Sunday, December 27, 2009


Sometimes I get really depressed for no apparent reason.  I seem to have been in a funk for the last day and a half or so.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I haven't been running, and I have been way overindulging in the holiday treats, and I basically hate my body right now.  But it is more than just that.  I can't put my finger on exactly what it is.  There are a number of things that I could blame it on....improper nutrition, lack of exercise, being unemployed, sun deprived, worried about our finances, and on and on and on.  But, I don't want to be a slave to my circumstances.  I want to be able to feel joy regardless of the situation.  After all, isn't that one of the perks of Christianity?  Aren't we supposed to rejoice in our suffering?  And I can't even say that I am really suffering.  I'm really not feeling much of anything and that is the problem.  I'm apathetic.  I don't want to be apathetic.  I think I would rather be sad.  I am going to work on fixing this.  Tomorrow I am going to run.  Three miles should help my demeanor.  It should help with my general outlook.  And if it doesn't, I'm going to do something else.  I can't get stuck in a funk....especially when there is a lot of winter ahead of me; and it has the power to be quite depressing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas was pretty lame in our house this year.  I am at work for the whole day.  And, since I am unemployed, and have been for a few months, we didn't have the money to get each other anything.  Of course, the Son still gets spoiled from the grandparents; and we are so happy for him.  We will need to stock up on batteries in the very near future.

It seems that we never get to really have a good Christmas.  Not that I need a ton of gifts, but I do like giving them to other people.  And, I love to see my dear Husband's face when he opens a gift that he has really been hoping to get.  This is our 5th Christmas as a married couple, and I still think that the ones we had when we were dating, were much better.  Sometimes being an adult with 'real' responsibilities just isn't much fun.  I hate having to choose bills over presents.

And we always say that we will never have another lame Christmas, but somehow the next one is just as disappointing as the last.  We are really so fortunate to have a Gift that is more important that any present that could be unwrapped under the tree.  Without Jesus, our lame Christmas celebration would be pretty depressing.  So, even though the weather kept us from getting to church last night, we are so blessed to be able to celebrate our Savior's birth this Christmas.  And whether or not we have a bunch of gifts to open next year, we will keep celebrating the best gift ever given.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What to do next?

As graduation looms ahead of me (tomorrow) I am pondering my next move.  I feel like I am part of some cosmic chess game.  My next move could have ramifications years from now.  I know that I really want to go to school to be a Physician's Assistant.  But I just don't see how the Husband will ever be okay with us moving so that I can go to school.  I don't think he understands my need to continue to better myself.  And the more I learn about medicine and how to care for people, the more I feel called to help people.  Granted, I wish I had been this driven 10 years ago, but God had another plan for that part of my life.  And His plan for this part of my life is to continue in my schooling and be a tool that He can use for healing.

I met with an admissions counselor at NTC today and discussed the options that are available to me.  I am sadly and very reluctantly putting my dreams of being a Physician's Assistant away.  :-(  I had the counselor put me on the waiting list for the nursing program.  It is about a 2 year wait, which I hate, but it will give me some time to find a job as an MA and hopefully save up some money to pay for the next set of classes without having to ask for help from my dad.

I'm also looking at taking the EMT Basic class.  That way I could work alongside the paramedics and really get some hands-on experience.  I don't relish the idea of being jolted from a sound slumber to race off to a call, but I really feel like I am called to help people and this is one way that I can do it.

While I'm waiting for the nursing program to open up, I have to complete a CNA course.  It shouldn't be that difficult, considering all the work that I did getting my MA degree.  The problem is going to be finding the time to complete the course.  They offer it in Medford, but it is during the day; which won't work if I (ever) have a job.  I could take it in Wausau, but that makes no sense unless I'm working over there.  I'll have to look into what they offer in Marshfield.

I really wish there was some way to clone myself so that I could do all the things I want to do and no one would feel neglected.  I don't want to miss the time away from my family, but I have never felt God's calling in my life until now and I would hate to miss out on what He has planned for me. 

ARGH!!!  What a dilemma! 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lots of layers

I have a 5K tomorrow morning and I was laying out my clothes this afternoon.  That way, I don't have to run all over in the morning to get myself ready.  Here is what I wear to run in when the race-time temp is below 20 degrees....

It is a TON of layers...but how else am I going to stay warm. 

First layer is the sports bra, thigh-high socks and a pair of ankle socks.  I wear 2 pair because the thigh-high ones aren't very thick.

Second layer is a set of cuddleduds....pants and a tank top.

Third layer is my thin, long sleeve tee and a pair of black running tights.  They aren't technical running tights, and I would really like a tighter, thinner pair; but these will work for now.

Fourth layer is a dry-fit tee and a pair of shorts with pockets.  The pockets are key in the outer layer so that I can keep my chapstick and a piece of gum at the ready.  My ipod and car key goes in my Spi-Belt.

