My “haven’t run in 3 days” excuse de jour? It’s just too darn hot!! It seems we’re breaking records in the temperature department here in balmy Vancouver… 33.8 Celsius! and while I don’t have too big a problem with it myself I find the kids to be particularly cranky, and of course the last 2 nights have been a disaster in terms of children and sleeping. And so, I’m cutting myself some slack AGAIN! And when I say cutting myself some slack I mean that I am cutting myself slack in pretty much every aspect of my life! I haven’t run, read, cleaned and today I’m adding cooked to that list as I am ordering pizza. The Ol’Man is out on a boat with some work buddies and #1 has gone out for the evening with friends so I’ve decided that take out is in order… you know you have a big family when you’ll realise there will only be 6 people home for dinner so what’s the point in cooking and you might as well order out!!
The only thing that I have found myself able to garner much enthusiasm about is our decision to book a family get away… we’ve hummed and hawed about the whole thing for several weeks now thinking that camping was out of the question as there is a ban on campfires in BC because of the weather (because what is camping without the fire?!) and then we were seriously considering me taking the 2 older boys away to get some 1 0n 2 time… (Vegas perhaps?) and then after much discussion we decided that we could all use several days away from the city and this house, so we are going to Tofino which I am very very excited about. The last time we went was when #1 and #2 were 2 yrs and just a few months old respectively and I have been talking about going back ever since- so we’re biting the bullet, whipping out the ol’ plastique and going for it. Can we afford it? Not really. But we need to get away in a big way and I believe there will be something for everyone there. The older boys are already talking about surfing and the little ones are hoping to see a whale. And the best part? I was able to book a big honkin’ SUV that we can all (the WHOLE family) ride in comfortably… on airmiles. How sweet is that?
And did I mention the Back To School package arrived from the big boy’s school today?
So now I figure I have a little something to motivate myself- something to look forward to, so I should be able to hunker down for the next 2 weeks and train, clean, read, clean, cook and generally organize my life knowing there will be this 4 day block of fun coming up…
As long as the weather cooperates… and we all know the weather is a little unpredictable non?
Today I finally get to do a “little” something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, The Grouse Grind. It’s one of those outdoorsy things that I would daydream about while out on my long runs along with kayaking, yoga, cycling, rock climbing, skiing… all things I don’t have time for, things that I get slightly jealous about when I hear people casually mentioning what they did for the weekend (OK for the most part people sans children)- things that I feel guilty for not doing when I live in one of the most beautiful and perfect places in the world for most of those activities, and things that I just wasn’t into when I was young and had no children. I always enjoyed the outdoors but sort of limited myself to a bit of camping and many trips to the beach while most of my youth was spent in dark musty theatres or dingy rehearsal spaces- good times for sure, but I wish I would have taken advantage of my freedom to get out there and ski or hike or something.
One of the many positive side effects of marathon training for me was discovering the joy of getting outside and pushing my body in ways I never thought possible- and while I like to be careful not to place my expectations about new experiences too high I’m pretty darn stoked about the hike tonight. Even if the actual hike turns out to be not as much fun as I had hoped the drinks at the top with the ladies and the opportunity to get out of the house without the kids will surely do this body (and mind) some good.
As much as I love summer and the opportunity to break with the monotony of schedules, the racing from one activity to another, the juggling, the “lets GO! everyone in the van!!” I am certainly finding, in terms of ” getting things done,” I thrive in that atmosphere, when there are a billion things to get done and get to – including training for a marathon, I do much better in the chaos than in the slower summer pace. Let’s face it I’m not one to sit still, OK for 5 minutes maybe but then I need to go- go- go! I’m not saying I’m not enjoying the break, because I am, it’s just I expect I should be able to get stuff done and it doesn’t get done- and that includes “extra” stuff like finally cleaning out the kitchen cupboards or sorting through the mound of papers collecting in the “home office” but somehow there isn’t the time. I’m still up at 5:15 am and I haven’t filled up the time with the pile of “summer reading” that I wanted to get to, I haven’t done my daily strengthening exercises I had planned on doing EVERYDAY and I haven’t taken the kids to the beach nearly as often as I would like- so where has all the time gone?!!
