Thursday, October 29, 2009

Overdoing the soicial networking, perhaps

Last night I dreamed in Twitter.

I think I'm the first person to do this. I want a medal.

My dream was nothing more than my Twitter page, refreshing now and again, popping up with answers to What are you doing?

I can't even tell you what people were doing or saying or writing, but either I'm spending too much time on the damn thing (I'm rarely on it, so it's doubtful), or my brain is telling me I need to figure it out and make the most of it with following and tagging and all that fun stuff.

Or not.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Fog

Disclaimer: If you're looking for cute toddler pictures or equally uplifting fodder, look elsewhere. As today's title will attest, we're not in that kind of mood. Also, the language in this blog is not suitable for children. Reader discretion is advised.

Today I am in The Fog. Yes, it deserves caps, because it is a proper name. This Fog, The Fog, rolls in now and again. It has for many years, and for many years it didn't have a name. It used to happen often, now it visits me rarely, perhaps once a year, hardly more. The Fog is not a depression, though I've been there. It's simply a day of adjustment wherein my body, soul and mind need to reconnect to the present and let go of past hurt, confusion and yells of "It's not fucking fair."

The Fog follows A Dream (I'm starting to feel like Winnie the Pooh with these nonsense caps, I'll stop.) The dream is always different - the situation is different, the players are a motley cast and sometimes the same, but not always. What makes it The Dream that brings The Fog is the underlying feelings, tone and impression.

The Dream is about my mother, though she's never made an appearance. The dream is about losing her. It's about that headspace. That time. Of being there. Of being 16 and having my world blow the fuck up in my face and being absolutely, stunningly powerless to do a damn thing about it. The dream drips with regret, sorrow and, yes, self pity and a great big ole stench of "Why me?".

But not just why me in the sense of losing mum. Oh no. As if the teenage years aren't bad enough, life decides to throw THAT in my formative years. So there were other things happening too. Things that most of those around me could never in a million years have understood. They still don't, and very few actually tried. I don't blame them. In fact, I'm jealous of them in so many ways for having NOT dealt with it. I'm babbling. Where was I? Right.

The Dream is rank with regret not necessarily in regards to my mother, but to me, to my adolescent self. How I wish I could go back and smack her across the face, and then sit, pour her a cheap wine and let her spill it. All of it. All the shit she did and didn't do, the things she said, was accused of, the hurt, the betrayal, the loneliness.

The Dream itself is harmless. In it, at some point, I always end up telling all sorts of people I do and don't know how I feel (or felt, rather) and they understand, and they hear me, and they let me heal and they forgive me. But do I forgive them? I never know.

And yes, in the dream, mum is still alive, because it is THEN, not now.

And when I wake, I'm hit with the reality that she's gone again. All over again.

And the fog rolls in.

No amount of coffee pushes it away. I just have to wait. For real life, this life, to catch up again and carry me forward.

And so I wait.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What happens when I do this?

The Chou is in a new experimental phase, which is how kids learn, so this is good. And for the most part it's not the heart-stopping kind of experimenting, you know the kind that endangers life and limb, but it sure is the kind that can make a giant mess.

Chou has started swimming in the tub, floating, expressing her wonder at the sensation. She's also loving putting feet, hands legs in the running water. She's starting to blow bubbles and get her face wet...and then she starts to splash and move and make waves, then more waves and so on. It's fascinating to watch her drink in the movement, the sensation, the buoyancy. Brilliant.

She's also testing her parents' patience. We're full on into the terrible twos, I'm sure. But part of what frustrates Chou and sets her off is not being able to DO all the grown up stuff we do. Gone is her willingness to climb into her booster seat and buckle herself in. Nope, now she'll only eat sitting/standing in a grown up chair. Gone are the sippy cups. She wants a regular cup like mum and dad. She doesn't want cut up food or anything baby. She puts on her own socks and boots and refuses to let us fix them. She is toddler - hear her roar!

So I'm trying. I'm trying to encourage her, to let her try, to do it herself. I'm trying to be patient, to wait, to keep her busy, to keep her entertained.

It's so hard some days.

But so worth it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Round 2

This morning marks the second leg of my journey towards a healthy weight. My Ottawa Manatee Momma called me yesterday ready to clean out her fridge, cupboards and bloodstream of junk and needed a) a friend to do this with and b) motivation to not just lose a few extra jiggly bits but to really clean up the kitchen. We're not just talking fewer calories and smaller portions, we're talking cutting out salt, adding in healthy fats and getting rid of the bad, decreasing reliance on packaged foods and increasing consumption of fresh stuff.

