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Month: September 2008

Cruisin’ in the Hamptons

Cruisin’ in the Hamptons

It rained a lot. We got really wet. Our feet were really wet. But the rain wasn’t as bothersome as I thought it would be, and it might have been for the best because it kept our muscles cooler. We planned to stick with a pace group, and we were within sight of the 3:40 runners for the first 14 miles, but then they got new pacers (the pacers only run half the marathon and then they switch fresh legs in) and the 3:40 got out of sight, and then the 3:45, and then the 3:50. Hahaha. So much for that. I knew from the beginning that there was no way I was going to be able to keep up, although I had hoped to at least keep the 3:50 group close. I sort of hit the wall early on (mile 10), but it wasn’t too bad. Mostly I just thought they were putting the miles signs really far apart and it was annoying. :) But that only lasted until mile 16 or 17 and then I started feeling like I could handle it. It wasn’t until about mile 20 that they fixed the problem with the mile signs, but then they got out of sync again for the last mile or two. Both of us started to get really tight the last few miles but by then we thought it wouldn’t be worth stopping to stretch so we just kept running. And I think it ended as well as we could have hoped for. We ran the whole way. We didn’t stop for anything, and we ended up with an overall pace of just a hair under 9:00 minute miles. Like 8:59:02 or something like that. Which means that we made our goal of under 4 hours. We crossed the line with five minutes to spare at 3:55:25. Our net time (the time from when we crossed the start line to when we crossed the finish line) was 3:55:09. And oddly enough, we both placed in our age groups. I got 2nd in mine and Micah got 3rd in his. We had no idea, so we missed the award ceremony. They tell us they are going to send our prizes in the mail. I’m so curious about what they are. I should mention that there were only 300 people to finish the race in less than 6 hours and apparently there are not many 20-30 year-olds who run marathons in the Hamptons on rainy Saturdays in September.
We went with our friends Carrie and Erik Dalzen. Carrie was the one who persuaded us to run and Erik was kind enough to watch Simon and take pictures of us at the finish line. I am really pleased with how the whole race turned out. I’m so glad we paced ourselves well enough that we could run the whole way and that we reached our goal. But I am not ready to be excited about the next one. I’m sure that in time we’ll forget that running a marathon kind of hurts and we’ll do it again. Until then, I think we’re going to get into the 5K and 10K scene a little bit more. Maybe run a half or two. That sounds like fun.

Cruisin' in the Hamptons

Cruisin' in the Hamptons

It rained a lot. We got really wet. Our feet were really wet. But the rain wasn’t as bothersome as I thought it would be, and it might have been for the best because it kept our muscles cooler. We planned to stick with a pace group, and we were within sight of the 3:40 runners for the first 14 miles, but then they got new pacers (the pacers only run half the marathon and then they switch fresh legs in) and the 3:40 got out of sight, and then the 3:45, and then the 3:50. Hahaha. So much for that. I knew from the beginning that there was no way I was going to be able to keep up, although I had hoped to at least keep the 3:50 group close. I sort of hit the wall early on (mile 10), but it wasn’t too bad. Mostly I just thought they were putting the miles signs really far apart and it was annoying. :) But that only lasted until mile 16 or 17 and then I started feeling like I could handle it. It wasn’t until about mile 20 that they fixed the problem with the mile signs, but then they got out of sync again for the last mile or two. Both of us started to get really tight the last few miles but by then we thought it wouldn’t be worth stopping to stretch so we just kept running. And I think it ended as well as we could have hoped for. We ran the whole way. We didn’t stop for anything, and we ended up with an overall pace of just a hair under 9:00 minute miles. Like 8:59:02 or something like that. Which means that we made our goal of under 4 hours. We crossed the line with five minutes to spare at 3:55:25. Our net time (the time from when we crossed the start line to when we crossed the finish line) was 3:55:09. And oddly enough, we both placed in our age groups. I got 2nd in mine and Micah got 3rd in his. We had no idea, so we missed the award ceremony. They tell us they are going to send our prizes in the mail. I’m so curious about what they are. I should mention that there were only 300 people to finish the race in less than 6 hours and apparently there are not many 20-30 year-olds who run marathons in the Hamptons on rainy Saturdays in September.
We went with our friends Carrie and Erik Dalzen. Carrie was the one who persuaded us to run and Erik was kind enough to watch Simon and take pictures of us at the finish line. I am really pleased with how the whole race turned out. I’m so glad we paced ourselves well enough that we could run the whole way and that we reached our goal. But I am not ready to be excited about the next one. I’m sure that in time we’ll forget that running a marathon kind of hurts and we’ll do it again. Until then, I think we’re going to get into the 5K and 10K scene a little bit more. Maybe run a half or two. That sounds like fun.

