Monday, January 26, 2015

Isaac at Twenty Months

Not sure what's going on with my hair here, but it is what it is. 
I can't believe he will be two years old in three and a half months. Time has flown by this year. It seems just like the other day we had his first birthday party. He is a very adventurous little boy, and he loves to run. He also loves to play ball. He will find a "goal" and throw stuff inside it. He loves to throw stuff. I guess that comes with being a boy. This past month he has really taken a liking to books and coffee. He will sit and "read" for the longest.


He still loves tractors.

He hates socks! He rips them off and throws them. Then, he smiles. He has the biggest feet. I probably need to go ahead and buy him some size 8 New Balance tennis shoes.  

Little blond boy

Throwing rocks

Whoa. Nap hair.

Morning hair

Just give me a second, Mom. I need to check my email.

All dressed up for church Sunday. He's got to have a drum stick.

Isaac and Daddy

Isaac and his first cousin, Evie Jane. They were watching the rain. 

Mississippi Blues Marathon 2015 Race Report

    "Yeah, I'm goin' to Jackson. Look out Jackson town."

Well, Friday after school, we got into the car and headed south. We hit Tuscaloosa, and there we made our way to Meridian, MS. We ate at Logan's Roadhouse. After three yeast rolls, way too much butter, and a steak salad later, we got into the car for one more run to Jackson. When we got to the hotel, it was 8:30. I set my things out, took a shower, turned on the white noise, and went to bed. Around 3:30, I started having bad dreams about being late for the race. Before long, my alarm went off. It was 5 o'clock. I would be running my third marathon in two very short hours. I felt ready and in control.

 (Before I get into the race, I just need to clarify something: I don't recommend the "hot pursuit" method. I don't recommend getting into the car, riding for five hours, eating way too much food, going to bed upon arrival, waking up, and running 26.2 miles. I just had to get that out there. Traveling races are fun for some people. Just remember to get there early and give yourself some time to sight see, decompress, and move around if you plan on a traveling race. Don't do what I did.)

Heath was a trooper while he stood around waiting with us.
I seriously couldn't feel my hands or feet.

So, after we parked and hit the porta potties, we waited...in the cold...in the bone-chilling, blood-freezing cold. It was 25 I think, slightly warmer than my first marathon, but you know how you forget that stuff. It's almost like child birth, I guess. That's what people have told me, anyway. We stood around for about twenty minutes, took some pictures, prayed, said our farewells. I cried two different times because I'm super duper emotional about marathons...the journey of getting there...the fear of the race...how proud I am that I got there...the grace of God...being there with my friends and being proud of them, too...appreciation for my supporting family...it all just hits you in the face at once. 

I was beyond excited right here.
There was a sea of people.

We knew it was for real when we lined up and we heard the national anthem on guitar. Cue the tears...again. And then they told us to go. Was there a gun? I don't even remember. I remember wanting to move because I couldn't feel my feet. I had only one pair of tights on and two tops. One was dri-fit and the other was a thick cold-gear top. I had one pair of socks on, too. They were my new Under Armour ones, and they rocked. 

The air at first felt like it was going to freeze my lungs. It seriously hurt to breathe. Miles 1-4 went by very fast. Miles 5-8 breezed by as well. We were in these swanky little neighborhoods with these adorable little rolling hills. "Awww...how sweet. Look at that house. Ha, look. I'm going fast down this hill."  And then it hit me. The same pain I got in Chief Ladiga. The chest pain, the back pain, the feeling that I would feel so much better if I threw up...it was debilitating. I dropped back from my running buddy around mile 9. I kept her in my sights for another mile or two, but then I lost her. But I kept going, y'all. And it was the hardest race I've ever run. I kept wondering if I should stop, but I didn't know where I would go. So I kept going although I realized I was going to have to walk...a lot. That was extremely humbling and disheartening. There I was, anticipating a possible fifteen to twenty minute PR, and I was having to walk. The pain was scary, though. I wasn't going fast enough, and I hadn't gone far enough to think that I was having problems with my heart. I kept remembering that I had trained for that pace and for that amount of miles. I knew it was something else.

