Saturday, August 10, 2013

Double digits-ish....

My goodness. 10 miles is brutal. Who said this would get easier?! It didn’t help that I missed my long run last weekend because of a family camping trip… The humidity level was near 100% and my pace got a little bit worse each mile. But, I can proudly say that I did it. Well, I gotta be honest- I almost did it. My running app started itself over and I misjudged my distance. By the time I got home I was at 9.64. I had to stop. I couldn’t move another muscle. My legs and hips were screaming and burning. I was almost crying. Ok. There were a few tears.  I immediately took an ice bath. The most painful yet soothing thing I have ever experienced. I feel like some sort of sick sadist. I mean, who voluntarily does this to themselves?! I can already tell you why I do it.  The satisfaction of reaching a goal is worth far more than the pain the training causes.
 I have learned a few running lessons lately: running socks are crucial!! Today was my first long run without ‘em and I regretted it at 1.5 miles! I had to stop and take off my shoe to make sure I didn’t have a splinter in my foot- nope. It was a blister!! My running socks make my feet claustrophobic, so I thought I could go without them. Bad idea. A pop up rainstorm improves pace. A dead skunk in the middle of the road improves pace. Attitude is everything (and I have GOT to stop telling myself that I can’t do it). Pace isn’t everything. Just because I run a certain time for 5 miles does not mean I can double it for a 10 miler. ;) (Or a 9.64 miler lol)
I just spent several minutes on and it makes my knees weak just thinking about it!! 41 days!! I’ve been at my training for almost 4 months. And it makes me physically ill, yet so so excited that this is actually coming to fruition. I’ve consistently slacked on my weekly runs. (who has time to run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday?!) But, I am not missing another run from now until race day. My body needs the consistency and the endurance training. To date, I’ve run 233 miles. That makes my heart happy. :o) I love the fact that time passes no matter what- so if I would not have been blessed with the idea to do this the time would’ve still just gone right on by. But, in the four months that I’ve been working on this I’ve logged over 50 runs and over 230 miles.  And I truly feel like a different person.
I feel as though I was led to running for a great reason… Last summer my family experienced a ton of turmoil. This led me and my husband back to church. Well, this summer has been more of the same and I know that running was given to me to be an outlet. An outlet to remove the angst and emotion associated with the poison and drama that seems to be everywhere. To be honest, there are days that I have to work really hard to be happy. I do a lot of praying and I’ve done a lot of soul searching. I know I’m so far from perfect, but I also know right from wrong. I have no intention of sitting back and letting mean people walk all over me. While their decisions affect everyone and this cannot be avoided- how I react to them is up to me. The manipulation, guilt trips, bullying and lies do not weigh me down- because I run.  God gave me the gift of running to assist with coping. It gives me ample time to admire nature, pray, be alone, and gain peace.  It works magnificently. Do I get sad? Yes. Sometimes. Do I have hope and faith? Absolutely. 
I finished reading The Bible and all I can say is Wow. Who was I before I cracked it open for the first time? I don’t know. But my roots are a lot deeper now than they were 5 or 6 months ago when I started. I’m doing a one-year reading plan now and I love it! It is teaching me so much! That, along with running gives me a whole new, more positive outlook on everything. And I can feel God working in our lives and for our future right this second. It makes me giddy. I can’t wait to see what it may bring. :o)

Monday, July 8, 2013

8 miles

Man. I am T-I-R-E-D. This past week of training has not been great. I’m following a generic program I found online, and it recently increased the runs to 5 times a week! I just can’t keep up with that! So, I consulted a good friend who has been at this for a lot longer than I have. She told me to cut on the Sunday easy runs. (They are always only 2-3 miles) But it’s the middle of the week schedule that is near impossible to keep up with. It’s Tues, Weds, and Thurs! I’m off of work on Tues and Thurs so I can usually manage those. But on Weds my runs are horrid. Painful. Exhausting. Mostly because they are evening treadmill runs. After I’ve worked for 8 hrs (doing rehab with stroke patients, hip and knee replacements- all of that jazz), after I’ve cooked dinner, after I’ve somewhat cleaned up my massive mess from cooking dinner. So, my legs are tired and my mentality is not fit for 4 or 5 miles in the dusty basement. So, my new goal is 3-4 runs a week and no more moving my long run to Sunday’s. 

