Category Archives: running

Fall is Settling In

This last week we took advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling and went camping…we packed up Frazier, our Arabic lessons, reading, and Bible and hit the road.  We became mosquito fodder for a few days as we enjoyed the quiet of Lake Michigan.

We came home in time to start our homeschool co-op classes.  Patrice is taking gym, kite making, and games.  Sue is checking out gym, kite making, and sports info.  Caitlyn is learning about immigration and refugees, games, and photography.  I am teaching the class on immigration and refugees and helping in the games class.

Friday we headed to the library after our studies at home (they were not so thrilled with the double portion of math…but that’s the price you pay for going to the beach!)

I am enjoying the cooler temperatures as my runs get longer–my next half marathon is less than a month away.  Saturday I ran 8.5 miles.  I am happy to report I didn’t run out of stamina, I just ran out of time as we were headed to visit with friends for the evening.

Daddy got super brave and asked Caitlyn to trim his hair.  She said later, “I’ve been teasing him for so long that I would do it, but once he asked me to, I was scared!!”  She did a great job!!

Heart On My Sleeve

I remember when Caitlyn was born discovering how painful it was to love someone other than yourself.  I mean, I love my husband, no doubt about it, but there is just something about that baby.

Digital StillCamera

I went back to work when she was 10 weeks old, but before that, I stood in Target one night crying because she was growing so fast and was going to grow up and leave me.

Here we are 12 years later–I want to throw up each time I think of her growing up so quickly.

Then came Sue…

And finally Patrice.

I love them so much.   How in heavens name could I love anything else?

But then…

I’ve had dogs most of my life and I really loved my Stuie…but this guy?  We got him for the girls…and I got a dog.  He doesn’t snub the girls like my mom’s dog did me when I was growing up, but he’s my dog.

He runs the vast majority of my miles with me (11.5 this last week), he is incredibly grounding and comforting for me when the Bipolar gets overwhelming…I love this little guy.

Then over the last week he started coughing here and there…until yesterday when he would cough so much he was throwing up some.  I have been panicking.  My mind of course going to every worse case scenario possible.  I even asked my Sunday School, you know, a room full of adults, to pray for my dog…

He seems much better this afternoon.  I even think we have narrowed down the issue (kennel cough?) which is easily treated.  I am so relieved.  And so hopeful that my little running buddy will be back at it soon.

(It drives hubby crazy how much the dog is up on furniture, but he is so gosh darn cute and I think he is a huge part of how well I am doing with the bipolar…having him curl up next to me is better than any of the medications they have given me)

Protecting Me

How do you do it?  How do you homeschool your kids?

Some days, I don’t know.  I love homeschooling my kids and having them with me.  That closeness is a lot of why I first considered homeschooling.  But I am, at my core, an introvert who requires time to recharge on my own–alone–away from people–quietly–and there is not a lot of that when you are a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of three girls, ages 8, 10, and 12.

And there is the husband who likes to talk.  And going to church with people.  And I have an amazing tribe of women in my life that I love spending time with.

All of these things are fantastic, and I wouldn’t change them, but I can end up tapped out before the day even begins.

That’s where distance running comes in.  Today, I logged 7 miles with Frazier.  It was incredible.  I waved at a few people and they waved at me, I  listened to a book on Intercessory Prayer, told the dog to heel, and ran for over an hour and a half…that’s it.  For once, I didn’t wish I were a faster runner, though I am a little embarrassed to say how long my runs take, I just felt the power of being able to put one foot in front of the other for that long.  And when I finished, I knew I could have gone farther, likely, much farther.

I am home now, needing to take a shower, but I wanted to process some of this first.  The gift that is the time it takes me to run the distances I want to go.

The school year will start the week after next.  There will be more in my day and the time to run my distances I love so much will be harder to find, but find them I will, no matter what it takes.

I am blessed to have the time with my girls.  I am blessed to have my time to run…one makes the other possible.

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.

 

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.

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

 

The Shirt I Don’t Deserve

An amazing friend helped me out when she accidentally gave me a gift I needed. The scale has been a jerk for a year plus. Despite my sometimes good efforts and sometimes blah efforts. Even with my best efforts, the dang scale has been going up lately. We are tweaking meds, etc, but we’ll see…sigh.

And I have been frustrated and freaking jealous of people seeing results as they change their diet and exercise.  So jealous.  To the point of tears.