The outer layer consists of my NEDA hoodie (that can be taken off and tied around my waist if I get too warm), Green Bay Packer stocking cap, green 'neck-gizer,' gloves and my shoes.  The gloves usually come off at some point and end up in the pocket of my hoodie.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

2 out of 3

When I was signing up for races in November and December, I neglected to realize that I would have 3 races in 3 consecutive weekends.  I just thought....2 races in November and 2 races in December.

Today was the Thermal 3 race in Chippewa Falls.  It was a 3 mile race; not a 5K.  The weather was in the 20s at the start of the race.  I hate going to races alone because I don't get any pictures of me running.  So, I'll just have to post the one of last week's Noodleini race in De Pere.

Last week was warmer.  It was quite chilly today.  There were about 200 other crazy people who were braving the frigid temps.  The race started at a church, and they had the building open so people could pick up their race packets and stay warm before the start.  I showed up about an hour before race time.  There was really convenient parking and there were tables set up and a big pot of coffee!!  It was a very well organized race.

I was really amazed at the people who were running the Frigid 8 mile race.  I don't think it could have put in that type of mileage on such a cold day.  The start was nothing special.  Just a guy with a megaphone and a siren.  We were off.  The course was an out-and-back.  Not my favorite.  However, I do like seeing the leaders coming back.  It is inspiring to watch the good runners.

I heard my split at the first mile; 9:14.  Not bad.  I knew I wanted to finish in under 30:00.  I haven't really been able to do better than 10:00-minute miles lately.  I met my goal:  29:42.  I immediately went inside to warm up.  Then I grabbed my change of clothes from my car.  One thing I learned from last week's race is that you don't want to be stuck in sweaty clothes when it is 20 degrees outside.  I changed quickly and headed home.  As I was leaving the 8 mile finishers were coming in.  These guys were impressive.  I guess if I hope to run a half marathon someday, I will need to realize that 8 miles isn't that long.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I posted this Operation Beautiful note on Thanksgiving.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I'm so thankful that my body was able to heal itself after I treated it so badly.  I am thankful that I am able to run the races that I so enjoy.  I am thankful that I can lift up my son.  My body is amazing....and for that I am thankful.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I want that!

Apparently, blatant consumerism shows up right around age four.  My wonderful child is usually not one to covet what others have.  He is, by no means, perfect; and he will throw the occasional fit in the store if he doesn't get what he wants.  But recently, he has been wanting everything.  Every commercial that he sees on TV leads to a chorus of "I want that!"  I guess it is a logical step in child development, but it is really grating on a person's nerves.  Just hearing him say over and over and over....I want that, I want that, I want makes me want to show him all those in this world who really don't have anything.  But, I'm afraid the trip to see starving, homeless, or orphaned children wouldn't have the desired effect on an almost-four-year old.

I don't know how to counteract the consumerism, especially during the Christmas season, when he is going to be getting a lot of what he wants from his grandparents, aunt, and the rest of the family.  How can I teach him that his worth isn't wrapped up in the 'things' he gets?  How can I teach him that it really is better to give than to receive?  How can I teach him to be thankful for all that he has?  And if all that fails, how can I teach him to stop saying "I want that!" at the top of his lungs?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Family Practice

I think I managed to tell everyone I knew how much I loved being in OB/GYN for my externship.  It was fantastic and wonderful and interesting and all the other great things I can think of.  This week, I've been in Family Practice.  And....I'm bored.  They see about 16-20 patients a day and there is a lot of down time.  Maybe I'm just not cut out for Family Practice.  There is nothing wrong with that; everyone is different and has different strengths and weaknesses.  I just miss the energy level in OB.  There were more patients and you were pretty much running all day.  I miss that.

Next week, I will split my time between Family Practice and Physical Therapy.  I'm looking forward to the PT stuff.  I hope that I enjoy it.

In the meantime, I am going to try to enjoy my Thanksgiving weekend.  I have so much to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband and son.  I have a warm home to go to at the end of the day.  I have a relatively healthy body that is going to carry me 3.1 miles during Sunday's race.  I have family and friends who I care about dearly.  It has been a good year.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Child boxes

This is not a very clear picture, because my phone doesn't do very well in poor lighting.  But I love how Northridge Church stepped up for Operation Christmas Child.  This is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse that makes up Christmas presents for underprivileged kids around the world.  The Husband and I have done boxes for the last few years and it is a great feeling to know that these kids are able to celebrate Christmas and learn about the love of Jesus. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things that make me happy #3

I love watching my boys be boys. And there is nothing that says 'boy' like dinosaurs. Even better.....model dinosaurs. They boys had a great time putting these together and I think my darling Son will be getting more models in the future....especially if the Husband has anything to say about it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Race!

Yesterday was the Hewitt Fire Department's 10th Annual Pumpkin Run 5K race. For being the beginning of November, the weather couldn't have been better. It was actually warmer than the Cheese Days race I ran in July.