Here are a few things that I learned on my most recent (and LONGEST) run: I can run 8 miles!!!! Bodyglide is a must. Hydration is a must. Maybe don’t run at 2 in the afternoon in early July when the humidity is 80%. Power gel’s are yuck, but amazing. I need to plan better and space out said gels. I can run 8 miles!!!! My family’s support carries my 90% of the way. I need to stop repeatedly counting my cadence during runs. (It gets quite old after counting to 100 42 times. Lol) I love my new Brooks running shoes. I do not like my thick adidas running socks. It feels good to stink after such a workout. Knowing that a huge glass of chocolate milk is waiting for me at home carries me the other 10% of the way. :o) (hey, gotta refuel with carbs)  I’m allowed to think I’m awesome after running 8 miles. I can do this!! I AM GOING TO RUN A HALF MARATHON!!!!

                                                           (I'm really proud of this one) ;)

I know I’ve said it before, but running is such a whole body reset. When I’m at home –which- don’t get me wrong- I love to be home. And I love the fact that I’m knee deep in raising awesome little people. But the truth of the matter is when I’m home I am: a nurse, a referee, a pastor, a plumber, a teacher, a moral compass, a cook, a butt wiper, a hand washer, a housekeeper, a booger picker, an example, a laundry folder, a boo boo kisser, a judge and a jury, a police woman, a wife and a partner, a buddy, a playmate, a swing pusher, a librarian, a chauffer, a tv guide, AND I’m sure there are many hats that I’ve simply forgotten at this moment.
But, do you know what I am when I’m running? A runner. Plain and simple. There is something hugely awesome about simplifying things. It allows time for reflection on God, life, goals, plans. And running is so simple. My pace is getting slower for some reason. It frustrates the crap out of me, but I do not allow the negativity, because I’m so proud of myself. My pace will improve when I’m ready to do speed trials. That is not the goal of my first race.  So, to be perfectly cliché, it is what it is. Whether it’s 11:20/mi or 12:08/mi.

I can’t believe how close I am to my goal. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m up for the challenge. As I sit here, my quads and glutes are throbbing. All day at work I felt like I was trudging through mud because my whole body is tired. (another reason why my long runs have to be on Saturday). But every time I move too quick and it makes me wince- it’s immediately followed by a smile, because I’m doing something that I never dreamt was possible. My body knows the honeymoon is over and the hard work is not going to be stopping anytime soon.  But I LOVE IT!!!

While I'm thinking about it, let me update ya on my mama. I don't know if I'm completely up to date, but I'll try... Her oncologist was not a bit pleased that the radiation oncologist told her she would get a chemo break.... He did give her 2 weeks off to rest, recover and EAT (she has lost a lot of weight). But she resumes chemo tomorrow and it will be every other week for 8 or 9 treatments. :( She is really bummed, but the good news is- they are removing one type of chemo and it's the one believed to be causing the majority of the horrible side effects. She still has a ton of tests to go through... But the plan for the immediate future is chemo. I pray daily (so do my kids and my hub) that her body will stay strong and that her heart will soften to certain taboo health topics- such as QUITTING SMOKING. I pray that she will wake up tomorrow and never want another cigarette. ever. It is ingesting poison just as chemo pumps poison. I'm not a smoker, so I don't know what it's like. But I definitely include it in my prayer. She's tougher than she thinks and she can do it!!!! So, if you think about it. Please say a quick prayer for her. :) It'd mean a lot.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

3 months till race day!!

