Monday, October 25, 2010

Life goes on....

I can't believe that the 1/2 Marathon was only a week or so ago.  This recovery week has been a long one.  I think I've felt every emotion from euphoria to deep grief and reached a new level of exhaustion.  And maybe it's because of this exhaustion that every emotion seems deeper. 

I went to see a local production of 'Rent' this week.  It was a great, I went to see it with good friends.  It was at a dinner theater in Columbia.  As I was watching it I couldn't help but think of  Uncle.  It was one of his favorite musicals, if not his favorite.  He talked about it all the time.   He talked about the song 'No Day But Today' while he was preparing for the NYC Marathon and how that song helped him deal with his mother's death and we sang '525,600 Minutes' at his funeral.  I put that song on my Ipod while I was training too, it helped me too.  It was in a theater that he would have loved too.  Anyway, it's hard to see this musical and not think of him.  I held it together for most of it, but I cried all the way home. I ached because I missed him so much!!  I think some of it was just let down from the race, because I was so high on life after the race, that I don't think I let that emotion in.   So it was almost a perfect way to allow me to process the last part of the journey. 

As reality kind of settled back in our house, new emotions showed up, fear, suspicion and anger.  The evening of the marathon, our neighbors from across the street walked over to our house and brought me flowers, which was so incredibly thoughtful.  They walked back to their house and got right in their car and went to a friend's house for dinner.  15 minutes after they left, someone broke into their house, they kicked in the glass on their back door and stole over $10,000 worth of stuff.  My neighbors were apparently being watched.  They went through the house and trashed it, went through the dresser drawers.  Such a huge violation!!  This didn't happen in the middle of the night, this happened at 8:15 in the evening!!!   We were up, I was getting the girls ready for bed and they were watching a movie with my Dad.  We didn't see anything.  The next thing I saw were police cars out in the street.  It was such a shock.  Another house down the street was broken into as well and 2 houses right across from us had their locks tampered with. 

We live in a lovely tight knit community, this has rattled all of us.  It has left me feeling uncomfortable in my own house.  I feel violated even though it wasn't my house, but it was my neighborhood.  Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, we heard a helicopter circling over head for over 20 minutes.  I asked Seth if he had seen anything out the window and he said he hadn't.  I was a little worried, but I wasn't sure I wanted to know what was going on.  I went to sleep and slept soundly. 

This morning as we were walking back to the house after dropping Sarah off at school, our neighbor was waiting for me to tell me about what had happened last night.  Apparently the helicopter was looking for someone who had tried to break into a house a few streets away and he had run away and had run on the path right next to our house.  Our address was on the police scanner!  They did not find him.  But now, they are increasing patrols on our street and hopefully this close call scared him off and the mayhem will stop for awhile or end totally.  We are being a lot more careful, but I'm going to try not to let it control me.  I pray every night to keep us all safe and I have to trust that.  All our neighbors are on the lookout and keeping their eyes open.  I don't want to be afraid in my own home! 

On a happier note, the girls are doing well, having some trouble listening but other than that ok.  They both love school and are so excited about Halloween.  Sarah is going to be Jasmine from Aladdin and Emma is going to be Tiana, from Princess and the Frog.  Emma is coughing again, no fever though.  Hopefully we can keep the sickness away, although it wouldn't be Halloween if Em wasn't sick, she has been sick for every one.  She is having breathing treatments twice a day, keep your fingers crossed that will work. 

We have also jumped into doing some landscaping and it feels good.  I have always hated the shrubs that we in front of our house.  So I chopped them up on Friday, Seth dug them up on Saturday and we bought new shrubs.  On Sunday after church, Seth planted and mulched them, while I raked up leaves with the girls.  We were outside all day, it was great!  I have plans for the other bush in front of our house and the trees on each end of the house!  I'm really enjoying, planning, shopping, cutting and digging these up ourselves.  I didn't think I would enjoy it, but I have loved it! 

So it has been an eventful recovery week, I'm pretty sure that I need to get back to the gym.  I think that is another reason, I've been kind of down this week.  I need to get those endorphins going!   Sign up for the VT City Marathon relay doesn't start until January, but I'm already planning on it!!    But in the mean time, I have a bunch of things to do around here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

2 hours 55 minutes!!

Hello, sorry it has been a while since I wrote, not much going on with my training during the taper weeks.  But on Saturday, I ran and finished the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon in 2 hours and 55 minutes.  It was a beautiful but incredibly windy day.  I felt like I was running into the wind most of the time, my eyes watered and my lungs burned some of the time.  And as I had heard, some of the hills were brutal.  But I really thought of all my family and friends who had encouraged me and that truly helped me keep going. 

To honor Uncle, my cousin Jessica came up with me wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, since they ran it the day after our wedding 6 years ago and I was running it the day after our anniversary.  So for something blue, I had my shoes and my capris, for something new, I had my Ipod armband, and some SuperGirl silly bands (that were the same "S" shape as Superman - another way to honor my Uncle), for something borrowed, I struggled a bit, but had Seth's car key (which I know is kind of a stretch, but I worked with what I had) and for something old I had a pin from the Statue of Liberty's bicentennial in 1986, I carried that in my pocket, I was afraid it would come off and I would lose it.  But that was also in tribute to Uncle!!   I had also found some New York City stickers, so I put 2 Statue of Liberty stickers and a subway sign sticker on my waist band.  And then I also found some yellow flower stickers, that I'm pretty sure weren't supposed to be buttercups, but that's what I wanted them to be, so I put those on my waist band too. They all stayed on during the race, except one buttercup!   

I met my friend Joni, and her husband Kevin and daughter Chloe at the Light Rail Station at 7:00 and we took the train into the city.  We watched the start of the full marathon, although somehow we missed the guy parachuting out of the helicopter, oh well.  We were off to get Chloe ready for the Kids Fun run.  There was a lot of excitement in the air but I was trying to not let all it all get to me, I just kept saying I was going for a run.  I didn't get to see Chloe run because Seth called and they had made it into the city so I went to meet them. 

We walked over to the starting area, I got into my wave and waiting to cross the starting line.  I saw my family right before I started and it was fantastic.  I was worried about my first couple of miles and my right calf that had been hurting for a week or so.  I wore an Icy Hot Patch on and it seemed to really help.  I got through my first couple of miles with no problems.  I ran through parts of Baltimore I had never been before.  The best part of it was that there were people all along the course, they were out cheering us along.  Kids were out in the street wanting to high five you, it was fantastic!  It really helped and made me smile. 

I had bought a long sleeve shirt to wear under my running shirt, I was worried about the cold and I thought if I got hot, I could just pull up my sleeves.  Well around mile 7, I looked at my hands and my fingers were SO incredibly swollen, my rings hurt.  I couldn't figure out what was going on, I had water at all the water stations and I had just had a cup of Gatorade.  I thought maybe something was wrong with my sodium.  I tried moving them more and putting them over my head.  I was wearing an armband for my Ipod, but both my hands were swollen.  And I was starting to wonder if I should look for a medic or something.  I mean, they were that swollen.  Then a lightbulb went off in my head, that maybe my sleeves that I had pulled up was to tight and that was the problem.  Sure enough, once I pulled them down, the swelling started going down.  Funny now, not so funny at mile 7.

We ran around a lake, that was very pretty and helped to keep things interesting.  As we got closer to the finish line, more and more people were out cheering.  In one neighborhood, they were handing out beer for the "last hill" of the course.  People were handing out gummy bears.  It was very festive!!

Around mile 11, I started getting really tired, I ate some of my Chomps, and that picked me up a bit, I also grabbed a banana at one of the water stations.  That helped some too.   I tried to channel my "inner Kenyan," like my friend Andrea said to me.  And I kept trudging along.  I kept running and in the distance, Camden Yards and the giant Coke sign appeared, so I knew I was close.  But I was really struggling.  As I approached and got about a half mile (maybe not even that far) away from the finish line, I heard my girls, Seth, my Dad, Randy and Charlie cheering me on.  And that is what I really, really needed.  It perked me up so much that I picked up my pace and smiled the rest of the way!  Apparently, Sarah was sad that I "didn't even stop."  The crowds got bigger as I crossed the finished line and they were cheering everyone on. 

