New hat, new slogan

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Bought this at the Disney expo tonight. Seems like exactly what I need to remember.

Of course Rob had fits of laughter when I tried to paraphrase it and what I said was something to the effect of “one of these days I’ll be able to do this, but not today.”

He said, “Only you would turn it into a negative statement….” Gotta love brothers-in-law.

Off to bed…3:30 comes early. And I’m going to have to turn THAT negative into a positive!

Winging it

Still. You haven’t been training and you can punch out 13.1 miles? You’re amazing.

The above sentence was part of a larger email conversation with some friends this week.  It was a work conversation but somehow it came back to running.  And my friend’s mistaken belief that I’m amazing.  Well, I am. Amazing (and humble too! Ha!).  But not an amazing runner.   Probably it’s just that I am amazingly delusional.

Okay maybe delusional is a strong word.

You read stories (if you read running magazines) about people who decide on a whim to start running and they wind up running 2 miles a day for 2 weeks and then they pound out winning times in half marathons.  Or I’ve heard of people whose longest runs were 8 miles (maybe) and they just totally rocked a marathon with paces I never have approached and probably never will. Seems that the more I read about running and people who take to it – the more I hear of people who are just flying down the roads even as newbies.

But I realize that most of those stories are of people who fall into one (or more) of three categories.  Either they have had previous athletic experience (high schools sports or the like) or they are those blessed with incredible DNA.   Or maybe they are really really motivated, active people.

Me?  I’m just ordinary.  Just your run of the mill middle aged woman who took up running cause she likes shiny medals but who does not have athletic genes or any high school sports awards (other than a varsity letter in badminton – which is a sport but albeit it not a showy, challenging one) and whose motivation level depends on how many cookies she’ll be rewarded with at the end of the given challenge.

In other words – I’ve not turned out to be one of those people who took up running to discover that there was a hidden Ironman inside just waiting to burst forth. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and hoping for the best along with some small miracles.

And I do sort of look out for those miracle moments.

In response to my friend’s comment about being amazing, I said: I once swung randomly at a ball in putt-putt and got a hole in one.   I live life expecting random good things to happen to me when I am underprepared.  (it helps to know that prior to that incident, I once skinned both my knees playing putt-putt.  But that is a long story for another time)

Running 13.1 miles is obviously not the same as a putt-putt hole-in-one.  I get that.  But sometimes you just realize that while you might be winging it – maybe something good will come of it.  Certainly not award winning paces.  But maybe not bad ones either.

And winging it is really not a great description of what I think Saturday will hold for me.  I am a runner.  I do run.  My training plan fell apart but I still ran. And I’ve run Disney 2x before.  I have a good mental grasp of what it takes to finish those 13.1.  I know where my favorite parts of the course are.  I know how I feel (mentally and physically) generally speaking at about the halfway point and at other mile markers.  I know what it’s like to round thru the last part in Epcot when the freaking finish line seems to not be where it should.  I know how much I hate going up the ramp when the green solider from Toy Story yells at you.  But I also know that thus far I’ve been successful at looking down from the overpass after that and seeing MANY people still behind me.  I know which port-a-potties to avoid (the ones in the grassy areas with lots of bugs in the grass) and I know what it’s like to meet my family afterwards. I even know how to get to the medical tent (but that will NOT be necessary).  I know that I hate yellow Gatorade so I’ll wear my fuel belt but I also know I’ll give in and drink some of the darn yellow Gatorade anyway.  (WHY can’t races use orange Gatorade?  Hello??)

But I also know I am so blessed to have two legs and some (not lots but some) stamina. And I know I will be going into this with family members who are most likely going to yell at me and push me past some of my own limits.  But they’ll also be cheering with me to the end. And I know that I’ll be happy to have done the experience again because I like to run.

So yeah – all in all that seems pretty amazing, I guess.

Getting psyched!

Happy New Year!

