Friday, July 04, 2014

July's 12 Mile Run

Yesterday Jeremy got off work early, and I had asked if I could go on a trail run, hoping to knock out my 12 mile run for this month. Kinda cool that I did my 11 mile & my 12 mile in the same week. I was feeling the high from that 11 mile run for a couple of days, it was pretty sweet. Wasn't too badly sore from it either.

Today I am sore!

Jeremy asked me if that 12 mile trail hike/run was the hardest run I've ever done, and after thinking about it, yep, it was!

I went to Rancho in the afternoon, it was pretty dead there. Decided to knock out the PG&E hike first because I knew that would be the hardest part. Hiking the steep in the hot afternoon sun felt like it was going to take me out after awhile; I had sweat dripping off of me and I was taking sips of water very frequently.

But I kept plugging along and I made it! Went slow on the downhills after that; had to conserve energy. Took some bites of my granola bar pieces that I brought along, and also dried cantaloupe, interspersed throughout the run. Filled up my water bottle part way through, it was hot out!

I was tired at the end where I had two flat miles; probably my slowest flat miles ever, but hey, I knocked them out and kept the feet moving when they just wanted to walk. Actually Owen's line helped me through the last 3/4ths of a mile: "Johnsons never give up!"

If it's a family motto, there's some pressure to live that out.

Goal was achieved, and next long run will be July 19th with my brother--our first half marathon together! 13.1 miles. It's going to be awesome.

Monday, June 30, 2014

June's 11 Mile Run

On Saturday I suddenly realized I only had two days of June left and I still needed to get in my 11 mile run for this month per my running plan. 

With Jeremy gone for the weekend helping out at Western States 100, I knew I wouldn't be able to do it on the trails alone. The kids have done 10 miles with me before, that month we were aiming for 8 and Blake threw his blanket. 

And we've been doing an 8.6 loop lately. So I figured adding on a little extra would be fine.

The key to motivating my bikers for these longer runs is to let them pick out something at the store that we don't normally have, to take along for a special snack on the journey. Also a show afterwards usually sweetens the deal. :) This time there was a new movie on Netflix they had spotted a few days before and wanted to watch, so that was their prize this time around. 

I decided on Sunday morning to avoid the commuters on the route I had chosen. Mapped this out Saturday night, and executed exactly the next morning: (I have done all of these trails before, just not connected in one big shot like this.)


The girls are much faster than I, so I often let them ride ahead to landmarks where they can wait and rest while I catch up. This one is "that binocular thingie".


"The log."


This is a little hill they like to ride ahead to go on over and over until I catch up.


Some sections have benches every now and then. This is a bench after the second hill in our journey which is paved.



On our way back now, crossing the bridges for the second time:



From start to finish was 3 hours 22 min. I estimated we stopped for 50 minutes total, which makes the running time 2 hours 32 min. At the halfway point there is a boat park, so I let the kids out for a little bit there, and then we stopped by the boat house (where you can rent boats/kayaks, etc.) for a restroom break, plus all our water & snack breaks. I kept track of the longer breaks when we stopped to snack and at the halfway point, and estimated a couple of minutes where we just stopped to pass around the water bottle.

I should have left earlier in the morning, as we were too late to make it to the Family Bible Hour at church and just made it for Breaking of Bread. But at least we made it. I would have hated to miss church! That would have been the first Sunday I've missed this year. I don't really like making New Year's Resolutions, but this has been my goal for this year, to make it to church every Sunday. I feel like when I was pregnant but more especially when I was nursing, we were not as regular because life was just overwhelming at times!

A new chapter in our lives now, post-kid-bearing. Kinda weird but kinda nice to have a break body-wise and get to enjoy hanging out with my kids! AKA taking them on three runs every week. ;)

Then there are times where I long for another baby. The girls and I sometimes talk about how we would like a baby girl. I think they sometimes get to the point where the boys are kinda annoying... destroying their lego creations, tearing down their castles, doing stupid stuff to them at dinner. But then other times they enjoy playing with them and having them around to make them laugh, their big hugs, etc.