Wow. There is a lot going on! Let me start with some awesome news that is definitely a result of everyone’s prayers…. As you know, my mom has been battling cancer for the second time. A routine check up found 5 (or 8??) small nodules in her lungs. So she has been enduring chemo for 3 long months. Her side effects have been atrocious including vomiting, diarrhea, and mouth sores. She has said that she would just cry because she’d be so hungry yet she couldn’t eat due to the pain that any and all foods caused her. Well she had a CT scan a week or two ago to look at her progress. On the first call, we were told that all (but one) had shrunk and so chemo would continue. They also told her they noticed something on her spleen and they had planned to ultrasound it and then possibly add radiation to her treatment plan.  All of our faithful, praying friends and family members went to work praying for healing and minimal side effects during the next round of chemo. Well, my mom got a call from her oncologist and he told her that he was not happy about the size of the remaining nodules. He felt that chemo should’ve totally removed them so he referred her to a radiation specialist to get her started with gamma knife treatments-  an amazing alternative to chemo as side effects are minimal and each treatment takes mere minutes. So we were excited. BUT THEN…. (don’t we all just love “but’s” – except when they are coming from our kiddos, I guess :)) So. She went to her appointment and walked away with a ton of appointments and a huge weight lifted off of her shoulders…. They are running a whole battery of tests to make sure they cover every. single. angle. This includes an MRI of her head, the ultrasound of her spleen, upper GI, colonoscopy, and another chest scan. They are considering the possibility that the spots left in her lungs could be scar tissue! NON CANCEROUS scar tissue. :) :) They are checking out everything they can based on some symptoms and side effects my mom has mentioned to them. What all of that means is NO MORE CHEMO. They are going to keep a close eye on her lungs and obviously if there is any growth to the nodules they will immediately intervene. But for now, her body gets to rest and heal (and go through a million tests). Thank you for your continued prayers. Our great big God really intervened on this situation!! And I am forever grateful.

Now, let me update ya on my running. :) Yesterday was the second time I’ve ran 6 miles. The first time was WAY easier than the second. I think it’s because I met 2 friends and it was so amazing to be running with them, even if we were only together for a mile or 2. The camaraderie and accountability was all I needed to get through the 6 miles at my average pace of 11:45ish per mile. The weather was beautiful. The scenery was gorgeous. I felt amazing the rest of the day! Now, yesterday’s run wasn’t so storybook. :) The kiddos spent the night with their grandparents so my hubs and I could go on a date for his birthday. (Thanks again, guys!!) So I planned out a 6 mile route that would have me ending at my in-law’s house. Easier said than done. The weather was nice so I really got to enjoy being outside. But, dang- by mile 4 I felt completely done. My pace was almost 13 minutes per mile… I felt heavy and tired. I ran into the grocery store, bought a Gatorade and forced myself to finish the last 1.5. I had to zig zag up and down blocks because I was only about three quarters away from my stopping point. I feel so proud that I purposely added distance when I was so exhausted. I could’ve gotten to her house at 5.25 and called it a day. But I didn’t. :) I pushed and pushed and dragged myself into her driveway after 6.01 miles. It was my hardest run for sure- now I definitely know that I have to look at the “fuel” I’m consuming during the week and the night before. And obviously a few beers, wings and onion rings from Bdubs aren’t gonna cut it before my long runs. ;) And I absolutely have to invest in some Bodyglide!! I literally have burns in my armpits from wearing a tank top and chafing!! Who knew?!?
I have LESS THAN THREE MONTHS until the half marathon and I’m already so so excited about the prospect of crossing the finish line. My kiddos say things to me like “I know you aren’t going to win, but I know you are going to finish, so congratulations” and when I walk into the door and I’m all sweaty they say “yay, mom! You did it!!” Their pride in me is almost too much for me to handle! It makes me so happy!! And I truly believe that my overall happiness and ability to handle stress and life in general is now directly correlated with running. It is such an amazing stress reliever. Not to mention the fact that it makes you feel so accomplished- like nothing is out of reach. Something I’ve never really felt before because I’ve always second guessed myself.  But I’m proud of myself and I just gotta keep on going! My body is really exhausted today… My lower back, my hips, my legs. The whole deal…. I’m hoping when the kids go to bed I can squeeze in my 2-3 mile “cool down” run. And this week my training bumps up to 5 days a week!!! Ahh! I’m nervous and excited.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Truckin along...