I often tell myself that if I were to be a baseball player, I would be a starting pitcher – who would probably not have a lot of complete games.  I’m so much better at starting things rather than ending them.  When I was a college student, I was great at starting the semester – fresh notebooks, new pens, neat handwriting, copious notes and study plans.  And then somewhere along the way I’d find myself limping into the last weeks and finals with nary a pen in sight and only a handful of illegible chicken scratch notes to study for exams. And I’d wonder where and when I lost my oomph.

I know my blog suffered in 2013 from that lack of closing.  I ran throughout 2013 – and I even ran three 5Ks (in July, Sept, and Oct). I had lots of ideas of what I wanted to write and share….but it never really came together. And thus it seemed this blog was going to suffer the fate of so many others.  Yet, here it is a new year.  A chance to “start” all over again. And maybe have a better closing 12 months from now.

And there’s no better way to start a new year than to go for a run. A long run – with medals at the end.  And Disney characters along the way!

This Saturday I’ll be running my third Disney Half Marathon (my fourth half marathon overall). And my sister requested a blog post so that it “becomes real”.  Here you go, Stacia!

The Disney race weekend has truly become quite the family affair for us.  When my husband Steve ran his first Disney in Jan 2011, he “merely” ran the half marathon and our kids and I cheered him on at the end. The next year, he ran the marathon while my sister and her husband joined me in running the half.  Actually Rob ran well ahead of us – but Stacia and I finished together.  Last year Steve chose to do the Goofy while Rob and Stacia and I stuck to the half.  So all four of us crossed the half finish together while my parents and kids cheered us on.

This year we are all running this half again – and we’ve added two cousins and one uncle to our merry troop!  My uncle (Paul) and cousin (Nicole) have run the 5K before – and they decided to up their game this year.  My other cousin (Mary) has finally gotten her knee fixed and ran circles around me this year.  And my parents, our kids, and my aunt will all be cheering us on at the finish.

And what an interesting group we shall be.  My training has not been what it should have been.  (Lots of short runs – not so many long ones.) And I think that’s possibly true of everyone except Steve and Mary.  Steve ran his first Space Coast Half Marathon just after Thanksgiving.  And Mary has been racing like crazy. But the rest of us have had our share of busy-ness this fall.  Again – closing out the year less strong than we perhaps wanted or planned to.

But it really doesn’t matter. I’m psyched anyway. I get to spend a few hours (hopefully less than 3!) with some really cool family members.  And the weather will be warm (a plus for everyone winging it down here from DC and NJ during this frigid weather period). And we’ll be running Disney!  And we’ll get a medal and t-shirts.

Disney is not a great race to try to PR in – namely there’s just too many people. But given that it was my first half – I got the PR. And last year (while I never quite blogged about it) – I did shave some time off my PR. I remember the moment it dawned on me that I could have a new PR and I just kicked it during mile 11.  (Okay well then I slowed down again – but I really pushed for those last miles.)

But the strongest memory I have of running last year is not that last kick….but the fact that I was running with my sister, my brother-in-law, and my husband. And they all stuck with me – slow running me. I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I have some awesome family members.  Ones who will stick it out for the long haul and be by your side no matter what. I think I might have gotten weepy around mile 6 as I was considered that fact. But that didn’t last long as Stacia probably yelled at me to hustle and stop crying.  That’s what sisters are for.

Anyway – I am sure this won’t be my fastest half marathon. But it will be fun. And it will be a great way to start the year.

Here’s to starting strong – and finishing strong as well!

 

Saturday Run minus one

I ran 3 miles this morning.  Not fast as it’s 200% humidity here in West Central Florida.  But Wendy and Sunita and I slogged it out.  Then Wendy went to the Y for a class,  Sunita ran on for another 5 or so, and I headed home.  But in those three miles, so much felt okay but there was a definite bit of sadness too.  You see, it was the first time in a long time that our Saturday morning group hadn’t been initiated by an email from our fearless leader, June.  And she won’t be joining our runs again for awhile.

