What a great 2 week vacation to the southeastern part of the country! It started on Emily's birthday in Little Rock with a party of about 15 seven- and eight-year-olds (and a couple of 4-year-olds). While it was lots of fun, it may have been the longest 3 hours of my life, since I felt the need to help entertain and serve them. Really they were fine on their own, running through sprinklers, doing backbends, swinging in the back yard, and playing soccer, among the "planned" activities.
The rest of the week was regular school, gymnastics, art class, and soccer practice. Days flew by with this schedule, but Jenny and I managed to get some running and working out in. As a side note, I expected running at the lower altitude to be easier; I blamed the steep hills and the pushing of the 120lb double-stroller-with-the-two-big-kids-in-it when it wasn't.
The second stop on my tour was in Germantown at my parents' house. Jenny's birthday was celebrated here, with lots of playing outside and even a brief dip in the pool (by Jackson). In the backyard, a pickup game of baseball began. Jackson was at bat first, urging me to throw the ball harder. When I did, he hit harder, and it went further. Then I took a turn. Apparently my batting skills are not where Coach Jackson expected. He told me, "Joy, you're not very good at baseball." So I became the pitcher again.
Ethelyn came up for the party, but wasn't coerced into batting practice this time. She manned the swing.
While I got a little running done in Little Rock, the vast majority of my working out involved lifting a wriggling 25lb weight. He goes by the name of Ethan. He is interested in everything, so lunges from my arms frequently; it's quite a dynamic exercise. My biceps were screaming the first few days, but I found out in body pump class yesterday that I had no trouble at all with the usually challenging curl section.
After the children and Ethelyn left, Mom and I spent some time shopping, going to the barn to get the horse feed ready, watering plants at the cabin, and some more shopping. Have I mentioned the lack of shopping opportunities in the Gord? Unless Walmart is your venue of choice, you're left without much. Mom and Dad both made some great food for us all week, but this time I couldn't take the leftovers home. :(
I was excited to see my teammates at a team meeting while I was home, and of course I had to go out a few other times with Laura, Jonathan, Charlie, and Olaf. I even got to see Nancy, home from her latest locale two time zones away from mine. I'm not very good at taking pictures, but luckily Damie is, so I can steal one from her. Thankfully she didn't post my surprised-eyes picture.
Wow, that sure was easy to steal from her blog. Thanks D!
I got to run on "my" old trails, the yellow and the Tour de Wolf, along with a few laps around the neighborhood. I ran my very first mapped 5k route. I still remember the day I actually did the whole thing without stopping to walk. I maaaaay have done it slower this time. Even with the flatness of Memphis, my running didn't return. Luckily Barb and Nancy were easy on me during our run. We took walk breaks. Just like old times when training for IMFL.
And then Saturday, time was up. J and I had to head back to the southwest via some very delayed flights. I'm back now, in some beautiful fall weather, still unpacking, getting used to the altitude all over again. To jumpstart it, J and I went up to what turned out to be the nearest shooting range and ran (um, walked) up a thousand feet or so to a beautiful view of the valley. This time my heart rate soared due to something other than animal tracks: the gunshots. It was exciting. And a good way to return "home."