So from about mile 13, I started walking every now and then. It eventually got to where I was walking about a third of every mile. My pace dropped significantly. I sent a text to my mom and Heath at the halfway point. I knew it was going to be slow from then on out. The pain got excruciating. I found myself pressing my hand into my rib cage to alleviate the pressure. When I got to four hours, I had about four or five miles to go. That's when I realized, all that work, all those expectations I had were going down the drain. It was over. I felt defeated. I felt so angry with myself. I had done something wrong. I had caused it. Something was wrong with my body, and it was my fault. 

After mile twenty, I kept thinking, "This is a six mile run. If I can just get through this.

Those were the hardest six point two miles of my life. My pace got into the 14s. People were passing me left and right. It was very humbling because I had started out so confident. If it hadn't been for the spectators cheering us on... They were absolutely awesome. People sat and cheered around fire pits in their front yards! Some people even danced the electric slide for us! My favorite signs were a whole trail of Stars Wars signs. Each character had a saying. Obi-wan's was "Let the course be with you." and Yoda's was "Much to run you have." They were great. Another sign said, "You look skinny!" Haha. They yelled and cheered like you were winning the race. It was fantastic.

Around mile 23, it was just a waiting game. Walk. Jog. Walk. Jog. My other running buddy had already finished. She finished in 4:08 which was a huge PR for her! She works. Let me tell you. 
I went to the doctor and got an EKG and an ECHO a few days later. My heart is very healthy, and nothing seems to be wrong other than the fact that my body was sore from coughing for about two weeks. Even the night before the race I had a coughing spell in the night. So, I had a some inflammation and soreness. I will definitely know next time not to expect miracles if I've been sick.
I had to press into my chest to be able to run. It was excruciating. I made it, though!

I love these girls. These medals were so awesome. They are stained glass in the shape of a guitar. You can see Laura here, strumming away.

Overall, I learned a lot from this race. I learned a great deal about humility. I worked and trained super hard for this one. I trained harder than I ever have before. I got over 600 miles from September when we began training to January 10th. My body was tired, and it was recovering from being sick. I should've known. I will next time. I learned about traveling races, and I learned about marathons with hills. Never again, my friend. Never again. (Yeah. I probably will. I know.)

I was still in a lot of pain, and I wasn't even hungry after I finished. Nothing sounded good until we got close to Meridian, MS, and I saw a Waffle House. I had a waffle, bacon, eggs, toast, and tons of coffee. It was worth the wait. Now I know what I'm supposed to eat after a long race.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Honest Review: Deodorant, Kid's Immunity Boost, and More

So I've tried quite a few more products from Honest in the past month and a half. There are some that I'm pretty excited about, and others, meh. You know how it goes. I'll link to my previous reviews at the bottom, so be sure to check those out. Remember, these are my *honest* opinions about these products.

First is the deodorant. I really want to like this. It smells nice, and I love the convenient spray bottle. However, it's not an antiperspirant. It doesn't control sweat; it makes it smell better, for lack of a better way to say that. It also needs to be reapplied later on in the day. The label specifically says that, though. It doesn't claim to stop the sweat, either. I do like the ingredient lineup. It has chamomile, calendula, aloe, bergamot, lavender, sage, witch hazel, lemon, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils among other things. I wish there was a more feminine smell, maybe something a little fruity like berries or floral. This smells very citrusy and almost woodsy. Plus, I wish it prevented sweat and didn't need to be reapplied later on in the day. Otherwise, it's great. So, I'm giving this a B-.