Crossing the finish line was a pretty incredible moment!  I sort of wished my family had been there, but was also glad that they were further away to help me get through the last little leg of it.  The clock said 3:14 and I was kind of disappointed that I had finished in over 3 hours, even though I promised myself that I just really wanted to finish it, I really wanted to finish in under 3 hours.  I had hoped for 2:30, but would have been glad for under 3.  When I got home, I checked the website and my chip time said 2 hours 55 minutes, I was so thrilled!!!  Since I was in the last wave to start, it took me that long to get to the start line! 

I met up with my family and we all took the train back to our house for stew.  I wasn't sore, I wasn't tired, but I knew that was coming.  I actually had an amazing amount of energy and I think I was even talking faster than I usually do.  It was a lovely afternoon. 

I'm so grateful that my Dad, Randy and Charlie came down to be here for the race, it meant SO much to me.  Also, this was the first time Seth and the girls had really seen me run.  I felt like Uncle was with me for most of the run, I had asked him several times to be there :)  It was such a magnificent day!!!!  I'm really proud of my 39 year old self!!  And I'm already looking forward to running the Vermont City Marathon as a relay with my cousin Jessica in May!!!  Although I'm not quite ready to run again just yet, my right calf is pretty sore.  And I'm wicked tired!  I'm hoping to get to the gym on Wednesday.  But I will run again!!  I know I can do it!!  And I know that my Uncle is smiling down on his new running niece!!!  I think he would be wicked proud!! 

Thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement over the past few months!! I have been truly overwhelmed!!!  I couldn't have done it without all of you, so thank you, thank you,, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Taper Weeks!!

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted.  Since September 16th, I have run 52.8 miles.  YIKES!  And while I'm really proud of that, I think I have reached a new level of exhaustion.  I had very little motivation to do anything else really.  I ran while both girls were at school and on the weekends.  The runs went well for the most part, my left calf has been bothering me though.  It was all I could do to get them to school and we had a couple playdates.  My house was kind of a wreck.  My back had been bothering me too, so I was pretty discouraged even though the running part was going ok.  I really was just happy sitting on the couch, watching my children play, not doing anything.  I'm not sure if I had ever been that tired.  And I just didn't think that I should be. 

On Saturday morning, we got up, Seth took the girls to soccer practice and I headed out for my longest training run, I was scheduled to run for 12 miles!  I was feeling pretty confident, I decided that I was going to try to really push through the first couple of miles and it wasn't fun but it wasn't that bad.  I saw several people wearing the Baltimore Marathon shirts, so I cheered them on when they went past me.  It was sunny and almost chilly, so it felt great while I was running.  Things were tough the first couple of miles and then I hit a great pace.  At mile 9 though I started getting tired and hungry, which hadn't really happened before. I stopped for a moment at the water fountain each lap around.  I finished my 12.2 mile run in 2 hours and 26 minutes with an average pace of a 12 minute mile.  I was pretty excited! 

I guess because my longest run is over now until the marathon, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  I know, unless something weird happens, that I will finish the 1/2 marathon.  And it looks like there is a really decent chance I will finish under 3 hours.  I will be ecstatic if I could do it 2 1/2 hours.  So we shall see.  I'm feeling a renewed sense of energy.  Even though it's been cloudy and rainy, things seem brighter around here.  When I got home from the run on Saturday, I even cleaned my house!  Then after church on Sunday, we had friends over for lunch.  My friend Joni is running the 1/2 Marathon too, so we made a game plan for the morning.  Her husband Kevin and their daughter will hang out with Seth, our girls, my Dad, Melissa, Randy and Charlie!!  I can't wait to see everyone!!!  So I'm starting to feel good about the day.  I like having a plan, it makes me feel better. 

I went to Road Runner Sports today and picked up some gels and some chews to try out during my run.  I will try them out on my shorter runs.  Hopefully, they won't upset my belly but will give me that extra needed energy during the race.  I'm afraid I made another rookie mistake, I should have tried these out weeks ago. But hopefully, it will all work out. 

So this week, I have 2, 6 miles runs and then an 8 mile this weekend and then it's even less next week.  It's hard to believe that 2 weeks from now it will all be a memory!  A very happy one, hopefully!!! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

More than I can say....

I ran 11.04 miles in 2 hours and 13 minutes on Saturday!!  It was such a gorgeous day!!  I ran around Centennial Lake again, I just love it there, it is so beautiful!  Seth had played an early game of golf, so I went a little later than I usually do, it was almost 11:00 before I started.  The temp was still pretty cool and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. 

It was a really good run.  Now I don't want to sound to "Pollyanna-ish" or overly dramatic, but I did try to block out my negative thoughts, I tried really hard to stay positive, even with the 2nd mile slump.  I said to myself over and over again "This happens every run, you just need to get through it"  I thought of many of the quotes from Lift Your Sole too (  One quote that stuck out was"Know your limits, not so you can honor them, but so that you can smash them to pieces and reach for magnificence."  (Even if you aren't a runner, you should "like" her on Facebook just so she can send you these wonderful quotes every day).  So this yucky second mile happened, like I knew it would, but it didn't seem quite so awful or last as long.  I'm not sure if it was all the positive thinking, starting out later, the gorgeous day or a combination of all of them, but I felt strong and confident!  Also I didn't keep checking my Ipod for my time, I checked it a few times, but not as often as I usually do.  I just had my good music and the path to keep me company.  I did get tired around mile 9, I took a bite of my Balance bar and I kept going and made it to mile 11!!!  It was glorious! 

One nice thing about Centennial Park is that there is a water fountain on the path.  So with each lap, I would stop quickly and get a drink.  I don't like carrying a bunch of stuff when I'm running so I need to figure out how to stay hydrated and keep my energy up. I was looking at those gels and chews at the store yesterday.  I'm not sure about them.  I need to try them out before I run the marathon, I don't want anything new on the day of the marathon.  I've learned that lesson!  Any suggestions would be helpful!

One cool feature about Blogspot is that it tracks your "stats."  It tracks how many hits you get and from where and the source of the link.  It's very cool but sometimes overwhelming.  People from Russia, Japan, Panama, Brazil and Romania have viewed my blog.  (The person from Romania looked at 13 pages of my blog). I love seeing that someone in France is reading my blog regularly and I hope that it is my sister :)  It all seems crazy and a bit cool!  I have no idea how they have found this little blog.  I do put it up on my Facebook page (most of my family is on FB) and I joined a Mom's Blogger group, but I don't advertise, I don't even tag words in it.  So sometimes when I look at my stats it is overwhelming.  I started this blog to keep my family informed about my progress in training for the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon, nothing more.  I have been completely overwhelmed with the feedback I have gotten and I feel like I have so much support on my journey!  I had no idea that my physical training would have such an emotional component to it.  This blog has been an incredible help to me to process everything along the way!  It's less than a month before the 1/2 Marathon, things could get crazy in these final weeks.  So while I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all reading and commenting on my blog, I can't think who might read it while I'm writing it, especially the people in other countries.  I usually just write about how I am feeling and what is going on at the moment that I write it, which I think is a lot different than other blogs.  My friend Alysia writes this amazing posts about her family, every entry has a title that is a song title too and the lyrics tie into her entry beautifully ( Her blogs usually bring tears to my eyes.  Or my cousin Jeneva's blog ( is written with such thoughtfulness and vivid imagary about her family life that it often brings tears to my eyes too.  Other blogs offer some quirky funny anecdote or a review of some product.  I'm just not that clever, this is just me writing about my life and trying to stay positive and look for the lesson that is before me.

When I signed up to run the 1/2 Marathon, I knew that it would be a huge physical challenge, I just didn't realize it would be such an emotional challenge as well.  I have learned a lot about running, about myself and about life.  I can honestly say that I think that going through this has made me a better person too.  So thank you for taking the time to read this, reading my other posts and being a part of this, it means more than I can ever say.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'll be taught how to fly...

