Running Partner

I follow a lot of runners on Instagram and they all mention how great a running partner is.  Thing is, I am too slow to run with anybody.  I once tried to join the local running group and they told me they didn’t have anyone that did slower than a 10-minute mile but they would give me a map I could follow–gee thanks.  I can make my own route…I was interested in running with somebody.

Then, for a short time I could run with Caitlyn, but she is faster than me and trying to get her to run is very difficult.

I gave up on running with anybody and just ran for myself, but I was kind of bummed out.

Then this little dude came along.

His legs are long enough to run with me but not so long that he’s dragging me.  I have started taking him with me more often.  The other day I tried to sneak out without him and he was having nothing of it.  He now gets excited just seeing me in my running clothes.  He does 4 miles easily, though by the end he is slowing down.  I don’t know how much further he can go–I might have to sneak out for my longer runs, but for now, I am really excited to have a running buddy.

Hubby still sometimes makes the silly mistake of thinking he is the girls’ dog.  Nope, he is mine, all mine.

 

Fourteen Years in the Blink of an Eye

14 years ago, and a few hours ago, I got the call that my daddy was dead.

At 52 years of age, a car accident took him from us.

Was he perfect?  Heck no.  He was gruff, often sounded mad, and stunk at staying in touch, but he was mine.  He taught me to tie my shoes, ride a bike, built a pair of stilts for us to play on, did fun things when I least expected them,  taught me to change the oil in my car, and change the brakes, taught me to work hard and always to the best of my ability.

He only met my husband to be a couple of times and never met my girls.  I told him about my engagement over the phone, but he was gone 2 weeks later so never saw me get married.

Every year I look for ways to remember him.  He died before the age of taking pictures all the time so I’ve about reached the end of my collection, but last night we were at the county fair, and while I don’t remember us going to the fair often as a kid, the fair last night had something that very much brought my daddy to mind.

Tractors.

Farmall H and Allis Chalmers to be exact. Those were two models I know he and my grandpa Dussel shared over the years.

This Allis Chalmers happens to be from the same year my dad was born.

I’ll just be over here shedding a few tears.

Teeny Tiny Dancer

Last September we decided to add another layer of learning to Sue’s love of theatre.  She began dance lessons.  Today was the culmination of her 9 months of hard work…and we were wowed!

My first attempt at her makeup.  I found myself completely overwhelmed by the prospect of doing her makeup.  In some ways, I am pretty girly, in other ways, not at all.  I wear makeup very rarely and have never put it on someone else.  There were some adjustments, but we got it sorted out and her on to the next step.

Caitlyn stepped in to help with more bobby pins and some safety pins…nothing fell out so she obviously did a great job!

Waiting for backstage to open.

We were in the second row so I could obey the rules of no flash photography and still get pictures of Sue.

We got a surprise at the end of intermission when Sue was one of the students awarded a star for her commitment, helpfulness, and improvement throughout the year.

After a lunch/dinner, Sue put away her costume but wasn’t quite ready to give up the crown.

Sue had decided to take the summer off from dance, but now she’s not so sure… Regardless of what she decides about classes, she will be singing and dancing throughout the season as she prepares for the next show at the community theatre–Hello Dolly!

 

The Long Run

Let’s just start with I did it.  I didn’t know if I would be able to, but I did.  Eight days ago I started and completed my second half marathon.

And this weekend I began reading a book about optimal nutrition to lose weight while running long distances and for pre- and post-race.  It makes hubby just chuckle.  I said I would never run another half after the one in September…and I just finished my second and am now studying nutrition for continuing this type of long distance running longer and am already prepping mentally for my third one.

This second half started off really hard.  I accidentally found out most of this half was off-road, which I have only run once ever.

It started off in grass.  With the final pacer asking me in the first half mile if I could run faster because I was not running the required minimum pace.  I bawled like a baby for the next mile until another pacer started running with me and slowly I calmed down.  From there on out the volunteers and people along the way were amazing.

They had water almost every mile.  They even offered beer, mimosas, and bacon at the halfway party point.  I only needed to use the water I brought once toward the end.  They had funny signs, people cheering, and at one of the biggest hills they had people dressed up as superheroes to run up with you–Wonder Woman and the oldest runner guy I have ever seen were on either side of me as I went up the huge, dirt hill at mile 8.  The pacer running with me told me, “this is called the 8-mile holler because you will be hollerin’ by the time you get done!!”

My running companion would go just a bit ahead as we got to the groups of people cheering and tell them my name to people were cheering specifically for me.

Marilyn disappeared for a bit and I was joined by one of the medic guys on a bike.  I don’t know how he went that slowly and kept the bike upright, but he did.  He complimented me on how incredibly consistent my pace was.

I was rejoined by my pacer and the sweeper who swore I was going faster than he at mile 9 so he didn’t force me off the course–and this guy.

I thought he was just a piece of wood as I ran up to him–when I realized he was a turtle of that size–the sweeper took a picture of him for me as I kept moving along.  And slowly mile 11 was done.

I came in dead last, but I did it.  All 13.1 miles of dirt roads, two tracks, and hills, with just a few paved miles in there.  And I did it in just 2 minutes more than my all paved maiden half marathon last September!!!

