I took the day off today because Carlos has the day off from school due to a teacher in service day. We had breakfast with my cousin who is visiting from Arizona. She came into town for her baby shower this past weekend. She is due with her first child, a baby girl, in February. My mom has one sister, and they both have two children. The four of us were very close growing up. I am the oldest and this cousin is the youngest. She is the one that inspired me to begin running. She was a Team in Training coach when she lived in Florida. She has since abandoned running and joined the Cross Fit movement along with her husband.
On Saturday after the shower my mom and my aunt were trying to get my cousin to divulge possible baby names. I never give parenting or pregnancy advice because it’s annoying. Seriously, everyone’s pregnancy is totally different, and people are going to parent in their own way. However, the only thing I suggested to my cousin was to consider keeping the name to herself. When I told my family I was going to name the baby Carlos if it was a boy my grandmother actually said, “Oh I don’t like that I’ll call him Carl!!” My mom and my aunt gave a little eye roll at the time too, but once Carlos was born it was such a suitable name for him and everyone loved it. My grandmother did call him Carlos every now and then and Carlos would say, “Noni, my name is Carlos!” There is nothing worse than deciding on a name, loving it, and having someone ruin it for you. Despite my mom and my aunt putting the pressure on my cousin, she stood her ground and didn’t tell us anything.
Let me backtrack for a moment to Friday night. I am the designated scary attractions chaperone for my son and his best friend, Tyler. Last year we did Six Flags Fright Fest. We went on two ghost tours in Gettysburg in the spring. This Halloween season they really wanted to do a haunted hayride at a local farm. The only issue is that the line can be many hours long. So when I saw an ad for Fast Pass tickets on Facebook this summer I grabbed 3 tickets. We were all ready to brave the hayride last Saturday night and it got rained out. Luckily this past Friday was perfect weather. We jumped to the front of the line and got right on the hayride. The boys and I were unimpressed and disappointed with it. It was basically people with masks jumping on and off the wagon, getting into your face, and then making some kind of noise. There was one section with creepy clowns. It wasn’t scary, but clowns bother me. At end after you get off the ride you enter a haunted house on foot. Now that was scary! It seemed as though it was never going to end. We were spooked every time we turned a corner. The boys had a blast and so did I. They are really such fun to be around. We decided we will try to do one scary/haunted attraction every year.
I finished my first graduate course two weeks ago. It was challenging to do it between work, Carlos’ schedule, Orlando’s schedule, marathon training, and a trip to Chicago. I spent many nights at the library until it closed at 2AM. I got an A, and two days after the course ended I began the next one. I contemplated taking time off, but after discussing it with my student advisor, and a couple of reasonable people in my life, I knew that breaking the momentum right now could potentially be the end of my studies. This course follows the same rhythm as the last one, assignments due on Wednesday nights, and follow up comments to classmates due on Saturday nights. This is not quite the graduate school experience of my dreams. That one didn’t have work and family balance to negotiate. I am doing the very best that I can to balance everything.
Work has been an absolute nightmare. Computer issues across the state. They fix one thing and three more issues arise. Enough said!
Running is my sanity. Fall running is probably one of my favorite activities in the whole world. It’s crisp, the air smells so clean, and the colors are striking even when they begin to dull like right now. My friend and I have enjoyed mild temperatures on our last few early runs. I still can’t believe she is willing to meet me at 5AM and run with a headlamp. We laugh a lot, and the runs go by so much faster. She never complains and will even run in the rain.
I will be going to Manchester, NH this weekend to run my 7th marathon. I will be with another friend who was supposed to run the marathon too. She has been injured since early on in our training. I feel so awful for her, but I am grateful she is still willing to take a road trip to cheer me on in the race. I still cannot even believe I am doing this. The shortest time I have ever had between marathons was 4 months between Vermont City and Hartford last year. My training plan since Chicago has been surprising low in mileage. The Manchester City Marathon is a bit hilly so the emphasis has been on hills and flexibility training. I have really enjoyed the change in training over the last few weeks.
I started going to yoga again on Tuesday mornings with my favorite instructor. The studio closed and she is now doing a class close to Carlos’ school. It is a Vinyasa flow class. I love the class and her teaching style. I am the worst at yoga. I feel like a big clunky elephant in the room. However, I love it, and I want to get better at it. Like running there is such a powerful mental aspect to yoga. I love pushing myself beyond the limits I once thought existed.
No political commentary from me. I am keeping my nose out of those conversations. One neighbor has huge Trump and Make America Great Again signs in front of his yard. They have been vandalized a few times. He repaints them and puts them right back out there. To each their own I say!
Carlos and I have a giant pumpkin to carve and then major trick or treating to get to in a few hours.