Because it's getting so dark out in the morning, I have had to change up my schedule some.  So I dropped both girls off at school and then headed over to Centennial Lake for my run.  I have to admit to my vanity that I really didn't want to drop them off in my workout clothes, but it worked this morning so I will probably do it more often :)

It is another absolutely gorgeous day here!  Not a cloud in the sky and it's that beautiful deep shade of blue.  When I walked up to the lake this morning, it was completely still and it looked like a mirror reflecting back all the trees.   If you didn't know that there was a lake there, you almost couldn't see it.  I wished I had my camera so I could capture it. 

I started out feeling pretty good, I thought since I had been up for a couple of hours and had eaten some that it had really helped.  I was very pleased with how I was doing and then that second mile came upon me and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I got discouraged and thought what have I gotten myself into, I can't even run 2 miles without any problems.  I was very negative.  Even though this happens just about every run, I still play the same things over and over in my head.  And then I get to 2.7 miles and my endorphins kick in and I'm feeling so much better, by the time I get to 4 miles, I feel like I'm really in a good groove.  And my outlook improves and life is good!  I did 6.18 miles in an hour and fifteen minutes, an average pace of 12'11, I was pleased!  I had to rush home to shower so I could go pick up Emma.  It actually worked out perfect, I was even able to blow dry my hair before I picked her up :)  (Again the vanity is showing)

I need to stop all the negative thoughts at that 2 mile mark.  That is the time when I need to remember all the quotes from the website "Lift Your Sole" ( - which is a website that sells running and inspirational jewelry.  I highly recommend checking them out!  I'm a fan on Facebook so they send me a great quote everyday.  The quote from last night was "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising ever time we fall."  Confucius  I actually write them down most days in my calendar so I can re-read them when I'm feeling down.  Another one that I really like is "Courage is tiny pieces of fear all glued together."   So this 2 mile mark is really when I need these quotes the most.  I know that I'm not very fast but I ran 11 miles on Saturday and will run another 11 miles this Saturday.  I need to hold my accomplishment close to me and when I start feeling down and discouraged, I need to kick that negative voice out of my head.

This is my favorite quote from that website: "When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen...there will be something to stand on or you will be taught how to fly." 

Not just in my running, but in life right now, I need to hold on tight to my faith.  I feel enormous love and support from my family, my friends and my new church family.  I'm looking forward to being taught how to fly. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So long as you do not stop...

I did make another rookie mistake.  I went to the gym yesterday and I worked out on the elliptical and then I worked out on the weights.  I was trying to be gentle, knowing that I had the 10 mile run today but I kept going probably longer than I should.  But I felt great and I didn't think I was straining or anything.  It felt so good to be back in the gym, I may have over done it.  But it was a scheduled rest day.  But because of my foot, I hadn't run all week so I was trying to make up for that. 

The run this morning was TOUGH!!  I felt so tired and my legs hurt and felt heavy.  My foot kind of hurt. I should  have respected the rest day before a long run.  Another lesson learned!!  I walked a good chunk of the first 5 miles, I just could not find a pace or get in my groove.  It was a gorgeous morning, the temp was like 56 when I left the house.  But I was struggling!  It was probably the toughest run I have done so far. There was a very funny moment when I hit 5 miles, my Nike sensor voice said "You have reached the halfway point, only 5 miles left"  Right after he said that, the Hallelujah Chorus came on my Ipod.  It was fantastic and made me giggle.  I whispered "Thank you Uncle!"  It seemed like a nice sign from him!  That perked me up and I started to run at a better pace.

In the park this morning was a 9/11 Remembrance Service, there was a Honor Guard and many fire fighters and policemen where there.  I ran past them before the service and I thanked a couple of them.  I hope they knew I was thanking them for so much more than letting me pass on the path.  When I got back around they were just finishing up the moment of silence.   One of the bloggers I follow wrote this today "On this day, Run to honor those whose feet no longer touch the earth,  And now run with angels."  I absolutely love it!!   And I hope I did just that this morning! 

One other bummer of the morning, was that my Nike sensor stopped working at some point at 5.28 miles and I'm not sure how long I ran before I noticed it wasn't working.  I'm not sure what's up, that is the second time on a long run, it has stopped.  Kind of a drag, because the Nike website sees them as different workouts so it counts the total mileage, but it doesn't count as my longest run.  It's kind of hard to explain.  Anyway, I need to figure out how to keep that from happening again, it's such a drag.  So I'm not sure what the exact distance I ran this morning, but I think it was at least 11 miles.  I actually hate not knowing exactly.  But I need to get over that too.  The second half of the run was much nicer than the first half. 

It was a yucky run at first but I felt good at the end!  I'm a little more sore tonight than I have been after other runs.  It has been a pretty big learning curve for me.  I like figuring out these things before the marathon though.  It seems like with each run, I learn another do or don't.  And I'm glad!  I did ask my cousin Jessica about running the VT City Marathon in May as a relay and she said that she would run it with me!!  YEAH!!!   As I was on my run/walk this morning, I kept thinking about Uncle's favorite quote and the name of this blog.  "It does not matter how slow you so long as you do not stop"  And I didn't stop!  I hope he is proud!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First days.....

Just a quick update about my foot, it's not plantar faciitis.  It started feeling better with ice and Aleve on Monday night.  Tuesday morning when I got up, I was expecting that first step to feel awful but it was fine.  It felt ok until I was walking back from dropping Sarah off at school.  I figured I should call the doctor.  My appointment was at 4:30, Seth came home and watched the girls so I could go.  But by 4:30, it wasn't really bothering me at all, but I thought I should have it looked at anyway.  Long story short, he ordered an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture (I had it done this morning, no results back yet).  But he thinks that there is a tiny joint on the outside edge of my foot that is inflamed.  He said to ice it and keep taking the Aleve, but if it's not bothering me, he doesn't think I need to stop running. So that's good news!  If there is something wrong, then I will hear sooner, if it's all good, I will get a letter.  So we shall see.... I talked to my lovely cousin Jessica, who is a doctor and she said that the best thing ever. She said "You ran 10 miles, of course something is going to hurt!"  I loved that, put it into perspective! 

Today was Emma's first day of preschool!!  She was very excited!!  After we walked Sarah to school, we brought Em to school.  I'm not sure if it's because her new preschool is in our church or what, but I really didn't have a lot of angst about leaving her there.  I'm feeling a bit of Mommy guilt that I didn't feel worse about it.  But one of her best buddies is in her class so I was confident she would be ok.  And of course I was right, she had a fantastic first day.  Her teacher is so nice and I really like her a lot.  She can't wait to go back on Friday! 

After I dropped Emma off, I went to get my x-ray done.  I thought that since they don't take appointments, I would be sitting for a long time.  I did get up early this morning and ride 10 miles on the bike because I was worried I wouldn't get my exercise in because of the x-ray and I thought that was pretty low impact. But they got me right in.  After the x-ray I decided to hit the gym.  It would be my first day at the gym in a really long time!  I had to come home and pack up and get ready to go.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to spend a lot of time there but wanted to go give it a try!!  I tried one eliptical and didn't like it so I tried another one and then another one.   I wanted to do something low impact for my foot.  My Nike sensor didn't seem to be working so I kept trying different ones to see if it would work.  After quite a bit of trial and error, I realized that the sensor doesn't work on the eliptical, apparently you need to actually lift your foot up and hit the ground.  That seems to make a lot of sense now, but at the time, it was very frustrating. 

Even though I wasn't there very long and really didn't make the best use of my time while I was there, it was so great to be back in the gym, I loved every minute of it.  I loved trying out the different machines.  I can't wait to go back on Friday morning so I can try out some of the weights.  My foot did start bothering me a bit so after I picked Em up I did ice it and take some Aleve.  But it was nothing like the pain I felt on Monday.  I'm anxious to see if they find anything on the x-ray.  I am scheduled for a 6 mile run tomorrow, I'm pretty anxious about that too.  I'm hoping that my foot holds up, I'm supposed to run 10 miles again on Saturday. Good thoughts and a prayer or two would be just lovely!   Thanks!! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

My foot hurts....