I ran with my cousin Jason, who had a great time, even though he had been a little under the weather. And, my friend Krissy, from high school ran as well. I had high hopes of keeping up with her, but realized about a half mile in, that I was really not in top form. I think I'm okay with that. I knew that I wasn't going to be setting any PRs in that race. I haven't been training as much as I should. I'm not logging the miles that I used to. Part of it is that it is cold outside and it gets dark really early. Part of it is that I am busy with my internship and I am not getting home until later in the evening; by then I am exhausted.

But, overall, I think it was a decent race. My favorite part, by far, was approaching the finish line and seeing the Son cheering me on. He decided to run the last 200 or so meters with me. It really got me going and I was able to push through to the end. Even though my dear boy couldn't keep up. He is better than any PR!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Internship, day 1-2

So, the first day of my internship was at the Wausau campus of the Marshfield Clinic. I am glad that I got the Marshfield Clinic system, because those are the closest clinics to home, and I want to get my foot in the door. Yesterday was pretty typical orientation type stuff. I am surprised that they didn't go ahead and train us on the computers the first day. That would have been much more logical and would have really been helpful when I was starting to work with patients today.

I had my fist day of OB/GYN in Weston today. That clinic is gorgeous! But I'm not sure that my mentor is the best person for me to be working with. She works with the NPs in the clinic and they mostly do their own procedures. I was extremely jealous of Kristina who got to observe two colposcopies this morning. I don't think I even got to say hello to one of the physicians. Lisa, the NP who was there today doesn't seem all that thrilled about having a student around. Whereas the doctors both took the time to talk to Kristina about what they were doing.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

On another note, I love posting Operation Beautiful notes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

OB post-it

I just love posting Operation Beautiful notes. There is something about it that brightens my day. I always feel better after leaving a note that I hope will make someone else feel better.

And I could really use some 'feel better' in my life right now. Today is my last day of work at the high school, where I've been for a little over a year. On Monday, I start my internship. I am not looking forward to driving to Wausau every day...the miles are going to be a financial hardship to say the least.

But, the first three weeks are in OB/GYN and that is SOOOO exciting for me. I know that I am going to learn a ton and the experience will look great on a resume. I just can't believe that after more than a year of schooling, this ellusive internship has finally arrived.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

today just started out bad

Sometimes, when I'm having a rough day, I just need to try to make someone else feel good.

I am sitting at my desk at work, and I am not having a good day. I am angry that my internship location is not at the clinic I wanted. I am worried about how we are going to be able to afford me driving to Wausau and back every day for the next 6 weeks...without me getting a pay check. I'm exhausted and drained and I still have so much homework to do before Saturday.

I am hoping that I can post some Operation Beautiful love after work and somehow lift my spirits as well. And, I'm going to fun tonight. I need some endorphins!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things that make me happy #2

I love hummus! Who knew? This stuff is fantastic.
I decided to give it a try after reading some other blogs that just rave on the wonders of this pureed chickpea. I think I have avoided it for so long because I don't like beans. But now I'm starting to like beans and I'm just loving this roasted red pepper hummus. I've only had it as a dip for carrots, but I can definitely see many possiblities for this wonderful condiment. I'm thinking of a wrap with some turkey, hummus, lettuce, tomatoes and strips of peppers. So good!
I guess I'm learning to like all sorts of things. I love trying new foods. This is so exciting!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

weather and my hair

It doesn't seem to matter the mood that I wake up in, if the weather is cold and dreary, I am not going to have a good day. And today is one of those days. It rained all day. The roads were bad, and that is saying something. Usually it has to snow before the roads are bad. But with so much water, my car was getting pulled all over. Then, this afternoon, the white stuff started coming down. I hate snow. I know, I live in Wisconsin and I should be used to it. But snow is horrible. I don't hunt or ski or snowmobile. There is no beneficial purpose for snow in my life. I am always cold. I don't like being wet. Winter in Wisconsin is long and dark and COLD!

But, this year, I am going to do everything possible to get through it with as high of spirits as possible. I have some races scheduled for November and December (Nov. 29th , Dec. 5th and Dec. 12th). It will be freezing, but I'm hoping that I can ride the wave of runner's high for a few days after each one. At least until the giddy anticipation of the next race comes.

The Husband bought some full-spectrum light bulbs and put them in strategic places in our house. These are supposed to mimic natural sunlight and 'trick' the brain into feeling better. It alters the circadian rhythms and suppresses the release of melatonin. I hope it works. If nothing else, my bathroom is really bright and makes applying make up a breeze.

I think that the other thing I could do would be to actually style my hair. I have worn it up every day since June (when we went to the Husband's cousin's wedding in NYC). It is exponentially easier and faster to flip my hair up into a clip in the morning than it would be to take the time to blow dry and flat iron it. I know that it is just laziness on my part. But, maybe if I took the time to do my hair, I would feel a little bit better about myself and that would stave off the winter blahs.

What do you think?