The sweeper could not believe that I was undertaking this race as my second half marathon.  Turns out it is considered one of the most beautiful and one of the most difficult halfs in the country!!

 

Running with the Girls

Saturday I modified my half marathon training to run a 5k with Caitlyn and Sue.  We ran the Mind Over Matter 5k to raise money and awareness to fight suicide.

It is a lovely course and incredibly important cause.

I was so proud to run with my girls.

We worked hard and all made it to the finish.  This race is one we will always have on the schedule.

Most of the time I run just for me.  Saturday we ran for others.

The Sub Might Take Over

This last year my hubby has taken over teaching science to the girls.  We did some research and he chose a book.  It works out great.  I go running or do errands or…while they cover science.  But a couple times I have been called upon to sub and it is fun.  I think I might take over science for next year.

This morning we learned about low pressure and high pressure in the weather and how it creates the basic building blocks for wind.  For example, the heat of the sun causes low pressure on the beach and the coolness of the ocean, or in our area the Great Lakes,  causes high pressure, which rushes in to even out the pressure in the low area, thus causing wind.

Our experiment involved opening up and emptying a tea bag, lighting it with a match and watching what happens. It was so cool we did it twice.

Up, up, and away!!

Yeah, it was cool…I think the sub will be taking over science class/

 

This Face

I was scrolling through pictures looking for this one

And found this one

She does not look like a happy camper.  It was sometime this weekend and she was irritated.  It looks like it was taken after our 2.5 mile run (guess she didn’t get the runners high?).  I do get tired of seeing her grumpy face, but this one cracked me up.  She came down with a cold last week after finishing up her role in Mary Poppins, but she just keeps going for the most part.

Here are a couple shots of us enjoying a Mommy Daughter date after Mary Poppins and a couple pictures from the show.

She’s a honeybee in the top photo and in the group singing in the second.

Good thing they’re cute, even when they’re mad!!!

 

Training Again

Today I ran twice.   I am training for a half marathon (13.1 miles) on May 20.  Caitlyn and Sue are logging miles for a Martian Marathon April 14.  We all needed to get some running in today.

The Martian Marathon is specifically for kids.  Each logs 25 miles before race day and then runs 1.2 miles with their group to each complete 26.2 miles or the distance of a full marathon.

Caitlyn and Sue did it last year for the first time.

I ran with each of them today (I don’t want them out there alone just yet–crossing roads and such–even if they are just side roads).

Both of my runs together only equaled 5 miles–but I got faster with each run.  I have always found after mile two I get faster and hit my groove.  Every mile I ran was faster than the one before.

This week has had some good mileage in it.  I ran to the library and back on Tuesday–6 miles in the rain, around in circles on Wednesday–3 miles, no rain, and 5 miles today with my girls–no rain.  The schedule calls for 10 miles tomorrow, but 8 or 9 is more likely…

Here are some recent pictures.

A treadmill run

Glad to be running outside again

Truth

 

Cooking From Scratch

As of late, I have been making a weekly menu.  It lists each night what I am planning for dinner.  It gets rid of the evening scramble to figure out a meal and it has streamlined grocery shopping because I can look at the list and go just once in a week to get what I need.  We end up swapping meals around a fair amount, but I am liking the bit of ease this brings to my day.

Today, I had chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles on the list.  My mom has been making homemade noodles for years.  They are thick and yummy and keep you full for hours.

I don’t make them often…but they were on the menu…and I ended up with a new helper today…Sue.

The soup itself was made using a soup starter, but the noodles were all Sue’s hard work!!  She did a great job and they turned out fantastically!

 

 

If Just For A Moment

Over the last many months, I have made some amazing new friends.  Their stories are not mine to tell, so I will keep this vague and likely short, but I have a thought.

My friends are from all over the world.  Their stories are both different and the same.  But they share, to one degree or another, a native tongue.

And I am trying to learn it.

Now please don’t think they’ve come here expecting everyone to cater to them and they will never learn English.  No, that is not the case.  They are all on their journey of learning English and most of our time together is spent using my native tongue, not theirs.

But I love them.  And I want them to know that love to the marrow of their bones.  So I am learning a phrase here or there with every visit, deliberately and intentionally.

It is good and it is fun and it is hard.  I am proud to say I could tell you two of those three adjectives in their mother tongue, but that is not my point.

My point is, they are shocked and amazed I am trying to learn their language.  I feel like my attempts are feeble, but they tell me my knowledge is growing quickly.  And it is fun to be able to catch a word here or there in their conversations around me, my joy is huge when I can remember a word when I want to use it or I get to help someone outside of my groups of friends with my little bit of knowledge.  And the laughs we have at my attempts to get my mouth to mimic the sounds that come so naturally to them.  Oh, the laughs.

It is all worth it.  It is all worth it if for just one moment I can be that American bridging the gap with their native tongue as we blend our lives together.  It is all worth it if for just one moment our hearts can meet over that shared syllable or two.

Every single day life around them is telling them they HAVE to join my world–for this moment, I want to join theirs.