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    Archive for August 2008

    Run, Drive, Sleep? Repeat.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    The above title is actually the slogan for this year's Ragnar Relay Series, but I feel as though it actually was the catchphrase for our most recent weekend adventures! A whole bunch of hard work and preparation finally came to a finish as Mike departed for the relay race start line early Friday morning with half of his team. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ragnar, it is a relay race which is run from LaCrosse, Wisconsin to Minneapolis, Minnesota by 180 teams of 12 runners. There are 36 legs of the 205 mile race which are each between 2 and 9 miles long. Each runner completes 3 legs over the course of anywhere around 30 hours. The teams are split into 2 vans which make exchanges every 6th leg. Mike was the team captain this year for Lost in Pace, his team which was comprised of friends/members of the Rochester Track Club. Mike was in van #1 and was runner #5. The race began for his team at around 9:30am on Friday and they finished at around 3:00pm on Saturday. They slept in high school gyms, friends/family houses, and in the van. The entire race is one big crazy event and everyone had a great time.

    While Mike and his team members were all running on Friday, Benjamin and I drove up to spend the day with Jen, AJ and John. The boys had so much fun playing together! Then we met Grandma Chris and Grandpa Ed for dinner and so that I could drop Benjamin off with them for the weekend. I headed back to the east side of the cities to stay with Cindy and Bert so that I could get up at 2am to volunteer for the race (each team has to provide 3 volunteers to staff the race). It was an awesome experience to be up so early and cheer on the teams in the semi-darkness. I later met up with Mike and his team near the finish line so that I could watch them all finish the race together. The weather was spectacular! It was so exciting to see all of them receive their medals.

    After the team finished, we all went to Longfellow Grill to enjoy their stories and some food. We had another race and an early morning wake up on Sunday, so we both headed to bed early Saturday night to prepare.

    Sunday morning we drove out to the Great Minnesota Get Together with Jennifer and Bert for the Milk Run, a 5k race that begins and ends at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. I know what you're thinking - Mike ran and drove 205 miles over the course of 2 days without much sleep and he woke up Sunday morning and ran MORE?!?!? Yep! He's crazy! The Milk Run was really fun and we were lucky enough to have another beautiful day for the run. We spent a few hours after the race exploring the fair and eating some tasty foods. Later that day we drove out to Mound for a BBQ at my parents house for most of the Schmitt clan. It was so nice to have everyone together. Since we knew that we would be having a late night on Sunday, we decided to stay over one more night. Mike worked remotely on Monday so we could have a relaxing day. We actually stayed the whole day so we could meet Mom and Dad after work and spend some time on their new boat. Summer is ending too quickly and we didn't want to miss out on our first time on the boat. It was a gorgeous night and we had a great time. Mom even caught nearly a 5 lb fish! She was so excited!

    We are still recovering from the weekend, but wouldn't have it any other way. It was a busy one, but full of great times spent running, with friends and family and having fun! Next up: a Labor Day weekend getaway for Mommy and Daddy!

    Familie Schmitt Goes Camping

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Familie Schmitt camping
    Originally uploaded by Familie Schmitt
    Friday night for us was spent camping with our friends, Jen and Nate, at Lake Louise State Park in southern Minnesota. The park was very nice with many miles of hiking trails that we enjoyed. Once again, Benjamin was a trooper in an atmosphere that could be difficult for children of his age. He made Smores over the fire and was so excited to sleep in the tent that he went to bed early and slept all through the night. He awoke sleeping next to us in the tent with a big smile on his face, it was priceless.

    The night before Mike had a Rochester Track Club board meeting so Benjamin and I were left to entertain ourselves. We spent the night doing fun things with our digital camera which included taking silly pictures and videos and letting Benjamin have his chance as a photographer. The result is a bunch of funny pictures and hillarious videos which are either on flickr right now or will be very soon.

    A new funny from Benjamin....
    Mike and Benjamin were sitting on the living room couch watching the Olympics ("lypics," as Benjamin says). Mike pulled out some change from his pocket and Benjamin asked if he could have it. Mike said, "No! That's my coffee money!" Benjamin looked so taken aback and said "But Daddy - NO, that's MY milk money!!" Due to the absolute cuteness of his claim, Mike promptly forfitted the money.

    Oh, the things kids say!!


    Monday, August 11, 2008

    I came home from a run on Sunday and asked Benjamin to come outside and run with me. Here was our exchange:

    "Benjamin, do you want to come outside and run with daddy?"