I did get to 10.2 miles on Saturday morning!  It was such a gorgeous morning, the sky was blue, a wonderful breeze and a beautiful setting.  I got to Centennial Lake, stretched a bit and then hit the trail.  Mile 1 was lovely, but mile 2 was SO yucky.  My left calf hurt, I felt tired and I was thinking that I was just not going to make it at all.  When I had finished one lap around the lake I actually switched directions, I'm not sure if this helped or if all my endorphins had kicked in but from that point on, I felt much better.  Mile 3-8 were great, but after 8 miles I started to get a bit tired. 

I'm not sure if I'm not warming up enough, if it's become a mental block or what, but mile 2 is ALWAYS hard for me, no matter where I run.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Also I'm wondering about any long run rituals, superstitions or advice.  I started to wonder if Uncle had special socks he wore on a long run or something he had to eat before hand.  (I'm looking at you, Dave, Randy, Jessica and Aunt Sue :).  I would love to know if he had any special rituals before a long run or a race.  I was really missing him as I was driving over to the park that morning, I would have given anything to talk to him about it! 

I felt fantastic when it was over, when I got home, I showered and we headed out to the Labor Day festival.  I was a little sore, but not how I thought I would feel.  No blisters, nothing.  We had a great time at the festival, but I do have to say that around 4:00, I hit my wall and I didn't want to ride another ride, eat anything else, I just wanted to get home!  On Sunday morning, I was a little sore when I first got out of bed, but after that I felt fine. We went to church and then to a friend's house for lunch.  No worries.  I had my favorite FitFlops on (which I personally think are the most comfortable shoe EVER!)  and my feet didn't hurt at all.  I am pretty tired but not sure if that is from the run or from staying up until after 11.  I need to get to bed earlier! 

Seth let me sleep in this morning until 8:00!  I so appreciated that although I almost wished that I had gone for my run today.  It was so lovely out this morning, it was only like 60 degrees and tomorrow it's supposed to get hot out again.  But the schedule is for me to 5 miles tomorrow morning. It is a high mileage week for me, 5 miles tomorrow, 6 on Thursday and 10 again on Saturday.  It makes me a little nervous actually.  Seth took the girls shopping this morning, which was so nice.  I got a bunch of things done around here.  He got Sarah her shin guards and her new soccer ball for soccer, that starts on Saturday.  She is SO excited about it.  He went to a U of MD football game this afternoon at M&T Stadium.  Sarah wanted to try out her new ball, so we got in our sneakers and headed over to the school fields to try them out. 

I hadn't worn my running shoes since Saturday morning and when I put them on today, my right foot kind of hurt, but I just figured it was sore from the long run.  The ache would come and go and I wasn't really worried about it, I thought it would go away.  We had fun running and kicking the soccer ball around.  Both my girls are such fast runners!  And Sarah can really kick the ball.  Emma can hold her own against Sarah.  We were all having fun and laughing, laughing, laughing!  But after awhile my foot started hurting more and more. It hurts on the bottom of my foot on the outside edge, not really my heel but not really my arch either.  There were times when I put my foot down that it almost brought me to tears because it hurt so much.  The girls wanted to play on the playground for a bit and then we headed home.  My guess is that it is plantar fasciitis, although in the book it says that is in your heel and this really isn't.  I took some Aleve and I'm icing it now.  And I found some stretches that I should do.  I guess I should call my Dr. in the morning, I'm also thinking about getting one of those nighttime positioning things.  But I guess I should find out what it is exactly before I start buying things.  It feels better out of my sneakers, not sure if that just means I need a different insole or something.  I wish Seth was home so I could talk to him about it. 

So I will wait on my run tomorrow, maybe do the stationary bike instead to give whatever this is some time to heal.  Please send happy thoughts and a prayer or two would be greatly appreciated.  I'm hoping not to have to much downtime, that will make me blue.  I'm glad that I wore my sneakers today and noticed this now instead of when I was out for a run in the morning.  I will listen to what my body is trying to tell me and not push it.  I'm keeping my eyes toward the race in October, I need to figure these things out before then.  It seems like with every run, I'm learning new things.  I am also thinking about doing the VT City Marathon as a relay (hopefully with my cousin Jessica, although I haven't really talked to her about it) in May.  I haven't even finished this one and I'm already dreaming of the next one!  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slipping through my fingers....

Ok, so maybe I'm being a bit over dramatic, I mean it's just kindergarten, right?  I know I am, but next thing I know she will be in high school!  Sarah has entered a whole new world of learning and she is truly in heaven!  She LOVES school, loves learning and discovering new things.  She loves reading and is such an excellent artist, I'm in awe of her.  She could draw through a ream of paper in a day if I let her.  So at school, she is free to experience it all in ways that I could not give her.  And I know that is the school's job and I know I shouldn't feel guilty about it (but I do sometimes, I don't know why).   She was so excited when I picked her up yesterday and couldn't wait to go back today.  Sometimes when I look at her, I just marvel at this beautiful being that I brought into the world 5 years ago.

I really like her teacher, she seems fantastic!  She is so caring and has such a wonderful energy!  Sarah already loves her.  Yesterday afternoon after snack, my girls started playing school and Sarah was "Mrs. Burnett."  I will have to tell her that sometime. 

The past two mornings we were able to walk our children right into the gym, right to the teacher! Tomorrow though we just drop them off at the front door.  Her classroom is at the back of the school.  The thought of her walking all the way by herself kept me awake for hours last night.  Then I came up with the idea of asking on of the other mom's if their child might want to walk with Sarah so they could walk together.  That idea allowed me to fall asleep.  Even with this plan in place though, drop off will be infinitely harder for me, Sarah will probably be nervous but she will be fine.  I don't know how parents of children who are bused handle it, I'm fairly certain, I would be a wreck.  I admire those parents!  Several times now, I've seen Sarah talk to herself to psych herself up to do something.  When she was having trouble getting her kite in the air, she made up a song, saying "Never give up, I'll never give up."  When she was trying to psych herself up to go across the monkey bars, she said over and over "I believe in my heart that I can do it."  So I'm sure tomorrow if she has trouble she will talk herself into overcoming her nervousness!  She truly amazes me!! 

I think sometimes I need to be more like her, with her enthusiasm and her amazing self esteem.  I'm so proud of her when she is her own cheerleader.  Sometimes you just need that.  I can't wait for her to cheer me on during the race in October!  She will be over the top!  It will be excellent!!!  I miss her terribly and I can't wait to go pick her up in 2 hours and hear all about her day!! 

Just a quick update about my running:  I ran 5 miles Saturday night after 2 excellent birthday parties.  I haven't run at night in a really long time.  It seemed so different, I'm pretty sure I swallowed a couple bugs.  There don't seem to be any bugs in the morning.  I got home just as it was getting really dark.  I thought since it was the end of the day I wouldn't need much of a warmup, but my calves were bothering me. 
This morning I ran 5.1 miles.  I started later than I wanted to and the inside of my calf was really bothering me.  So I walked for a good chunk of time.  Around 2.5 miles, "There Must Be an Angel" came on my Ipod and I started running and kept going and my leg felt fine.  It seems to take me a long time to warm up, not sure why.  I got home later than I wanted and then our morning was a bit rushed. 

I have a 3 mile run on Thursday and then a 10.2 mile run on Saturday!!  Next week is going to be a high mileage week.  I hope I can keep up!  I hope the weather cooperates too.  I hope Hurricane Earl stays out at sea!!

And I know I've rambled on long enough but wanted to share this quickly.  On the Nike website, there is this "Mini Me" that is supposed to provide extra motivation for you.  I think it's fairly lame, you can customize them a bit, but wish there were more options, mine looks kind of freaky actually.  Anyway, if you click on it, it will say semi-motivating things.  But yesterday I changed mine up a bit and when I was finished it said "Your running skills defy gravity."  When I read it, a chill actually went through my whole body.  I hadn't seen it say that before, I thought it was pretty awesome that it echoed my new theme song. 

Emma starts preschool next Wednesday.  She is going M-W-F mornings.  Who knows how I will be doing next week?!?!?  Weren't they babies just yesterday?  Time has just flown by so quickly around here.  I think time literally sped up when Emma was born.  I'm hoping to spend most of the time they are both at school at the gym!  Hopefully, at first I will be too busy to be sad.  I'm sure next week, I ramble on and on about her too! 

