Monday, November 21, 2011

Mesquite Marathon!

I still can't believe I'm doing this - I finished my second marathon this weekend. I beat my prior time by about 7 minutes, which was great! I had fun and finished injury-free. Yippee!

There were lots of things to like about this race. The scenery was beautiful and interesting. Desert landscape with Joshua trees, cacti, and a surprising number of flowers blooming. Snow-capped mountains in the distance. Red rock canyons.

Weatherwise - couldn't have asked for better. 50s and overcast to sunny, but not too hot. No wind or dust.

The hotel (Casablanca) and food were very good, especially for the price. I liked that this was a small race, so we never had to contend with crowds or lines. I noticed several people (usually older men) stopping by the wayside to pee during the race - made me smile a little - but I totally understood as there was really nowhere to hide - the open landscape just didn't allow for privacy. Luckily for me I did not over-hydrate, but even so I probably could have- and would have- made it to the next porta-potty.

I changed two things about this marathon compared to my first one. First, I decided not to carry water. I relied on the aid stations. That worked fine and it felt good not to have that water belt on. I did carry gel, shot blocks and jelly beans but ended up mostly fueling on the free stuff along the way - bananas, gummy bears, pretzels, M&Ms, and Hammer gel. Great variety and wonderful volunteers at the aid stations!

The other change was my run-walk ratio: this time I tried running 4 minutes, walking 30 seconds (instead of running 4, walking 1 minute). This worked well, especially on the downhill part. On the uphills (of which there were several) I added in some extra walk breaks. I didn't allow myself to push too hard, and I think I did well on the hills. I know I felt stronger going into mile 21-22 than I had at Top of Utah.

Between miles 22 and 26, though, I suffered. I developed a persistent pain in my front left thigh and it steadily increased to become pretty severe at the end. (My smart friend Tammy diagnosed it as a psoas muscle spasm). I was a little worried about a possible stress fracture, but I'd felt this pain before at the end of my first half marathon. I slowed down and unhappily watched 3-4 people pass me in the last mile. I debated walking the rest of the way, but I still hoped to beat my prior time so I gutted it out. At the 25.5 mile aid station, the volunteers must have seen my pain because they looked concerned and asked me if I was all right. I gratefully accepted their offer of ibuprofen and shuffled as triumphantly as possible to the finish. Total time: 4:51:31. Yay!

Walking was very slow and painful for 5-10 minutes until I stretched, rested, drank a lot of water and ate a donut. My psoas muscle let loose its death grip and since then I've been FINE - just the normal post-long-run muscle soreness. Tammy and I blissfully reveled in long showers, a delicious lunch, gentle recovery walk (to get M&Ms - very important, you know!) and a buffet dinner with lots of dessert. It was so nice to have that relaxing evening - and champagne buffet breakfast next morning! - with new and old friends and good food and conversation.

So all in all, a very satisfying weekend. Now I am going to enjoy a few weeks of recovery - shorter, lighter workouts and time with family at Thanksgiving. I am blessed and grateful.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I've been practicing gratitude more lately, spurred on by Facebook friends and the season of Thanksgiving. And I truly AM grateful almost all of the time. There is so much to be thankful for.

But...I also realize that most of my blog and my "public image" (like MauldenNews) is highly self-selected to highlight the good stuff and gloss over the ugly realities. And so this post is an attempt to balance it out.

Please understand that I'm not out to vent or rant or complain, either. I'm just stating the facts for the record. I'm hoping this doesn't come off as whining. If nothing else, then when I'm 90 and demented and reading back through this blog to remember what my life used to be, I'll get a fuller picture.

OK, here goes. The uglies:

1. Our kids have both been in trouble this month for poor behavioral control - specifically hitting, clawing, and biting. Sam especially has been aggressive in preschool, to a worrisome degree.  He clawed 2 kids in the face at McDonald's and made 4 of his classmates cry and got sent to the principal's office.  Now I am the mother of the class bully. Today we had another long, protracted tantrum from Alle - uncontrolled rage, screaming, crumpling up her schoolwork. These are getting less frequent, but now Sam is starting to give us a lot more attitude.  Last week I put him in time out and he took off his clothes and pooped on the rug.

Our efforts at discipline seem only partly effective. I don't know how much of this behavior is attributable to our lack of parenting skills, but it's hard to feel there's not at least some correlation. It's stressful. I am worried they won't have friends. I never realized before how much of kids' behavior is deeply internalized by the parent. Even if others promise that they don't feel your kids' bad behavior reflects poorly on you - you feel it does.

While I'm being honest here, I must say that being on anti-anxiety medication has helped me a LOT! :-)

2.  Our house is kind of a mess most of the time. I don't care about this as much as I used to. I'm not really worried about it, but thought I would just put it out there.

3.  Bryan and I argue about plenty of things - these are pretty standard, from what I know, but we are not exempt. Parenting, household chores, TV/computer time, and money are some of our favorite subjects of contention. We aren't very consistent about making time for just the two of us. We used to argue less. Maybe we are getting more opinionated and stubborn with age...uh oh.

4.  I've been eating cake, cookies, chocolate, and too much Halloween candy recently. I tend to wait until the kids are in bed so they won't see me and demand that I share.

5. I've had to wear my glasses for the past 6 weeks (due to a very bad contact lens prescription and bad fitting by someone who made mistakes and didn't know how to fit them - long story, going on for almost a year). I still feel ugly and yucky in glasses. I have to fight the urge to withdraw from society.

6. I've had things on my to-do list for a year and I just don't feel like doing them, so I don't. I never used to do this (procrastinate)...what's happening to me??

7. Sometimes I dress like a real frump.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October MauldenNews

Hello everyone - hope you are enjoying a happy fall season.

October was a good month for hiking. We had mostly warm weather. The colors in the mountains were great this year - maybe because of all the water?

The kids got their school pictures: first grade...

and preschool...

I went to Washington, D.C. for work and enjoyed running and biking in Rock Creek Park. Very nice!

October 30 was a very special day for all of us - Alle's baptism day! At the end she put her hands up to make butterflies on the screen - a nice touch and very much "in character" for her.

And finally - of course - Halloween!

Love you all,