Next is the floor cleaner. I'll give it an A. I mean, I have nothing bad to say about it. I put some in my mop water the other day, and I didn't notice anything heavenly or absolutely terrible, either. It's not really anything to write home about, though. I like the way it smells. It has rosemary, orange, and grapefruit oils in it. It's handy to spray on drips from a sippy cup, but I don't know how much different it is from the multi-surface cleaner. Maybe I should pay attention to see if one leaves streaks. Anyway, it's pretty useful. The bottle is huge. I'd say about ten to twelve inches tall and about three inches across.
The Soothing Bottom Wash definitely gets an A+. It works miracles on a dirty diaper. After a couple of sprays, you only need one wipe to take care of business. Fewer wipes mean happier bottoms for babies. Really, this stuff is awesome. You've got to get some. Get some now. The bottle will last you a good long while, probably three or six months. I guess it all depends on your child, though. This has witch hazel, aloe, tangerine oil, orange oil, vanilla, calendula, and chamomile. It's about five inches tall.
The Kid's Toothpaste from Honest is also top notch. A+. Isaac loves it's strawberry flavor. I do, too. Yes. I tried it. It smells and tastes heavenly. He literally squeals when it's time to brush his teeth. The brushing part isn't his favorite. The time afterwards where he gets to suck on the brush is his favorite. I really like this. It doesn't have fluoride in it. (Research fluoride. It will make you question all those cups you had to gargle at the dentist as a child.) It does have other minerals in it to take its place, though.  It's smaller than I imagined. It's about four inches tall. You get two tubes for the price, so that's great. 
I like the Honest Bubble Bath, but you know, it's nothing spectacular other than it has chamomile, aloe, calendula, coconut oil, tangerine peel oil, jojoba, and quinoa in it. That's a pretty spectacular lineup for your everyday bubble bath. I'll give it an A. Remember, this is for babies, kids, and adults. I like this because it will last a while, and I won't have to reorder it in my bundle every month like the shampoo and conditioner. The bottle is smaller than I thought it would be when it came in the mail. I'm used to those towering Avon bottles of bubble bath. I'd say it's about six inches tall and about three inches across.
I'm aware of the total ostracization of baby powder nowadays, but it really shouldn't be that big of a deal if you don't get the powder in your baby's lungs. That's true for any kind of powder, and Honest says that on their label plainly and simply. This powder gets an A because it does the job, but it's not like it's fairy dust or anything. It's just baby powder; however, it does have some pretty cool ingredients like aloe, arrowroot powder, cornstarch, yogurt (probiotics), and clary sage oil. I've read that clary sage oil isn't for babies or toddlers, but the amount is so small; it's perfectly safe in this product. This is a very small bottle of powder when you're used to Johnson's. I would say it's about five inches tall and about three inches across. Still, it's $8.95 in a bundle and $12 by itself. That's a lot of money for baby powder. You don't use much, though. It will last a very long time. I guess it all depends on your preference. It's a certified organic product.
The Honest Stain Remover is pretty good, actually. I thought it would be a bust, but it works. I've sprayed Isaac's shirts that had chocolate on them, and it came right out. I haven't tried blood yet or anything like that. So far, it's an A. It has lavender oil in it, so it smells pretty good.
I don't know if it's my dishwasher or what, but I'm just not really fond of the Honest dishwashing products. I've tried the liquid and now the packs, and they're just ok. Even with the rinse aid, they still looked really cloudy with the liquid. The packs are a lot better, but they still aren't as sparkly as I'd like them to be. The Cascade packs work a whole lot better.  These are $11 unless you have a bundle, and in that case, they're a little over $8. That's pretty pricey for dishwasher cleaner. C-
Next is the Honest dish soap. It's ok. I mean, it's soap. It doesn't suds as much as Dawn, but it's pretty good. I haven't really tried it on anything terribly greasy or baked on. It smells really good. It's $4.46 when you get the bundle and a little over $5 if you buy it by itself. They have several different flavors like lavender, lemon verbena, and white grapefruit. I'll give it an A-. It's probably eight inches tall and three inches across.
Last but not least is the Kid's Immunity Boost Powder. It's a reddish/purple powder, and since Isaac is in the 6 months-3 year old range, he only needs a 1/4 of a teaspoon. When I put this into his chocolate milk along with his vitamin pack, you can't even tell it's in there. That's what I really like about it. It has elderberry and other roots that are known to be immunity boosters. So far so good, I guess. I have a friend whose son has used this for a while, and she seems to like it a lot. I'll give it an A. It has 66 servings, so it will last a couple of months.
Health and Wellness Bundle Review (Women's One-a-Day and Toddler Powder Vitamins)
Essentials Bundle (I review lots of things in this one including laundry pods, healing balm, hand soap, cleansers, wipes, diapers, dishwasher liquid, lotion, etc.)
Body Oil and Fabric Refresher (This post was a part of a free shipping deal that no longer exists, so please ignore that.)