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...

Slipping through my fingers all the time
Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mid-season slump?

I felt great after my 8.33 mile run on Saturday, I wasn't sore at all.  I was kind of expecting to be a little sore, but I really wasn't.  Seth and I even went out to a fancy party for our neighbor's 50th wedding anniversary that night.  I even wore heels, not crazy ones, but heels none the less!  We had a fantastic time at the party.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful neighbors!!  They have just included us from day 1 of living here. It was so lovely to talk to them.  And they were all SO incredibly supportive of me training for the 1/2 marathon! 

Sunday morning we got up for church and I wasn't sore, but this incredible feeling of exhaustion settled over me.  I can't quite explain it, but it was almost if I could fall asleep at any moment and had pretty much zero ambition.  At first it was ok, but then it started getting on my nerves, I would have been so happy sitting on the couch doing nothing.  The girls were tired on Sunday so we just had a quiet day around here.  It was a lovely day on Monday so we went to the playground.  It was a lot of fun!  But when we got home, I didn't really want to do anything. 

I was scheduled for a 4 mile run on Tuesday.  When my alarm went off, it was so dark outside and I thought I heard rain.  So I turned off my alarm and rolled over and went back to sleep.  When I did wake up, I realized that it wasn't raining and I was pretty disappointed in myself, but I also felt like I got a bit of extra sleep.  Which I probably needed since we spent the day walking all over the Baltimore Zoo.  I love the Baltimore Zoo, this was the first time we have been all year.  We met friends there and we had a great time, except that I thought I yelled to much.  I was tired and wasn't at my best with the girls.  I was pretty disappointed in myself. That night, I met up with some friends to go out to dinner.  I'm very blessed to be friends with these incredible women!  We have been friends for 5 years, we all met in a support group for brand new Moms.  We had a wonderful time, it's so great to go out with my friends.  We talked about EVERYTHING!!!  The food was good, the company was great.  I think I got home around 10:30 and it felt like it was like 2 in the morning for some reason.  Again, this feeling of exhaustion was just overwhelming. 

I didn't even set my alarm for Wednesday morning.  I didn't even try to get up, but then the girls got up around 7:30 and I figured I needed to get the day started.  We ate breakfast and then we headed out to the grocery store, which was kind of a disaster.  Our grocery store has these little carts for kids.  It sounds like a good idea, right?  It's the worst idea EVER!  Both girls of course needed one and then they fought over what got put into each cart.  They ran and didn't watch where they were going.  Each one of them ran into my ankles at full force.  OMG, it hurt!!!  I tried to include them in the shopping and there were moments when they were a big help.  But for the most part, I think I just looked the worst mother ever with my children running amuck and me just yelling.  I was not happy.  When we got home, things improved a bit and we had an ok afternoon until dinner time and then the whining started and I had zero patience.  I knew I was off my game, and I just seemed to make matters worse. Nothing was right for the girls and I felt like I was at the end of my rope!  I couldn't wait for Seth to come home. 

Was I depressed?  I'm not sure.  Was I anxious?  Maybe.  Was I tired?  Absolutely!  All these things combined to make me a not so good Mommy.  It was at this point, that I realized that I hadn't run since Saturday, could there be a connection?  Or was I just on the edge of a breakdown?  I decided that I wanted to believe it was because I hadn't run in 5 days and come hell or high water I was going to run this morning!!  I had to turn things around.  I wasn't sure it was all just the girls, I was pretty sure that I was to blame for a lot of the yuckiness around here this week.  I told Seth that no matter what I had to get up and he said that when the alarm went off, he would kick me out of bed.  I said that wasn't quite necessary but a gentle nudge would be helpful. 

So the alarm went off at 5:45, and it was still dark out!  YUCK!  I lay in bed for a moment trying to get my motivation to get up.  It seemed like an eternity, but finally I got up.  I changed my clothes, checked the weather on my Ipod and saw that the sunrise was at 6:30.  Yuck!  I decided that I needed to head out through the neighborhood, the path would be dark.  The temperature was perfect though!  I walked and stretched out for a bit and then I started running.  It felt great!!!  I was listening to great songs and I was in my groove!!  I ran through the neighborhood for a bit and then ran laps around the pond by my house.  I'm pretty sure I didn't have any deep thoughts, I was just in the moment of putting my foot in front of the next.  I'm pretty sure I completely zoned out for awhile.  Sometimes when so much is going on, you need a few moments of just not thinking about anything.  It was a good run, I had some technical difficulties around mile 4, my Ipod just stopped the music and my workout.  So I had to restart both of them, not sure why that happened but whatever.  Even that didn't seem to really bother me today.  I ran a total of 5.17 miles this morning.  When I got home, both girls were awake and excited to see me.  It was a fantastic way to start the day! 

We have had such an incredibly different day today.  I'm working really hard on not yelling and I've asked the girls to really work on their listening!  It's teamwork for sure!  We went to Target and we even went to the mall and there were no meltdowns, no yelling, it was like we were all different people.  Well maybe not all different, but I sure was different.  I need to remember that when I least feel like running, is probably when I need it the most.  I have come to rely on that time and I cherish it.  And I'm sure it makes me a better mother and person, I have more patience, more energy and a brighter outlook on life.  I have a pretty easy week in training coming up, I'm glad since Sarah starts kindergarten on Monday, I need to figure out our new morning routine.  I'm sure it will be chaotic at moments, but that's all part of it, right? 

5 miles on Saturday morning, I'm looking forward to it.  On 9/5, I'm scheduled for a 10 mile run!!! YIKES!!!! Then the training really kicks up a notch!!  I will be putting in some serious mileage in September, gearing up for October!  It's not that far away anymore, I think I'm through mid-season now!   

Saturday, August 21, 2010

8.33 MILES!!!!

So I did it!!  I was nervous about this run for some reason, 8 miles seems so long, much longer than 7 for some reason.  I did it in an 1:41, I was very pleased with my time!  According to my Nike Sensor I did a 12'08 minute mile.  That seems prety acceptable!  It's faster than I have been running my other runs lately.  I am seeing quite a bit of progress!  I think I need to keep mixing up my routes, I seem to do better on new routes.  Not sure if it's because I'm not sure what is coming up next or what, but I'll take it.  I'm pretty proud of myself and now 13.1 miles doesn't seem quite so scary. 

I left the house this morning at 7:30, I had planned on going to Centennial Lake.  In the car on the way there, I listened to my theme song "Defying Gravity" really loud to try to psych myself up!  When I turned the corner into the park, I saw all these barriers and signs for an Iron Girl race.  So I couldn't run there,  I thought for a minute of where I could go and decided to head over to Lake Elkhorn and run around there. 

Lake Elkhorn is very close to our old townhouse.  Seth and I would go there quite a bit and walk around, we walked there when I was pregnant and when Sarah was little baby.  I would also meet my new Mommy friends and we would walk around it with our newborns in our strollers.  It was so lovely.  We would sometimes have a picnic there after with all our babies crawling around on the blanket.  Such wonderful memories.  As I was running this morning, these memories came flooding back to me. 

You see, I haven't been to Lake Elkhorn since July 2, 2007.  It was such a beautiful cool day, which was a suprise for July in MD.  Emma was 3 months old and it was the day before Sarah's second birthday.  I pushed them both in our double stroller and I was amazed that I saw 3 cardinals.  It was such a lovely day.  When we got home, we had lunch, Sarah took a nap and then I got that most awful call from Dad that my Uncle was gone.  And my life was forever changed. 

It wasn't a delibrate thing to stay away from that lake, it just sort of happened.  And the longer it went on, the harder it seemed to ever go back there.  I just wanted to freeze that memory.  Plus I was afraid that I would be overwhelmed if I went back. I had gone to the playground several times with friends but I just didn't want to go around that lake. 