Our journeys are very different. For the most part, Casa Wumpus is pretty packaged-food free. Where I (and we) fall down is on portion control, over indulgence of baked goods and not moving enough. For Manatee Momma, food from the freezer or pantry is standard fare and a recent heart scare with her dad has got her counting sodium milligrams and realizing something has to change.

Yesterday we committed to not just a weight goal challenge, but a good old fashion spring, or fall as it were, cleaning of the kitchen, our daily routine and our bodies. We're de-junking (both in the cupboard and in the trunk) and getting moooving again. She's already a member of Weight Watchers online, and so I shall be too, but we've also made a wager: $100 to the member of our group who loses 10 lb by Christmas eve. For the record, as a percentage that means I have to lose more, but I'm OK with that. If we both do it, we both get the $100 from the other to spend on ourselves.

Sure, it's a wash when we both succeed but that's not the point. WW is so successful because of not just teaching portion control but also the social network and support you receive when you go to meetings. Without meetings, Manatee and I are forming our own group, albeit across two provinces, but I'll take what I can get.

You're welcome to join us. But you must actually have 10 lb or more to lose - according to an actual medical professional, not your own idea of what you see in the mirror. Jen P's version is she's got to gain 10 lb by Christmas, but she's pregnant, so she better.

So here it is, folks. Truth time.

I weighed in this morning at 146.4 lb. Up a solid 5 lb from the face of training and running a half marathon. Wow, can you say lack of portion and self control? Um, yes. To put it in context, I'm barely over 5'2". According to WW, my highest goal weight "allowed" is 137 lb, meaning that this 10 lb loss puts me in the very highest of my "healthy weight range". In fairness, I don't think high 130s is high for me, but that's another discussion for another time. I would be down right tickled pink to hit the 130s and stay anywhere near there. And so we shall see what it takes to get there.

And now if you'll excuse me, I've got a work out to do and some healthy meals to plan. I heart meal planning!

Friday, October 23, 2009


In the midst of saying Cheese while bouncing on mummy's (very flabby) tummy

Her dad dressed her, which is shocking because I'm usually the one who chooses two very non-matchy matchy items of clothing.

She walks in these shoes as well as I do. Maybe better.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On measuring up and vomiting

That's right, I said vomiting.

Chou was sent home early today from daycare with her very first stomach bug. Poor thing was asleep in the high chair when I got there. I scooped her up, brought her home, she was sick again, I changed her and put her down for a nap. Two hours of sleep later and she was up, managed to miss herself and her cuskie but messed up her entire crib and blanket. I brought her and the laundry down, she had a big nurse and we snuggled and watched backyardigans. Within a bit, she decided she was better and dressed herself to go outside (well, I helped, but she really is getting quite good - she gets her socks and boots on and her tuque. Jacket and mitts are mum's job). Two minutes outside and she was yakking breastmilk all over the deck. Back in we went and it was another episode of backyardigans, then Maisy, then some Sesame street, more yakking, and then -poof- at 330, my darling daughter was back and very hungry. I wish we could all get over a bug like that.

On to measuring up (aren't you glad I'm done talking about yakking?).

I realized today as I tidied my kitchen, put a near-perfect carrot cake in the oven, wiped the counter and flicked on the dishwasher, that a) I'm quite domestic b) I'm getting much better at keeping house and c) I really am OK with measuring my success by my own yard stick and not ever feeling like I have to have the same things as everyone, or the same new kitchen or the same new car.

Wait. This is seemingly non-news to y'all who know me. Ms. Wumpus is synonymous with practicality, ask anyone. Really, truly there are times when I thought that all these years of frugality were temporary, that when we had more money we'd spend it more liberally, travel more, buy more, do more. Yes, there are places in the world I want to see. Yes, there are some new pieces of furniture I'd like, but really, truly having more disposable income hasn't meant buying more. Instead, we're investing more, weighing our options carefully, over-thinking home renovations and trying to make our money stretch the furthest.

Other people go on yearly (even more!) vacations, or buy huge houses or new leather furniture or the EVEN BIGGER television. Some just blow it all on clothes and wine. All these things are OK, they're just not for me. I get more joy out of spending an extra hundred bucks on groceries so I can make my man real, quality sashimi at home. I'm going to splurge and book some riding lessons (yay!). And yes, I'll finally get new underwear. But the wanting what others want? Don't want it. And that makes me happy.

