apart both beds and the crib. Jerry is a hard worker! I've decided her help was an answer to my prayers before I even realized I needed to start praying for it. The kids love their new rooms! We had some great trips to Sam's, Ikea, Costco, Lowe's, Walmart, Tuesday Morning and Target. Jerry knows how to get things done! On Tuesday night, we went to Ben's soccer game and Red Robin.

By Thursday, Randy declared it was time for his day. He deserved it! We spent our morning at Fort McHenry and then had lunch at Nick's Fishhouse. It was a fun lunch atmosphere. That night we headed to D.C. to visit the Temple and the visitor's center. It really is a beautiful temple. Afterwords, we met up with David at one of our favorite places...Cafe Rio! The kids of course made sure to take advantage of the toy store just down the strip...Nana was there afterall!

On Friday, we fought terrible traffic and rain to go to the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor. Normally, it only takes about 30 minutes to get there, but it took us over an hour and a half! One of my least favorite things is driving in the city so you can imagine this was not fun for me. We finally arrived at the aquarium and were able to see the Dophin show and the 4D Planet Earth show. Then we headed to the fancy, "Rusty Scupper" for our dinner reservations. It was great and the kids were even greater...thankfully!

On Saturday, David and I were able to wake up early and run a 12 mile course preview of the half marathon. It was much more fun than I could have imagined...scary I know! About 500 people showed up so it wasn't to risky to run downtown. It was so nice to be able to have someone watch the kids so we could run together. Jacob was still asleep when we got home....he was worn out from a great week! For lunch, we all headed to Friendly's for some appetizers and ice cream before we ventured to the airport.

We already miss Nana and Boo. Our only request....Come Again!