So it was with trepidation that I headed over there this morning, I was already nervous about the run.  But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that this was exactly where I needed to go for my longest run so far.  It was a good run, I had all my memories to keep me company.  I had to run around the lake 4 times to get to 8 miles and it is pretty hilly.  A lot of the path is in the shade so it was very nice.  A cardinal did fly right in front of me on the path and I got a little misty.  I felt like my Grandma Boyden, Grandma Pete and Uncle were right there checking up on me.  Mile 2 is always hard for me, not sure why, if I'm not warming up enough or what, but once I got passed it, I got into a pretty good pace. I was surprised that the saddness didn't overwhelm me, but it didn't.  There were many bittersweet moments, but I'm so glad I was there and I plan to go back for my other long runs.    Around mile 6.5, I was on a pretty big hill and I was tired and I'm not kidding a woman ran past me and she was running BACKWARDS!  I felt pretty pathetic at that moment, but whatever. 

Anyway, I'm feeling good this afternoon, no pains or strains.  I'm really proud of myself, and feeling much more confident about this 13.1 miles in October.  I'm so glad that I went back to Lake Elkhorn, yes it's attached to a horrible memory but there were so many, many happy memories there.  I am definitely headed back there for more runs, I enjoyed having the memories with me!! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

There must be an angel.....

It has been a lot harder to get up at 5:45am lately. I just really want to hit the snooze button and roll right back over and go to sleep.  First of all, it already seems darker than it has, although we have had several rainy, cloudy days. Second, in the summer, we aren't as strict about bedtimes, so we have had many late nights.  (We need to get back into our schedule since school starts in a week). 

So Tuesday was one of those mornings, I was scheduled for a 4 mile run.  The alarm went off and I hit snooze.  I lay there again debating the pros and cons of getting up.  It was so dark out.  I finally kicked the covers off and got up.  I got dressed and turned my Ipod on, the first song of my shuffle was "There Must Be an Angel Playing with My Heart" by the Eurythmics. This song has always had a special place in my family and everytime we are together, we play it, and we all dance and sing at the top of our lungs!  It's fantastic!  So it holds a very special place in my heart and it reminds me instantly of my family and of course of Uncle!   Now I know what you might be thinking, 'you put that song on your Ipod so of course you will hear it', but I always have it on "shuffle" so I never know what the next song will be.  So it was a pleasant surprise to hear it first thing and I like to think it was Uncle encouraging me. 

So off I went and I did get to 4.2 miles but it was a tough run, which kind of bummed me out.  But I knew how tired I was, I knew it would be tough.  But I got through it.  Later in the day, the girls and I went to the pool and had such a lovely time! 

Wednesday night before bed I decide to be nice to my feet and I put some Aveda foot lotion on them, it feels fantastic.  Similar scenario Thursday morning, hit snooze, but this time I scheduled for a 5 mile run so I couldn't dilly dally, I needed to get back in time for Seth to get to work.  So this morning no divine intervention to start off.  But I got going and I felt pretty good.  Although I felt like my feet are slipping and sliding in my shoes.  I realized that I made a rookie mistake by putting the lotion on BEFORE a run, even if it was the night before.  It bothered me the whole run, I won't do that again.  I'll be nice to my feet AFTER a run!!  Good thing I realized this now and not the night before the 1/2 marathon or something.  I changed up my route a bit, went through some of the neighborhood and then to my pond and I run several laps around there.  It's good to be back to my pond, I've missed it! I did make it to 5.2 miles and I felt pretty good. 

Thursday morning we headed down to the National Zoo, it was a lovely day and we met friends there.  Not sure if you have been there before but it's VERY hilly there and my girls fought over who sits in the stroller.  So I'm walked while pushing one of them in the stroller.  It was very fun and we saw a lot of animals.  The panda bear was sitting really close to the glass, it was the best view I've ever had, usually they are sitting far away in a tree or something.  Anyway, the girls love seeing their friend and seeing all the animals.  But it's pretty exhausting.  Emma fell asleep on the way home, I thought Sarah was going to fall asleep too, she was SO quiet!  If I wasn't driving, I could probably have fallen asleep too! 

I'm very sleepy today, I was hoping the girls would sleep in, but they were both up at 7 this morning.  I started taking a multivitamin today, I probably should have done that awhile ago.   So I'm hoping that will help.  We are heading to a birthday party for one our good friends at the pool!! It should be alot of fun.  I want to spend as much time at the pool as I can before school starts.  Sarah has her orientation a week from today, I can't believe it.

Tomorrow I'm scheduled for an 8 mile run.  I'm a little nervous about it, but kind of excited at the same time.  It will definitely be the farthest I've run so far.  It is supposed to be a nice day and I'm going to go to Centennial Lake to run.  I need to bring a camera so I can show you how beautiful it is.  It takes me away.  Running has become more than just exercise for me. It has become my time to be alone with my thoughts, my music and with nature.  It is my time to pray and meditate, which might sound strange, but it's true.  I see or feel signs from Uncle, to let me know that he is right there with me.  It is my time to reflect on what is going on or plan what we will do next. It is my time to process all that is going on with our family.  So running has become so much more to me than just running.  I started as a way to lose weight (which hasn't worked), then I was doing it for fitness, and really I think, even though I'm heavier than I want to be, I'm probably in the best shape I've been in since my early 20's.  Now I run, obviously to train for the 1/2 marathon , but I also run for me to be a better mother, wife and person. I find that I am much more patient and a better mother on the days that I run versus the days I don't.  I definitely feel like this is my time with my angels and they keep me moving on! 

No-one on earth could feel like this.
I'm thrown and overblown with bliss.
There must be an angel
Playing with my heart.
I walk into an empty room
And suddenly my heart goes "boom"!
It's an orchestra of angels
And they're playing with my heart.
(must be talking to an angel)
No-one on earth could feel like this.
I'm thrown and overblown with bliss.
There must be an angel
Playing with my heart.
And when I think that I'm alone
It seems there's more of us at home.
It's a multitude of angels
And they're playing with my heart.

I must be hallucinating
Watching angels celebrating.
Could this be reactivating
All my senses dislocating?
This must be a strange deception
By celestial intervention.
Leavin' me the recollection
Of your heavenly connection.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My little petunia....

Just in case you were wondering, my little petunias are continuing to thrive without any interference from me.  I don't water them, change their soil, bring them inside during crazy thunderstorms, nothing, I do nothing to these petunias except watch the grow and bloom.  The little plant on the left is one that I tried really hard to nurture.  Sarah brought it home as a seed in a cup of dirt.  I watered it and replanted it and put it in sunlight and it thrived for awhile.  I'm not sure if I over watered it or what, but it is now not doing so well, in fact I'm fairly certain we have reached a point of no return. 
And yet, my miracle petunias that just arrived in my planters are doing remarkably well.  Thank you, Uncle!!  They are a wonderful and constant reminder of you! 

Ok, on to other things.  My back is feeling a lot better.  I didn't even take any Aleve today!  YEAH!  It actually started feeling better on Saturday.   I was scheduled for a 7 mile run in my training program, I wasn't sure if I could do it, but I wanted to give it a try.  I started out with no expectations, I had hoped to make it to 5 miles so I started out walking to limber up and I went slow.  I was really listening to my body and watching for any signs of pain.  I didn't see or feel any.  So I kept going.  It was a wonderfully cool grey morning.  If it had been hot, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have made it as far as I did.  I went slow, but I did run a chunk of it and it felt ok.  I didn't want to push it but the weather was good, the music was good and I was feeling good too!  So I did make it to 7.18 miles, but it was pretty slow going. 

When I got home, I was afraid that maybe I had overdone it. But remarkably, my back actually felt better after.  It didn't bother me Saturday afternoon but I was worried about getting out of bed on Sunday morning. But I got up without any pain at all and the same this morning.  It is doing really well.  I think I got really overtired with the reunion and then with the Himes here and my body needed to tell me to rest some.  I'm so glad that I listened to it.  Tomorrow I'm scheduled for a 4 mile run, then on Thursday a 5 mile run and then on Saturday it's getting bumped up to an 8 mile run.  Yikes!!!  I would like to go back to Centennial Lake, I figure 8 miles is about 3 times around the lake.  I would like that. 