I am loving my runs! The training program I am following has the mileage creeping up rather slowly… I’m anxious to lengthen my runs, but I know that adding mileage or quickly improving pace often leads to injury. So I’m trying to pace myself and just stick to the schedule.  
I’m also QUICKLY learning that my runs aren’t something I can just “work into” my days. I have to make a conscience effort to schedule my “me time”. Yesterday was supposed to be my longest run yet (5 miles). As I was tying my shoes (and that is not a joke- I was literally ready to head out the door), I heard the most God awful scream coming from the basement.  Where the trampoline is. :( I don’t think my feet hit one single stair from upstairs all of the way down to the basement. Addison (my 5 year old daughter) was lying on the trampoline screaming, “My leg cracked”. This is where my heart stops and I go into dramatic mode. I attempted to assess her pain to the best of my overly-dramatic-mothering ability. I determined her knee was swollen and she would not step on it. To the hospital we went…. Instead of me running 5 beautiful, blissful miles. So… multiple x-rays, a dose of motrin, and a grape popsicle later- we find out it’s just a sprained knee (Thank, God). And, of course, Addie practically skipped out of the ER…. So my overly dramatic moment is probably gonna cost us over a thousand dollars in medical bills and one lost run. I did manage to squeeze in 3 quick miles on the treadmill. But I was pouting the whole time… IT’S NOT THE SAME!!! :) 
The plan is to do 5 miles this afternoon…. When the hubs gets home from Lowes. The summer months are such a precious time. There is so much to do and so many great opportunities for family time- cookouts, swimming, birthday parties, and time in the driveway learning to ride a two wheeler. All of these are things that I don’t want to give up.  So it looks like from now until Sept 21st my alarm is going to be going off at 5am for my beautiful dates with the pavement. And I’m ok with that. There is nothing comparable to walking back into your house feeling exhausted, sweaty, and beyond proud that you did it! Again
Having my little family cheering for me and saying “way to go” is a great feeling. I always surprise myself when I finish a run! I hope that inner proud-ness doesn’t leave me. On most days, I feel like a mediocre wife and mother. But on days that I run… I feel like I can do everything a little bit better than I did the day before. It’s the best feeling. Being out in nature for an hour or more is the best feeling. Watching God’s beauty as I creep toward my mile mark for the day is unbeatable.
Is it time for my first half yet?!? I can't hardly wait!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A tiny taste

There is something positively, deliciously untouchable about an early morning run. Crisp weather. The brilliant oranges and yellows from the sun rising across the field. The dew gathering on the blades of grass and occasionally on your running shoes.  Getting home and peeling off soaking wet clothes to hop in a steamy hot shower. All before the kids are awake? It’s untouchable. It sets the pace for your whole day.  Which, in and of itself makes the early ‘beep beep’ of the alarm worth it.
I’m by no means a seasoned athlete. (I was a junior high cheerleader and I played softball in 6th grade… and by “played” I mean rode the bench and turned every game and practice into a social event). However, I can honestly say- in my mere 4 weeks of running something has awoken in me. Something that I didn’t even know was there. I feel a confidence and a determination to accomplish big things. A full marathon is already creeping into my brain. And I’m still 4 ½ months away from my first half. :) I’ve always lacked confidence in most aspects of my life. I’m hard on myself as a mother, a daughter, spouse and employer. But after a run my whole mantra is different. I don’t blame myself for the little things. I’m not as sensitive to little jokes made by others. I feel like I carry around this little secret that no one but me knows. It makes me smile and it makes me stand a little taller.  
I feel proud to have an identity outside of mommy….mommy….mommy…. (you know how that goes). When my feet are pounding the pavement and I’m out of breath- I have the guilt free opportunity to think of things so far away from “Does Avery need his nose wiped?” Does Addie need quiet time today, or has her behavior earned her a free pass?”"what's for dinner?"
Running is such a whole body, mind,  spirit realignment and I’ve had just a tiny taste. I literally cannot wait to continue this journey.  To learn more about who I am as in individual.  To give myself a break from everything 4-5 times a week as I push myself towards goals that I never dreamt were possible.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

20 weeks to go

I registered!! It’s official! I am giddy about the fact that my actual 20 week training program begins on Monday!! I have been running 3 to 4 days a week, with my farthest run being 3 ½ miles. The first week of training is 4 runs, 3 being 3 miles and 1 being 4 miles. I’m still at a walk, jog, run pattern. So I definitely hope I can quickly improve to a jog, run pattern because the miles are only going to get longer. I do feel that as the distance increases so will my stamina and ability. J But, boy, do my shins hurt! My back and abs ache! My knees are more awake than they have ever been!
I’m quite surprised at the negative feedback I get when I tell people I’m doing this. Although, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Most people are negative by default. I myself can be one of them. I have such a negative self-conscience, so when people are questioning my ability it instantly brings me down a notch. But it is absolutely not happening this time. There is something therapeutic and uplifting about being out of breath, sides aching, calves exploding- with a mile and a half to go…. And my inner voice is FINALLY telling me “you can do this- you’ve got this”  (in fact as I’m typing this- my thighs are aching and I’m so exhausted- but I’m itching to go for a run). I will not be deterred from this goal that I feel destined to accomplish.

