Sunday, September 18, 2011

THE BLANKET

"The Blanket"  - The AMAZING group of women around me that COVER each other when we hit a patch of our life that needs a little warmth, love and comfort.
I am blessed with an amazingly perfect BLANKET - carefully designed with love, intention, selflessness, and even perfect in it's flaws and frays......


I am recovering from surgery & in an instant these women surrounded me, COVERED ME - showed up at the hospital, sent e-mails and calls of encouragement, facebook messages,have prayed for me, have taken time and money to feed my family for over a week, washed dishes, given me hugs, taken my kids to and from school...........have loved me well and kept me warm!


A blog entry that my best friend Julie shared this e-mail with me as she was arranging meals for me:


When I sent out the initial email I talked about a blog I recently read that talked about her close network of friends that she refers  to as 'the net'...there to catch each other when they need it.  

This woman's blog is too cool. You have to read the birth story of her daughter who has downs.  AMAZING.  

But first, here is the post I was talking about...  "The Net"   


You are an amazing friend, Ashley and the amount of women who are a part of your 'net' is a testament to the kind of friend you are.  

I know it is hard for you to receive but know that we want to help you because of the kind of friend you are to everyone else.  

love you!!

Jules
Thank you Julie for sharing this and provoking reflection, gratefulness and a new perspective for my recovery.  Instead of being frustrated with I cannot do - I can focus on what I am gaining right now.

When I read the blog entry - it sent me into a grateful reflection of the women (& their beautiful families) that God has strategically placed in my life and me into theirs.  I decided to name our group of women. Each hold their own pain, loss, joys, triumph, gifts -  being used for purpose.  With love behind it all - we are all sewn together. "THE BLANKET"
They have covered me in love - not just these last few weeks, but almost 3 years ago (oh my, can't believe it has been that long) when we said goodbye to my sweet mom.  Oh how I needed them then......and they showed up in ways that I will be thankful for and carry with me forever.

Sometimes they show up in small times of need - encouragement for a race I have or just sharing perspective for a rough day .......... and then there's the big ones, that take us all covering each other until we are warm enough.......rested enough.....repaired enough.......loved on enough...........
to take our place in "the blanket" and are ready & able to cover someone else.
It is amazing how we are all connected.

Each unique and planned for their place.  Some are family and friends who are a part of my every day, and some are just as important to my life - they reach out and respond in a time of need.  All of our lives go through ups and downs - times when we give to each other and times when parts of "the blanket" are frayed and need to take time for repair -  and they receive covering.  We share in each other's joys and tragedies, we celebrate and we cry together and I am left in "awe" of God's obvious construction of this beautiful piece of His art work.  A perfect pattern........

A little piece of the LOVE sent my way his week- a breakfast basket
 from my beautiful friends Eryn & Audrey!!


The Blanket - MY BLANKET..........
I am simply blessed and deeply grateful.  
Thank you for COVERING me ladies.  I am staying warm, recovering well and feeling VERY loved  and will be ready and honored to re-claim my piece of the blanket and cover you soon!!


Who covers or catches you in your life???
Maybe think of letting them know how grateful you are for them.......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Post-surgery tailgating and my underwear in a Bio Hazard bag = interesting weekend

The infamous Warrior Dash - where mud, fun, & challenge collide.  That's what I had marked on my calendar for Sunday...............Not so much!

This is what I wore proud this weekend

Last week I posted about going into the emergency room and being diagnosed with kidney stones.  I was sent home with pain meds and told to wait for it to pass.  Well, things changed.  I ended up with a high fever and feeling significantly worse - and a lot of the severe pain was in my abdomen.  Back to the hospital I went. After 9 hours of exams, tests, scans and 3 different doctors - I had an answer.  Ruptured Ovarian cyst that was still bleeding.  I needed surgery.......

Surgery went well.
Home recovering (slower than I want to be - but indeed on the mend).
Still trying to digest how this will effect my running.  My doctor said it will take a month to get my blood supply fully back and though the incisions are small, that they did do a lot internally and I need to give everything time to heal.  She said I need to start off with walking when I am in the clear.....WALKING??  Starting over??? Like I said - Still digesting that piece of this.

But - what I am SO grateful for is that what I am going through is mild compared to other health issues those around me have and are facing.  I can only claim gratefulness for that.

