Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Nightmare, a Five Mile Race and Black Island Farms Corn Maze and Slides

I went to sleep at a decent time last night.  I had been exhausted.  I was out cold by 10:35, then woke up for a moment to see that David Letterman was on, so changed it to Jimmy Fallon.  I do have a preference.  Then quickly fell back to sleep.  At 3:30, approximately, I was roused from my sleep by a very loud scream and crying.  My toddler had a nightmare, or night terror, I am not sure how to tell the difference.  I was awake for the next 2.5 hours, so was she.  That was not what I was expecting as part of preparing for my race that I believed started at 8 am.  I know my alarm went off at 7:16 am.  I know I turned the alarm off.  I was thankful that I woke up at 7:46 am.  I have never gotten ready so quickly for a race in my life!  Thankfully, I knew where everything was that I needed!

I got to the race at 8:01 am.  I was sure that this was one of my race nightmares come true.  I quickly grabbed my MP3 player and exited my van.  I went scurrying around, looking for where the starting line was.  I tried to figure out where everyone was congregating, but when I couldn't figure that out, I figured I would use a port-a-pot....thanks to race day nerves.

I finally found someone and asked them where the starting line was.  She didn't know where that was either, since it was her first year.  I then stated, "I thought the race started at 8."

She replied, "It starts at 8:30."

I then told her the story of my morning (like she cared), and how thankful I was that it was a later start than I thought.  That gave me time to go and change the battery in my MP3 players, since I only had one bar left.  I wouldn't want it to die midrun, although it wouldn't have been the first time that happened to me.

Finally, the call to the starting line was made for the half-marathoners.  I chatted with a couple of women while race directions for the half-marathoners were made.  One of them explained the course, since she was familiar with it.  Then it was time for use five milers to line up.  I always line up toward the back, that way I don't get passed by a lot of people.  We were told that there would be another race on some of the same course we were on.  We had to follow the green arrow, the other race had orange ones.  I made a mental note.  Then the countdown began, backward from 10.

When I crossed the starting line, I started my watch.  Then I just ran, for 1 hour and five minutes.  Unofficially, I ran for 1:08:59.1.  But the half marathoners started a couple of minutes or so ahead of us, and that is when the race clock started that gave the unofficial time.  I still have those moments reminding myself that I ran a 10K in 1:00:15.  I then remind myself that I was 5 years younger, 30 lbs lighter, and hadn't broken my foot a few months before.  The 5 miler was a little more than 5 miles too.  I remember I crossed the five mile mark, and still had a ways to go.  The distance passed the 5 miles, I don't know, but it was a distance, somewhere between .25 mile and .50 mile.

I also saw a woman at an aid station fall down.  She was there by herself.  I couldn't run passed and not find out if she was okay.  When I got to the aid station, I asked her if she was okay.  She stated that she had stepped wrong on her bad ankle and it had rolled causing her to fall.  She was limping around.  I didn't want to continue until I knew she was okay and she assured me that she was.  I was thanked her for her service at the run and continued on.  The conversation didn't last more than one or two minutes I imagine.

Upon finishing the race, I ate a third of a banana and had a glass of chocolate milk.  Then I headed home to pick up my husband and children.  As part of the race registration, I got a free ticket for myself and two guests into the Black Island Farms Corn Maze (where the race started and ended).  I picked them up and we headed back.

They had an area with goats, turkeys, rams, llamas, peacocks and geese.  The photo below is a picture of the children with a kid (baby goat) between them and to the back.  It is brown.  It is hard to see. The children wanted a picture with it though.

After looking at all of the animals, we continued on to several slides.  There is a really long one that looks like it was made out of a plastic pipe.  

This is a picture of my husband going down the slide with my toddler.  She turned three on October 5.  It is so hard for me to believe that my baby is three now!  She is enjoying seeing a photo of her and her daddy on here, with the slide!

This is a picture of my oldest son, he is 11.  They had to ride a burlap sack down, probably to help with going down quicker.  I had to time the photo so that it would get them before they went passed the view of the lens.  So, I had to take it when they were still in the tube.  

This is my oldest daughter, at age 10.  She enjoyed her trip down the tube also.  That was one of the favorite things of the day.

This is a picture of my youngest son, he is six.  Another big fan of the slide!  He went down the slide several times!

Here is my toddler climbing up a rope ladder.  She wasn't a fan of that.  This led to a smaller slide.  Immediately after taking this photo, she exclaimed that she was scared.  I got her off of that.  She and her dad went down the slide together.  He helped her get to the top of that pile of hay.

After the kids got tired of sliding, they announced that it was time to enter the corn maze.  This was the first corn maze any of us had done, except for my husband.  It was an exciting moment, and a little nerve wrecking.  My biggest fear was one of the kids taking off into the corn and getting lost for minutes, hours, or days.  Nothing that I enjoy thinking about... I took a picture of my husband with the children and took one of me with the children, then we continued into the maze.  

 I tried to show off my race number, but it just didn't all show up!  I was number 1009.  Those are some really beautiful children, in my own opinion!  I am blessed to have each one of them.

As we traversed the corn maze, the children took turns picking each turn, from oldest to youngest.  They enjoyed being in control of our destiny.  We went in a few circles.   Phase 1 of the corn maze took us about 10 minutes to go through. 

Then we entered Phase 2, which took considerably longer.  Phase 2 turned into Phase 3 at a tower.  I turned on my stopwatch when we entered Phase 2. We let the children decide our fate, until they got tired of being in the corn maze.  Then we found the tower again, took a look, my husband figured out how to get us out, and we followed him.  We got out of the maze after 39 minutes.  Oh, I didn't mention... I have a horrible sense of direction!  My toddler did make it out of the maze, but she really was tired of it!  She didn't want to be in the above photo, but after I took it, she wanted to be in one, so we have the photo below too!

It was a really fun morning/afternoon with my husband and children.  I was thankful that I got to run the race, and that I was able to run the whole time.  I was thankful that we then got to have this family time together.  It was fun to see the children working together to get us through the mazes.  They worked really well to try to figure out the turns.  Sometimes, my toddler would lead us a way the children didn't think we should go, but we all went anyway.  In the end, we made it out and we had a good, memorable time.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Veggie Picking

Last month, we loaded all the kids into the car.  We decided we would go and get a bunch of veggies from a local "you pick" farm.  We filled up a box, which is an estimated bushel, with eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and green beans.  It was a lot of fun to go out there and get some fresh veggies. The veggies were enjoyable.  The kids were proud of what we got...

I am not sure we will ever do that again.  I have no clue what to do with that many peppers, green beans, and eggplants.  We added some things to our neighbor's compost pile.  I did have some fresh veggies before they met that fate though.  Keith ate a bunch of the green peppers.  We discovered there really isn't anything to do with eggplant, except to make eggplant lasagna.  My daughter cooked a lot of the green beans, and those were really good to eat.

Things I learned, apparently you don't have to have tomato cages.  There were hundreds, if not thousands, of tomato plants, and there wasn't a single one of them with a tomato cage.  They were all just sprawled across the ground.  Not anything I had ever thought of doing, but it seems to work.

I learned that it is easy to fill a bushel basket with eggplants, although there really isn't a use for eggplants.  Have you tasted one?  I don't appreciate the taste of a raw eggplant...  I imagine I would feel the same way about a boiled one.

I guess I am posting the picture because I really enjoy seeing the children :)  I thought I would give a little background to it.  I will continue to wish that we lived back east, where we could have filled that box with blueberries, and freeze them.