Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week #13 Recap

Last night at 2:30 a.m. OG woke up crying from her teething--I hobbled out of bed and very painfully took her down the stairs (my knees and hips were a bit surprisingly sore). As I took her back up the stairs, my body complained, loudly. And I asked myself the question: "Why in the world am I doing this? To me? To my body? Exactly what am I trying to prove? Is it fair to do this to myself or my family? Is it worth it?"

And at 2:30 in the morning, I couldn't find a reasonable answer.

Honestly, even now, I can't find a really good answer. Why am I doing this? I don't know.

But I am.

This week's runs:
Monday: 3.06 miles
Wednesday: 2.5 miles (23:00 minutes--catch that? I ran about 9 minute miles for this run! It was fast and hard and great! My first mile was in 8:51! Thanks for the idea to do speed work!)
Saturday:15.6 miles (3:06:35)
Comments on Saturday's run:
  • I prayed that it wouldn't rain. I really didn't want to run in heavy rain again. And it didn't rain, although it was chilly.
  • Instead I got to watch the sun rise over Reeds Lake. Early in the morning, that was great inspiration and a reminder of the beauty in God's hand.
  • My run was supposed to be 16 miles. I had it mapped to 16.8. It was running from my house to East GR to Cascade and back home again. About halfway, I was gauging my distance and time and decided to turn around a wee bit early. Well, after remapping my actual run, well, I came in short. Crap. I honestly feel as though I need to do it again, just to say that I accomplished the 16 mile run that I was supposed to. I know, there are bigger distances coming, but I wanted this one, to say that I did it, that I never shorted a long run. But I did.
  • I have also done well mapping my long runs to conicide with a bathroom break about every 4-6 miles. No more potty stops in the woods for me, hopefully!
  • Finally, after a long run I was tired and sore and began to wonder if everyone is this tired and sore after a long run or if I am the anomaly and not the norm. But I spent most of the rest of the day on my feet--canning (more on that later), sorting out sibling fights and not sitting. I was beat by the end of the night. I am pretty sure that I fell asleep before 10 p.m. But you know, today (which is Sunday) wasn't too bad. I actually feel like I could do a short run if I had to! Whaddya think about that?
Upcoming in the near future is the fact that my next two Saturdays are sorta messed up with camping and traveling to Utah with J. I really don't want to run 18 miles in Salt Lake with the increased altitude and not having my encourager along. I'm sure I will find a way to fit it all in, I'm just not sure how yet--I still have three runs for this week (one while camping, I'm sure).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Week #11 & 12 Recap

Psss...I've got a secret.

You may not be able to tell, when you see me running down the street. Usually I look like one of those weekend warriors, but I'm not. Really, I'm not. I may not look as cool as the triathletes I see training on my Saturday morning run. I am pretty slow, I don't look like a runner.

But as all those other people pass me running down the road, I can smile because I know, that despite every expectation, I am a running, I am more than that.

I am a Marathoner!

Yep, I am! Believe it!

And so, here's the proof: a recap from the past two weeks
Tuesday--3.2 miles
Saturday--14.4 miles (2:55)
Tuesday-3.2 miles (34:54)
Thursday--3 miles (32:00)
Saturday--8.2 miles (1:27)

Total for those two weeks: 32 miles

Now I know that I am not running nearly as many miles as many others who are also training for a marathon--but I am aiming for completing, hopefully somewhere around 5 hours, and others I know are shooting for Personal Records. My PR will be finishing.

Upcoming this week is 16 miles on Saturday and this is where I knew I would begin to struggle. I can't even begin to conceptualize what it will mean to run 16 miles--I can't picture how far that really is nor how long it will really take me. in the next six weeks I will do 16, 18 and 20 mile runs in preparation for the real thing. This will make or break me--I am hoping that what happens is that I do battle with my will and I win, I complete these runs and have cemented within myself the understanding that I am capable, that really I can run a whole marathon (i've already paid the registration money, so I'd better be able to!)

And I'll take any joiners for any of those miles. See you on the road!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So how was that first day of school?

Well, I am so glad you asked. Because the school day on Monday morning was fine. It went well, even if I was a bit under prepared for the enthusiasm of my students. OG was playing with Yoli downstairs for most of the morning, so I just had J & K with me. We read a Bible story and a verse, we read our book for the week Madeline and talked about Paris, France and what in the world it might have in common with our town. (um, a river runs through it). That was where I was most unprepared because it would have been great thinking on my part to have a picture book on France available for us to look at, to give some concrete thought to the ideas--but no, so we struggled on. Afterwards, we did some writing practice and then some reading (as in they were doing the reading). We finished with a simple craft to make our own pencil holders (you know, for our pencils and stuff). And that was about the substance of our school day. Not too bad. If anything I thought that they were ready to receive more that I didn't have prepared for them. I forget what sponges they are.