And a few things to laugh about..........
Some of you know that I am extremely blessed with a lot of family near me.  So- I had quite the support team there between family and friends.  My dad and stepmom were at the beach when I went into the hospital and when my sister called them, they packed up and headed to the hospital with their camper trailer in tow.  
They all waited around to hear that "All was good" after surgery and then...................WENT SURGERY TAIL-GATING!!  Haven't you heard of it?? It's the latest craze.
Yes, they all the gathered around the back of the camper, pulled out camping chairs, chips and salsa & BEER - and had a little tailgate party in the hospital parking lot.  Keeping it Classy............

Gotta love my family & friends!!  This isn't everyone, but SO glad my sister
got a picture.  Makes me smile!!


 And if the weekends events were not memorable enough.....
When my husband was getting things together in the hospital to head home - we found this:
My underwear - SERIOUSLY???? In a Biohazard bag!!  Is that necessary???  Cracks me up!!!

Who needs the Warrior Dash when you have tailgating and underwear in a Biohazard bag.....
Back to recovering :)  .




Friday, September 9, 2011

Do you listen to your body??

Something is just off...........
That is what I kept thinking last week.  I felt really run down - which as mom's isn't THAT unusual.
I kept getting achy - especially in my back.  But I wasn't sick.  So I just kept going.  I even went to bed at 8:00 (which s REALLY early for me) one night to hopefully - sleep it off. It was the week before school started and I had a lot to do.  Who wouldn't be worn down - right?  Still - something just wasn't right.
Some girlfriends & I had a girl's weekend planned for the Eugene Women's Half Marathon this last weekend.  It was so fun (more on that later) & I decided since I hadn't felt so good that week and wanted to challenge myself to just "enjoy" a race that I would help my sweet friend Meredith pace herself for a PR.  I have always been intrigued by pacers and wondered if I had it in me to help keep someone at a consistent pace.  I have also been blessed with having friends of mine PUSH me during training runs and REALLY appreciated it - so, I wanted to do it for my friend.  The race went well, Meredith PR'd :) and I felt ok.

The Ladies that ran-  Smiling after the 13.1 was complete!!
More to come about our fun weekend!!

Back at home - I still felt a little off, tired (but who isn't after a race).  Tuesday morning - the kids first day of school!!  My baby's girl's 1st Day of Kindergarten.  My Little Buddy's 1st Day of 2nd Grade. Even amongst all the excitement and tears (mine not theirs) - I was feeling nauseous,  run down -  and was trying to think how you go to your doctor and say, "I know myself -  and something is off."................

First, some pictures of our special morning:

I found this necklace for my sweet girl  that I saved for Kindergarten -
Says "Find your Sparkle"

I think she liked it!!
YES- my little buddy got a school treat too!!

By Babies!!

Her first school desk!!  Brother showed her the ropes!

Can't believe you are already in 2nd Grade - we love you buddy!!!
My handsome boys!!


So - we had a great day!!  But that night - in the middle of the night.  I got sharp pains in my lower abdominal and my lower back ............the WORST pain I have ever felt in my life.  As things got worse - not better - we headed to the ER.  After some tests and scans the Doctor finally gave resolve to the "off" feeling I had all week that had finally come to fruition - I had (& still have) kidney stones.
And yes - I can fully claim that the pain is worse than childbirth!  
So - I am left with an answer.  
Left praying that it passes SOON! 
Thankful for good pain meds
Thankful for my amazing husband, family & friends that have taken care of us
Thankful it hit after our "girl's weekend" & after the 1st day of school
Confused as what this means for this runner with dehydration issues.  Since they said that I will be prone to them now and that dehydration is one of the main causes.........

It has left me a little more confident in the ability to know when something is "off".  Not sure what I would have done different - but certainly motivates me to stay aware of what my body is telling me and trust my instincts.
Do you listen to your body???





Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Dad Rocks & a Little H2C Love!

I feel like I just have to be a little bit of a brat & go back to being a 5 year old & say - "Neener, Neener - MY DAD can run faster than your dad"!!
Ok - now that I got that out - I am SO proud of my dad who just ran his 1st Hood to Coast race this last weekend and ROCKED IT!!  He ran on a team with the company my brother-in-law works for, and was at least 15 years the senior on the team.  He ran strong - first 2 legs were sub 8 miles and he finished his last leg strong with 7 minute miles.  I hope I am running that strong in my late 50's or even 5 years from now for that matter!! You ROCK Dad!
My Amazing Dad after his 1st leg - H2C 2011


Yes, I am doing a mini race report for my dad.  Maybe a little silly, but I am  - and always will be a Daddy's girl.  My first memories of running are with my dad around our old neighborhood.  I am blessed to have such an amazing man in my life that showed me what to expect from someone who loves me & has shown me so much about who I hope to be and pray for my kids to be.
Oh and he gave some pretty good running genes.....