Or Down?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Things that make me happy

Ambrosia apples. These are fantastic. Everyone is raving about
Honey Crisp apples, but I have found the most wonderful
apple on the face of the earth. I have only eaten them raw, but I think
they would be a freat apple to use in baking. They are huge and juicy and
really crisp. I usually eat at least one a day, but I think I could probably live
off Ambrosia apples. Seriously.
My are is still so sorry from donating blood yesterday. I tried to tell the
lady that my veins tend to roll, but she thought she knew better. She missed the vein when she entered and ended up probing around for about a full
minute before she was finally able to stick the vein. I have a nasty bruise and
it hurts to fully straighten my arm. I hope that the next time goes better.
It is awful to think that I could have done a better job finding my vein than
she did.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Things can get so crazy and hectic that I find myself without the time to even make a to-do list, much less accomplish anything that would be written on it! The last couple weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking about the future. This really isn't anything new, I tend to be a planner. I like to have a goal in mind and then systematically work toward completing it.

And, I am nearing the completion of one of my goals. I have a mere three weeks of school left. Granted, it is going to be three jam-packed, stressful, exhausting weeks. But after those three weeks, I won't have to do school work every waking minute. I will have to go to my externship; and that is another stress-inducing thought. But, as I get closer to realizing this goal, and putting a chapter of my life behind me, I am searching for new goals.

I don't even know why I'm doing this. I should be looking forward to resting and having some expendable time to enjoy my family. I don't say this because I think that I am a harder worker, or more driven than other people. On the contrary. I think I'm pretty messed up. My body needs to rest. I need to have some down time, but I can't seem to function without being constantly working toward a goal....or six..

So, I'm planning when I'll be able to compete my first 10K and my first half-marathon. I'm planning when I'll get my first job as an MA and what classes I can take in the summer. I have a list of books I want to read and projects I want to complete. Then there are the vacations that need to be saved for and the home improvement plans that need to be sketched out.

Someone really needs to tell me to take a nap.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Do you ever feel like the universe is conspiring against you? I have had such a long week. The Husband is still in NY. He was supposed to be flying back this afternoon, getting in to the Milwaukee airport around 1:00 and driving home in time for dinner. I got a message from him that Midwest cancelled his original flight out of NY and put him on another flight that leaves at 2:00! This means that he most certainly will NOT be home in time for dinner. He won't make it to Bible study. He won't be able to pick up the Son from day care and go with us to Awana. He may not even make it home in time to put the Son to bed. How am I going to explain it to the Son? He was so excited when I told him that daddy was coming home from NY today.

And I was all set to go for a nice run after work this afternoon. I set out some warm running clothes before I went to bed last night. I finally bought some running leggings that I can wear under a pair of shorts. So, I set those out with my grey shorts and a long sleeve shirt to wear under a t-shirt. I laid out my sports bra and socks and I even updated my ipod this morning. I was going to come home and change clothes and get outside for about 4 miles. I have been mentally mapping my route in my head since yesterday. I even planned for a little bit of a hill. I was going to run past the cemetary, since it is really the only hill in town. This was going to be my chance to get outside and see if I could handle the cooler weather. has been raining since last night. And, not just sprinkles, either. It has been coming down pretty good. I don't want to sound like a fairweather runner, but I also don't want to put myself in a position to get sick or injured. I'll give my treadmill a go, but I'm really bummed that I can't get outside. I know that I will run further outside. It is always a challenge to get 2 miles in on the treadmill. I just get bored too easily.

I guess the good news of the week, is that I don't have to work on Thursday or Friday. I am going to plan for some outdoor runs on those days. And, I got a good chunk of homework done yesterday, so I feel pretty good about my progress for the week. I'll do some more today and hopefully I won't be too stressed out about what I still need to get done as the week progresses.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

M-m-m-Mango Smirnoff

I really like Mango Smirnoff. In fact, I just finished one. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, it was the last one. I could easily have about 4 more. Saying that it has been a rough week would be putting it mildly. The Husband is in NYC enjoying his 20 year high school reunion. I am thrilled that he was able to attend, but doing the single-parent thing for a week is really exhausting. I would never begrudge him the occasional trip away; he deserves it. But I can't wait for him to get back. I am so tired. I'm trying to balance work and school and the Son and our 5 animals. I think I might be losing my mind. I have only had time to get one short run in. Two and half miles in a week is nowhere near enough. I'm out of Mango Smirnoff! :-(

I guess I'll try to focus on the positive. I successfully completed two venipunctures at school today. It is kinda neat to see my lab partner's blood filling a tube because I managed to hit the vein. Then, I got to do an intramuscular injection. That was pretty cool, too. I have more homework than I want to acknowledge at this point. But....externship is a month away. I hope I can make it without going insane.

I will be going shopping tomorrow after church. And Mango Smirnoff is on the list.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm famous!!!

Well, sort of.