Run, run as fast as you can!

Run, run as fast as you can!

Marathon training ended today. Hallelujah. We are so excited to run this thing. Well, mostly we are excited to cross the finish line, although I’m sure there will be plenty of good things about the actual run itself. Namely that it is mostly flat.

We feel like we are better prepared this time around than we were in Anchorage, but the weather is looking like it is going to give us some trouble. I’m sure it will just add to the joy and exhilaration and we won’t mind being rained on a bit. We’re still holding to our goal of under 4 hours and we are planning to run with a pace group which should help a lot, but we are also aware that we can’t plan for everything. What we can do is plan to gorge ourselves on pizza and ice cream Saturday night while we kick back and relax (and nurse our poor, sore legs back to health).

Just Called to Say, "Nyeh"

Just Called to Say, "Nyeh"

Simon just called me. We had a nice little conversation lasting over a minute during which I asked him how he was doing and he said, “Nyeh,” which is his all purpose word meaning . . . whatever he wants it to mean. Then I asked him if Dad was asleep and it sounded like he said, “Yeah,” but I could just be making things up. I’m pretty sure Micah is asleep because I talked to him 15 minutes ago and he sounded asleep already, but he said Simon was wired. That’s my boy. I love that he got the phone, called me, and stayed on the line for over a minute. Too bad he hung up on me before I told him I love him.

Not sure how that happened

Not sure how that happened

NYU received its last tuition payment from the Heiselt family today. We’ve been really excited about this particular transaction for quite some time. And we’ve been counting our pennies for the last month and a half in an effort to keep one of our investment accounts safe from NYU’s greedy paws. (We’ve been taking out subsidized loans and then paying the rest of the bill from our savings.) This time around we realized that unless we dipped into that last account, we were going to come up a little short. Actually, quite a bit short. Approximately 10 percent of the total payment. As soon as we realized this we made a tight budget for the next two months and cut out all extraneous expenses (which mostly consisted of ice cream). Then we started looking for additional funds. Micah took a freelance job and I pitched that story I mentioned earlier — but neither of those would bring in the money in time for the tuition deadline. Then we remembered we hadn’t received our deposit check from our old apartment yet. That took care of most of the difference, but we’d still be really tight for our next rent payment. And then we started to find money in random places. The check I got for jury duty a few months ago turned up in one of our moving boxes. I sold an old textbook. Two paychecks were going to be slightly larger than the others. And of course we stuck tightly to our budget. Last week when I added up our resources (excluding the account we are still saving), we somehow had about $700 more than I calculated we would have. Granted, I rounded up the amount of some of our bills and some of them won’t come due until after I thought they would, but I am quite sure I didn’t overestimate our expenses by $700. I can’t figure out where that money came from. The first thing we did when we realized we were in the clear was, of course, to buy some Breyer’s. Yum. We needed it.

Home Alone

Home Alone

Micah and Simon flew to Ohio this afternoon to attend Micah’s grandmother’s funeral. This is the first time that I’ve really been away from both of them since we got married. I haven’t been away from Simon for more than a half day since he was born. This is strange new territory for me. I miss them already. I even thought I heard Simon stirring in his bedroom earlier although I knew perfectly well that he wasn’t there. Of course I have plenty to keep me busy until they get home (I spent the first six hours after they left reading news stories for one of my classes and I feel like I hardly made a dent in my reading for next week), but it sure would have been nice to be there for Grandma Holben and to spend some time with Micah’s family. This picture was taken when Simon was three months old. He was just starting to laugh, and boy could Grandma Holben get him going. She had a special touch with him.