You see, today June and her family are starting their adventure of driving to Alaska, their new home.  And frankly, I’m not the only one who is sad.  Most of our little neck of the suburbs is quite upset about the move.  Namely cause June is great fun, but moreover because she is better connected than Kevin Bacon.  If you live here and don’t know June or know someone who knows June, you’re living under a rock.

When she hosted a “girls night in” good-bye party last week, the street was so crammed with cars, I figured her neighbors were happy she was moving soon.  Tons of people filled her house – from Girl Scout leaders to YMCA members to college professors to runners to medical professionals to preschool teachers to preschool parents and every combination of all those labels.  June knows everyone, everyone knows her, and she introduces people to each other.  In fact, the reason I even know who Wendy and Sunita are is that June invited all of us to run with her at one time or another.  Every time someone else walked into the party, I thought “June knows them too? Oh, of course she does.”   In fact, she already has a handful of FB friends in Alaska!

When she “announced” her move to Alaska via Facebook about 1.5 months ago, I immediately texted her:  This is a joke, right?

She assured me it wasn’t – that her husband who works for a federal agency had gotten a promotion.  My response:  Really?  Alaska is a promotion?

Now that I have seen her breathtaking pictures from their trip to find a house – I take that statement back. My apologies to Alaska.  Truly.  (But seriously Alaska – that whole dark all the time in winter is not cool.  Just saying.)

June’s news kinda stunned me.  So much so that my son asked me why I was crying.

“Well, I just found out that June is moving.  And I’m going to miss her.  She was the one who got me into running in the first place.  She’s the one who yells at me when I’m slow, she’s the one who gets people out of bed at dark o’clock on Saturdays for runs, she’s the one who knows about all the races, basically she’s like a personal coach to me.”

My “embedded-in-geek-culture” 9-year-old looked at me seriously and said, “It’s like she’s Yoda and you’re her Luke Skywalker.  But every master has to leave at some point and you have to be your own Jedi.”

So wise, young grasshopper.

I’m not sure I’m much past the padawan stage of running yet.  Some might argue that having run a bunch of 5Ks and three 1/2 marathons kinda speaks against that.  Yet, I’m not fast, I’m not very good at training, and I really need people to yell at me to get out of bed on Saturdays.  Really.

But I can hear June’s voice in my head, “Jenn, you know you can do it.  You want that medal and you can PR. You just need to move it.  Breath. Come on. Move it.”  I even tried to have a running streak (at least one mile a day) thanks to her.  I lasted 12 days.  She lasted over 115 days.  And she created a small Facebook group for us to motivate and keep track of our streaks (otherwise known as the “guilt-ing group”).  Oh and there was the dreaded push-up streak….of which we will never speak again.  🙂

I wish I could calculate the number of miles I’ve run with June.  Or behind her actually.  (I’ve run some races with her – but never side by side.)  Or the number of times June  yelled at me to start moving.  Or texted me at 6 am to get me out of bed.  But what I do know is that how ever many there were, those miles (even the ugly slow ones) have meant a lot to me.  Whether the miles included simple chit-chat, or parenting stories and advice, or debates about races to run, or training tips, running with June was encouraging and up-lifting.  And when I think about it – I’m just jealous of those Alaskan runners who she will probably bring together to create another loosely affiliated running “club”.  They are getting an awesome lady to add to their ranks.

Today’s run was good – we chatted about June, about races, about other running clubs, and even marijuana growers in WA state (don’t ask).  And I know that the women who June has introduced me to will help keep up the miles and the motivation.  But we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to June.  Thanks to FB, no friendships ever really lose contact anymore. And we can’t wait to hear about her miles of adventures in Alaska.

Thank you Junie B…..you’ve made a runner out of me.  MIss you already friend.