    "No, I want to do my puzzle."

    "Please, I really want to run with you - you can do your puzzle when we get back."

    "Ummmmm....Sure" (said with a feeling of that he knows I'd like it if he did)

    "But dad - I can't run with you right now - I don't have my running clothes on" as he points to his cars shirt and shorts

    "All your clothes are running clothes"

    Upon hearing this news his eyes lit up and his face had the emotion of epiphany.
    He now knew he could run whenever he wanted because all of his clothes were running clothes.

    "Do you want to wear my special watch?"*


    "OK - here you go. Press this button when we start running and press it again when we stop"

    "OK daddy - let's go running"

    We ran from our house to the red fire hydrant and back again for a total of .31 miles. He was very proud of himself.

    "Dad, I want to do that again soon."


    *He liked my GPS watch so much that he wore it for the rest of the morning and even through lunch. However, he did inform me that he wouldn't wear it to bed.


    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    We had been planning a nice relaxing weekend at home, so things were a little thrown off by a sickness on Friday, but luckily things picked up as soon as Benjamin felt better. Mike had the day off on Friday to spend with his family at the Olmsted County Fair for IBM day. We were given free entrance to the fair and $10.00 in food tickets along with access to the IBM building, which featured family activities and music. Benjamin really wanted to see the animals so we walked around a bit first looking at the standard county fair varieties: cows, horses, sheep, goats, rabbits. Our fair also has a number of exotic animals on display, including a camel and a "ze-donk" (what you get when you breed a donkey with a zebra - weird). Benjamin had been feeling a little strangely all morning, so we figured that we should probably get home soon so he could take a nap. We grabbed some of our free food and sat down inside the IBM building ready to take our very first bite when the sickness decided to rear its ugly head all over Mike's shorts!! We quickly scooped up Benjamin and got him to the car. I think he fell asleep as soon as we pulled away. He actually napped for a total of about 5-6 hours during the day and slept a full night as well. Thankfully he did not get sick again, but we were worried about how he felt because we were scheduled to volunteer at a waterstop for the training runs early Saturday morning.

    We still were not sure how he was going to be when he woke up, so to play it safe, Mike stayed home with him while I went out to gather the waterstop goods and get our spot all set up for the runners. About an hour later they met me out at our spot, Mike ready to run with the group from that point and Benjamin apparently feeling a MILLION times better. He and Daddy did a few practice laps and played in the adjacent playground while we waited for the first runners to come through. Whatever decided to interfere with our day on Friday must have only been a 24 hour virus, because Benjamin was back to normal already! Hooray!

    We worked the waterstop while Mike was out running, which is always so much fun for both Benjamin and I. We are so lucky to be a part of the running community here, everyone is so amazing to us. After the run was over, Mike and Benjamin headed over to a coffee shop with some other runners while I went home so I could take advantage of the beautiful weather for a bike ride on my new bike! The ride was exhilarating! We spent the rest of the day just hanging out and watching movies. However, the highlight of our weekend was yet to come.

    Earlier in the week Mike had reserved tickets for us to a performance of Benjamin's favorite musical, Beauty and the Beast. A community theatre in a nearby small town was putting the show on and it was going to be Benjamin's first exposure to live theatre (well, besides Sesame Street Live). We talked up the show quite a bit and explained to him that a) you can't talk or cry during the show, b) the characters are just people in costumes, and c) he would be hearing all of his favorite songs. He was sufficiently excited as we took our seats and waited for the lights to go down. He barely moved through the entire first act, he was in awe. When the lights came back up for intermission, he was very concerned and wanted "to see Belle and Beast again!" After a quick visit to the potty and a glass of juice from the concession stand, we were back in the theatre and ready to watch the rest of the show. It was so cute, every once and a while Benjamin (who was sitting on Mike's lap) would lean over and just smile the biggest smile at me, as if he was so excited, he couldn't even speak. He had such an awesome time and now we know that we can take him to more performances. I tried very hard to get a picture of Benjamin with Belle after the show, but he wanted nothing to do with the actors at all!

    After the show we went to our favorite restaurant, Whistle Binkies. Just as we were ready to leave, our friends, the Olsons came along. They joined our table and the kids spent some time playing in the sand volleyball courts, it was very nice. It was a great weekend and we are all sad that it is over and the work week has to begin. It is already August and it is beginning to feel like summer is winding down into autumn. Even though we aren't ready for summer to end, we are all secretly looking forward to crisp air, beautiful leaves and of course, APPLES!!!