My Operation Beautiful posts from the NEDA conference went up on the website over the weekend. Yea!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Zoo Run Run

So, I guess I will subscribe to the belief that there is no such thing as a bad race. Yesterday was the Zoo Run Run at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison. The event was so well organized. There were more than 1200 runners; by far the largest race I have been a part of! It was neat to be at the zoo. I checked out some of the animals before the race started: giraffes, rhinocerouses (rhinoceri?) emus, very loud, squaking flamingoes, tapirs, a beautiful, majestic Bengal tiger, and some graceful seals out for their morning swim. It was a great family environment and next year I will take the Son and the Husband to the event. Maybe the Son will even want to run the Roo Run Run.

Suzy Favor Hamilton was part of the event and she gave a little motivational 'speech' before the start of the 10K. After the 10K, the 5K started. This was my first ever timing-chip race. I am definitely going to keep the chip as a reminder.

The weather was perfect; not too cold, not to hot, a little bit of a breeze. The course was beautiful. We ran through the Vilas neighborhood and there were only a couple small hills. One of them was a little bigger than 'small' and my quads started throbbing. At one point, I had to step over a dead chipmunk. Poor thing. But, I made it. I crossed the finish line and saw a very disappointing time, but I remembered that my timing chip would have the accurate time for my race. I still drove home pretty bummed out about it. I really wanted to set a PR for this race, and I didn't think I accomplished that. I was so bummed that I actually didn't want to check out the results on the website, but I did. I ran a 30:12. I was hoping for sub-29; but no race is a bad race, right?

I don't have another race until the first weekend in November. I really want to do some speed training and maybe some hill workouts to increase my chances of success in these races. I like running, but I very infrequently challenge myself in my training. I usually just set out and run on my flat ground at a relatively easy pace. But, NO MORE!!! I am heading to the track tonight to do some speed workouts. And if I'm really motivated, maybe hills later in the week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This is a picture of a very happy Heather after my run tonight. (Pay no attention to the chaos that is my kitchen counter in the background. I gave up cleaning for running.) I headed out right after dinner (pork chops, corn on the cob and a salad....YUM!) I just started running, determined to keep going for an hour. I don't wear a watch when I run, because I know that I would constantly look at it and get discouraged at how far, or not far, I have run.

On tonight's run, I passed two banks with time displays. The first one was about 35 minutes into the run. The second was about 52 minutes in. As usual, I started to doubt my resolve a couple miles in. I was tired, my thighs were burning and I was convinced that I was the world's slowest runner. I had no idea how far I had gone because I don't map out my runs ahead of time. I always wait until I get home and then I map them.

After I finally got home, the first thing I did was go to the kitchen to check how long I had been gone. One hour and 2 minutes!!! I finally broke the hour barrier. I was so excited. After struggling to put the Son to bed and doing a quick homework assignment, I got to the computer to map my route....5.97 miles! I couldn't believe it. My previous best distance was 4.63. This was more than a mile further. And, less than a quarter mile from a 10K. Life is good. Running is better.

Then, I got to enjoy my favorite part of each day. Dessert with the Husband. I had some banana ice cream with a little bit of peanut butter and some Craisins. Yum.


Too many days without running makes me cranky and uptight. I have been dreaming about running. I have been trying to plan my evening around running. I just don't know how it is going to happen. I have been up to my ears in homework this week. It seems that every teacher has taken the opportunity to load a huge project on my shoulders this week. The irony is that if I took the time to go for a run, I know that I would be better equipped to handle all the other stressors of my life. But, I'm scared to take the time away from my homework.

This is one of those days when I wish I hadn't taken on a second job...especially a second job that I'm not all that interested in. I could just go home after the first job and get some studying done. I could make a nice meal for my family, instead of stressing my husband out with dinner preparation instructions. Then, having accomplished my studying tasks for the day, I could run with a clear conscious. But, that is not what I get to do. I get to work and stress out and not run as much as I want to. Boo!

Monday, September 14, 2009

getting philosophical

Last night I ran. It wasn't down this particular road, but one very similar.

When I run, I am always amazed at how much I don't think. I know of so many people who talk about their running as their time to pray or reflect or let their mind travel to the deepest corners of consciousness. That doesn't usually happen for me.

Last night's run began with me thinking about how much I didn't want to have to run through the construction. Then I started thinking about what route I would run and if it was going ot be long enough to get 5 miles in. Then I started getting tired and thought about just turning around and going home, but I knew that I would just hate myself for not putting in the miles that I wanted to log.

But a strange thing happened as I started getting closer to home. I started being really thankful for the physical act of running. I was glad that my body was able to do what I was asking it to do. I knew that I wasn't running very fast. I knew that I certainly wasn't a top-notch athlete...and that I never would be. But I could run. And I could run a few miles, without stopping. I think that puts me in the minority of people in this country. I came up a little short of my 5 mile goal, which was disappointing because I had contemplated going around the block once more to put a little more distance under my feet.

