Race Report: Holiday Bowl Parade 5K

Well folks we did it again. My Mom and I raced another 5K. I must say it was pretty darn fun.

On of course another beautiful day in San Diego and yes folks I did the race wearing my skinny jeans. Beat that for fashion and function.

I showed up to the start rested, relaxed and with everything I needed.

This time instead of racing at 2:00 p.m. on Friday it was a 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday race and it wasn't small. There was a crowd of 100,000 people. Turns out they weren't all racing. Many were there for the Holiday Bowl Parade and some were there for the Weiner Dog national championship race thatpreceded our 5K. Man for a little dog they make a lot of noise.

Before the race my Mom and I put our heads together and came up with some goals.

My goals were about the same as last time.
1. First in age (perferably age group course record)
2. First stroller
3.Finish in front of my Mom ( No offense or disrespect meant but a race is a race)
4. PR

I accomplished my goals but it wasn't until the results were posted that I could celebrate my PR. I was a little cocky I guess entering the  race I guess. See I was only a mere 13 weeks when I ran  my last race. Clearly I am much fitter and stronger than before. I know running favors the lighter athlete but ...it's weight to strength. I am soooo much stronger now. Plus, the last 5K I did was on sand. Certainly I would be faster on pavement. The problem I didn't consider, and in truth my Mom warned me about, was the crowd and the corners. I believe 2000 people entered this 5K and about 1700  of them started way to close to the front. I know I am only 15.5 weeks old but I honestly have been training my whole life and some of these people hadn't trained at all. Anyway we really had our work cut out for us in terms of manuvering. No offense but I think my Dad would have been a little more skilled and aggressive at this. I will say my Mom did a pretty good job of ringing her bell, yelling "On your left", and managing to avoid clipping the heel of other racers. I admit I had a few doubts when my Mom's Garmin said our pace was 9:19 a 1/2 mile into the race. I managed to stay relaxed and let her draft off me and things opened up for us. It was close but per my Mom's chip time we PR'd by 1 second. That's a little too close for comfort and I told my Mom next time she should put the timing chip on me. Not to sound like a big shot bragger she tends to lag just a little bit behind me. My Mom said she wanted us to finish sub 22:XX this time but clearly she needs to be a little more tactical if she is to obtain that speed
Yup, that's the Midway behind us.

My Mom really can take advantage of the post race goodies now that she has me and the stroller. I mean who can argue with her when they hand out juice boxes and she asks for two...one for the baby. Seriously who can say no. After the race we enjoyed the Big Balloon Parade.

Betty Boop and The Blue Angels were just a few of my favorites.

My First Christmas

My 15 week birthday coincided with Christmas Eve. Quite frankly my 15 week birthday was overshadowed by Christmas Eve. I learned Christmas is birth of Jesus Christ. I gracefully took a backseat to his birthday and didn't put up much of a fuss. Only a real baby would do that. Plus this great guy named Santa Claus brings presents to good little boys and girls. I heard he had a list of who is naughty or nice. I wanted to be on the nice list.

Judging from the above picture my Dad and I both made the "nice" list as evidenced by my giraffe "Sophie" and my Dad's new cycling jersey. Christmas was quite a blast.Grandma Cindy and Pop Pops came to visit me.  My Dad had some extra time off work to play with me.

Wait that was my Christmas gift. No fair!I'm expected to share already. Oh brother.
Well folks. It's time to enjoy the glow of the Christmas tree while it lasts. Christmas is only once a year.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Love, Tim, Jen, and Annika

Let It Snow

Annika Ruth reporting in once again. What do you know folks it snowed in San Diego county.

My Dad made the most of it when he and his friend Paul rode Noble Canyon in the snow. They even made a movie documentary of the experience. My favorite part is when my Dad tells Mr. Paul to "Ride fast I am video taping". I wouldn't call them amateur riders but definitely amateur producers.

Although I am happy for him don't you think next time he should pull me in one of those bike trailers? Even better how about on a sled? I think I'd like that a lot. It's only fair. He has had 33 and 1/2 years to enjoy snow and I have never even seen it.Why does he get to ride in the snow while I am stuck home with my Mom who thinks giving me a bath is big excitement?  I could do a lot with that snow. I could make snow angels or a snow man. We could have a snowball fight. I could even eat the snow but I am no dummy...I ain't going to eat yellow snow.