But the rest of the day was a disaster. A total and utter disaster. And I have very little good to say about the day we had, how it happened, or how I responded to it. Just know that I am already tired and a bit discouraged by it.

The schooling today was great--we made books! And I changed things around a bit to make our mornings more manageable and it included a planned snack. And they were eager to do the work I had for them. Tomorrow will be even better I know--we are going on our first nature walk tomorrow and I can't wait for all three to participate in that.

And I am hoping for good night's sleep.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

God is in this place

Tonight I put the kids to bed on my own, Eric had to be at work. The three were beat, so tired. Fun in the summer sun will do that do a kid. But my oldest doesn't like going to bed. In fact, falling asleep is difficult for him becuase he makes up fears for himself. Tonight sounded like it was going to be the same as many previous nights.

J:Mommy, I don't want to go to bed alone in my room. I'll be alone. I'll be scared.
Me: No, you won't. You're safe here in this house with me. I'm here. Your safe.

Then everything changed when a small voice spoke to me in my heart.

Me: J, you know that God is a good guy, right? Well, there is a bad guy named Satan and when you tell me that you are going to be scared I know that Satan is fighting with you. Satan is fighting with you, but God is bigger and stronger than Satan and wants to beat him up. God keeps you safe.
J: Oh. . .

Reluctantly, he turns and heads towards bed. I hold him for a while to help him know he is safe and I love him. Gently, I tuck him in bed. After a moment of quiet he asks, "Mommy, is God winning?"

Yes, my son, indeed He is winning. He has already won!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Just registered for my first marathon! The money's been paid and the financial commitment made!

October 18th, here we come!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Week # 9 & 10 recap!

Yeah, you thought I had fallen off the running wagon, didn't you? It's okay, you can admit it. Because I almost did. But now, I didn't and here are two weeks of running to prove it. As you will be able to tell, week 9 was less than stellar, but I am back on track now--Grand Rapids Marathon, Here I Come!

Week #9
Tuesday--3 miles
Friday--7.50 miles

(Couldn't give you an accurate time for either of these runs because I had misplaced my trusty timer watch--so let's just say that I ran as fast as the wind. Whoosh!)

Friday's run was great fun because it was all trails at our church camp out. The first loop was a file mile trail that was highly wooded, had some nice boardwalk, and finished by following the road back to camp. I felt good enough after the 5 that I decided to run the last 2. I was told it was a great trail and short--so I went. And discovered that for my last two miles I choose a seriously hilly trail with some really big hills. It was tough, tougher than I thought because mentally I was at the end of my run and had chosen to do something that was so difficult. I think that in the end my time was somewhere around 80/85 minutes. I really enjoyed that run. I think however, I would have enjoyed it a bit more had I either been more prepared for the hills or done them at the beginning of my run when I was fresh. Regardless, I did it. Chalk up one more run for me.

Week #10 Recap!

Back in the saddle again.
This week I managed all four runs, even though two distances were a bit, um, lacking.

Tuesday--1.8 miles (18 minutes)
Wednesday--3 miles (30.45 minutes)
Friday--2 miles (20.31 minutes)
These three runs were shorties. Obviously. Wednesday I tried to run fast and found that my knee didn't like it too much, so what started out as a 9:28 mile (1st) ended with an 11:10 mile (3rd). And my gait was very strained by the end of the three miles, it was obvious to me that I was changing my step in order to put less pressure on my knee. The limp was quite evident. After that run, I tried some weights and figured out that it was an upper body strength day, not lower body as first anticipated.
A couple observations from Friday's run:
It was too short. That's how I felt when I was done. Even though I ran tempo and I was glad to be done, I felt as though I hadn't done enough, that it didn't actually count as a run. But it did. And I did it.

Saturday--12.3 miles (at this distance, does time really matter?)
Singing in the rain a la Fred Astaire=romantic
Hiking through a light drizzle=refreshing
Playing or dancing in the rain like my kids=fun
Running through an hour of serious downpour=interesting, to say the least!

So yesterday I had the privilege of doing a great deal of my run in some serious rain--heavy, thick drops and couple inches of water running all over the road and sidewalks and even some thunder and lightening a little too nearby! I don't mind running in the rain as long as I stay warm--and I managed to stay warm yesterday, and even smile through all of it. The only downside: I got water in my earphones and one side isn't working well.
I was wet unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I am so extremely grateful for my running gear that kept me comfortable. My hat kept water off my head and out of my face; all my wicking gear kept wet clothes from rubbing uncomfortably (and despite it I got no blisters). Even though I ran through inches of rain, my feet didn't feel wet. And when it started drying out, my tank dried off enough to keep me from staying too wet for the duration of my run.
But it was slow. I think it just is what is. I have a goal of finishing the marathon in under 5 hours (like I said, slow) but am beginning to wonder if that is at all a reality. I need too many bathroom breaks, my knee needs regular breaks. I know that I shouldn't go into this with a time goal, because in the end I will want to think that I have succeeded despite whatever time I come in with.
One thing that I have noticed is that I am more able to run greater distances or with more speed and possibly even fewer breaks. I think this is progress. My body is (finally) adjusting to all this. The pain in my knee is usually just a little ache. I do take two days to recover from my long run however, and this has thrown my schedule off a little, but I adjust and I find ways to run and I keep running.

