Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My first half marathon: training

In the four months I didn't blog, I trained for and ran my first half marathon.  Though it's old news now, and I'm actually training for my second half marathon, I still wanted to recap my experience.

The only reason I decided to run a half marathon was because I won free training with a running coach and a running group called Runaway Moms.  Coach Wendy sent out the training plan, made the routes, set out water on the long runs, taught me how to stretch, pushed me when I wouldn't push myself and reminded me that I was capable of doing this.  I can't express how much this group of women encouraged me through the whole process, cheering me on at every little victory.

The longest I had run before I started training for the half was 3.5 miles.  Slowly building up my mileage was exciting!  Seeing that I could keep going and that I could push myself to get the higher miles was so rewarding.  The weekend that I was going to tackle 7 miles was a big one for me.  I had run 6 miles twice before and completed a 10k (6.2 miles) and I was ready to make another jump in mileage.  The morning came and I was genuinely excited to hit that mileage milestone but it was pouring rain complete with thunder and lightning!  No running for me.  My motivation was gone and I wasn't sure how I would mentally make it through those 7 miles.  That's when Hayley joined me for my training.  She went on almost every long run with me from then out.  She was already registered to run the same race I was training for, and rather than train at her pace, she stuck with me though the rest of my training and the entire race.  I am so thankful for the friendship that we build and then fun times we had!

 Since Curtis had trained for and run a half marathon earlier in the year, I knew the time commitment it would take for our entire family.  And not only was I training for the half, Curtis was also training for the same race.  Throughout our training, he always put my runs first.  Never once did I feel guilty over leaving the kids and him to go run for over two hours.  After my long runs, he would be ready with ice, compression socks, chocolate milk and ibprophen. Curtis was a constant source of praise and encouragement as well as advice.  During hard runs, he would text me with words of encouragement, reminding me to finish strong.  And on one really rough run, he came to get me from the side of the road but pushed me to try that run again and get the mileage I needed.  There are so many cliched analogies I could make about training for/running a half marathon and marriage.  But instead, I'll just say that I truly could not have done what I did without my amazing hubby!

 Training for a half marathon is hard.  But it is worth it!  There were times when I was confident that I had made a terrible decision.  But I'm thankful for the awesome people who surrounded me and encouraged me to keep going, even when I didn't want to.

Only Daughter

When Curtis and I were pregnant with Elizabeth, we chose to not find out if we were having a boy or a girl.  Since I had come from a family or all girls and Curtis only had a brother, I assumed that we would have all of the same gender, or at least most of the same gender.  When Elizabeth was born I truly thought we would be a girl dominate family.

Boy was I wrong!

And while I am loving my roll as a mom to a brood of boys, learning about sports, feeding them non stop, dealing their odd smells and destructive ways, I am so incredibly thankful for my one daughter.  I love how girly she is!  She's my mini me.  We look a like, we act a like, we enjoy similar things.  Elizabeth is truly a delight!

One of my favorite things in having a daughter has been her love of dancing.  She started dance class at the tender age of two.  We've been through a multitude of recitals, dance pictures, tights, shoes of all sorts and costumes.  To my extreme delight, for the past two years, Elizabeth has danced in The Nutcracker Ballet. I love watching her perform, seeing the light in her eyes as she dances.

Despite her love of dancing, this past fall she stopped enjoying ballet.  Though I don't ever want to be the mom to force my children to do something they don't enjoy, we won't let our children quit if they've made a commitment.  She still wanted to be in the Nutcracker, which required her taking a ballet class. She just wasn't enjoying her ballet class.  So once the Nutcracker was over, we let her quit ballet.  This semester, for the first time since she was two, Elizabeth isn't dancing.

And though I'm bummed my only daughter isn't dancing, I am so excited to watch her focus on a new endeavor..... running!

In two weeks, Elizabeth and I, along with some friends, will be participating in a Graffiti Run.  That will be the first of three 5Ks that Elizabeth and I will be doing together.  She's also planning on participating in a mud run with her brothers.

God truly blessed me with my daughter.  He also blessed her with abilities in several areas.  I'm so thankful that I get to spend more time with her, watching as she continues to discover and grow in her areas of passion and joy!  What a delight Elizabeth is to Curtis and I, in whatever activities she pursues!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Not as cool as I thought.

In the precious post, I as going to brag about how I figured out how to blog from my phone without the help of Curtis. Then I lost the post and posted without knowing it. Clearly, I'm not as cool as I thought.

Recently, I've tried my hand at pancake making. Every time has ended in frustration and gooey pancakes. My friend convinced me I should give it one more shot and shared her recipe with me. Yesterday Curtis had a delayed start to his work day due to some winter weather, so it was the perfect day to try my hand at pancakes before permanently making our family a waffle family. They were incredible!

Here's the reipe for the incredible, fool proof buttermilk pancakes.
3cps flour
3 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
4 cps buttermilk
4 eggs
3/4 cp melted butter

So maybe, armed with my new pancake recipe, I am as cool as I think!

Look what I can do!

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Year

It's been over four months since my last post.

And for those of you who know us, you know it's not for lack of activity!

It's also not for lack of amusing stories, silly things my kids have said, beautiful pictures or special occasions.

But my life is just too rich, too fun, too full to not share!!  I cherish the memories, moments, special occasions and pictures that have previously been posted and feel sad and disappointed that there is a four year gap in those memories.

Be ready!  I'm back and ready to blog!