I have one male child whose favorite thing to do to me is to ram his face into my butt and make snorting noises.......... I don't even know what to say about that. I have told him many a time to quit, but I've decided it's how he demonstrates his love to me, so whatever. He can't stop. It's an addiction.

Chuckling right now--there are so many things about parenthood you had no clue you were signing up for when you & your spouse decided to make miniature versions of yourself. Ignorance is bliss at that point. But it's the best thing ever.

I love my kids!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Respect at Edgewood

This summer I'm doing a book study at Jess' again with some other women from our church; the book: Love & Respect. You know, the one I mass mailed to people back in the day. It's a good book! This is my third time through it at her place. Not last summer, but the two summers before.

I've had this one moment stuck in my head for around a couple of years now. I just spent a good chunk of time searching for our family pic of this visit, but couldn't find it. We went to Edgewood to hike; Blake was a baby.

We hiked up to the tallest hill, where there is a nice bench to sit on. I sat down to feed Blake. The rest of us had a snack. Then the three oldest were looking around the top of the hill, and then Hayley asked Jeremy if he'd race her down the side of the hill and back up, and he couldn't turn that down; Ada joined in.

Now behind the bench there is a low wooden fence with a sign not to go behind it. They were running on the side of the hill that was not blocked off.

They started down. Then I heard yelling by an unknown voice, "GET BACK ON THE TRAIL!! GET ON THE TRAIL!!"

I was thinking, what in the world is going on. Blake was finishing up, and Seth was nearby. Jeremy and the girls returned and told me that some guy on a trail down below was yelling at them to get back on the trail.

Guess what--this outraged man with an outraged woman came charging up the hill (on the trail of course) and started chewing us out. Told us we were horrible parents and mean & hateful stuff like that. I couldn't even look at them, I just kept my eyes down, I didn't even know what to do.

Jeremy was amazing. He calmly looked at them, let them say their piece, and he said, "oh" in a very chill voice (although I could tell he was worked up inside, but he is a master at hiding emotion and staying calm), and when they realized they weren't getting a fight they left.

This was Proverbs 15:1 lived out before my very eyes, people! "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

To say I respected Jeremy at that moment is an understatement. He was our family's protector!

I still get kinda worked up inside when I revisit this moment in my mind. Like, seriously, who did they think they were? And what right did they think they had to chew us out like that, saying we were irresponsible parents? They were a good example to our kids of HOW NOT TO ACT.

We talked about the situation after they left, and even started joking about it before starting down. Somewhat quietly though, as I felt a little on eggshells at that point. When we started down the hill, we saw three guys walking OFF TRAIL up the hill. We thought about calling out to them and warning them of the hysterical trail couple, but then said, "nah".

Here's the kicker: after we had passed onto another trail to get back to our car, they appeared out of nowhere running our way, and I braced myself. But they gave us a cheery greeting. Like they hadn't seen us before. HYSTERICAL TRAIL COUPLE, DID YOU NOT REMEMBER THE RECENT VERBAL THRASHING YOU THRUST UPON OUR NICE FAMILY OUTING!?!

Sorry for all the caps in this post. It gets me worked up, like I said. I don't understand people like this.

I realize that at Edgewood they do have whole areas of pasture  marked off with a sign to not tread there for protection of a certain butterfly species. Although we joke about how that seems a bit extreme, we respect those areas.

I do not think having a race down & up a small section of unmarked hill w/kids warrants an attack.

Now there was a time recently that I was out running w/my running buddy at the bay, and our older kids walked out on a dry section off trail. They had done this once before. This time a truck drove up and two men got out and calmly asked us to call them back, as there was some species of bird that laid eggs in that area that they were trying to protect. They asked if we had seen the signs to keep out, but we hadn't. (Guess what--there was a sign there next time!)