You can't be a runner in the Northwest and not understand the excitement around the Hood to Coast race and be a little excited for all the runners that weekend and yes - maybe even a little jealous.  It has been a while since I have ran H2C - the last few years I have had the opportunity to run on a team, but we have had a girl's trip 2  years in a row to the Eugene's Women's Half Marathon (which is a blast!!) the weekend after the race and my sweet hubby and kiddos are patient enough with love of running. But I  can't help but get excited for everyone. It was so much fun talking to my dad all weekend and keeping updated on The Nuun Blogger Team through Amanda , Harmony,, Dorothy & Jess .
I may just have to suck it up, butter my hubby up and take 2 weekends in a row away & race it next year!! Way to go everybody - so proud of you.  Thanks for taking us along on the journey.

Back to the Daddy's Girl for a minute......
In my little lull this summer, I failed to do a race report on one of my favorite races ever!!!  My dad & I did a half marathon (his first) on the Father's Day together this year.  It was such a blessing to run beside one of the biggest influences in my life - running and otherwise.  Thanks for the memories dad - can't wait for the next!!
A few pics from our day.............

Happy Father's Day Dad!!! Inaugural Vancouver Marathon & 1/2


My sweet hubby to came with the kids on HIS Father's Day too - love you honey!!




                          Our Amazing cheering section!!









And I can't leave out one of the highlights of that day - My sweet friend Meredith was running her 1st Marathon that day and I was so incredibly blessed to meet her a few miles from the finish line and run her in...............I will love that memory FOREVER!!

 She cracked me up with her comments -
look how intense............so proud of you!!

Finish line smiles!!


Ok - so a shout out to my dad & Hood to Coast  - and a little catch up.  Let's play catch up soon!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

There is Value in the Lulls


lull/ləl/

A temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.  

My lull in training has been playing mind games with me and keeping me away from posting and even really taking part in the blog world. I have tricked myself into feeling almost unworthy as of late.  Let me explain my little pity party that has been playing out in my head like the confidence of a 13 year old girl not knowing if she is really cool enough anymore for the "in crowd".

FYI - all of you are the "in crowd"

I knew that coming off of training and running the Boston Marathon, that I was going to take a "Marathon Training" break for the sake of my family and to give a little more time to the family and friends around me that have been so supportive.  Marathon training had been a major focus for me for 2 years and really felt like I needed to let my training be less of what controlled my time and energy -  and take some time to be intentional and more invested in those right in front of me. I just didn't realize what a "funk" that decision would put me in.
 It isn't that I would disappear into a deep dark training cage and not immerse until after a race, but if I am being really honest, my mind and energy were very consumed by my training - how late I should stay up , how I was going to fit my run into a day & still make play dates and clean my house and  whether I should have that glass of wine or will that date night food cause tummy issues tomorrow morning on my run.  And if didn't get my runs done early - the subject of when & how that would happen later sabotaged me being completely present in the moment I was currently in.......ect. ect.
Some of you out there are GREAT at the balancing act and I can learn from you, but i needed a little LULL to figure it all out.

I had no intention of NOT running. Just not "full on" training.  I have an few races on the schedule and I am "maintaining" for now. I just didn't realize what a "funk" the decision to slow down would put me in.
Somehow, letting  my miles scale back in training also diminished my own value and confidence as an athlete, mom, friend, sister, daughter.....  First - the timing after Boston was the end of school time.  Being room mom for my 1st grader and involved at my daughters pre-school, - it was perfect timing to put my energy into the end of the school year activities.  My husband also has a basketball/golf tournament every year with his best friends.  I had plenty of "creative energy" I needed and wanted to put toward that event with all the food, activities and "fun" to be planned. Which for those of you that don't know, before I had the privilege of being a Stay at Home Mom - I was an interior Decorator and worked in event planning.  So - these type of activities fill my creative "love tank" and and I LOVE it.  So - my "maintenance" running schedule wasn't feeling too "under-par" YET!!