Family Friday!

This Friday was special. My Dad took a vacation day and we had "Family Friday". You just know things are going to be good when you wake up to wear this.

My Dad dressed me. Has he got style or what?
I don't know why my Mom kept laughing when she looked at me. In case you were wondering it was cold out. The jacket is highly functional.

Reporting in on world news I'm sure you all heard that the U.S. Troops pulled out of Iraq. Well at the very same time my Mom  enrolled me in Baby Boot Camp. Can you believe it Boot Camp at 14 weeks? At least the class was through the Scripps Wellness Institute and overlooked the ocean and Torrey Pines golf course. I was a little concerned I was going onto a military base.

I did my core work at home before class started. This class was more geared for the Moms than the babies. Core strength is very important for Moms because we babies love to be carried around. It's a good thing I was there to support my Mom. I caught her holding on to my stroller for a few of the balancing and stretching poses at the end of class. What would she have done without me?

Who Needs Two Wheels When You Have Three!

Annika's opinion of climbing Torrey Pines

My Mom told me that everybody who is anybody and knows anything about cycling likes to climb Torrey Pines. She said climbing it on a clear crisp Saturday in December was like going to a Christmas party with the smiling riders in their bright jerseys riding merrily up and down the hill. I said "What are we waiting for? Let's go"....and she said Annika you are 13 weeks old you can not ride your bike up Torrey Pines yet. First of all you can't sit up and secondly your bike doesn't even have pedals.What a kill joy she is.  No, no, no Mom! You don't need two wheels to be part of the fun when you have three. So off we went to join the party.  

First we did a quick tour of the eucalyptus groves to warm up. I love trees. All of my favorite running partners have noticed this. At the top of Torrey Pines she made me a deal. If she could push me up without stopping for a walk break in 60 years when she is old and gray I'll push her up Torrey Pines. I agreed on two counts.
1. I didn't think she could make it.
2.If she did make it she be so old grey and demented she won't remember. (Although she argues that the exercise she gets is going to help prevent the dementia)

When my Mom and her friends ride hills or mountains for that matter they have a rule. The least tired or most fit person has to tell a story on the climb. Well you can guess who did the talking up Torrey Pines. Technically it would be baby babbling or cooing but I did the talking the whole way up the hill. She seemed interested and I distracted her enough that she didn't need a break. Good of me eh? They say I am a good baby. Is there a bad baby in town?

All good things come to an end and it rained on Monday. My Mom did her best to turn the living room into a Gymboree playland.

.. ...And my Mom said I couldn't sit up...o.k so I am getting a little help for the Bumbo chair.

That's ok I will keep my head held high and my chin up.

And I'll keep my eyes open for when the rain stops and I can go outside and play again.

Red Nose Run Race Report

Hello again world it's Annika Ruth. Usually I blog once a week but this week has been so exciting I am blogging twice. Yippee!  My news is big. On the eve of my 13 week birthday I entered my first race, the Red Nose 5 K beach run in Del Mar. It's a charity run for wounded Marines. This was the 20th year the run  has taken place.

I'm pretty excited because in my very first race I beat my Mom and she has been running for years. She was a step behind the entire way!

My race report is going to be primarily in pictures because I am not quite 13 weeks old yet and the language center of my brain is still developing.

Race Report:
1:00 p.m. Arrive in Del Mar. Assemble stroller and run short warm up. Forgo checking PSI of my race wheels as the run is entirely on the beach so low PSI is fine my Dad told me so.

1:20 p.m. Keep a low profile and let Mom handle the paper work for the entry. FYI: My Mom wrote Jennifer and Annika on the entry form. My registration is official.

1:21 p.m Decline any and all opportunities to sit on Santa's lap.

 This can't be the real Santa. he is way too thin.

1:30 p.m. Pre race meal. Sorry no photo available

1:45 Size up competition and set goals.

