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.