Oh and on an ending note: my running partner has been upgraded to my encourager! Eric has realized that his schedule and desire to pursue other interests is keeping him from running with me, so he is changing his official position to that of cheerleader, making sure that I am able to get out on my runs and bringing the kids to see me run the marathon. Yesterday in his first day in this role, he came out on his bike in the pouring rain, found me and biked alongside me for a couple miles--then went home and had a warm towel and hot coffee ready for me after I walked in the door! What a great guy I have!

So I am open for some miles--this Saturday I'm upping it to 14! We're heading into the home stretch! It's exciting but scary. (And I still need to commit and actually sign up for the marathon!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

About this day. . .

So I am inspired by Simple Mom. I love reading her--a recent post tried to shed light on her being someone who "does-it-all" that really she doesn't do it all. And I got to thinking, I am actually pretty hard on myself, so I thought that tonight I would list what I did do in a day, after those things that I didn't (note my attempt to be positive.) But I bet I'm going to find that I do a lot more than I think I do during the course of a day.

Today, I
*Did not finish all the tasks on my list
*Did not make a fresh loaf of bread as I had intended
*Did not make myself that nice cup of tea in the morning
*Did not watch any TV (not like I do on any other days either!)
*Did not have a break down, yelling stretch or even a bad attitude (Sometimes I even shock myself)!
*Did not waste a great deal of time toodling on the computer.

But Today, I
*Did love on my kids and husband
*Woke up at the appointed hour.
*Started my day with a huge list of things to do (at least I had a list)
*Accomplished some of the things on my list, including cleaning my room, unpacking from recent trips, filled the fish tank with water, threw out the nasty dead plant in the living room, signed K up for ballet, sorted, washed, and even put away some laundry
*Showed Love to Eric by filling his coffee cup numerous times.
*Started my day ahead of the kids including some time to meet a Dear Friend for breakfast.
*Went blueberry picking for the first time ever.
*Made a fantastic meal from scratch for my family and the in-laws.
*Wrote a long email letter to someone whom I love.
*Soothed a little boy who had his first Bee Sting.
*Spent special time with a middle child who doesn't always get special time her way.
*Managed to have 30 minutes quiet in the afternoon where the kids played and I finished my book.
*Cleaned the kitchen and put out at least some of the recycling.
*Clocked out (mostly) by 9:30.

All in all, not a bad day. And better yet, I had a good attitude to match the day. Here's praying for a better one tomorrow!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ponder this awhile

So I have come to the conclusion that since having kids I have lost the ability to think, but only recently have I missed it. Confused? Let me explain. . .

Once upon a time I was a person who thought a lot about a lot of cool and (I felt) meaningful things. I had opinions and thoughts to offer to a conversation and surprisingly, some people wanted to hear what I had to say.

Life has changed since then. I went from working in a ministry that was impacting the lives of many middle schoolers to working in a home impacting the lives of three precious gifts. Rarely do they ever ask me for a deep thought or a bit of a sermon on how Christ would handle unruly parents or relationship troubles. We're in more of the "Sit-down-and-listen-to-what-I-say-and-respond-appropriately-the-first-time" mode, along with "if-you-keep-saying words-like-that-you-may-get-to-eat-soap-for-dinner." (Don't worry, no soap has been eaten by anyone yet!) And honestly, I rarely feel like I have much of value to add to many conversations. People stop to talk and I have little to say and often I feel as if I am only bringing up the negative in my life instead of all the wonderful postive things that I am blessed with.

And then today it hit me at our church camp-out--while our Pastor was asking for observations about the weekend we had spent out in nature--that I didn't have anything to add. And that stung a little. Sure, I could have added something cute about my kids and how we discovered a spider wrapping its catch on a spider web. But honestly, I had nothing that would impart God's wisdom to another person (or so I thought). And while the time in my life where I need to be the center of attention has passed, I still know that I need to have creative thought about things that aren't necessarily related to kids and child rearing and homeschooling and keeping a home.

I want to think again. I think I am getting there. Just recently I had the whisper of a thought about God and lions and Aslan and majesty. And I tried to capture it, but it vanished. But I am pretty sure that before long, it will come back. And this time, I will be ready to catch it!