Sometimes, I don't want to run. Sometimes I get discouraged that I can't go faster or farther or push myself harder. But there comes that point in my run, when the simple rhythm of my feet on the pavement produces a change in the way I view the world. It sounds so philosophical. Maybe it is all the extra oxygen I'm getting, or maybe it is lactic acid build up, or maybe I'm just crazy. But I finish my runs a whole lot better than when I start. I'm happier, more energized (but still physically tired) and just think that the proverbial glass is half full. And I am so thankful that I can run.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NEDA, day three

It is impossible to try to explain how wonderful the NEDA conference was. I am a little numb from getting so much information and meeting so many wonderful people. One of the highlights was definitely getting to see Diane, my dietitian from my time at Remuda. Knowing that she got to see me healthy and knowing that she is proud of me was entirely worth the trip to Minneapolis. But, there was so much more!!!

As promised, I have pictures of some of the operation beautiful post-it notes. I think the best part was when I was washing my hands in the bathroom on the second day and a woman came up to me and told me to look at the note on the other side of the mirror. :-) It was great to hear women comment on the notes throughout the weekend.

I posted many more, but some of the pictures came out really dark. And, I'm still trying to get the hang of this picture-posting thing.

Anyway, I'm sure that there will be many more NEDA-conference references in future posts.

Once I got home, I realized that the Son is pretty sick. :-( He has a fever and an ear ache. I came in his room to give him a hug and to try to comfort him. He was crying and I could tell he was in some pretty considerable pain. But he is such a trooper. Through his tears and his sobs, he said "don't worry mommy, I'll be ok." Even typing it now makes me want to cry. My poor little man. I hope that he feels better by tomorrow.

As for me, I'm off to unpack and sleep in my own bed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

NEDA, day two

This conference is beyond amazing!!!! I am learning so much from so many wonderful people and I'm so encouraged by what the entire ED community is doing. Not only do they band together for the benefit and support of those who are suffering, but they provide a resource for families and friends, and they kick some major butt when it comes to lobbying for mental health parity in the treatment of eating disorders.

I listened to a great speaker this morning talk about the research they have done with activity based anorexia in mice....yes, I'm a nerd. The research is fascinating, but the thing that endeared this woman to me (other than her infectious energy) was her belief (and commitment) to disseminating the research findings to the providers who are treating the disease.

And, I have made it my own personal mission to plaster the Minneapolis Hilton with post-its. Pics to come.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NEDA, day one

The first evening of the NEDA conference has been amazing. I have met some wonderful people who do really great work to bring progress in the fight against eating disorders. I'm learning about some neat opportunities that I may want to be a part of. And....shocker....I saw my dietician from my days in treatment! It was great to see her. We caught up a bit and laughed and took a picture (that I will have to post later). I also enjoyed some Guinness cheese and a really great white zinfandel.

It is a little strange being here alone, but so many people have come up to me and introduced themselves; included the NEDA director. She was fantastic and took me around to introduce me to some other people. This is unlike any other event I have ever been to. The people are so inviting and embrace everyone as family. I am really looking forward to some of the breakout sessions the next couple days. I just have to remind myself not to spend too much money. There is so much great stuff....and books!! This is an event I'm sure I will never forget. I already know that I want to go to next year's conference!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

bad day

A bad run can put me in such a sour mood. My 2 mile race this morning netted me a time 45 seconds slower than I had hoped. Granted, there was a killer hill the last 1/4 mile. But I have been berating myself all day about not trying harder and getting up that hill faster. I so desperately wanted to keep up with Rachel, but once we got to that hill, she just blew me out of the water. My legs were burning. The kind of feeling where your quads might actually explode through your skin. Of course, now that I am several hours removed from it, I am thinking that I could have done a better job. I think that I could have pushed myself harder and not given in to the pain. I know that I need to let it go and to learn from the experience, but I'm such a perfectionist that I just want every race to go exactly as I plan it out in my head. Now, I have two weeks until my next race (a 5K in Madison) and I know that I am going to stew over how to improve and make it the 'perfect' race.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm a winner

I never win anything. I'm not the best, or fastest, or smartest at anything. I'm pretty much average. Maybe slightly above in some things, but I'm not used to winning.

So, when I did win something, I was thrilled! I've been reading a great blog ( and she recently had a giveaway with I had seen some of the ways that she used flax in her foods and I thought that it would be something that I could incorporate into my diet. I am all about eating healthy and doing what I can for my body. And I even had plans to add it to the Husband's diet. We'll see if he lets me.
The picture isn't all that great. I had just finished a 3 mile run and I didn't have anyone to man the camera, so I just sat in front of the Mac. But, I think that I'll try the pancake mix first. And I can add it to pretty much anything. I'm definitely going to be doing some recipe research to see what interesting things I can do with flax. Any suggestions???

Sunday, August 30, 2009

feeling better

Last night I got in 4.25 miles on my treadmill. It really felt fantastic! I have really gone full circle when it comes to running. I used to HATE running. Just ask anyone that new me in high school or college. I would find creative ways to skip running at basketball practice. A couple years ago, when I was sick, my brain wanted to run and wanted to like running, but my body was so sick that I could hardly walk. As I started healing my body (and, consequently, my mind), I started to run. And somewhere along that journey, I started to like running. Now I LOVE running. And this love of running has created a new motivation to keep my body healthy, so that I can engage in the activities that I love (not just running).