When school and all the events to plan came to a halt - I hit a MAJOR funk.  Everything that had been making me feel valuable wasn't there.
*The school didn't need me anymore
*Our MOM's group that I served on was on summer break
*What could I be training for now????? I just ran Boston
*There wasn't even a over the top event in sight to plan to fuel my creative juices
*Family junk going on that is just a throbbing reminder of how different things are without my sweet mom

It ALL hit at once & it has all played out pretty ugly in my head. As I recently shared my friend Sarah (she wrote about her transition in running here) - I didn't realize how much running defined me (at least in my own head).  For months I was able to claim that I was training for Boston-  and before that I was always able to share what training plan I was following. But I was suddenly feeling as though I couldn't even really claim running or at least wasn't worthy of writing about it.  It even kept me from following some of my favorite running blogs - out of not wanting to feel guilty that I wasn't giving it my all.
So obviously my rational self knows that I am being ridiculous, but my emotional self likes to take over  - and sadly it has been for a while.  So luckily,  as ALL lulls or hardships in our lives, God has something for us to learn from it.  He has shown me a lot during this little "down time".

It has kept me from some things that I LOVE.  The joy of running - whether for an big race or just because it is something that offers me my own time, my therapy.  Writing - I love writing and somehow I felt like like I didn't have anything of value to share - running or otherwise.  Why??  because I didn't have  a great training plan to share or a killer run I just went on????  When I read other peoples journeys - I am inspired, gain new perspective & entertained- whether it is impressive(training wise) or not.  Why am I putting this type of pressure on myself?

I have realized I can only diminish what is going on in my life.

I have been trying to process all of this little by little over the last month or so. But we were at the beach last week and for many reason I always gain a little clarity there.  All the family time I have had with my kids & hubby & my family that visited are certainly looking pretty good on my training/life schedule.  I also had a great run with my cousin at the beach - worthy of being written in bold on my training plan.  It wasn't memorable because we ran fast or long.  It was valuable to  me because I was with someone I love - we talked, laughed, took in the scenery of the ocean;  and yes - even sweated a little. And I was reminded of how complicated I am making all of this - I just enjoyed the run. 

 A lot of my runs lately have been with thoughts spinning through my head of what "I am losing not taking on as many miles" or "how much I am NOT doing". THOSE THOUGHTS ARE DOING ME NO GOOD!!!

And for a fun reminder of how much I am missing the blog community - I ran into this smiling face in Cannon Beach.....

Jill & I - both enjoying some family time at Cannon Beach.  So fun to run into a "running blog" friend!!



Even though my training plan hasn't looked so "hardcore" and I have been doing a little sulking - I HAVE managed to spend my time wisely hanging out with family and friends.  And it isn't that I am not running at all - I did run a race with my dad on father's day(which I will share in a later post - It was to fun & special not to share).  And have a few half's on the calendar.  So, mostly it is just my head that has been in what I call a "HOT MESS".

 Right now my training/life plan may not be loaded with enough "killer runs"to capture a PR on my next few races and will reflect a little more of my feet hitting the pavement at the zoo with my kiddos, swimming at the grandparents, connecting with a friend over a play date or coffee, taking on some slower miles with my little sis training for a half marathon...........but I am going to remember that it all adds just as much value to my journey. I am the only one that can turn it into a less than perfect plan!  I am going to make ALL the miles count and be content with what I choose to do with my time.

My Blog is Called "Inspired Miles of a Mom" for goodness sake - and how boring if running is the only thing that inspires this Mom's journey.

Loved this Quote I got through e-mail.  It seemed so fitting -
"Whatever you may be missing right now - a person, a place, a feeling, maybe you are injured and missing running - whatever it is, have peace and take heart - remember that any goodbye makes room for a hello"
- Kristin Armstrong

 I see this little Lull coming to an end...............

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Boston Blues stole my race report

I can't believe it has already been several weeks since I crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon.......
It has taken me a bit to re-group & digest all that led up to the race & the actual race.  Honestly, I realized that so much of my mind  and time had been wrapped up in April 18th - I have been a little "post race" sad that it is all over & writing the re-cap seems to somehow finalize it all.  Hopefully some of you have experienced the post-race or marathon blues???


