Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy birthday to my Mom!  She is celebrating in Walt Disney World with my sister, and I will be joining them tomorrow.  Like me, she is celebrating her birthday by running a runDisney race.  See, the crazy runs in the family.

But I won’t tell you how old she is.  I’m not that crazy.

My mom did her first race at Princess 2011. She and my sister power-walked it together. I’m not sure how they did it – while I run faster than Mom power-walks, I certainly couldn’t walk it at the pace she keeps.  And her legs are no longer than mine!  But she’s well within the time-limits set by the race rules, and I think she loves the bling.

Later in 2011, when my sister decided she wanted to run races and not walk them, Mom coerced Dad into joining her, and they walked the 2011 Disneyland Half.  Dad’s quite a bit taller, so while she power-walks, he strolls.  (I want them to both wear pedometers for a race sometime, just to see how many more steps she has to take to cover the same distance.)

Clearly, she got hooked, and in 2012, she walked Princess, as well as two (I think) local half marathons.  This year, she did the Disney Half with Dad, will be doing Princess this weekend, and she and Dad are also registered for the Dumbo Double Dare (10k and half) out at Disneyland later this year.  And I think they’ll do the same two local races again.

Though she would likely disagree, Mom’s always been fairly fit, attending various exercise classes (unlike me, she’s a class fitness person – I’m much more of a solo fitness person).  Though she’s clearly got a few years on me (what, she’s my mom, this is not news), I’m pretty sure she could plank three times as long as I could and probably do more pushups than I could even consider trying.

(I may have just issued a challenge that I am destined to lose. Except I don’t think she reads my blog.)

But I’m proud of her for seeing something that she wanted (a cool race medal) and going for it.  And she still brings her medals back to her fitness classes and shows them off and may have inspired her daily walking partner to do races as well.  I hope she continues to inspire others and show them that they can do it.  It just takes time and dedication.

In sum, my Mom is awesome and I hope she gets a Mickey Ice Cream Bar to celebrate her birthday today.

How to Grow Old

Today is my grandpa’s 91st birthday.  91 years old.  That is amazing.  And he’s in relatively good health too.  He’s still fairly active, has no major health issues, and has a pretty great life.  Of course, we joke that he has “Old Man Disease,” which is what happens when you decide that you no longer care what others think and just say whatever is on your mind, but hey, when you live that long, it’s allowed.   He’s definitely not a cranky old guy – he’s usually in a great mood.  He just doesn’t care to sugar coat things anymore.  Fair enough.

I look at him and I wonder how I can stay healthy enough to live that long.  Some of it is just good genetics, of course.  And I can only hope that those have transferred to me.  He has siblings with severe diabetes issues related to their weight and I’m sure seeing that helps him stay on track.  He’s kept reasonably trim his whole life, though I can’t say that he’s the sort to deprive himself.  He’s got incredible portion control.  There are always cookies in their house, and he goes to the freezer to get one or two in the afternoon.  I would be constantly filled with cookies if that were my house.

He’s also managed to stay fairly active and until my grandmother was injured in a drunk driving accident (the other driver, not her), the two of them would go on long walks together.  Now he usually goes alone, but it’s not as often. Either way though, the activity was definitely a way that he kept healthy.  He grew up on a farm and has always loved to be outdoors.

Sometimes, longevity is just luck, especially when you hear about all of these centenarians who have made it as long as they have while smoking a pack a day.  But it’s worthwhile to find people who have lived many, many decades and find out what they did to get there.

Holiday Fun

So all in all, this holiday week was a lot of fun.  The promised snow storm never materialized, which was a bit of a bummer, but probably for the best, considering all of the people who had to travel.

As always, we all went overboard with the gifting.  Adorably, my father themed my mother’s gifts towards her walking – the two of them walked three half marathons this year and are planning to go for runDisney’s Coast to Coast AND Dumbo Double Dare.  Dad’s significantly taller than Mom, so he strolls along while she power walks.  It’s kind of unfair, but definitely good for both of them.

I got a lot of fun new gear.  I got a new Sparkle Skirt from my sister, a tri outfit (yikes!) and a jacket from my Mom and a new Garmin 610 from my Dad!  I had to promise him to not be upset if I didn’t use it for the marathon.  It looks cool, but I won’t have a chance to really get used to it before the race, and we all know the rules – nothing new on race day.  But!  As soon as I’m done with the race, I’ll start getting used to it.  I’m currently using the 305, and the 610 is much more streamlined.  And he got me one in pretty colors too.  I’ll have a review of it coming up in a couple of weeks, I’m sure.

Unfortunately, we’ve also been sharing around some illness this holiday.  Mom’s had a sinus infection and Dad’s got a pretty bad virus.  As of this writing, I’m healthy so far, but figure that the odds are good I’ll get it too.   I figure as long as I’m healthy for the race, that’s all that matters.  But I spent the weekend washing my hands as much as possible.

It was great to see everyone.  My grandparents are in their late 80’s and early 90’s, and my aunt has terminal cancer, so the odds are good that this was our last Christmas all together.  I’m glad we made it a great one.

Santa Paws

Holidailies Prompt: Pets and the holidays – share your stories

I think anyone who has pets will understand this statement.  When I go back to my hometown at Christmas, one of the things I most look forward to is hanging out with the dogs.  I don’t have dogs right now, due to cost and lifestyle (and the fact that the cats would then murder me in my sleep), but I love them dearly and miss having them around.  So getting to spend a week at my parents’ house with three giant fur beasts is amazing.  I’m pretty sure only one of them recognizes me, as the other two didn’t come into the family until I moved 13 hours away, but they’re all still fun to hang out with.

And of course, I get to visit with my nephew dog and my brand new niece dog.  FIVE DOGS.  It’s the best party ever.

I’m not sure what my cats think of Christmas.  They definitely like sleeping on the nice soft tree skirt underneath the tree.  I don’t think Cadu has climbed the tree yet this year – at least I haven’t noticed any fallen ornaments.  My poor tree is nearly ten years old and is being replaced after this year because one of the branches is hanging on very precariously.  One year, Cadu decided that he was going to sleep in the tree on that branch.  I don’t understand how this was comfortable for him in any way, but he seemed to enjoy it.

And to those of you who say “I can’t believe you let your cat do that,” clearly you don’t have cats.  They do pretty much what they want to do when they want to do it.  Unless I put a floor to ceiling barrier around the tree, the cats will get to it.  And honestly, they could probably figure out how to thwart the barrier too.  They’re crafty little buggers.


Vacation almost over. Sad.

So today is my last full day of Christmas vacation.  Tomorrow I fly home.  Or at least, I’m planning to.  I’m a bit apprehensive with the new travel restrictions (though I’m flying in the U.S. only, so it might not be bad) and the fact that the airport was partially flooded due to a water main break.  Not a good thing.

But overall, the trip has been a lot of fun.  I’m pretty sure I’ve gained five pounds, and I barely got any running in at all.  I’m hoping that doesn’t hurt my half marathon training.  I’ve still got about 10 weeks though, so as long as I stick to it, I should be fine.  And hopefully the running helps me take off those five pounds (or more – I’m choosing to not look).

Presents I gave were a success, I think, and I got some pretty fun gifts as well – including a Notre Dame Snuggie.  My mom knows what I like.  I will have to find some time to use it.  I wonder what my coworkers would think if I brought it into the office.  It is pretty cold in there after all.