 

 

 

 

Prayers for Boston

Today I had planned to write a long blog post about my third Irongirl 5K yesterday.  I was going to write about the joy of running as a mom/daughter team with my 7 year old daughter.  I was going to tie it back to the (still not written about) Disney Half back in January where I ran side by side with my sister and my husband and my brother-in-law. I was going to wax eloquent on the joy of running with those you love.  I was going to express how proud I was to hear via texts about split times that an old high school friend and her sister had successfully completed the Disney Princess this year.

And I was going to consider how amazing an inspiration Dick and Rick Hoyt are in all their races – including today’s Boston Marathon – their 31st time running the course.

I wanted to write about family.  And running.

And then as I headed home from a quick grocery store trip with the kids, we heard the horrible phrase on the radio:  This news is breaking from Boston…..there have been two explosions at the finish line of the marathon.

And I wept.

I called my husband. He checked online that the one person we knew at Boston today was finished – he had finished an hour earlier. We prayed that he and his wife had left the area of the finish line.

The kids and I got home and we gathered together to sit and pray.  Then I made sure they had things to do away from the tv and the news. And I hopped on Twitter, and FB, and turned on the news, and I sat in horror.

Today my daughter proudly wore her Irongirl medal to school.  And by evening, there were at least three deaths (at the time of this writing) that had occurred at the finish of the storied Boston Marathon.  Today I bragged about my daughter’s running to some of my students.  This evening, there are families torn apart and surgeries being performed to save lives.  This morning I was still riding high on yesterday’s effort and endorphins.  Tonight, I quietly cry as I work to tear myself away from updates and Twitter news.  It’s too much to take in.  Even the amazingly written pieces (such as this one by Ezra Klein) are almost too overwhelming to consider….it’s too much.

But I can’t forget the original premise of what today’s post was going to be – that running involves family. The running community acts like a family (and many races become family events for people).  And that running family tends to pull together in ways that demonstrate humanity at its finest.  I read reports that runners ran straight to hospitals to donate blood today. And EMTs and first responders RAN towards the explosions and the victims.

So tomorrow I will demonstrate my solidarity with the running community. As per a growing number of FB posts by runners, I will proudly don one of my race t-shirts tomorrow. And I plan to wear a piece of tape with “Standing with Boston” written on it.  I will wear it not to show that I run – but to show that my saddened heart is with those runners who finished and who were stopped before the finish, with the spectators, with the volunteers, with the race organizers, with the victims, with those Bostonians who cherish their city and it’s traditions, and with those first responders and medical personnel who have had to see and fix horrible things today.

As a slow runner, I have never had dreams of meeting a BQ – a Boston Qualifiying time.  But tonight and tomorrow – we are all a part of Boston and it’s running traditions.  And we are all Americans who stand with our fellow citizens in their time of grief and horror.   And as runners, we will run on – especially for all those who never will again.

Many many prayers for all those in Boston today.

 

The turtles have landed…

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The turtles are here, the turtles are here! Stacia and Rob are here…and they love their new t-shirts.  Steve’s particularly proud that the idea in his head has been made real.  I’m an instant fan of the t-shirt store around the corner from us.  Awesome job Big Frog!

Just how slow is Team Turtle gonna be?  Well, I didn’t get in enough long runs, Rob’s still a dragging a little from being sick, and then there’s Mother Nature – who has apparently decided that a warm streak is exactly what Orlando needs this week.  Ugh. Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 8.34.42 PM

 

Alas – Stacia and I will not be jumping up and down trying to keep warm in the wee hours of the race. We’ll probably be wringing sweat from every nook and cranny. Thankfully we won’t actually be wearing turtle shells.

As we are wrapping up the evening here at Chez Turtle, I asked the group what last comments they wanted to put on the blog for posterity. The only response I got was from Stacia.  And that was, “Hey, get the cat off my bed.”  I’m assuming that is not some great metaphor for how to pace yourself or how to know when to hydrate. I think it’s a comment on the fact that she’s allergic to the cat, but I’m not quite sure.  I’ll just translate it as such: “I am so freakin’ excited to run Disney again with my sister that I can not contain my joy and excitement. This weekend is going to rock.”