As far as I can figure it’s the lack of “quiet time- that magic 2 hours when I could count on #’s 1,2,3 and 4 to be in school, #5 to play happily on her own and #6 to have his nap- that was my time- somehow I could pack more into those 2 hours than any other time of day- often running on the treadmill, paying the bills, doing the laundry, prepping dinner and STILL having 10 minutes or so to flip through a magazine whilst enjoying a cup of tea.
Now that everyone is under foot that does not happen- there is always something or someone who needs dealing with and as much as I hate making bag lunches during the school year- I now have lunch dishes to deal with! (did I mention I don’t have a dishwasher?!).
Ah well, the theme running through my life these days seems to be ” go with the flow” and not getting worked up about things not going exactly according to plan- after all, that’s what summers all about non?
The weekend started off promising enough… Friday morning I went for an early morning 5 K- which was a treat as the Ol’ Man was home working on the house so I was able to slip out- and it went perfectly… NO knee pain- I was feeling very inspired and seeing as njb had just sent me a training programme that I really like the look of (Hal Higdon’s Novice 3 Marathon Training) I was feeling pumped… I was finally going to get going on a programme.
By dinner time I had a scratchy throat… Oh-oh… my neighbour and the woman who looks after #6 once a week had had strep throat. I went to bed and woke up a 2 am unable to swallow.
Drats. I haven’t felt that sick for a long long time. I knew if I got antibiotics in me they would kick in right away as it has been years since I’ve taken any- but I would have to go through the whole Doctor’s office, swab, lab, waiting…
I called the Doctor first thing Saturday morning and of course they were not in but I did get the (very young sounding) Doctor on call. I explained my situation- making sure to include the fact that I had been in contact with 2 people who had strep throat AND that I have 6 kids. She promised to talk to her supervisor and get back to me… and what do you know? She did took the “unusual” step (her words) of just calling the prescription into the pharmacy of my choice- God Bless her. Playing the “I’ve got 6 kids have mercy on me” card sometimes works…
After 2 does of the penicillin of I was feeling sooooooo much better- although the antibiotics are zapping my energy somewhat I no longer feel deathly ill with a throat full of razor blades.
I even feel tempted to go for a wee run- although that may be pushing it today. Maybe channelling the bit of energy I have into some strengthening exercises and stretching would be the better choice.
It’s here- summer officially starts for me today. School is done. Hip Hip Hooray. I’m usually enthusiastic about the whole thing for about 4 weeks- the last 4 weeks I spend dreaming of schedules and new school supplies (who doesn’t loooooove new school supplies?!) But for today I am happy not to be making lunches at 5:30 am.
Our plan was to leave on a camping trip today- I love camping, the whole family does but the ol’man hurt his back putting up new beams in our house and we had to figure something else out because sleeping on the ground wasn’t really an option for him right now, so, instead of camping we are staying at a… resort! Whoo-hoo! I do like camping but I DO like staying in nice hotels too!
We are going to Harrison Hot Springs. We actually had a free night given to us by the manager last year as the last time we attempted to stay there, there also happened to be a huge Molson Canadian Party booked into the hotel- we hadn’t even checked in when bus loads of 20 something year old’s starting pouring in and it was clear that they were arriving four sheets to the wind- we couldn’t imagine it getting any quieter- in fact, it looked like trouble. Ourselves and every other family lined up for our refunds which they graciously gave us as well as gift certificates for a return visit.
I have to say, trying to book a hotel room is one of those times when I realize that we have a freakishly large family. It’s not until I try to book on line and it won’t let me because we are a “special -sized party” and I have to talk to someone, as in a real person to arrange 2 adjoining rooms- that I remember we are not average. Far from it. But hey, who wants to be average?!
I’m looking forward to just hanging out with the family. We don’t really get to do that much anymore- somehow when there are teenagers in the house, even though I’m quite strict about everybody being home for dinner 90% of the time someone is always rushing off somewhere. On vacation there will be no where to rush to.
Of course I’m packing my running shoes and hope to get a run or two in around the lake.
We’re on vacation baby.