And so concludes the two most randomly paired topics in the history of the blogosphere.

You're welcome.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The social life

I like older women.

Wait, let's back up a bit.

The Wumpus Plan to Happiness is in full swing - the office is settled in the basement, the Chou hosted a playdate yesterday and has invited all sorts of new mums and babes over next week.

I'm happy too. The playdate, with a fellow doula mum, was a lovely way to spend a cold and snowy Thursday morning. We made snowmen complete with carrot noses and grape eyes. We threw snowballs and watched as two toddlers galumped their way through the snow. It was great to connect with a like-minded momma and have company for Chou.

This morning the town mummy group is getting together, but I've got too much work to do to go (but not so much that I can't blog? I guess). I've offered to host next week, and I'm looking forward to meeting more people in my town.

What's funny (in a non funny way) is that there's really only one person in town I've really connected with so far and she's a good 10 years older with two nearly-grown kids.

I've discovered, or rather just come to accept, that I connect with women 10 years or more my senior. This isn't a new thing either, when I was 19 - a very tumultuous time - one of my closest friends was in her early 30s with three young kids. We had zero in common, really, except having horses, but that was enough. One of my most valued friends is in her 60s. And now, here in our new home, I'm clicking with someone at least 10 years older, yet again.

I don't know what it is, whether it's that I lost mum so young and look up to older women for their wisdom or if it's that I don't think like women my age (and haven't for as long as I remember) or if it's just that these are the women I click with and so be it.

Either way, I'm thankful for finally making a friend. For the first time in a very long time, I went out for tea at someones house. In the evening! GASP! I brought over pumpkin coffee cake and we sat and learned of each others lives.

I left the coffee cake there, half eaten. She promised to return it in the rural tradition: full of something else.

I love this town.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Maybe it's a first time mummy thing, but figuring out how to teach by example instead of by rules is bloody hard. Case in point, I have an 18 month old. Do you know how many times I say "No!" in a day? More than I can count. The tough part is that I try not to. I'm always trying to phrase things in the positive, trying to say We DO rather than We DON'T as much as I can. Yes, there is a time when No is the only appropriate response, but it isn't the only one I want Chou to hear.

Tuesday afternoon I picked up Chou from daycare. Her hair was in a ponytail THAT SHE WASN'T PULLING OUT. I asked her caregiver how she managed this, because frankly, Chou looks like a lion most days with her blond afro growing every week. I try and tame the beast but it's a losing battle when the kid just rips out elastics, clips and ribbons. She'll wear a headband, but only if it's someone else's and she's not supposed to have it. Sigh.

Where was I?


So I pick her up, and ask S, "How do you get it to stay in?"

She says, "Well, at first she was pulling at it. Then I started telling her how pretty it looked. How nice it was. After a while, she left it in."

See? Why can't I think of this stuff.

Sure enough. We get home and I have to put the elastic back in after the tuque came off. Chou starts pulling at it. "Wow, Chou, look how pretty it is!" She agrees and leaves it in.

Now, how do I get her to stop hitting, grabbing toys and running, jumping in the tub, not letting me wash her hair, throwing food on the ground, etc. etc. a positive way?

Hmmm. Yeah.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I got it good

It's Thanksgiving here in Canada, but my day of reflection and thankfulness fell somewhere in the middle of last week. Really, I should be in Manitoba right now stuffing myself full of deliciousness, but the weather had other ideas. It was a blessing in some ways as the unintended long weekend home has meant rolling out a new plan here at Casa Wumpus, and you, lucky blog reader, get to hear all about it.

It started with me officially being hired as a doula for a lovely young couple due end of January. She's added me as a friend on Facebook and proudly told the online world that I was HER doula. My chest puffed out just a little and suddenly I've got even more impetus to read every birth book there is so I can be HER BEST DOULA.

Then, Chou Chou came home from daycare exhausted. I love my daycare for many reasons, but like most, once kids are down to one nap a day, they go down for one nap. Chou, for all her own reasons, has not been sleeping well and has ended up in our bed by 2 a.m. for nearly a week (last night she slept in her own bed again all night, please, please tell me that's the end of the phase. But I'm getting side tracked. Hang on.) Anywho, I came to realize that Chou, now and then, likely needs a day or two home to chill out, sleep when she wants, eat when she wants and have more Mummy time. Maybe a play date from time to time with other kids besides daycare kids.