Simon’s Big Night

Simon’s Big Night

Our street had a block party today, which meant a lot of loud music and us wandering around trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to meet people and to be a part of our community. But Simon had a great time wandering up and down the street and then opening and closing the gate in front of our apartment. He seemed to have worn himself right out, so we put him to bed soon after we went back inside. An hour later, we heard him making noises and we let him out of his crib. It was still pretty noisy outside, and we figured the noise was keeping him awake. Micah had been painting the baseboards and Simon decided he wanted to help out. The paint did not get where it was supposed to. It got in his mouth instead, which did not make him very happy. Obviously. A little later we decided to read scriptures. Usually Simon climbs all over us and tries to close our books so we wait until after he has gone to sleep. Tonight started out just the same, but after a few minutes he walked over to the bookshelf that he has been favoring lately. It happens to be the one will all of our church books. Several times this week he has pulled off most of the books and brought them to me while I’ve been reading for my classes. I was expecting more of the same.But instead of repeating this stunt, he pulled off a copy of the Book of Mormon, came back to the couch, sat down with us, opened it and started babbling as though he were reading it. Priceless.

Simon's Big Night

Simon's Big Night

Our street had a block party today, which meant a lot of loud music and us wandering around trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to meet people and to be a part of our community. But Simon had a great time wandering up and down the street and then opening and closing the gate in front of our apartment. He seemed to have worn himself right out, so we put him to bed soon after we went back inside. An hour later, we heard him making noises and we let him out of his crib. It was still pretty noisy outside, and we figured the noise was keeping him awake. Micah had been painting the baseboards and Simon decided he wanted to help out. The paint did not get where it was supposed to. It got in his mouth instead, which did not make him very happy. Obviously. A little later we decided to read scriptures. Usually Simon climbs all over us and tries to close our books so we wait until after he has gone to sleep. Tonight started out just the same, but after a few minutes he walked over to the bookshelf that he has been favoring lately. It happens to be the one will all of our church books. Several times this week he has pulled off most of the books and brought them to me while I’ve been reading for my classes. I was expecting more of the same.But instead of repeating this stunt, he pulled off a copy of the Book of Mormon, came back to the couch, sat down with us, opened it and started babbling as though he were reading it. Priceless.

Unexpected

Unexpected

This is not something you expect to see as you are walking through Prospect Park on a Saturday afternoon:
And this is not something we expected from our little boy:
He actually brings us the monkey to put around his neck. It’s pretty funny. I look forward to seeing more of these little things he comes up with. His other favorite things these days are making up signs that we don’t understand, climbing on our bed so he can look out the window, and riding the train. He signs “train” whenever we hear a train, see a train, or pass a station that he recognizes. Whenever he refuses to sit down so I can put his shoes on, I just remind him that he needs to wear his shoes because we are going on the train and he instantly becomes more compliant.

Evil Postal People

Evil Postal People

I’m either not very intelligent or I have really bad luck ordering school books online. One semester I (sort of accidentally) ordered two of every book. Another semester I forgot to order until the week before classes started and none of them had arrived by the time I needed them for school. This semester I was totally on top of things. I ordered my books three weeks ago. I even compared prices from several different sellers and found the best deal. I expected that they would start coming a few days before school started (which was this Tuesday), but they didn’t. I had received confirmations that almost all of them had been shipped at least a week before so it didn’t make sense that they weren’t being delivered. Until I went back to amazon.com and looked at my orders. Somehow I didn’t change the shipping address from our old apartment. I changed the billing address, but the shipping address was, regrettably, still our old address. And apparently the post office does not forward packages. Blah.

It may not have been a huge deal except that the post office for our old zip code is awful. AWFUL. I hated going there. Long lines, rude clerks, messy lobby. It was worth the move just to get a new post office (which, so far, has been clean, prompt, and a pleasure to do business with). But, unfortunately I had to go back to the old one to see if I could claim my books. After waiting for a long time (15 minutes? 20?) in a relatively short line (there was only one window open) I got my chance with the clerk. I explained the situation — that I probably had packages waiting, but that I’d moved so I didn’t have any delivery slips. She was kind enough to go back and check and found one box with my name on it. It had three of my books, including one I needed for this week. Lucky me. I then asked her if she thought any of my other packages would be forwarded or if I should keep coming back to check for them. She acted as though I had personally offended her. “Your time is done. You’re done,” were her exact words, I believe, as she walked away while I was in the middle of asking her what I thought was a perfectly valid question. Apparently my 15 minutes in line with a cranky baby only paid for three minutes of her time. And apparently I have no skill dealing with people like this, which is extremely unfortunate because I’m going to have to go back there next week to beg for more of my books. Any suggestions?