And with that, this turtle is crawling in the shell for some rest…..

There they go again….and again….and again….

streakAccording to our high school lore (otherwise known as the best this 42-year old brain can remember), there was only one pep rally in the four years I was in high school.  (Okay maybe I’m wrong – but there’s only one I remember.) I was a freshman, sitting up in the gym bleachers watching cheerleaders and dancers doing some routine.  All of a sudden, the doors to the outside opened up and in ran two (or maybe 3?) guys in underwear (and maybe trenchcoats?). They had what looked to me like giant fire extinguishers from which they sprayed marbles (or gumballs?) all over the gym floor.  I don’t recall any pyramid of cheerleaders tumbling down in slow motion, but I do recall a lot of immediate chaos and rumors later on that the boys (one of whom was my friend’s brother) were sent to jail or Siberia. I don’t remember any more pep rallies.  And thus, I was introduced to the idea of “streaking”.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s – so I do recall a couple of streakers interrupting baseball games. And I’m pretty sure Richard Simmons entering any room is considered streaking. But as an activity, it’s always ranked right up there (along with sky diving) as something I have no interest in.

And yet I’ve started a streak this year. Fully clothed, mind you – although there was much debate as to whether that would invalidate the streak.

My friend June (otherwise known as she-who-runners-should-fear) somehow got it into her head that she and her runner friends need to run (at least) a mile a day this year.  Yup. One mile each day. Or more if you are training or racing or what not. But at least one mile.

We officially started this past Monday. We have a small Facebook group of us who keep checking in each day and keeping everyone accountable. Of course the other ladies post things like “did my four miles and then did 2 cardio classes and saved 4 children today”.  I merely point out that I ran and then I post silly pictures and slogans reminding us all that the mile counts – whether the pace was 6 min or 16 min.

This is a great idea. Of course I say that now – two days before I run 13.1.  June won’t let that count for 13 days of running 1 mile. (We all asked – and begged – and got yelled at.) So we’ll see how that mile on Sunday feels – maybe I’ll circle the parking lot at the finish line while waiting for Steve to finish the marathon.  (I’d hop in and run the last mile with him – but that would take too much effort – and I’d probably get arrested by a Disney cop.)

Meanwhile – it really is a great way to start a new habit. Cause that’s what’s at the heart of New Year’s resolutions – changing habits.

Of course I wrote this instead of doing my mile…..dang it.  I better get out there…. What are you going to do different each day this year?

 

If you don’t write a blog post, is it really happening?

So this first post of the new year is dedicated to my sister, Stacia.  Which makes sense cause when I spoke with her on the phone tonight she said, “Well, you’re not blogging.  I didn’t even know if this race was happening cause you haven’t written anything about it.  How am I sure that we’re running?”  Ah – the layer of guilt that insulates a good sisterly-bond.

She then kept talking in a self-labeled attempt to “give you more material to write about.”  Ah – the support sisters show each other.

Tomorrow, she and Rob fly in for our 2nd annual Disney running weekend.  We three are doing the half again like last year.  But we’ll be joined by my husband, Steve, who is doing the Goofy – running the 1/2 on Saturday and the full on Sunday.  (Yeah, don’t ask, I don’t know why either.  Other than you get three medals and three t-shirts. And yes, it makes my stomach cramp a little and I worry but he just poo-poos it so I keep it to myself.)

Steve’s plan to survive Goofy is to run the 1/2 with me.  Or as he put it when he hatched his plan: “I’ll walk with you.”  Nice.  And Stacia and Rob are just over the flu.  So we’ll all be sticking together to do things nice and easy. Or as Steve has dubbed us: “Team Turtle”.  (All I can say is, he’s lucky he’s cute.)