They were all concerned and got out some huge binoculars and such to check out the area. The kids hadn't gone too far so honestly I doubt they did much damage, but if we had seen a sign we wouldn't have let them go. That was a good example of how protection people should act. I could sense those two men were worked up inside as they were so concerned with this land and how could we be so careless as to let children explore (Question though, when did animals trump humans in protection rights?), but they were very nice with their wording, although to the point.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

6/21/14: A fun and busy day!

Last Saturday the whole family got up early to drive to Santa Cruz for a half marathon Jeremy had signed up for five days prior. We had a loose plan of going to the race and hitting up the beach, and it went really well!

The race started at Harvey West Park, which we've never been to before. It's pretty cool! There were these workout machines next to a ball field, plus a nice playground, swimming pool, etc. We may return to this place!

Jeremy went and got his bib, then we set out. Work out machines first:


Blake's annoying thing that he likes to do at playgrounds/beach is to run with his feet low to the ground so he stirs up the ground cover before him. He thinks it's cool. Jeremy didn't want wood chips in his running shoes so he ran away from him; Blake then chased him!


The playground! Jeremy running off to the starting line to hear the announcements. We walked to follow him.


Jeremy at the start; Jeremy ducking under trees; Jeremy in the front pack. An unusual start, as the runners had to run a circle around the grassy start area before heading off into the woods to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. So I got some shots with my zoom feature. Jeremy was in front of the pack by the time they swung around the end of the circle.  


The kids--I like how the girls are posing, and the boys are obviously wondering about all these people running in a circle around them. 


They sure wanted to climb that train engine! Sign said to stay off though.


Cool playgrounds, we had fun on them!


Brown head spiral. (I think it might have been Hayley who started referring to the rest of us as "brown heads" since Ada & Blake get the red headed distinction.)


Look who the monster caught! This has been my new twist on the monster game--if I tag them they have to go sit in the designated spot and a sibling has to tag them back into play. They like it.


Walking back to the van for a diaper change and to deposit jackets, we saw this firetruck & ambulance pull up and then wheel a stretcher in the direction of the race area. 


After Jeremy's finish (you can read his race report here), we watched this game while he changed. Ada was totally into it, and I could see her being a really good softball player. She's got the speed, she's got the strength. But honestly I think she'll be good at whatever sport she's interested in doing. 


Since I wasn't sure what was at the race area for the kids and I to do while Jeremy raced, I had scouted out Santa Cruz bakeries and selected The Buttery to hit up if the need arose to go occupy time somewhere else. But we had plenty to keep us entertained, the park was great; so after the race and Jeremy had cooled off a bit I asked if we could go to this place for a snack before heading to the beach, so he nicely took us there. And it did not disappoint. 

We enjoyed ham & cheese croissants (2, one for Jeremy and one for kids and I to share), a cinnamon roll, a muffin, and an almond croissant. Jeremy had a chai latte which he said was one of the best he ever had. We sat outside where they had a nice seating area, and a couple of people were playing/singing music together, it was nice. This is what we had leftover to take to the beach, didn't think to take a pic before devouring the above-mentioned yummies. We were all too hungry!



 My system for bakery visits is to divide everything in pieces to share, because everyone usually wants to try everything, and it just works for us in this stage of life. And then nothing gets wasted. (I would hate to waste expensive bakery goods!) It's a treat to go to these type of places. A sweet treat indeed.

On to the beach! A crowded summer day. Although not as crowded as when we went with the parents back on Memorial Day. This time we picked the beach on the other side of the wharf, what we refer to as the local's beach. It's not cleaned like the other side, so lots of seaweed and such.




I've noticed Hayley likes to create seashell pictures when we go to the beach, it's her thing. 




LOVE this picture. The symmetry of it with Ada & Seth and then Hayley in the middle; how the water is breaking over Hayley's legs; the wharf off to the left, boat on the right. 


 Jeremy got a post race nap in on the beach which was good; kids had fun doing their thing playing in the sand, and I played the stick game with the girls for a bit. There was another kid around Blake's age named Blake as well, and whenever his mom called to him, "Blake! Blakey!" our Blake would look at her with a puzzled expression. I'm sure the other Blake did that to me too.