So - here it is - though it seems a little anti-clamatic at this point,  I need to get it out in words. I have been in a post-race funk - there is just no way to not officially share such an amazing part of my running journey. And my friends running their 1st Marathons this weekend have definitely inspired me to share and move on to what's ahead.

 My experience on Monday, April 18th at the Boston Marathon.......

Well, let's back up a day - the Boston Marathon Expo:

Andrew & I arrived Saturday evening,

greeted by this at baggage claim - how fun!!!!


checked into our hotel that we LOVED & tired from our all day travel - headed out to get a meal.  This ended up being quite the experience because my sweet husband decided that a good old local Irish pub sounded good(which I know was fueled by the fact that their was a playoff game with our home town team about to begin), which I agreed to as I knew that the next night's pre-race meal would be my own foodie obsessed decision.  We called a pub nearby from a list our hotel gave us and asked if they were still serving dinner and we rushed to make it in the 45 minute time slot the manager told us we had.  As we approached the "cute Irish pub" - we realized that there was a line around the building of much younger, cooler people than us;  looking serious about having a night out -opposed to our agenda of a quick meal and catching a basketball game.  We asked the gentleman at the door if there was a separate restaurant and he quickly realized we were the couple he had just talked to that he had not informed that our quick dinner attempt was not a good match for the local "scene".  He then whispered to the bouncer who then unhooked the velvet roped and nodded us in ahead of the line. Either he thought that we looked ready to have a good time and was impressed with our straight off the plane attire or he felt sorry for us....I am thinking the latter.  We were seated in a table directly in front of a tv to catch the Blazer game ("Go Blazers") & in ear shot of the band taking stage - who were actually quite good!  We were really too tired and hungry to realize the special treatment we were receiving and grew even more tired watching the energetic college kids out for a Saturday night - so we ate some really good food and headed back to the hotel.  We had an EXPO to head to in the morning!!


Nothing like some GREAT pub fries and a Guiness (for Andrew!!)


The moment we headed down to the Starbuck's in the morning (in our hotel lobby - a big selling point for me!!!) & the Boston Marathon buzz began.  Immediately I spotted them - THE RUNNER'S - everywhere.  Wearing past Boston jackets, new Boston jackets, running clothes.....you knew who they were.  They were there to run the Boston Marathon.......WITH YOU!!!!  It was so exciting and my ever creative mind began with the wondering of each of their own personal running stories.  My stomach was in joyous knots!!  Andrew & I sat and drank our coffee I read a great story of the race director and how he runs the ace EVERY year after he done with his multitude of duties and finishes when we are all well on our way to celebrating or resting.  I couldn't contain myself anymore - I needed to get in the mix of it all - I needed to get to the expo!! To see all the other runners, to hold my race number in my hand...............and we were on our way.
Immediatley we met two other runners that needed to figure out how to get there and at the same time a local who had ran it before and was headed to work the expo offered to lead us on our way.  There truly wasn't anywhere you could turn and not see someone that was clearly marked with the honor of being a part of that day.  The local gentlemen gave us pointers on where my family should go to see me during the race, where to eat, what to not miss during the race ect.  There was the amazingly odd connection of people going on in the city - it was if everyone was somehow tied together by this race and were instantly bonded - even it it was with with a "good luck" or just a smile - it was an incredible vibe.

THE EXPO


Oh my word - talk about an energy walking into a room - an instant runner's high.  The best way to describe it - I was GIDDY!!
I walked in & was greeted with 100's & 100's of other runners, course maps on the wall and the PACKET PICKUP.  I stood in line ready to pee myself with excitement (which honestly doesn't take much with my pre-baby bladder) - while Andrew was holding all my things (he said he felt like my assistant) - I had to save all my energy you know!!

My happy "assistant" - cute even with a smart a** grin!

GIDDY!!!! It is OFFICIAL - I have a Boston MArathon bib number (MY BIB NUMBER) in my hands.  Pretty cool moment.





So the actual Expo was overall fun even with the fact that EVERYTHING was sold out in my size.  I got to meet up with my new running friend -that I met through a mutual friend there.  We ran one of our 20 mile runs together - which every runner knows, creates an instant intimacy that gives you at least a 6 month status of being friends.  She was my Boston buddy!
Katie & I at the Expo!!