Then, there was a job. Now, I know some work people read this, so I'm asking them to respect my privacy and just let me talk this out. No judging!

There was a job posting. A really, really good job, paying more money than what I'm making now. It's a different job, a new, exciting sort of line of work. The benefits are stellar (maternity leave top up, anyone?) and it's a national company, which may come in handy if we move again. I was all gung-ho - polishing off the resume and planning my interview outfit.

And then I hit the middle of the week, got hired as a doula and realized my baby needs me more, not less right now. I started listing off the pluses of the job I have now - home-based, flexible, interesting, it's an industry I love and want to be a part of, decent pay - and the cons - home-based, same old same old, a bit lonely. Then I thought about the cons of the new job - longer hours, more time away from Chou (significantly more, I think) a daily highway commute (in winter, yuck), less time for home life and work outs and lack of flexibility.

I realized, it was like a wave that washed over me, that this job is the job for me right now. If Chou is sick, I can still work and be home for her. We only have one car, and that's all we need with only one of us commuting. A winter storm means, at worst, I get bundled up to walk Chou to daycare, or she stays home with me. Big deal. I can work out at lunch, and make up time on evenings and weekends, if need be, in the event that Chou did stay home. And then there's the doula thing - what job could be more perfect? I'm away from home very few days a year, thus very available for being on-call.

But I also know that there are aspects of this working from home thing that are driving me a little bonkers, thus even looking for another job. I need separation of work and home. I need more social interaction and stimuli. I need to feel my work is meaningful.

Which brings us to this weekend. Being somewhat snowbound meant having not much to do but stay inside. I decided two things - One: My office was moving downstairs. We've got a comfy living area down here, with windows and pot lights. Now, I have a dedicated workspace (that is not also Chou's video and colouring area), plus it converts easily into workout space. Our den upstairs is becoming Chou's play room and our TV room (more on that later). It's win win. Two: I need to host more playdates and keep Chou home when she needs to stay home. Maybe that's once a week, maybe more, maybe less. But everyone now and then, I need to work extra hard Mon-Thurs so that Chou can stay home, we invite friends over and we all play, mellow out and have some social time whether we want to or not, damn it.

So that's it. This Thanksgiving I really have come to realize that I've got it good. So good. It just took nearly giving it up for extra cash and the chance to wear heels more often to make me see that money and fancy shoes really aren't that important. Basement offices, lunch time workouts and playdates are the cat's meow, according to me, and so it shall be. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.
Chou's first whipped cream experience. She ate if off the beaters (she called it ice cream), but didn't like it on her pumpkin pie.

Right after this, she picked the cream off and just ate the filling.

Friday, October 9, 2009


It snowed last night, and not just a dusting of the stuff, oh no, we got a good couple inches of heavy white cold stuff. If the calendar said Oct 29th instead of 9th I might be more accepting, however it's a wee bit early even for this well-adapted northerner.

Still, there's something magical about how the house sort of glows at night from the moon reflecting off the snow. This morning I could see the tracks of the little brave souls that dared to traipse about and dig through the compost through the storm. The house feels warmer, cozier somehow because of the frosting outside. I'm reminded that I really love winter, and I'm excited for Chou - this winter she'll be mobile. I can teach her all my favorite winter things - skating, tobogganing, building snow forts and tunnels (the enjoyment of hot toddies will have to wait a few more years).

Of course, then I think about driving the six hours home for the Thanksgiving weekend in all this snow, with new, low friction tires and the chance of way more snow and blowing snow and I think, Shit, there goes our plans. Yes, winter, you nasty old man, you're already ruining my plans and it's not even Halloween. Jerk.

The view from my living room window this morning.

Chou learned three new things from her big buddy in Ottawa - two are cute, adorable even, one is not. The adorable: Chou has always been a dancer, but a definite booty shaker and hand clap kind of dancer. Buddy R is an arm-waving raver. Since coming home, Chou is raising the roof like it's nobody's business. Also, Chou learned that you can dance while on all fours as long as you kick out one leg every now and then. It's priceless. She also learned to jump - both feet off the ground - while in Ottawa. It's hilarious to watch her muster her strength and reach tall with all her might as she manages a tiny centimeter lift. Oh, but she's proud of it!

