We went on our first family vacation this weekend and we had so much fun! We headed to San Antonio because Josh was running the inaugural Rock n Roll half marathon there. We chose San Antonio because it was a pretty quick car ride (fourish hours) and a good test to see how the Little Miss will do on our big road trip at the holidays. She did awesome – we made the trip with just one stop. We timed when we were leaving with her nap time because she can do some seriously good sleeping in the car. Not so much this time – figures! She was awake for almost the whole trip. I sat in the back with her in case she needed to be fed and she passed the time just talking her head off, which was greatly amusing.
Josh registered kind of late for the race, so by the time we got around to finding a hotel room, they were all booked up. So he used one of our favorite websites to find a studio apartment at Madison Suites. I was skeptical at first since I was a little too busy giving birth to have any part in making trip arrangements, but it turned out fabulous. It was really nice to be able to make our own breakfast and lunch and have a real fridge for her bottles and such. Plus, the area we were in was amazing! When we got in Friday, the first thing we did was to stop by the Alamodome and pick up Josh’s registration packet. We then went to the apartment and got all settled in (and tried to take a nap, but someone wouldn’t cooperate) so we went exploring a bit. We were only two blocks from the residential portion of the riverwalk so we took a little walk on it and through the neighborhood. King William is a gorgeous neighborhood and some of the homes are just absolutely stunning.
Since the race wasn’t until Sunday, we were able to go sight see on Saturday. We just went to the Alamo and the riverwalk since Josh needed to be back and resting by the afternoon. Josh had never been to the Alamo before, but Papaw and Mamaw took Brent and me one summer. I thought it was pretty fitting that Marion’s first vacation was somewhere my Papaw took me.
Knowing how narrow the riverwalk gets in some places, we left the stroller at the apartment and I wore her in the Moby all day. Plus, it was the weekend of International Babywearing week!
This was my view all day 🙂
It was an absolutely gorgeous morning
Me and my girl
We stopped at Starbucks before going on to the Alamo and she was still snoozing away.
How we remember the Alamo … with one of our traditional self portraits. I love how you can barely see M’s head in the bottom of the photo!
One of the nice things about visiting in the fall versus in the summer is there are almost no crowds!
Marion started to wake up so we took advantage of the beautiful day and the gorgeous grounds and fed her lunch in the back of the Alamo.
It was pretty breezy and once she woke up, she didn’t want to keep her hat on, so we tried to keep her head covered with a blanket. She wasn’t a fan.
But then she was okay with it
Then she wasn’t.
A nice stranger took a real family portrait for us
This picture makes me laugh for two reasons. One is Miss M just looks silly. The other is that I very vividly remember being there in July with Pap, Mamaw and Brent, sweating buckets and having to walk past all this wonderful, delicious, chlorine smelling water and not being able to get in it. You almost wanted someone to push you in so you could have an excuse for taking a swim.
Josh and the Squidget on the way home again, home again, jiggety jog.
Also, not to get on a soapbox, but a little bit … if you saw or heard of this ad from Motrin
You should know that I happily carried Marion for over four hours and two miles with not a single ache or pain. Ask Josh. (And trust me, I surely would have told him and made him carry her if I felt uncomfortable!) So it’s not self-sacrificial or being a mom-martyr to carry your baby. It’s just really nice to have my hands free and not have to worry about my stroller falling into a canal with the baby strapped inside it. And now I’m done.
So we spent late Saturday afternoon and evening taking a family nap and eating some really good Mexican food.
I also spent the evening with an emergency knitting project. I knew it was going to be cold Sunday morning (we planned on being out to watch at 7 a.m.) and Marion didn’t have any really warm hats that fit her. And this is where being a knitter comes in handy …
The following morning, she’s all warm and ready to go watch Daddy run!
She’s very excited about it too!
We got a really early start – we were at the park at 7: 15, but not as early as Josh. He was up and out the door at 5: 30!
Another reason where we stayed was so awesome was the fact that the race ran right through the neighborhood. We were able to walk two blocks to this little park and watch him about mile 8, then walk up one block and catch him again at mile 9 (ish).
Also, Saturn had set up a little booth and was handing out free muffins and Starbucks coffee – score! Because the neighborhood is so unique everyone knows everyone else and could fairly easily identify me as a visitor so they were really friendly and chatty. It made for a really nice way to pass the time until the first racers came through.
And here they come!
The first guys through were the wheelchair racers. Those are some amazing, amazing athletes. (The bikers were support/medical aides riding in various places throughout the race.)
The first runner is Brian Sell – and he went on to win the half.
The lead pack
The first woman half marathoner
The first woman marathoner
Go Josh go!
Run Josh run!
Josh is happy to be done and Squidget is glad to have her Daddy back!
And so many thanks to Laura for the outfit – it was so perfect for race day! She was so warm and snuggly in it!
Then we came home and I left Josh and Marion together while I went with my friend Lexie to the Madonna concert. She was two hours late getting started and I’m still pretty bitter about it. (The concert was good though)
So here is where I need reader participation – email, call, or comment if you want Josh to start blogging about his running and training because my nagging isn’t working! He did such an amazing job at this race and worked so hard for it that I know my trying to tell yall about it just isn’t the same. But I’m going to try because this is really cool.
The RnR was a huge event – I think they capped it at 30,000 racers. When you registered, you had to put down what time you thought you’d finish the race in, and they made groups of a thousand based on estimated pace. Josh made his time a little faster than he thought he’d do and put down 1h, 45 min and was in the second corral (runners 1000 – 1999). His actual chip time was an amazing 1h, 40min, 52 sec and his official finish time was 1h, 42 min, 08 sec! He said he realized around mile six that he was ahead of his race pace and that he kept trying to slow down so he wouldn’t get burnt out. But then around mile nine when he realized he was feeling good and still ahead of pace, he decided to just go for it. I guess the finish was pretty awful (an uphill access road at the Alamodome) but the rest of the course was really nice and decently fast. His results were awesome!
What’s really awesome about this race is they use this thing called age graded scoring and essentially, it tells you how you rank based on others in your age group and what level you can compete at and excel. For instance, if you got a score of 91% then you could successfully compete at the world class level. Josh’s score was 58.7% – putting him right below the local class level (60-69%). The runners who got in the 60th percent had times of 1h 30min to 1h 38min, so if Josh had taken two minutes off his time, he would have ranked in that 60th percent. I think (and this is where I’m speaking for him since he won’t blog about it!) this ranking system is really neat because it shows him how close he is to being able to be a really serious competitor in the half marathon at the local level. So I think his goal for the Houston half marathon in January is to break into that 60th percent. He’s been struggling for a while to come up with new goals for his running and training and I think this is going to be a really good tool for giving him new direction with his running. And for me, well I have my first 5K in like five years Thanksgiving day and I’m just hoping not to come in last 🙂
And if you’ve ever wondered what 30,000 runners looks like
(I wasn’t quick enough to get video of Josh, so random strangers will have to do.)