Andrew & I went down EVERY aisle as if I had never been to a marathon expo before.  I just had to - what if I missed something.  This was a HUGE sacrifice for my sweet husband who says his back hurts after 10 minutes of shopping (funny how 5 HOURS of golf doesn't do this hmmm.......).  We saw it all.  I accepted that I was going to have to order my memorabilia on line and I did find one shirt that I loved.



                                                       Super comfy tee marked with all the memorable passage ways of the course.

Now - onto look at that finish line.  The one my feet would (God willing) be crossing in less than 24 hours!!!!!

Ok, so here is the part that makes me laugh.  My parents obviously never taught me that when college boys ask you to make a video with them - YOU DON'T.......................


These guys said they were from Boston College and were interviewing marathoners and how they got there.  Still have no idea if my video is out there somewhere on-line and what they did with it.  I just proved that if you catch me in an excitable moment - I obviously won't ask too many questions of you and are pretty agreeable!!! :)  My assistant, husband/body guard was right there though.

After we realized we didn't have any more time for paparazzi and interviews and needed to head back to the hotel to meet my dad and step-mom who's flight was arriving and rest.  I hydrated & finalized my play-list and andrew drank a beer....

We had a great local pasta dinner.  Minus the wine for me - NO FAIR...



And headed back early to prepare for the next morning......
Andrew likes to laugh at all my "drugs" and my pre-race prep.....
I divide up my shot blocks (margarita is my flavor of chose) & my Cliff Shot Roks ( I just use 1 to 2 every 5 miles or so for a little protein)into small baggies that I got a craft store.  Makes it so much easier during the race.  Was using Orbana my electrolyte - a new drink a friend introduced to me - as I am still trying to figure out my salt loss issues .......
                                                         All "my goods" - and wearing my sweet mom's sweater.

                                                                                     Put my clothes out

                                     Packed my race belt - including my believe cross form my SISSY (my little sister).

Off to try and fall asleep SEVERAL hours earlier than I was used to with the time change, the fact that I usually go to bed ate and the excitement - it was a challenge.  BUT I did it.  Managed to get a good night rest!!


THE MORNING OF THE BOSTON MARATHON 2011 - it was upon me!!!!  
TODAY - I have been preparing for today - April 18th for 2011 - for SO LONG.  The months of training is a given.  But to get a little dramatic - my life - MY ENTIRE LIFE, has prepared me for this day.
My joys and hardships.  Joys have shown me how to celebrate and enjoy moments like these.  Hardships have shown me how to push through the hard and the pain and take the experience of those along with me to become a stronger person.
MY Loss.  Losing my sweet mom has shown me more than any other experience in life.  But today I know my mom is with me and that I have to take on this race and enjoy it - even the challenge (just as my mom still laughed through her battle with cancer), because you NEVER know what tomorrow holds.
My "Peeps".  The amazing people in my life that I get to carry them with me today and always.

I have prepared for this day, God has prepared me for this day for so long - so here we go....


We started the morning early to get the shuttle from our hotel to the Boston Marathon school buses for our journey over to athletes village.




                                                 
Two of my biggest fans with me before the race (my Dad & Andrew).
In Memory of my sweet Mom.
Katy met me at my hotel so we could take the LONG bus ride together
Coffee,Oatmeal & sleeping bag- ready to go!!!

The wait for the bus was so fun - seeing all the runners taking on the same challenge and putting in the same hard work to get there - it was so exciting!  The bus ride was long, but was fun with Katy to visit with and gave me a little time to let the reality to set in.
2 things that stood out as a big difference from other races:
- It was a little hard to figure out how to fuel with food with the race starting much later in the  morning than the normal 7:30 race time.
-  Sitting around in a field for 2 hours with all the other runners before the race.  Athletes Village was a cool experience.  A friend of Katy's that had run it several times before described it to us a "Woodstock for Runners" - which is a perfect description.
There were a sea of runners either gathering with running buddies and talking pre-race strategy; runners laying around sleeping, long lines for food and coffee, and even longer lines for the bathrooms.  Waves of excitement and anxiousness shot through every time the race anouncer of spoke of starting waves - the elites paving the way and then the rest of us following in their speedy foot steps.