We walked out to the wharf for a late lunch, and they were having this thing called "Woodies on the Wharf". There was even this awesome one with three bench seats for sale, turquoise, we were all talking about how that would be a fun beach car. I should have taken a picture of it then, because when we walked back after eating, it was gone. Sweet car, that.




 Then we went back home and showered off, boys got a nap, and then off to a friend's house for dinner. A very full & fun day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hayley's run-in with a pole.

Last Friday's (6/20) playdate started off normally enough,


but ended with a trip to urgent care. (This taken yesterday when I removed the band-aid.)


Basically, Hayley rode her scooter straight into a tetherball pole, while looking off to her left. KV & I had turned and saw her right as she collided; she immediately put her left hand to her head. I ran over and saw blood. And a good size bump on the right side of her forehead. I put my hand over her hand to put pressure on it, and sat down with her. Then I told her I was going to lift her hand for a moment to check, and when I did I knew she was going to need stitches. 

With this post I'm going to insert 20/20. #1 I should have carefully dabbed/wiped off some blood to get a better look, because when I first lifted her hand the cut looked two to three times bigger than shown in the above picture. I realized later that the blood had started to thicken, and it molded around her fingers, thus making a good-sized line. 

I called Kassandra over and told her about needing stitches, so we ran through some ideas of what to do. 

20/20: #2 Probably should have taken her up on her offer to bring the van around and take Hayley in myself, since she was older and could have held something to her head.

But, I decided to call Jeremy, because when he arrives I always feel like everything is going to be ok! So KV whipped out her cell (mine was in the van) and we called Jeremy. I started off with, "Hayley is going to need stitches". I really gotta work on my opening lines. 

Long story short, KV took the kids back to her place which was close, and Jeremy was on his way. I sat with H on the blacktop. Oh, and KV had gotten some paper towels from the nearby preschool which was really nice of her!

Hayley didn't have her hat on when this happened, like is shown in the first pic. When we were at the urgent care she told me her right shoulder hurt, and I pieced it together in my head: scooter slams into pole, her shoulder hits first and then the right side of her forehead for the goose egg, then the left side onto the ring part of the pole to attach a volleyball net which gave the cut. (My theory.) 

Her forehead injury bled way more than when Seth got a hole in his head. His hardly bled! My guess is (looking back), that when he hit his head some of the skin got pushed in which blocked the blood flow. Hayley had blood down her face, some on her neck and then of course the hand and arm that held it. 

After H & I sat there for an hour (at the beginning she was saying she was really tired and I was concerned she was going to pass out on me so I kept her talking), I talked her into walking slowly to the front of the school we were sitting behind, so we did, but at the end she said she was getting really dizzy (and she was getting a bit wobbly) and thankfully we made it to a tree and sat down. 

KV texted Joylynn that she wouldn't be able to make their afternoon plans, and then they talked and Joylynn offered to come check on me. (Which I had no idea about because my phone was in the van.) 

I think we were under the tree 15 to 20 minutes? Something like that. During that time a teacher asked us if everything was ok and if we needed anything. That was nice, because when we were on the blacktop we saw people walk by within eyeshot and sending us concerned looks, but nobody came by to check on us. I knew if I really needed something I could yell and someone would come help (teachers are usually pretty nice people!), but it was alright. 

It was funny because Joylynn & Jeremy arrived at exactly the same time. 

I felt bad for Jeremy because of stressing him out, we didn't really give him much details on the phone, plus later I found out the addy was misheard so he ended up clear at another part of town. 

I picked Joylynn's because I like getting blood all over my friend's vehicles, jk--I felt like all the blood was dried up and on the front of us so we wouldn't get any on her car, but really it was because I wanted to hold H & I felt like we could be more discrete in the back of her SUV than front seat of Jeremy's truck. We rode a few blocks to KV's house and all the kids came rushing out to see the blood.

Jeremy, H & I grabbed the van and headed to urgent care. And Kassandra had so thoughtfully packed a bag of lunch & water for us--that was amazing. It was lunchtime, and we were hungry! We ate it while we waited. Because that's what you do when you go to the ER or urgent care, you wait. 