And today.

(my daughter swears this picture is clear, but it looks blurry to me…Guess I don’t pay my photographer enough)

Let me digress just a bit. A year ago, my husband noticed a trend in my resting heart rate. It was tanking. It had always been around 70 and all the sudden it was consistently in the upper 40s, low 50s. There was some panic. I went to a cardiologist. He did a full battery of tests and declared my heart VERY healthy and said I was not only cleared to run, but that I would likely see my heart rate continue to lower as my fitness improved.

In the past year, I have continued to run quite faithfully, even doing my first half marathon back in September.

And a new trend has shown up…my resting heart rate is a new solid 40. Just as he said it would, it has gone down even further.

Today I was even turned away from giving blood because my heart rate is too low. In essence, my heart is too healthy.

For the first time in my life, part of me is really, really healthy. And I am doing the work to get it there. That beats a number on the scale any day.

A Running Recap

This last week has been all about THE HALF MARATHON!!!!!  I signed up for this race back at the end of November.  Since then I have talked, trained, and planned for September 17.

And, after all that…the weekend arrived.  Hubby and I headed for a fundraising dinner cruise…great price and great cause…

And it was time for flat runner Charity!

Hubby’s alarm went off at 4.  I rolled over and told him to “shut that thing off.”  That was not an option when my alarm went off at 5.  I yelled and fretted, but we got to the race start in plenty of time.

The first half of the race was decent.  I finished the first loop in good time.  Still smiling.

I’m pretty sure I quit smiling after this.

The girls made me posters to cheer while I ran.

It got way hotter, I dipped into my nutrition gummies and accepted the water at each spot.  I quit smiling.

I may have cried more than once.  I used up a little strength to text hubby “I can’t.”  It got hard guys.  Really, really hard.  Beyond hard.  Unspeakably hard.  I cried.  I seriously considered sitting down on the curb in the last mile and just waiting for someone to come get me…but I had come this far…I just couldn’t quit knowing how far I had come.

A few strides, if you could call them that, I heard my hubby whistling and cheering from around the bend.

My Caitlyn came up and ran me the last few feet up to the finish line as I sobbed uncontrollably.

After the race I felt so horrible, I hardly noticed someone hand me my medal.

But I did hear the announcer say “Good job mom, way to be an example for your kids.  Kids, pay attention to how strong your mom is and what she did.”

Beyond that, yesterday afternoon and evening was miserable, not what I expected at all.  I am used to feeling amazing after a race–feeling like I could conquer the world.  This time, my hubby had to catch me several times as I threatened to fall over on the way to the car.

It was hard, y’all.

But today, today is better.  I have enjoyed sharing pictures and I might have interrupted the girls’ schooling at one point to yell, “I DID IT.  I RAN 13.1 MILES!!!  I PLANNED TO DO IT, I TRAINED TO DO IT, AND I DID IT!!!!!!”

Today, I walked while Sue was in dance class and thought about getting back to running later this week and get myself back to training for something.  Another half, not at this point, nope.  But I have a 5k coming up and I love 10ks, so we’ll see.

And today, I can whisper–“it was worth it.”

Sometimes It’s About the Stubborn

This last weekend we had an amazing time at Sue’s callbacks for her casting in the next play, James and the Giant Peach.

She can sing, she can dance!!  I wish I had video of her dancing.  She does it so well, but that was in a room sans audience.

My little Sue has spunk and talent.  I could not be more proud of her.  I am very sad to type that she did not get a named role as we had hoped, but she is already working very hard on her audition piece for the next production–A Christmas Carol.

She amazes me every day.

As I watched her this week I realized she has something I don’t have…talent.  The things I have done, or do, are out of sheer stubbornness. Not because of talent.  I am thinking talent might make things easier, but stubbornness works out pretty good too.  I have pulled off a lot of things due to being very stubborn, and the grace of God.  And Sunday, it is time for another one.  It is time for my half marathon.  That is a long 13.1 miles.

I’ve run the distance once to make sure I could.  The first 9 miles were decently comfortable.  And then came the rest.  I truly ran them because I said I would.  I had told people I was going to run 13.1 miles, not 9, so I just had to keep going.  And this quote I had read on-line helped me keep pushing.

So here’s to Sunday and running with my legs, my feet, and my heart.  Whatever gets me to 13.1!!