I got an email on Friday that the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon has sold out!!  That means that there will be 10,000 runners running it on Oct. 16th.  The full Marathon is 90% sold out, it's limit is 5,000 runners.  I'm not sure how many more will run in the 5K.  But it is going to be a big deal!!!  It really overwhelms me at times.  And I wonder what in the world I'm doing.  But then there are times when I know I'm doing exactly what I need to be doing!!!  As I'm running, I'll hear a song or see a cardinal or feel a hand on my back and I know, I just know that Uncle is with me, he is smiling and is thrilled that I'm on this journey.  He is thrilled that I am "defying gravity." 

Big things are happening around here. Only 2 more weeks until Sarah starts kindergarten!!!   Emma starts preschool 3 mornings a week after Labor Day!  I'm going to hit the gym while they are both at school :)  We have had a wonderful summer, we have done some pretty amazing things.  But I'm anxious to get back into a routine, Sarah is anxious about school, but wants to get back to it too.  I know she gets bored hanging out with me.  It has been so ridiculously hot this summer, I'm anxious for the cooler weather.  Of course we have to get in as much pool time as possible before they close. There is probably a fair going on around here somewhere, we need to hit that.  I don't want to spend the next two weeks wishing the summer away.  I want to enjoy it to it's fullest! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Knock on wood....

Apparently, I did not knock long or hard enough this week.  I was tempting fate and teasing the Gods talking about my back to my cousin Sarah.  I have a history of having a bad back, I have degenerative disc disease.  I found that out after my Sarah was born, I had a lot of back trouble then.  I saw specialists, had an MRI and went to physical therapy.  Didn't get much relief until ironically I got pregnant with Emma and magically, the pain went away.  The doctor said that with disc trouble, it can just go away like that.  I was so thankful!! 

I have had a couple episodes since then but they have been relatively short.  When we were in the Outer Banks 2 years ago, I threw my back out, I just bent down to pick up Emma.  That was horrible.  But some Aleve and some Thermacares helped.  By the end of the week, it was better.  I think that was the last time it flared up.

On Tuesday afternoon, my cousin Sarah and her girls were here visiting.  Sarah and I were talking, and I said that I hadn't had any back troubles since the Outer Banks and promptly knocked on wood.  But I knew the possibility was there for it to flare up again.  I didn't think much of it until Wednesday morning, my Sarah and Emma were fighting.  Sarah took a big swing at Emma and I wrestled her away and picked her up and tried to get her to the stairs.  I felt that horrible twinge in my lower back, but she wouldn't stop so I got her all the way to the stairs and the twinge got bigger.  I did some stretches to see if I could get ahead of it.   Didn't seem to help, in fact it might have made it worse.  Seth brought home some Thermacares and I took some Aleve and that helped a lot.  It wasn't as bad as when I had thrown it out in the Outer Banks, I could get some relief, but it was pretty painful at times.  Sleeping is always hard with a painful back.  I did set out my running stuff, in hopes that by some miracle, my back would feel fine in the morning and I could get out for my run. 

When I woke up, my back was still bothering and we were having a ridiculous thunderstorms.  So even if I felt great, there was no way I could go for a run.  I was pretty relieved actually.  I took a wicked hot shower, took some Aleve and my back felt pretty ok for the rest of the day.  Last night I was hopeful again that I could go out running this morning.  I checked my running stuff and left it by the end of the bed, in hopes I could just grab it in the morning.  I slept pretty fair, until around 4:00, I tried to roll over and I felt that awful twinge again.  I was debating with myself about the pros and cons of staying in bed or getting up and running.  I finally decided that it was probably wisest to take it easy for another day.  Why risk further injuring myself?  Plus it's another rainy day.  It's as if Mother Nature is making it easier for me to stay home. 

I never in my wildest dream thought I would miss running so much.  That just seems so strange to me!  But I do miss it.  I haven't run since Tuesday.  I'm already thinking about ways to get out there again.  If my back feels ok, I may try to go out tonight.  And then if that doesn't work, what about tomorrow morning?  And if I run tonight, could I run on Sunday morning before church or would it be better Sunday after church?  If I get off schedule, it seems I start to obsess a bit.  Maybe I am becoming a real runner!! 

So we will see how it goes, I am going to go slow, be gentle and listen to my body when I do go for my run again.  I really don't want to get hurt even more.  I still have more than 2 months to go before the 1/2 marathon.  I don't want to risk not being able to run there.  You can bet, I'm not going to talk about any more potential problems, knocking on wood doesn't seem to really work ;)  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just trying to catch up...

It's been a busy week since I posted last, not sure exactly where to start.  I ran 7.21 miles in an hour and 27 minutes on Friday morning because I knew I wouldn't be able to run on Saturday in Shenandoah.  It was a really good run.  Mile 2 is typically hard for me though.  I ran the first mile and then my calves really started bothering me.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to go very far.  So I walked for awhile and then they felt better so I was able to run.  I do stretch them before I start, but I wonder if my muscles rebel against me since they just got out of bed :)  Once I got to mile 3, I got into a great pace and I just kept going, I was running on pretty straight, level streets, not many hills.   It was great though!!  By the time I got to 6 miles though I was ready to be done, but I kept going!  I got to 7.21 miles, I was thrilled with myself.  When I got home, I got right in the shower and packed up, got the girls in the car and headed to Shenandoah National Park! 

We had such a fantastic time in Shenandoah!!  It was so great to see everyone and catch up.  It was great to see our kids all play together!  It was like they play together all the time!  I think we got all the camping requirements in too; we made s'mores; we saw deer and a BEAR (we were in our car when we saw it, but it was very close to the road, we saw it before the Ranger got there!!!!!); we flew kites; we went on a 4 mile hike; we got really dirty; Sarah fell into a pool at a waterfall,got totally soaked, but kept going anyway; we had a campfire; eating to much; staying up way to late; getting really tired, but having a marvelous time anyway.  I have such an amazing family, I'm very blessed.  It was so great being with them!!  I miss them already!!  I'm really not doing the weekend justice here, but if I went into every detail, you would be reading forever.  But just know that it was a phenomenal weekend in a great place with wonderful people doing really cool things!! 

We got home around 8:30 on Sunday night, we all just went right to bed.  Monday was a laundry and cleaning up day!  We patiently awaited the arrival of Sarah, Courtney and Hannah who were coming to spend the night here.  My girls were so thrilled when they arrived.  We made a decision to head down to DC to see the Air and Space Museum because it was supposed to be even hotter on Tuesday and Seth could go with us.  So we all got into the car and headed to the Metro Station.  I think that some of the museum was over their heads, but they didn't seem to mind.  They all had a great time there!  They loved seeing the spacecrafts and the planets.  They loved pushing buttons even if they had no idea what it might do!  I asked Courtney what her favorite part of the museum was and she said the gift shop!  I had to agree with her :)  I would love another SpacePen, but I held off and will get another one someday :)  I love going into DC, I would love to go down more often.  Got home late, our power went out for awhile, so it was almost 11:00 before the girls went to bed.  YIKES!

I set my alarm for 5:45 for Tuesday morning, but I just could not get up for my run.  I was so angry with myself, but I couldn't do it.  I did get up at 8:00, which was before everyone but Seth who had to go into work.  It was nice to get a little quiet time.  I had an hour to myself before everyone got up.  When everyone was up, I asked Auntie Sarah if she would watch the girls so I could go out for a run.  I was a little worried since it was already 83 degrees out, but I wanted to try!  So I headed out, man it was hot out.  I did get in 4.1 miles, that is what was on my training schedule, so I was happy, but so sweaty and hot!  I didn't seem to have the problem at mile 2 this time, not sure why.  Maybe because I didn't shock my muscles awake, I had for them to wake up some before I headed out.  I definitely enjoy running better when it's cooler!!  But I did it and was happy I got the run in. 