So H & I finally get back to a room, and the Dr. is squishing her goose egg all over (obviously causing some pain!) and also squished her cut together a few times and then announced she thought she could glue it. I had conflicting thoughts on that. 

While H & I were waiting on the blacktop, I had taken one or two more peeks at the wound and realized it wasn't as big as I had first thought, but to me it still looked like it needed 3 to 5 stitches. So to hear glue, I thought to myself that maybe I had entirely blown this out of the water, and maybe should have just taken her home and glued it. But then I thought to myself that they probably have stronger glue in urgent care than I have at home. 

The Dr. wanted x-rays. 

20/20: #3 Should have said no to those. I have since learned a "tell" with doctors! The pause. I put it together in my mind, that when doctors mention something they want done that they are not 100% believing needs to absolutely be done, they pause for the parental approval. 

Well, we did x-rays, and her skull was fine. And the Dr. put glue on it. But at least it was purple. Mine is just clear skin glue at home. Hayley even noticed a slight glittery shimmer to it yesterday. Special glue. 

Hayley is not in the stitches club yet as the rest of the family are, but that's ok. 

I should mention here that every nurse and doctor we came into contact with asked if she was wearing a helmet. No, she was not. "Has anything like this happened before?" "No." My kids ride scooters all the time and we've never had them wear helmets with scooters, just with bikes. (Funny thing that, Seth's helmet he hadn't worn in a long time as he doesn't get to ride his bike much, and it seemed too small that morning so I let him ride without.) I guess I didn't think about the scenario where my child wasn't looking and would run straight into a pole. I suppose that is what helmets are for though, those freak type of situations. Just like seat belts. Buckle up!

If there was one dose of pleasantness to our visit to urgent care, it was after we had checked in and H&I went to the bathroom; one of the receptionists walked around to where Jeremy was sitting and asked if we were indeed her parents and not her older siblings, as we looked young. If Jeremy had been rocking his beard I doubt that would have come up. 

Thank you to Kassandra for holding down the fort with our kids, Joylynn for the ride (I sincerely hope we didn't not get any red on your vehicle seat), and the expensivest chauffeur around, the amazing Jeremy. He's my hero who comes to the rescue! Although this time around I think I need to spend a little more time on the evaluating part first. And not freak out with all the blood. 

He is so nice though, and supportive. And he cares about the kids a lot. 

I read in a book somewhere that mothers see their children as extensions of themselves (so true after I  reflected on that post reading!) and so when they see their husbands interact with their children, it is as if the husband is loving their wife when he plays/reads/does stuff with the kids. Very true for me. So it's like a big hug when he comes to drive us to the ER/urgent care for a wound so I can sit back with the kid and keep pressure on whatever it is that needs holding. Teamwork. 

Usually I write these posts pretty soon after the incident, because it releases some pent up stress or something, but this time I wanted to reflect for longer, as I felt like there were some lessons to be learned. (For me. In independent child care in regards to injuries.)

Glad Hayley ended up being ok. 

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Mile Race Take Three

I had a 10k trail race yesterday morning. It was good (trail running always is!), but I could definitely feel the effects of my decreased training the past few weeks. Going to have to return to my disciplined ways between now and the half marathon w/my bro!

I went to the race yesterday with my running buddy, and we had a good time. And this guy was a total God-send in the road, when I felt like I was getting lost about where the entrance to Big Basin was (some of these big parks have multiple ways to get in, and I am directionally challenged at times...); he was super cheerful out with his morning cup of coffee walking the dog, just a random bearded dude living in the woods, had spot on directions for either way. I think it made his day helping us out. :) Guys like being heroes!

This morning we took to the local middle school track again for the girls' and I mile race, along with a couple of kid friends. Jeremy timed for us and S&B hung out with him and watched. Jeremy said that was the fastest start he's seen us do--fresh competition! I know for me there was a 6 year old continually trying to cut me off after the start so I had to grab a chance to sprint past him; he probably helped me PR right there!