Goal #1: Set Personal Record (PR)
Goal #2: Age Group Victory
Goal #3 : Beat all furry friends

1:50 p.m. Intimidate the competition

1:55 p.m. Calm pre race jitters with Binky

2:00 p.m. Run

2:23.23 p.m Finish....ahead of Mom.

Photo of finishing time required when realized that official race results consisted of writing down the first three finishers names in pencil on a clipboard. My Mom and I narrowly missed the clipboard. I was 5th, she was 6th. I did accomplish all my goals. I finished first stroller, first in age, ahead of all those with fur, and ......I dropped A LOT of boys. Ok so not many people can race a 5k at 2:00 p.m. on Friday but my Mom says "you got to race who shows up"

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Well hello again world! In case you don't know me by now I am Annika Ruth and I have taken over my Mom's blog. Lucky for me, I timed things just right. I missed Labor Day by only a few days but I arrived in time to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas.

Christmas is my favorite holiday so far. My Mom told me all sorts of stories about getting a Christmas tree. She has exciting tales of trekking through the forest and sawing down a tree. The tree always falling on one of the kids present. Needless to say I was pretty excited when we headed out to get the tree and pretty confused when we pulled the car up to a semi truck at Costco and picked out our tree. Come on Mom! Where is the saw, snow and excitement?

The next step was to decorate the tree. Thank goodness for my Dad. He is really good at stringing the lights, He can reach the very top of the tree without getting out the step ladder. Then my  Mom hung the ornaments. She told me the story behind each ornament. I have to say I have a favorite ornament.
Shortly after we hung this ornament I received the "I did the best I could in life with what I was given, but I expect and hope for more from you" lecture.  I'm sure they have spell check in art these days. In fact there is probably an I phone app for gluing pasta letters on painted popsicle sticks these days.I'm so not worried about my arts and crafts projects coming back to haunt me.

Then they placed presents under the tree.

Hey! I am the perfect sized present.

My mom explained to me that the Christmas tree is topped with an angel or a star. Wait a minute! I'll do it.

If somebody could just give me a hand and hoist me up to the top of the tree. I need some help here.

Liberty and Justice For All

Hello world, it's Annika Ruth again.  I overheard my Mom telling somebody I am 12 weeks old. I object to this statement. I am now 52 weeks old since pregnancy is a 40 week process. That means I am a year old. By rights we should be celebrating my 1st birthday this weekend. I'm talking cake! I'm talking candles! How about a party? Shouldn't there be songs and presents? What about the bounce house? 
Seriously folks shouldn't I get credit for the time I spent in the womb. I hear an awful lot of talk about how hard it is to be pregnant. Nobody seems to ask the baby how hard it was to be squished up in the womb. What happened to justice for all?

This week I went to Buddha Baby Yoga with my Mom twice. It was really fun. My favorite part of class was watching the ceiling fan. My Mom asked why my favorite part wasn't the part where I got a massage from my Mom? Duh!!! I can get that at home. We don't have a ceiling fan at home. I get quite a kick out of the Mom's at yoga trying to do a half or full lotus. I did full lotus for 9 months while hanging upside down.
I know yoga is not competitive but I find that hard to believe because I see my Mom and her friends wearing jerseys and shirts that say "I drop boys". I would like the world to know that at 11.5 weeks of age I dropped the 5 month old boy on the mat next to me. Seriously, he fell asleep 2 minutes into class and slept the whole time! He didn't even participate in tummy time or the itsy bitsy spider song. Next week I am wearing my "I drop boys" onezie. Whoot Whoot! My Mom had to go and humble me by mentioning that yoga is an individual practice and he might have been deep in meditation.

Anyway speaking of liberty and justice my Mom took me to Liberty Station for a run this week. You may have heard of Wine Spec well I am "park spec". I rank parks based on a number of factors. Scenery is important to me. I do appreciate when it isn't too bright and my actually Mom opens up the shade.

I am a super fan of the sunset run. Mission Bay Park does not disappoint.

I know I should be home studying flashcards or something to get prepared for the preschool entrance exam but I guess viewing historical sites will have to do. Liberty Station has to count for an educational experience.