The bad? Big R is a total ham at the dinner table, and while he's polite enough not to throw food (like Chou does) he does like to spit it back out for comedic effect. Chou figures this is a fantastic parlour game and now lets all things dinner dribble back out of her mouth, watching expectantly for our reaction. We are not amused. That doesn't seem to stop her.

I've discovered two things this week. Playing with flour is an excellent way to keep a toddler busy. It's also an excellent way to nearly wipe out. Flour is very slick for such a dry substance. Oh, and dark hardwood floors? Not so great for cleaning after said flour playing.

So soft and messy.

She's pretty sure she shouldn't be doing this.

The aftermath. I love her little footprints.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A beginner and the end

At 18 months, Chou is wee. We're not surprised - her parents are midgets, why should she be any different. She's measuring just under the 50th percentile, but for both height and weight, so at least we know she's a proportioned wee girl. She's finally put on some pounds (she's 23 lb 12.5 oz) and is a towering 31.25 inches. Right, like I said, wee.

But this appointment was really rough on mummy wumpus - these were her first vaccinations in her arms and wow can that girl holler, look angry, scream, cry, howl some more, give the nurse the stink eye and howl again. She kept saying Owie and holding up her arm for me to kiss. So adorable, so sad.

I dried her tears, was thankful I could still offer numnums (booby juice), and she settled down. We got her dressed and toured the old folks home for a few minutes. It was sad and wonderful all at once. Several of the home's residents sit in mobile chairs, staring blankly at the wall or their laps. Still others were over the moon to have such a little, new person in their midst. Chou, for her part, waved but didn't smile (her arm still hurt I'm sure) and then spied one of the resident kitty cats.

With a loud "Meow!" she took after the ginger kitty and followed him into some old woman's room. Chou was so focused on burying her hands in the very patient kitty's fur, she likely didn't notice she had totally made this woman's day.

Maybe we should go visit more often, and for better reasons than to get needles.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Running down a dream

I did my first doula consultation last night.

I wasn't terribly nervous and found myself focused on the couple (even though it meant Daddy having to put Chou down to bed alone for the first time in months). After settling in, I thoroughly enjoyed spending an hour chatting about pregnancy, birth and the like.

It's an interesting feeling, to sit in front of two people experiencing what's sure to be one of life's most amazing journeys and essentially auditioning to be a part of it.

I'll let you know if they choose me or not.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Flatlander's PR

Distance: 13.1 miles
Unofficial time: 2:12:48 - a PR by 11 minutes, 54 seconds
Pace: 10:08 min/mile, 54 seconds per mile faster than last year

Where do I start?

Ah, the morning.

Chou Chou has mostly switched back to mountain time...except in the morning. She's up at 5:15 saying "Hi!" and ready to smooch and cuddle and then play. Mum and daddy are not. Mr. Wumpus was incredibly sweet this morning to get up with her at that ungodly hour and take her down for breakfast. I slept until 6:30.

My race started at 10, which is both good and bad. Good, because I slept well knowing that I didn't need to wake up extra early to make it in time, but bad because 10 is kind of late. I tried to eat at the right time, drink enough and have coffee but not over do it. It was tough. Nine am would have been better. Whatever.

We headed into town and I was one of the first to pick up my pack, then we headed to Tim's. Then the baby fell asleep. Lucky bastard.

After two bathroom breaks and a quick realization that most people have some sort of warm up routine (I do not), it was time to toe the line. It was cool (5 degrees C), but I went out in just my long sleeved shirt and shorts. I had my jacket on but rarely have run in it, so I left it behind. It was the right decision.

Playing on the bleachers while everyone else warmed up.

Jittery, chilly but ready to go.

And we're off!

This was the first year the race was timed with chips, and the first time I've run with disposable chips (they're on a piece of paper you loop on your laces). Besides being flatter than my last race, this race was also super friendly. No one talked to me during my first half (but there were tonnes of cheering folks), but for this race, I had a running buddy by the first kilometer. By the third or fourth, we had gained another friend. I found out quickly that I should have chosen my friends more carefully - Dorothy finished a full three weeks ago (in 4:36) and Cecilia finished a half three weeks ago in 2:11. I was hoping for a sub 2:20. Was I out of my league?

Well, yes. But after last week's run with the midwife, where I realized I wasn't pushing myself enough, I decided that I needed somebody shooting for a faster time than me (but not by too much) and I needed to run with them as long as I could.