But even this ectotherm has goals.  As Steve wandered the Orlando outlet stores last year in his post-marathon deluded state, he promised to buy me a Coach purse if I ran again this year and beat my time by 13.1 minutes.  (Get it?)  So I have to pace at 11:51 per mile to win the deal.  Stacia intends for me to win – as evidenced by our conversation tonight:

“So, last year, we started out great – it was your foot injury that slowed us down. So I’m going to start you at an 11:45 pace and we’re going to keep it up. And I have a whole bunch of motivational speeches prepared…”

“You’re writing all these down to remember them?”

“Heck no. I’ll remember them – I’m a genius.”

She is actually very smart. As for genius….hm…

“And how do you feel about Minnie ears? Cause I’m thinking we’re going to run with Minnie ears.”

I love my sister.  She cracks me up – ears and all. She rags on my attire and my worries. And yet she can out worry me any day of the week (yes, you can – so don’t go posting a comment that you don’t!). And she can outrun me any day of the week. But she is the most kindhearted, loving person out there. And if she ever gives up her day job – she can totally be a motivational speaker – or fitness trainer.

So Stacia – here’s the first of a few blog posts about Disney this year.  Cause if I don’t blog about it – it won’t happen.  Let the magic begin!

 

 

A life well lived

I had a good strong run today.  Despite a nagging knee, I managed to feel pretty good about speed and stamina. Got Disney looming and want to do better than Savannah.

But most of my run (and maybe the root of my success today), my thoughts were not on running but on my sister, Stacia, ….and her dog, Scout.  I remember when Stacia called me to tell me she was getting a puppy. And I still can hear her saying, “And the best part is that I will become a runner – think about it, I can run with my dog by my side.” I’m not sure how many miles Scout actually managed to go with Stacia over the years, probably preferring to watch from across the room as the treadmill motor whirled.

Now, Scout is nearly 17 years old, and has seen Stacia through her first apartment, her dating and engagement and marriage to Rob, her years of teaching elementary school, then through graduate school, and then her eventually teaching college students. Scout has run in the apple and peach orchards that Rob and Stacia have, and has been ridden, hugged, tugged, kissed, and squashed by many a young niece and nephew.  She has shed her fur in many of our houses (enough for at least another 4 dogs) and tolerated the introduction of another dog, Mac, to the house a few years ago. And her name is a constant reminder of my sister’s favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Through it all, she has always been a dog of great poise. She often casts looks around her as if to say, “I’m putting up with this stuff?  Why?”  Yet, she happily tolerates all the love and adoration that has come from Stacia, Rob, and their large group of family and friends. She carries herself with an air thick with loyalty – and fur, lots of fur. She is the reason our daughter desperately wants a dog. The reason we don’t have a dog is that dogs like Scout are a very rare breed.

Sadly, the last few weeks have made it clear that Scout will be heading for the Rainbow Bridge very soon. She has been an amazing pup and has lived a great life. And while it breaks Stacia’s and Rob’s hearts – and both their families’ hearts as well – they know she is in a lot of pain.

I feel so helpless – can’t be there to hug my sister. The best we could do was Skype last night. It helped our kids a lot – to see Stacia and Rob and get to “talk” to Scout. She is still the beautiful pup we know and love. Our kids were really quiet and sad (which was an improvement over the sobs when I read Aunt Stacia’s email to them). But I know it meant a lot to them.

So thank you Scout – for being a friend to Stacia and Rob – and to all of us.  I know we’re all a little bit better for getting to hang out with you all these years. May we all have a touch of your dignity and love and loyalty. Love you, girl.

Gotta run

This morning I was trying to dry my hair, tame my daughter’s out of control curly locks, fix my son’s bedhead hair, finish washing my face and put on make up, find my shoes and my keys, and get everyone and their Bibles out the door for church.  All in under 6 minutes.  And in the process of mentally cataloging all that needed to be done, I looked down at my poor toenails and their chipped polish.  Sigh.  Well, yet another thing that wasn’t going to get done this morning.

