We came. We saw. We got muddy.

And just like that…another XC season is over. We traveled from KS to Ohio this past weekend for Coaches Youth XC Nationals. This year it was held at Voice of America MetroPark. Out of the four venues we’ve experienced, I must say it was my least favorite. Zero access to the course. And the mud…oh the mud. I know the mud wasn’t their fault. I don’t know how much it rained before we got there, but thankfully it didn’t rain in the two days we were there. That would have made it an even bigger nightmare than it already was.

Tiny Boy ran an 8:32 2K. 6:51 pace! He made it official…8yo Tiny Boy is faster than 8yo Runner Boy. He has learned so much from his brother’s running, and I hope that trend will continue. He was the 47th 8yo across the line.

The aftermath. The 2K course wasn’t too bad.

Runner Boy ran a 13:12 3K (7:04 pace). He came in 69th 10yo. This is well off his usual pace. He just plain had a crummy race. He said he couldn’t get footing and slid all over the place, tweaking his hip halfway through the race. He couldn’t get up to speed after that. He crumbled into me at the finish line. He tossed his finisher medal in our pull cart and hasn’t asked for it since. It’s hard as a parent to watch him want something so badly and have a bad run during his biggest race of the season. We walked to the car to get the battery pack for our phones, and he held my hand the whole way there and the whole way back. That’s how I knew he was upset.

Hopefully they can both turn it around and ease back into training. Mr. Neon is encouraging both boys to pick up another sport to work on other muscle groups. And Runner Boy has already asked for more biking and swimming. Runner Boy –> Tri Boy.

It’s not very often kids are encouraged by their parents to play in the mud.

Stay neon!

Excuse Me

Note: I started writing this post on Monday with the intention of posting it on Monday. So let’s pretend you are all reading this on Monday.

Excuse me for a second as I relive yesterday over and over again.

Daylight Savings Times was a bust for us. We had to get up early to head to Regionals XC for Runner Boy and Tiny Boy. We could have gone to bed at our normal time and got that extra hour of sleep. Instead, we stayed up late catching up on the DVR and playing games on our phones.

On the way up to Garnett, KS, I was able to get bits and pieces of the NYC Marathon streaming on the ESPN app. I was tracking the leaders and then would hop on when it looked like something exciting was happening.


Oh man…all the feels. Beth from Shut Up and Run said it best with “Did anyone else turn into one giant crying goose bump as she ran into the finish?” YES!

And then we watched the dudes finish. I really thought Kipsang was going to catch the young gun, Kamworor, but he didn’t. And then Meb came through. Oh Meb. Thank you for all you’ve done for the rest of us average human runners. For every ounce of inspiration you’ve given us. Enjoy your retirement.

And just when I thought I had filled my running inspiration tank for the day, my two little bubs toed the line of their own races.

They had talked through the race with Mr. Neon, aka Dad Coach, and had set their goals. They have put in the time this year and have both made steady progress. The weather was good, and they knew the course. They were ready!

Tiny Boy ran an impressive 8:54 2K (7:09 pace). A full 20 seconds faster than his race two weeks ago. It was his first time breaking 9 minutes. I told him later that he only needs to run 14 seconds faster to beat his brother’s 2K PR and break 7:00 pace. He told me, “Done.”

Runner Boy took off like a bolt of lightning. We’ve really been working on him getting out front in races. He struggles to push himself in the beginning and then can’t get up to speed fast enough to break into the lead pack. I saw him at the half way point and he was running 4th. I was shocked. I just yelled, “John, do you realize what you are doing? You are running fourth! Keep it up!”

And then I caught him at the finish line. Literally. I love to catch him at the finish line. He’s spent. He wants me and needs me to hold him up. He held on to 4th and ran an incredible 11:58 3K (6:25 pace). It was his first time breaking 12 minutes and was nearly a full minute faster than his time last year. He hugged me and said, “You are the best parents in the world.” He gives all his success right back to us and thanks us for pushing him and bringing him to races. What a kid.

Tiny Boy was 13th (9th 8yo) and Runner Boy was 4th (2nd 10yo).

Needless to say, Mr. Neon and I are proud as punch, busting buttons, and all those other cliched things you say when you are REALLY REALLY REALLY proud of your kids.

And now we head to Nationals next week. I can’t wait.

Also…is anyone else obsessed with comparing side-by-side of your kids as they grow?

Look how long his legs have gotten!