I ended up starting the race in a different wave than I was assigned due to my obsession with using the restroom as many times as I can pre-race.  I stood in line thinking I had plenty of time for "just 1 more time" & was not aware of the time it took to walk form Athletes Village to the start line and that it would be absolutely packed with people waiting for the next wave.  By the time I got to the start line the 3rd wave was starting.  So - my start was a little slower than I wanted, but I was quickly distracted by all the people lining the streets of the neighborhhoods we were running through. I immediately noticed all the kids holding out their hands waiting for a high five, it made me teary thinking of my kids and how I would love to see their sweet faces along that course and I took on the commitment to try and give every kiddo I passed a high five (of courseI did this not truly knowing, YET how many people come out to support the race that day).
There is so much to take in on this course along with the constant reminder and stomach flutters that "You are running the Boston Marathon"!  The spectators, sober and otherwise -  the infamous towns that you pass through that all own their own memorable features of the race.  It is one of those experiences that you can read and hear all about, but not truly get it until you are there.  Every one of my senses was taking in the day and making a permanent mark in my memories.
Performance wise, I felt strong until about mile 15.  I knew going in that I wasn't trained like I was for the Portland Marathon, due to a nasty chest infection that lasted a month and the reality of my husbands travel schedule leaving me with less early morning run opportunities.  My training lacked the intensity I had hoped for, but I HAD put miles in and I was pretty sure I could hold at least a 8:30 pace through the race.  My left leg starting giving me issues and by the infamous Boston hills, made me feel like I was shuffling; like I had to put in SO MUCH effort to lift me legs.  I started to feel discouraged, ecspecially because if anything - I HAD trained for those dang hills and endurance wise I felt like I could knock those hills out at a steady pace but my legs had a different idea.
The amazing spectators were a quick reminder that I needed to change my focus, whether I was slowing down or not - I was still running the Boston Marathon and I would regret finishing this race focusing on what I "wasn't doing" and just needed to take it all in.  I made a quick perspective change and soaked it in and smiled and teared up at several points along the way.  The day ended up being much warmer than it was suppose to be - so not only did I end up with a horrible sunburn but I could tell by mile 22 that my tendency to lose too much sodium was creeping up on me.  So, I started taking in all electrolytes at the hydration stops and hoped for the best.  When I saw the Citgo Field sign -

I had this amazing feeling -  as much as my body wasn't feeling great and as much as my pace was not on track........it was going to happen......I was going to cross the finish line.  As I got closer, knowing my family was going to be waiting near the finish line - it made me push even harder; even though my body was saying NO.  These are those times when your mind over rides your failing body and you push through it.  When I turned the corner for the last 800 yards and had the finish line in sight and soon after the sweet faces of my family - I had so many emotions running through me - that happiness, those feelings......... carried me to the finish line more than my tired body did.

I threw my hands in the air, received my medal and made it official - I finished the Boston Marathon.  Whether it was what I hoped or planned - I owned it.   It was mine!!! My time, aching legs or nausea from my sodium levels didn't matter so much right then.  I just wanted to find my family and celebrate!
A face white, covered in salt - but still smiling




The Boston Marathon holds a little piece of my heart - and that course certainly kicked my butt that day and I LOVE IT!!  If that race is the climax of my athletic experience and it is "the race" I talk about when I am old still shuffling through finish lines (I hope)  and speaking of my glory days like all the "not so fit" past football players at their high school reunion - I will certainly take that.  The runner in me that always wants to challenge myself and knows what I really can do - does hope for the honor of pounding that pavement agin one day..........
But, no matter what my running journey brings -  I will ALWAYS cherish April 18th, 2011.

Thanks for sharing in this part of my running journey (and being patient through my running and writing "funk").  Here lies the end to my "Boston Blues" & now on to what's next..........

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boston Marathon Visual Re-cap - courtesy of my sweet Husband!!

I have had my race re-cap streaming through my mind since the minute I finished Boston last week.  But what has NOT been flowing my way is extra time.  Life sometimes adds a little chaos.  I want to sit down and deliver my experience of Boston when I have time - soon - VERY SOON.  But for now - my sweet husband surprised me with this before he left for basketball tonight......makes me smile & cry - looking at my pictures for the first time.  Hope you enjoy it too.  Thank you for sharing in my journey.  This sweet re-count done by my husband was a huge reminder to me that though Boston wasn't my best race  - TIME wise - it is certainly ranks #1on my list EXPERIENCE wise.  Thank you Andrew!!!


If you click on the link above instead of the video below- it turned out much more clear for some reason.  Remember - the computer person in our family is off playing basketball.......