Liberty Station is great. Not to sound snotty but I appreciate there being no "urban backpackers" about. Plus the amenities are great. Rumor has it the best children's story hour in town is there and the best bike shop. The staff at Moment Cycle Sprt are super cool and didn't get upset when I drooled on that carbon fiber bike. Carbon Fiber bikes are perfect for babies. When we drool on them they won't rust and they are nice and light. It wasn't all fun a games though. After the run we had to do the marketing. My job was to pick out the bread to take home.

 My eyes about popped out of my head when I saw all the choices. Being 12 weeks old sure is exciting but it comes with big responsibilities. Wonder what is in store for me next?

Gobble Gobble

Well folks my first Thanksgiving has come and gone. Rather than eating Turkey it seems that I represented the Turkey. My parents were fortunate enough to have been given lots of nice clothes for me to wear. Instead of buying me clothes they seem to only buy me festive holiday costumes. Anyways here is what I have to say about Thanksgiving

I'm 11 weeks old now. I am a real big shot and very advanced for my age. Look at me! 11 weeks old and sitting up in my high chair. Please ignore my Grandma's assistance I am not quite advanced enough for photoshop. I know my secret of assistance sitting in the high chair is safe with Grandma. She is always saying to me "Remember what goes on with Garndma stays with Grandma" My Mom isn't supposed to know about ANY of it. Sounds like Vegas baby. My Mom said the secrecy is  as fine with her as long as it is Mission Bay Park we are walking and not the strip in Vegas.

 Grandpa "Pop Pops" Bruce heard I was a good runner and wanted to go running with me. He also heard I am a really good coach. In the picture below he's trying to get me to divulge a training plan  that will guarantee him a qualification to the Ironman in Kona.

As you can see I am so not interested. Ironman is soooo long it puts me to sleep. I am head coach for my Mom and Dad's racing and training.They promised to keep it short and exciting. You'll hear more of my coaching tactics in future blogs. For my Mom I have one word of advise.

Faster Mommy Faster!

For my Dad: Try not to smile so wide. You are going to get bugs in your teeth.

Double Digits!

Annika Ruth here again, reporting on the most exciting news I can think of. Well folks, I have gone and done it. I have made it big! I am 10 weeks old. Double digits!

 Speaking of double...it looks like there are two of me. For the record I don't have a twin. That is my reflection in the mirror. When I was 9 weeks old I didn't even know what a mirror was. Also I didn't like tummy time, but now look at me go.

In other news for a "stay at home" Mom my Mom and I don't stay home much. I am so mature I allowed my Mom to swim 12,500 yards this week. Blah, blah, blah, I know that Michael Phelps swim that in a morning. Well, I hate to tell you but my Mamma....she ain't no Dara Torres. Plus there was a lot of stroke work and kicking which takes forever, so that's pretty good. Enough already, this blog isn't really about her anymore. It's about me! All her yards she owes to my good behavior and to Coach Sickie's entertaining me. After swim the party really starts. We often go do something with the fun focused on me.

This week we had two big outings to the library. Thursday we went to Baby Sign Language story hour and sing along . I know 9.5 weeks old was a little young for a story hour but my Mom needs to start learning this stuff. She has a lot to learn. I know this because when she sings children's songs to me she often repeats the first verse over and over. Why not the second or the third verse? Because she doesn't know it. Do you know she doesn't even know the "Hello Song". Every children's group begins with the "Hello Song"! Whoa, we got work to do. So anyway, sing language was ok. The Pt. Loma library is really cool for toddlers and kids. The whole downstairs is a children's library complete with a pirate ship. The ship has lots of nooks and crannies to curl up with a book. For now I prefer to curl up in my Moby wrap or sling next to my Mommy but someday...
on a rainy day I might give it a try.
Friday was my favorite activity day ever. We went to the library in La Jolla for mom and baby yoga. It's all about the babies ...sorry Mom's but you don't really need fancy yoga attire or even your yoga mat to attend. we learned songs that my Mom has already forgotten and stretches and exercises to go with our songs. Once again, we sang the "Hello Song". You may think I am young going to yoga at 10 weeks old but it's for babies 4 weeks and up. I really nailed the final pose shavasana.


Next up...my First Thanksgiving