Check out the muscle development on Tiny Boy! I have a theory that magical things happen for little runners between 7 and 8 and again between 9 and 10.

Stay neon!

TinyBoy Birthday

It’s Tiny Boy’s 8th birthday. EIGHT?! How did that happen?


We are celebrating with pizza, wacky cake, and cinnamon cake. And family.

And I took his class donuts to eat for snack this afternoon. I’m their new favorite. My car will smell like plain glazed for the rest of the week.

Has anyone seen the new feature on Garmin Connect for sharing pictures? Back when I had an Android phone, I was always jealous of Apple phones and the FitSnap app. Now I can just use the Garmin app, which I use all the time anyway!


That quote filled my head this morning on the trainer. This week is week 5 of 12 of part one of my Oly distance training plan. I’ve slowly built up from 30 minute workouts to 45 minute workouts. Soon, I’ll step up to hour workouts during the week. It’s just a matter of minutes, nudging up the alarm clock time. I’ll get back there. I still shake my head when I think of the handful of times I got up at 4am to get in 10 miles before work. How much coffee did I drink back then?

The bike is getting easier. My bum is getting used to the saddle, and my legs are remembering how to ride in aero. Last weekend’s long run was the first one in 4 weeks that my legs didn’t feel like absolute lead. Triathlon training is a whole other monster than just running alone.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to do hillwork. I’ve avoided it long enough. I need to program the workout into my Garmin to take the guess work out of the intervals.

Stay neon!


Well, that was pretty epic.

Who had three days? You won the pot. I lasted three days on #NoBloPoMo. Three days.

Lame. I fail. Whatever. I’m ok with being a failure in daily blogging. MOVING ON!

How about these two?


Seriously…I idolize my 9yo. Runner Boy is fast. It blows my mind that he has pushed himself that far. He finished 12th in the 9-10 age group. He was the 5th 9yo. It was his first time running the 3K and he did it in 12:45 (6:50 pace!). He left it all out there. At the finish line, he was DONE. Mr. Neon had to carry him back over to the tent. What a kid!

The wee, tiny one had a rough day. Poor kid has had a cold/cough situation happening for over a week now. We gave him cough meds about two hours before the race. He got through the race, well below his goal time. I went to get him from the finisher chute and saw him make a beeline for the bathroom. Poor kid experienced his first case of runner’s trots. Insert sad emoji here.

But…they both qualified for Nationals. WOOT! Now we get to drive 9 hours to watch them run for 12 minutes and 9 minutes. Worth it? You betcha! (But Mr. Neon and I do reserve the right to hold it over the head for the next year every time they whine about going to one of our races.)

I’ll give a leg update tomorrow, since I went to the doctor today. I need to process and set some new goals.

Stay neon!

Twenty X2

Boom! Consecutive 20 mile training weeks…yes! The last time I did that was in March when I was pretending that I wasn’t injured.

It was a cut back week, so I only had an 8 mile long run. This week is pretty heavy week with a long tempo and another 10er. Then I get a brief one week taper and RACE. I usually do a 2-week taper, but the 80/20 plans don’t appear to give you a giant taper. You aren’t training at such a high intensity, so your legs don’t need that longer recovery before race day. We’ll see if it works for me. My 13 mile training run came after two 10er weeks and it was my best run of the year. Solid plan.

So, I tried this new thing last week. Vegan Before Five. I don’t know if it’s really a thing, but I made it one. I ate vegan for breakfast and lunch and then ate meat as part of my dinner meal. I liked the way I felt…less bloat, more energy. And then I stopped doing it over the weekend and didn’t do it today. I’ll get back at it once I can hit up the grocery store for some more Amy’s Kitchen meals. Those things make my day, especially the burritos. I also need to start making some vegan frozen lunches myself.


We had our first XC meet of the year yesterday. The boys both did very well. It was WET, but thankfully not super muddy. They got to splash through several puddles. It was fun watching the kids fight the urge to slow down through the puddles and let instinct take over.


Tiny Boy ran a 10:06 2K (8:02 pace) and Runner Boy ran a 10:26 1.5 mile (6:57 pace). Tiny Boy’s 1 mile PR is 8:29, so he did pretty darn awesome. Runner Boy has never run a XC race under a 7-minute pace. We rewarded the shiny new PRs with pizza buffet. Boys who run get their monies worth at pizza buffets!


Stay neon!┬áCheck out the boys’ socks…the love of neon runs strong in our family!