Oh & yes - some of the pictures WILL need explanation - will come with my wordy re-cap!



video





Friday, April 15, 2011

Boston, Boston Bo Boston, Banana Fana Fo Foston, Me My Mo Moston - BOSTON....bib #!!

Yes - Random.  1st because me and the kids have been having fun saying this all week (come on - try it - it's fun!!) & for this random quick post as I try and get everything together to leave tomorrow a.m.

MY BOSTON BIB # 17100


Green is the theme!!  Yes and I went TODAY and got my name put on my shirt from the advice of Boston veterans.  May need a few people cheering me on as I am trying to tackle the hills!


And let's just say that I am FULLY aware that I do not have the cutest feet in the world - but had to show off my green - Boston ready toes.  Will hide the black & blue toe nails.....


And for one last random note.  This was my send off tonight.  My sweet niece reading with my kiddos and my sister (aka Sissy) and husband bringing me one last Boston "treat".  



Now that's what I call Tapering!!!

With Boston just days away and being in the midst of the craziness to get myself out the door and on my way to Boston.  I had to stop and a reflect (mostly in photos) on the last two weeks of training plan - the best taper weeks ever!  Not a report of miles but in gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.  

First, I am thankful for the incredible book I am currently reading right now with an amazing group of women - which has helped bring me to the focus of being thankful as I approach my1st Boston and as I am attempting to slow down and live a fuller life.
My family and I were blessed enough to spend our spring break at the Cannon Beach on the beautiful Oregon Coast.  I am thankful for beautiful runs on the beach!
Grandma & Papa (my dad and stepmom) were able to spend the 1st weekend with us along with one of my sisters, her husband and their kiddos.  I am thankful for Family!

I am thankful for TIME to do puzzles!


                                             













 
I am thankful my kids have cousins they get to grow up with!
                                               


I am thankful for beautiful moments like these that my daughter gets with Grandma!



I am thankful for my DAD and they we got to go on a run at the beach - even if it was raining!

I am thankful for SISTERS (wish they all could have been there)


SO very, very thankful for my family & how they have supported me so incredibly through all my training!!

I am thankful for this sweet face!!!  This is my niece that I am SO in love with.  I got to babysit her when we got back in town while my sissy and her husband went on their 1st date post-baby.



Returned from the beach and attending the Run Like a Mother Anniversary event the next morning.  Thankful that I have gotten to know Sarah this last year, thankful for the amazing goodie bag we received and so very thankful that they think I am interesting enough to feature on Follow this Mother! on their blog.  Thank you RLAM!!

So very thankful for my "Couv" running buddies (& Sarah)!!!  

While I was partying with the Run Like a Mother Crowd - my kids got to go fishing with Grandma & Papa and their cousins.  I am thankful that my kids have amazing grandparents that invest in their lives & I was VERY thankful that the fish arrived to me already gutted!!


 I am so very thankful for coffee and for sweet moments like this with my daughter.  We went to say goodbye to some great friends of ours that are moving away.


Sad to see them go - but I am thankful we had and will always have them in our lives!

I am thankful for my sisters, stepmom and cousins that wanted to go with me to get "pretty Boston toes"!  I am thankful for pedicures that make my runner feet look half way normal.
 

I am thankful for my friends & that they know me so well (thank you Amber & Julie).  "Boston treats" from two different friends.  Birds & green - perfect!!


I am thankful for my best friend Julie &her beautiful kids that came to wish me well, and the sweet gift she gave me.  I am also thankful for the most beautiful post she wrote this week - it started my week count down to Boston off perfectly!!  That is Julie's son that runs from me every time he has to give me kisses!!

Seriously - Julie already got me my Boston shirt (& lots of other goodies)!!!  Love you sweet friend!!  Did I say I am thankful for Julie - haha.  I just think a friend like that deserves a few shout-outs!

I am thankful for red velvet cupcakes!!  Tapering = less miles and more treats - right?

I am thankful for the e-mail, facebook and phone messages that I have gotten from friends and family this week wishing me well on Monday.  I am thankful for all of the inspiring blogs that I get to to draw motivation from.  I am thankful that I have family to take care of my kids for us while we are gone.  I am thankful for my amazing husband who just sat up downloading songs for me on my i-pod.  I am thankful formy dad and step-mom who are so supportive and are traveling to Boston with us.

I am THANKFUL I AM RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON MONDAY APRIL 18TH, 2011!!


Now that is what I call Tapering!!!