Dorothy chatted on and off, keeping me entertained. She has a brother who farms who is completely blind, which I found fascinating. She also thought (like me) when she started running that walking was not allowed. So funny.

By the 8 km mark, I knew Dorothy was itching to take off, and me and Cecilia were more evenly matched. A side stitch had me walking a bit and Cecilia gave me pointers on getting rid of it. At 10 km Dorothy was pulling away and I checked my watch: 59:27 - the fastest 10 km I've ever done by a full 5 minutes. My hips were hurting a bit and I knew I was going much faster than usual. I knew at some point I'd have to run my own race. I knew I'd lose Cecilia near the end, but I just decided to stick with her as long as I could.

At the 11 km mark, we were joined by Coralee. She finished her last half in 2:06 and wasn't looking to go any faster this time out. She was friendly, fun and made the next few km fly by.

I hit my honeymoon mile (the 8th) and actually ran out in front of Coralee and Cecilia for a solid 5 minutes, only to have them catch me, then pull away. I kept them in my sights and caught back up to Cecilia by the 16 km (10 mile) mark. We ran together for another 10 minutes, but my legs and left hip had decided they only wanted to do 10 miles. I told them that based on my watch we were looking at possibly a 10 minute PR and there was no way in hell I was giving up.

The last 2 miles hurt, but nothing like last year. I knew I had a PR, maybe even by more than 10 minutes, so I cranked the iPod (I hardly used it all race) and lifted my chest and started swinging my legs.

The race ends on the track and as I turned through the trees, there was the husband and Chou waiting and cheering, "you're going to be under 2:15" the husband says - "I know!" I shouted, as I kissed Chou and climbed on to the track.

The track felt lovely and soft, and while I didn't pick up the pace much (oh, were my legs screaming), I had a good cadence and kept it up. At the 21 km mark, the husband let Chou down and she ran, smiling to me. I scooped her up and we ran the last 100 m together - much to the amusement of the crowd who clapped and cheered and exclaimed things like "Too cute!' and "That is so adorable." yeah, I know.

Cruising home in 2:12.48. Holy crap.

All done! Chou kissed my medal. Nice.

The Ministry of Silly Walks walk

Post-race sushi. Not quite Cora's brunch, but a close second.

I learned a lot this race. I learned that I'm way too easy on myself and that yes, track workouts and hills are necessary to get faster. I confirmed that strength and cross training is important. Case in point, at this point last year I was just glad to be done my race and I proceeded to NOT RUN for a month. Yeah, not good. This year? I'm looking at signing up for a hypothermic half (in January) and I've got runs penciled in for the coming week. Mentally, I'm in a better place after this race and I'm still loving running. That's a big deal.

I also met friendly, fun people on this run, and the way this run went really drives home the message that I must, must, must run with a buddy at least now and again. Sure, I'd love to have my Jen P and midwife here, but that's not going to happen all that often, so I need to branch out and meet new runners.

I'm feeling fine, Internets. I'm feeling inspired and motivated. I'm feeling like I want to run some more. I'm feeling like I could demolish a chocolate sundae. I'm also feeling a lot of pain in my legs, folks, but it's all good.

It's all good.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Flatlander's Eve

By this time tomorrow I'll be about half way through my second half marathon.

I'm nervous, excited, relieved and a bit jet-lagged.

The good news is I did manage to stay relatively active during my taper. I even managed a fast (for me) five miler last Saturday, proving my point that there ought to be running doulas (Saturday's run was with my midwife, a much faster runner, and the conversation and new surroundings made the miles fly by - at a 30 second/mile faster pace. That's a big deal, kids).

The bad news is I didn't train as hard as I liked and I didn't lose one pound during this three months of training. Which is still OK, in that I'm at least 10 to 15 pounds lighter than last year at this time, but I had hoped to be 15 to 20 pounds lighter. Also, I haven't done one run since last Saturday, but I did manage a crap load of walking, pushing the stroller, carrying a backpack. That counts, right?

All said, I feel ready for tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be perfect: cool (cold, by some standards) and dry. I have my favorite gels and my wardrobe all picked out. Last year I was worried about boob chafe and overheating, this year I just want my legs to hold out and to beat Jen P's pregnant 2:23 from last week's Niverville half. How does she do it? I have no clue.

We'll see you tomorrow with my first race report in almost a year!

(How sad is that? Which brings me to my next point, I don't enter enough races. Racing is the fun part of all this...duh.)

What my daughter thinks of politics.