“A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do” –Walter Bagehot

I learned a great lesson at church on Sunday- the basics of the message were do not compare yourself to others. It sets you up for failure every time because you will always find fault with yourself while you assume others are better than you. That is why I am beyond pumped to be running! I have people hidden from my feed on Facebook because I don’t want to hear that they have worked out 91 times this week and they’ve lost 47.2 pounds—not that their accomplishments should go unnoticed, and yes, they have a right to be proud. But for me- it has a negative affect on my psyche.  (and some people just take it too far) But when I run, I feel so proud of myself and I don’t care what my time is- the fact of the matter is- I got off of my butt and I ran.  Which is what I’m about to do….
 The above pic is the day I had my "epiphany" I was showering and got punched in the face with the notion "I WANNA RUN A HALF MARATHON!! ;)
 Registration complete!! WOOT!! WOOT!! 
Training Schedule printed and hanging on the fridge! YES!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hello, there, stranger.

Wowsers. Where does the time go? I’m pretty much a completely different person than I was when my fingers typed out my last bog entry. I cannot even begin to go into the changes and challenges my family has faced over the past year and a half. Some crucial relationships have ended. Some (even more crucial) relationships have been reborn. I am not going to spend any time blabbering about the ended ones for obvious reasons. They ended because they became toxic and, even though I mourned the loss for a long time, I am considerably happier without them. The most important relationship I could possibly have was regenerated in September. Robbie and I had casually talked about finding a church for over a year. Finally- partially due to the family “drama” we decided it was time that we got some much-needed guidance. It has changed my life.  I’m not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination. But knowing that I’m loved and forgiven is the most amazing feeling.
I began following an “app” to read The Bible in 90 days a few months ago.  I have never read the entire Bible and I think I am about 2/3rds of the way through the program and it, too, has been life changing. I can literally feel myself growing and becoming better. I itch to be a better person
And to do big things.
I feel like I’m being led to run and write. (Not at the same time) ;) I’ve always struggled to stick with exercise programs and healthy living (I don’t use the word diet). In fact I have a nickname around my house- it’s “90%” because I get so close to finishing things and then just stop. Whether it’s washing , drying, folding, and putting away 9 loads of laundry and leaving the 10th load folded in the basket for a week. Or cleaning the entire kitchen and leaving one dirty coffee cup beside the sink. We joke about it, but the truth of the matter is. I’m better than 90% and I deserve more than 90% of any given task.  In light of the horrific tragedy in Boston I have felt in my heart that I want to run a half marathon. Maybe a full marathon will come in the future. But for now my sights are set on the Air Force half marathon. It’s in September. I’m almost giddy about putting my body through such hell. Because I know I can do this. I haven’t registered yet. I may do it today. I’ve never ran in my life. I’ve said my booty is too big (and Avery would attest to that ;)) But that’s a cheap excuse. So- the main point of this blog from here on out is to track my emotions and feelings as  I TRAIN FOR A HALF MARATHON!!!
I mentioned that I also feel as though I’m being called to write. I’ve had two “signs” in the past week that I should pursue writing. Although, one of them is simply positive feedback from a Facebook post… and one of them is a printed version of a letter I sent to People magazine… Yes! A letter I sent was printed on the “mailbag” page of People magazine. I feel these are both indications that I need to write. I wrote a little story about a teddy bear named Bubbles when I was a little girl and my dad told me I should stick to writing. I’ve been told multiple times in my adult life that I should write. So. Where do I go from here? I guess time will tell. But as I finish reading The Bible in 90 days. As I begin training for long distance running. I’m certain God is going to reveal what it is I’m destined to write. Maybe it’s simply this blog tracking my setbacks and accomplishments? We’ll see…..