When I hear the enemy whispering lies in my ear about my body or food or what I look like, I try so hard to focus on the things I love. And sometimes running is the thing that refocuses me on making healthy choices. I thank God that I can run. I thank God that he brought me to a place where I enjoy running. And I thank God for recovery.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Listening to my body

Today I wanted to run. I really wanted to run. I was looking forward to it all day. I had mapped a route in my mind. I had picked out the music I wanted to listen to. I was going to go for a nice, long (relatively) slow run. It was going to be fantastic!

Then, I realized how completely exhausted I was. I could hardly keep my eyes open at work; and when you are surrounded by 3, 4, and 5-year-olds, that is really saying something. I drove home in a bit of a fog and then made dinner. At some point, I made a comment about how my body must be trying to tell me I should rest. But I wasn't happy about it. Not at all. I ate dinner (a REALLY good veggie lasagne) and looking outside longingly, desperately wanting to run. I even said that I really wanted to run, but the Husband reminded me that my body was trying to tell me something.

So, there it is. I'm not running; I'm blogging. Not quite the same. And, in my head, I am looking forward to my next run. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it in tomorrow, but I really hope so. Tomorrow is the first day af Saturday classes this semester. It is going to be a crazy-busy 10 weeks until my internship and I really hope that I can make it through. And, I hope that I can still have the energy to run.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's all about balance

Do you ever get to a point in your life when you have so many things to do, that you realize you can never possibly accomplish them all? So, you decide to take on a few more things, just for good measure? I have always been the kind of person who accomplishes more when I am busy. If you give me 5 things to do in a week, I will get them done. But if you give me 20 things to do in three days, I'll still get them done. I thrive off of being busy and stress seems to bring out the best in me. (well, maybe not the best, but...)

Right now I am heading into what promises to be a very busy time in my life. I have a full load of classes this semester, along with working 2 part-time jobs and keeping up with my family and church obligations; not to mention running, which I love and trying to keep a relatively clean house and stable family. It seems like I have more on my plate than I could possibly handle, yet I know that somehow everything will get done. The house might be a little messier, I may have to depend on the Husband more than usual, my runs might have to be a little shorter and fewer in number (boo), but I know that the big responsibilities will get taken care of.

The danger is that I will focus on all the things that have to get done and forget to take care of myself. Because I know that I CAN do a lot, I will think that I HAVE to do everything. The one thing that will get left behind is my own health and sanity. I've been down that road before, and I really don't want to go back. The difference is that I have some built in checkpoints in my life now. Like running. I know what my body should be able to do. If I am not feeding or resting my body enough, it won't respond on my runs they way it should. And school is another checkpoint for me. When my concentration starts to wander, I know that my body is not getting the nourishment and refreshment that it needs. And, because I've had difficulties in the past, the people in my life know what to watch out for. I don't want to put that responsibility on them, but I know that if they are starting to take notice, then I probably need to check in with myself and make sure that I'm not neglecting my health.

Somehow, everything will get taken care of in the next few months and I will make it through this stressful and busy time. And then I'll probably find something else to take on and my life will continue to be stressful and busy. Because that is just they way I am!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Keeping up with the pace car

Today's race was a good one. The weather was great...not too hot, not too cold, not too windy. The course was mostly through a wooded area; more trail running than road running. And while I know that my legs will be grateful for the softer surface, I much prefer running on the road. I tried to pace with Rachel. I should have known after the first mile that I wasn't going to finish the race with her. We did the first mile in 8:30. That is not a normal mile time for me. But, I stuck with her. We got to the 2-mile marker at 18:00. This meant that I had 12 minutes to finish to meet my goal of under 30 minutes. I had really wanted to stick with Rachel, but that last mile was a killer. My legs just started slowing down. I didn't have quite enough gas to get to the finish line with her. But, I gave it my all and took a minute off my time, coming in at 29:06 (5th in my age group).

And speaking of age; that was another thought that struck me as I was dragging myself through the woods. I am 31 years old and spending my Saturday morning chasing after people in the pursuit of.....what, exactly? I mean, it was so great to see Kevin and Rachel and Jason and Anne and the other family that showed up to cheer us on. But, I'm not sure I understand why I'm doing this. I will never be the person who wins the trophies or gets the recognition for racing. I guess today's race served the purpose of getting to take the Son on a couple more carnival rides. And he had a great time. So, that makes it worth it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who's ruining who's life?