We spent the afternoon at the pool, which was very fun!  It was an afternoon of the girls showing off all their tricks and I think a bit of one upping each other, but it was still very fun!!!  After the pool, Peter came to pick up the Himes and headed to Jeneva's for dinner.  We headed down shortly after they left.  We had a lovely dinner at Jeneva's.  Again, it was so fantastic to see all the kids play together so nicely!!  It warmed my heart!!  But then it was time to say good bye and it was very sad.  My girls cried and cried and then it started to rain, which just made it sadder.  My girls cried a good part of the way home.  We told them they could write to Courtney and Hannah and we could call them.  That seemed to make them feel better!  It was another late night, they are SO tired! 

This morning, my girls and I slept until 9:00!  I haven't done that in a really long time.  We are having a quiet day, they are playing dressup in the basement while I'm uploading photos and writing this blog.  My house is a wreck, I have more laundry to do and I need to unload the dishwasher and reload it.  I still have baskets of laundry that are folded but need to put the clothes away.  I still haven't showered either, but it all seems OK.  I'm still basking in the glow of the extended weekend!  It was so fabulous!  Once I hit publish though I need to get moving and get back into our routine.  We might go to the pool later since it might rain tomorrow afternoon.  I'm scheduled for a 5 mile run in the morning and then another 7 mile run on Saturday.  We will get into some type of a routine around here just in time for school to start and then we need to start a new one.  I can't think about that right now though, right now I'm just trying to catch up :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Defying Gravity

When my alarm went off at 5:50 this morning, I did not want to wake up, it was dark outside and I really just wanted to turn the alarm off and sleep until 8:00.  I knew that I was scheduled for a 4 mile run so I lay there, fighting with myself and finally I kicked off the covers and got my butt out of bed.  I got dressed and ready to head out.  But I wasn't feeling very motivated. 

I walked a bit to warm up and then ran a mile but my calves were bothering me, I stopped a couple times to stretch them out more.  I kept thinking about my great run on Saturday and was feeling a little blue about how I was feeling this morning, just kind of discouraged.  It's a kind of gray overcast morning with wicked humidity, just kind of a yucky morning all around.  I was thinking that maybe I had overdone it on Saturday and now I'm paying for it. I was definitely thinking that this was a big step back.  I walked 2 miles and then the Hallelujah Chorus came on my Ipod and I started running.  My legs were finally warmed up, they didn't hurt so I ran.  I wanted to go further but I had to get home so Seth could get to work.  I went 4.64 miles this morning, but I was disappointed, it was a poor showing in my opinion.  Of course I'm my worst coach and judge.  I'm very hard on myself and I was just scheduled to do a 4 mile run on my training schedule but I wanted to do 5 miles.  I have a serious tendency to want to over do! 

After my shower and breakfast, while I was icing my Achilles tendon, I plugged my Ipod into the computer and after it synced, it opened up the Nike website and a skater named P. Rod popped up and congratulated me on running 100 miles total and called me a serious runner and then he said I was a badass.  (Since June 17th, I've run 101.52 miles)  Also another runner, whose name escapes me, popped up and congratulated me on running my fastest mile so far.  I ran a mile in 10 min 56 sec.  Could this info really be about the same run I was so disappointed in?!?!  I'm so glad I have this sensor to prove me wrong and it has on several occasions.    I definitely need to be more gentle to myself and give myself a break! 

So I have a new theme song and sometimes when I listen to it, it sometimes makes me cry!  It's "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked.  I have to admit that I haven't seen Wicked or even read the book.  But I heard this song on "Glee," which I admit that I am coming in late in watching it.  I'm watching the reruns this summer.  My sister and many of my friends rave about the show and it is fantastic.  My friend Alysia even named her blog after this song.  So I heard it and liked it but it wasn't until this morning while I was listening to it on my Ipod, that it really clicked with me, that it was speaking directly to me and about my journey to the 1/2 marathon.  That all of my running and training is me "defying gravity."  That it's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and LEAP!!!

I have copied the lyrics here, I wish there was a way for me to put the actual song file here so you could all hear it.  It's so beautiful!!  I guess I should find the recording from Broadway and listen to that too :)

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I am defying gravity
And you wont bring me down!

I'm through accepting limits
''cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you wont bring me down!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you won't bring me down!
bring me down!
ohh ohhh ohhhh!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Feeling accomplished but pretty sleepy....

Where to start, where to start....

Last night Seth and I had a date night again.  It is probably the last one in awhile.  It was a rare occurrence to have 3 in one month, not sure that has happened since before Sarah was born.  But it's been really nice.  It wasn't very exciting, but we went to dinner at Uno's then we went shopping.  I love shopping with Seth, we don't get a chance to really shop anymore with the girls.  It's usually not a fun experience for any of us. There are huge sales around this weekend.  We went to Kohls and bought a bunch of fall school clothes for Sarah.  We got some incredible deals there.  Kohls is one of my new favorite stores now.  Then we went to JCPenney's, they were having big sale too.  I picked up shorts for myself and then a pair of jean capris for each of the girls.  They were on clearance for $7.67, which I thought was pretty good, but when we got up to the checkout, they were only $1.67 each!!!!  I was so surprised and wish that we had more time there, but they were closing.  We then headed over to Target, I love Target.  We bought a bunch of stuff there too, including kites for the family reunion next weekend for $1.51 each.  I so love a bargain, I hate and try really hard not to buy things for full price ever anymore.  We were out shopping until 11:00!!  It was great!!  But I was sleepy when we got home. 

I set my alarm for 6:23am this morning.  I snoozed once and then got up.  I have a hard time getting up without snoozing at least once :)  It might drive Seth slightly crazy.  I got dressed and got in the car and headed over to Centennial Lake.  I was alittle nervous, I was worried to run by myself, but there were SO many people there.  It was a beautiful sunny morning and only 62 degrees, it was fabulous.  The run around the lake was a lot more hilly than the course I had been running.  But I think being on a new trail helped me to keep going because I wasn't sure what was going to happen next.  One thing that I found strange was that there were so many people there and I found that they were ruder, not really getting the stay to the right rule and letting runners going around walkers.  So that was kind of a drag a couple of times, but I tried not to let that discourage me.  I also wanted to soak in the beauty of the lake and trees.  There were a bunch of people fishing in the lake too, I wanted to take it all in and not just focus on my next footstep.  (Our new minister talked about that last week in his sermon, not missing the beauty around you because you are too focused on just what is right in front of you) 

I ran around the lake twice and I wasn't quite at 6 miles so I turned around and went back almost a mile and then double backed again and went a little further.  I figure I went like 2 1/3 way around the lake.   I was only scheduled to run 6 miles, but I was feeling good, it was such a cool, sunny morning and I was in such a beautiful setting that I decided to keep going.  So I ran 7.14 miles in an 1 hr 24 minutes.  That was 6 minutes faster and a tenth of a mile longer than last time.  I'm very proud of myself. 

When I got home, I got right in the shower and the girls got in their bathing suits because we were meeting friends at the pool.  I didn't even want to sit down because I was afraid I might lose my momentum.  We had such a lovely time at the pool today.  We spent most of our time in the "big" pool as opposed to the baby pool.  Sarah continues to amaze me with her swimming.  Emma is doing great too.  It was such a nice day!!  We were at the pool for just about 3 hours. 

When we got home, Seth offered to watch the girls so I could go grocery shopping by myself, a rare treat!!  I think I only bought one thing that wasn't on sale and I had coupons for most things.  It was almost gidy when I handed the cashier the coupons.  (I know I need to get out more).   My bargin shopping has carried over to my groceries now.  I think that's kind of funny :) 

But now as I sit here writing, I could literally fall asleep in a moment.  I'm very tired but I'm not really sore at all.  My blister has reappeared, I think because I picked at the calaus that had formed there.  So I need to figure out what to do with that. My confidence is building, although I worry about saying that because I irrationally fear that something bad will happen once I admit that to you and to myself.  Not sure what I'm afraid will happen, but just that unknown "something."  I know that I need to get over that. 

We need to eat dinner, give Emma a breathing treatment and then give the girls a tub.  They are really tired too, hopefully we can all go to sleep early tonight so we can wake up happy for church.  The girls have a little runny nose and Emma is coughing some, I hate that.   I hope that it doesn't develop into anything more.

I need to go help Seth with dinner, I've had a great day, I got alot done, I'm tired, but it's a really good kind of tired.