The hectic nature of my morning is not unusual for any mom.  And frankly for any given Sunday morning here at the homestead. But unfortunately I’ve been feeling like this ALL day long every day since August.  Since the kids went back to school and I started teaching three college classes instead of my usual 2.  Every hour has been filled with the stack of stuff I have to do right now AND the stack of stuff I’m trying to keep track of in my head AND all the emails I’ve answered in my head but not on the computer AND which kid has a project due at school AND what we might want to eat for dinner AND if we even want dinner AND whether dinner is actually the right term as opposed to ‘supper’ AND the never ending question of when will I have time to clean out the microwave and mop the kitchen.  It’s been go go go all the time.

Yeah right – having it all. If by all you mean “nervous breakdown”, then yes I am having it all. With a side of chocolate.

Part of all this crazy autumn has meant that my poor blog, which means a lot to me, has gotten the toenail polish treatment. That is Scarlett’s notion that “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”  (Side note: I have never seen more than 20 mins of Gone with the Wind despite having had two roommates who were passionate about it.  All I’ve glean from their knowledge of the movie is two quotes. That one and my other favorite one: “Quitting time!”  My apologies to Scarlett, Cristy and Betsy.)

Thus I’ve punted on the blog (despite starting a 1001 posts in my head while driving to work or grading papers) and in related news my running has been challenging. Not that I haven’t run. I have. Sometimes at 5 am. Sometimes at 10 am. But mostly not as far or as often as I should have. And so I didn’t know what to blog about. Cause you and my other reader don’t come here to read about my complaints, do you?

But I have stumbled forward….praying for the holiday break and for a chance to catch my breath.

And I’ve run. Or hobbled – depends on your definition. And before I knew it – we were driving up to Savannah last week for the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon. And I was wishing for a giant pause button so I could catch my breath and have another 6 weeks of training.

Despite it all, I finished the race. Yea!  Not very quickly. Boo. A time of 3:02 is not what I had in mind.  But then again I was worried about collapsing before mile 5 – so that’s an improvement.  And in reality I was chugging along on pace to finish in 2:35.  Which was awesome.

Until I hit the wall.  (Upon hearing that, our daughter asked me why anyone would put a wall in the middle of the race.)  Mile 8.  My legs just up and gave up at mile 8. And from there on out it was mostly walking with snippets of running to keep up the pace. Until mile 10 when my iPhone died and I had no clue how fast (slow) I was going. So then I trudged to the end. (Side note – I think Santa’s getting me a Garmin for Christmas.  Or a Nike+ watch.  Either way – there was a silver lining to that!)

But I finished. And I was not the last one across the finish. And had I been running the whole marathon instead – that would have been an AWESOME time.  LOL.

We had a great weekend – especially getting to spent time with my folks.  They were kind and got up at 4:30 to take the shuttle with us and they hung out with the kids while we ran (and I even got to see them at about mile 6.3 – yea!).  So while it was not the running triumph I had hoped for back in the summer. It was fun and that’s what counts.

Soon enough it will be time for the Disney run again. About two months and I’ll be up for another 13.1.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reminded of my first year in grad school. I enjoyed the work load and the new people to meet and focusing on my career. But I missed reading for reading’s sake. I am a huge bookworm. And I found myself trying to settle my heart by telling myself that “come summer break”, I’ll read all I want.  Pretty soon, I realized that you can’t cut out that which is a core part of you. So I read. In between classes and research, I made the time.

Granted – back then I didn’t have two kids and a husband. But I hold onto that important lesson. And I am trying very hard to get back to what is at the core of me nowadays – running. So what if the microwave has layers of crumbs and my toenail polish is chipped? They can wait till tomorrow. I gotta run.  (after I grade three stacks of tests….  🙂