Ada took the lead, expected. Hayley settled in behind her, Owen right behind her, and me behind Owen.

2nd lap, same. Apparently when we were coming around the 2nd lap there were some dog walkers on the track on the inside, and Jeremy asked them to please open up for the runners, so they did move to the side. But then on our third lap the three of them with their plethora of dogs were totally taking up the inside on the back straight away, that was annoying to run around, but I don't think they had a clue about track etiquette. Oh well, not the hugest deal, just annoying.

Shortly after that I passed Owen, but then ahead of us there was an infraction on Hayley by someone on their second lap; she should have just kept going but she ran to me to tell me so Ada's lead grew even more.

Fourth lap and done (all of us Johnson girls PRed from the last time we ran):
Ada - 8:24 (compared with 9 even last time, wow!!!) (she knows how to push through the pain)
Hayley - 8:49 (9:04 previously)
me - 9:02 (9:13 last time)
Owen - 9:28

It was kinda funny after we finished and did a little cool off walk, Owen was asking Jeremy and I why people would do this for fun, so we listed our reasons, and we could tell he was thinking it over. We'll see if he wants to do it again or not. :) Either way is fine, I know this kind of thing is not fun for everyone. I told him I was proud of him for toughing it out though! I was kinda surprised that Noah jumped in at the starting line when he had said last night and this morning that he didn't want to do it when the girls asked him about it. Sometimes the excitement catches!

Jeremy said he could tell when Ada was going through pain on the track and she would push through; he said at the end she was pretty well spent. I told him Hayley is probably more like me, a little more conservative on the pain. I think for Ada this is a huge thing for her always beating Hayley and I in the mile; I do wonder how she will react if one of us ever beats her again or if someone else does. In that I hope she'll be a good sport about it and also that it won't crush her desire to race knowing that she might not be the fastest. Obviously if Jeremy ran with us he'd be done in 5 something and would have plenty of time to time the rest of us, but he says he enjoys watching us, so that's cool.

And a good post race breakfast--donuts with friends! Thanks Joel & Kassandra!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Holding Hands: It Could Save Your Life

Last night after dinner we walked to the school playground to get some energy out. We came to the last street crossing, a crosswalk with lights in the ground. (This is not a lighted intersection, but if you push the button lights flash on the road along the crossing and cars are supposed to yield.)

We were heading south, sun was low in the West, with traffic heading towards us from the left. There was a vehicle to our right stopped in the left hand turning lane who witnessed the whole thing. Also a couple of women w/a child sitting on the corner who we had just said hi to.

Jeremy was leading, Seth holding his right hand, and Ada in step with him on his right.

I was behind pushing the stroller with Blake in it, Hayley on my left.

Jeremy pushes the button and cautiously heads out; no one is coming to our right, but there are a few on the left. The lead truck would have plenty of time to stop.

I, Jeremy, and the guy in the left turning lane all realize at the same time that the truck is not going to stop as it approaches the intersection; it's not even slowing down!

(We think the lady had the sun in her eyes.) Although, Jeremy's pretty tall and would have been in her line of vision if she was looking at the road, so not sure how she missed him.

All at once, Jeremy starts moving backwards, I yelled "Jeremy" as I moved backwards, the guy in the left turning lane honks. I'm pretty sure we all held our breath as she passed by.

I was waiting for a scream from one of the three--did they scoot back enough, were their feet going to get run over because they were so close. I consider it a possible miracle that Ada was paying attention like she was and moved back when Jeremy did with Seth. God totally could have had an angel gently guide her back, I would not discount that at all.

After she passed us she pulled into the strip mall off to the right (I don't think she realized what happened at all), we all breathed and I think were in a little bit of shock. If the guy in the truck watching said s with a hit that would make three of us...

Hayley said, "If the truck would have run them over I would have thrown up right here."

I thought about running over and saying something to the driver, but

1. I am not a confrontational person.
2. What would it change.

Very, very thankful to God for protecting our family.