I knew that when I became a mother, that I would be subjected to the occasional "I hate you" and "I'm not talking to you." I just had no idea that it would start with a three and a half year old. We went to grandma's today to let the dog out and we accidentally left a toy truck behind. On the drive home, I was assaulted with a steady stream of laments from the back seat. I might have taken offense if it hadn't been hilarious! Here is an example:

The Son: My truck is at gamma's! *whimper*
Me: I'm sorry, buddy. We'll have to remember to get it the next time we go over there.
The Son: *sob* But I want it now!
Me: I know, but you have trucks at home you can play with.
The Son: *crying* But, that *sob* is my favorite truck. *almost hyperventilating*
Me: Aw. It's ok. We can find one of your other trucks to be your favorite.
The Son: No. You're making me mad! *cry, sob, hiccup* I'm not *sob* talking to you *sob* anymore!
Me: *giggle*
The Son: Don't laugh at me! *hyperventilating sob* Your making me angry. *deep breath* You're not a good mommy!
Me: *trying hard not to laugh*
The Son: I want my truck and you won't let me have it and that makes me upset and I'm mad at you so I'm not talking to you anymore! *deep breath, sob*
Me: *realized that my son can communicate his feelings quite well*


I was driving home from my mom's house after letting her dog out when the Husband called me frantic and breathless. He was telling me, between breaths, that he had just been bitten by a yellow jacket. Knowing that the Husband has a tendency to be a hypochondriac, I assured him that I would be home in just a couple minutes. I found him sitting on the porch holding his right ankle and grimacing....telling me that his leg was on fire. At this point, I'm trying not to laugh at him. Not because I'm heartless, but because I can plainly see that he isn't having an allergic reaction and that the worst thing that is going to happen to him is a day or two of dealing with a tender ankle. I bring him and the Son in the house and get some ice for the offending ankle. Now, it comes to my attention that the Son has also been stung; not once, not twice, but three times. Yet, he isn't really complaining. He has pulled his arm out of the sleeve of his T-shirt and I see that there are 3 red bumps clustered around the back of his left armpit. What a trooper. While the Husband is limping around the house, the Son (3 1/2 years old!!) is playing with his ice pack. He also picked up his I Spy card with a picture of a bumblebee and told me that it was "like the bee that bited him."

stuffed zucchini

I had stumbled across the idea for the dish on another blog. I did some searching on different food websites and concocted my own version. Zucchini is one of the few veggies the Husband will eat. Usually, I just slice it thin, marinate it in some soy sauce and Worschestshire sauce (however that is spelled) and garlic and onions. Then just fry it up in a little bit of olive oil. Good stuff, but I was looking for something else to do with the oodles of zucchini that suddenly appears this time each year.

I put the custard dish in the middle to keep them from tipping over while they were cooking. Mine is the one with the fresh, sliced tomatoes; while the Husband has the sauce and melted cheese. I stuffed them with some veggies, brown rice and sausage. Pretty good, but I am going to keep experimenting with it. Maybe chicken next time. All in all, I was very pleased with it and it was a great way to get in a full day's serving of vegetables.

Aren't they cute

This is my first crop of little grape tomatoes. I love them. I've seen the green ones on the vine and I have been waiting (not so patiently) for them to turn red so that I could pick them and eat them. There is also the task of keeping the 3 1/2 year old away from them. A couple weeks ago he 'helped' me by picking all the green tomatoes on my other plant. I was so angry. I realized that I have a pride issue when it comes to my tomato plants. Anyway, these little guys will be adorning my salad for dinner tonight. I may even add some to the stuffed zucchini we are having for dinner. It is my first attempt at stuffed zucchini. I really hope that it turns out the way I have envisioned it in my mind. I am looking for any creative way to get vegetables into the Husband.

Another hill to climb

Yesterday I ran the hardest 3.1 miles ever. Not that I have run a lot of 3.1 mile courses...this being only the second. But there were times I wanted to give up. The hills were relentless; mocking me. Causing me to doubt my strength. Wondering if I would ever get to the end. I remember thinking that I must be nearing the halfway point when I saw the 1 mile marker. It was so deflating, to think that I was so much further than I really was. And to see another hill looming ahead of me. I saw other runners who didn't seem to be nearly as fazed as I was. They continued to run up the hills, when I had to stop and walk. They passed me on their way to the finish line. They just kept pushing. And I struggled. Boy, did I struggle. I was running up one hill when I saw someone who had already finished the race, returning to his home. I hadn't even gotten to the 2 mile point yet. He had already finished the 3.1 miles and had backtracked over a mile to where I was. How humiliating!

Eventually, I did power through and finish the race, but I had to stop and walk several times. I didn't meet the time goal I had set for myself. But I did the best that I could. And I am grateful for that one woman in the blue tank top and long brown pony tail who looked at me and smiled as we both trudged up yet another hill.

The whole race is just another example of God's work in my life. He has set out the race before me (literally). There are so many times in life that I just want to quit. I want to stop running. I want to give up. There are times when I will see others who finished the race with ease. I will mentally beat myself up for having to take the hills so slowly. I will berate myself for not completing the goal the way I had intended. And, then I will meet the one person who smiles at me as we struggle together. And I am so thankful for her that I can somehow find the energy to get up the next hill.

And now, looking back on it, I realize that I want to be the girl smiling at the one who struggles.

Thank you Lord, that I am able to run the race. I ask for your grace and mercy when I struggle and I thank you for those who encourage me along the way. Help me to be an encouragement to those I meet.