You might have noticed that there has been a huge lag in blog writing lately from me. It’s not that I haven’t tried. In fact, I have at least 4 that I’ve been working on and several that I haven’t even had a chance to start on. (One is my marathon recap, another is a giveaway and the list goes on…)
Things are normally busy around here but lately, it’s been in overdrive! The end of school always seems like a time when activities pick up and there are more places we have to be and things to do. Factor in my oldest son graduating from high school on the 19th and my 6 yr old graduating from kindergarten and it gets really crazy. Oh, I didn’t mention that on the 7th my husband came down with pneumonia. He’s actually doing better but is still really weak and can’t run for a while, which is driving him crazy. My 2 yr old also got sick on Tuesday and has had a really high temp, throwing up and sore throat. The doctor said it was a “strep-like” virus which basically means that she’s having the same symptoms of strep throat but there’s not medicine to get rid of it. We’re also trying to get our house ready to possibly sell, which is turning out to be extremely a tadbit stressful as well. I’m also trying to fit my running into the schedule, which has been about 9:30 or 10pm…or later.
So, that’s basically a run down of what’s going on here and why I can’t seem to do a lot of writing. I am trying to make sure my SITNF Facebook page stays current and updated, which is a little bit easier to do than to sit and write a detailed race recap. Although I’m DYING to do that!! I want to tell you about the Crescent City Classic, the Rock and Roll Marathon, a crazy 10k where I got lost on the course and then the Okatoma River Run 5k, which I’d trained like crazy for and tell you what the outcome of that race was…in case you don’t already know, lol. I’m also working on a post about how I nearly didn’t make it to the marathon. I started to include it in my marathon recap but decided that you’d probably rather read a shorter version and go back and read the other part later. I will get it all done eventually but my family and the many things we have going on always comes first.
Of course, I wouldn’t trade these busy times for anything (I would like a little more time in the day though! Maybe 26 hours?). Even when the days seems long, I know these moments are fleeting in the grand scheme of things. It seems like yesterday that Tyler was Zach’s age….now he’s graduating and going to college. My 14 yr old will be in high school next year and Zach will be a 1st grader. Those nights, which are usually most nights, when I’m hanging off of the bed on my side and Jason is propping his head on the night stand because Zach and Zoe have gotten in the bed with us, can be exhausting but I know that one day the night time visits will be over. It’s those little things that are so important. They are the things that now seem to be just the normal part of the day (or night) but in the blink of an eye, it will seem like so very long ago. As you can tell, I’m on quite the emotional roller coaster, lol. You always know your kids are growing up but it’s the milestones that can really hit hard.
I hope all the moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday! Mine was great. Tyler had his graduate recognition and then later that day had his Baccalaureate ceremony. That evening, the kids and Jason gave me my Mother’s Day gifts which included a pair of Nike Free Run 3.0 shoes in bright pink!
Here’s a picture from my Mother’s Day that says it all. This was not staged, by the way, lol! It’s how most of our attempts at group pictures turn out.
Have you ever had so much going on in your life at one time that you almost felt paralyzed from it all? Yes?
In these last several weeks, I’ve hit the Wall and it wasn’t just while I was running. I’ve had so much going on with family and other obligations that I was to the point of feeling completely incapacitated. A lot of this comes from having a really hard problem saying two words more often – “No” and “Help”.
Summertime busyness, birthdays to shop, clean and cook for, rearranging a bedroom (the day before a double bday party), normal household duties, a wedding to be in, planning a race, finding a time to run (and deal with the extreme heat), back to school shopping, and all of the rest of things that being Mama involves has had my head spinning! Not that women all over the world don’t have that much and more to do everyday but I can say with no doubt that my plate hasn’t been just full…it’s been overflowing. At one point, I was having nights that I couldn’t fall asleep, even though I was exhausted because my mind was racing. When I did fall asleep, I’d wake up sweating with my heart pounding as if I’d been running speed drills and eyes wide open. Thoughts of race medals, matron of honor dresses and shoes, where can I order that Caillou toy, race time clocks, Barney birthday decorations, making birthday cakes, school clothes, cleaning the house, typing up registration forms to put online and did I leave a candle lit in the living room were going through my head so fast that I wondered if I was truly going crazy. There was a day or two that all I wanted to do was drop my kids off at their grandparent’s, turn off my phone and computer, go in my bedroom and just hide. (I never did that but boy did it sound good at the time! )
Thankfully, I’m not and never was alone in all of this. I have God, my family and I have friends and that’s how I’ve gotten through these last few crazy weeks. A sermon at church about worry came at a perfect time for me and made me realize that I had let my anxiety not only get out of control but control me. I made a decision to stop so being stressed to the point of doing nothing because I didn’t know where to begin and start moving forward.
So, what did I do once I decided having a mini breakdown wasn’t an option? First, I prayed and apologized to God for trying to do everything myself. I also acknowledged that I need to have a little more faith and a little less freaking out going on in my life. Then I did something that I don’t always do….I asked for help and accepted help when it was offered. For example, I called my friend, who is great cake decorator, and asked if she could come over and help me decorate the 2 cakes I had looming over me to bake. As the time got closer and I still had tons to do, she insisted on just making them herself and bringing them to me on the day of the party to make things easier. Although it was very hard to accept this extremely huge gesture, I finally realized that she was right and gratefully accepted.
I started prioritizing and making lists (which isn’t a bad thing to do anyway) and deciding on what had to be done now, in a day or two,week or so, etc. Which explains the lack of a blog lately. Slowly but surely, things have been coming together, getting done and being marked off of my to-do list. I’m now finally feeling like things are getting slowly back to the normal busy around here instead of nightmare busy.
Crying helps. Well, at least it does for me sometimes. Not because it solves any problems but sometimes it really helps me get all of my emotions/frustrations out and focused again. There was a day or two that I scrunched up in blanket on the recliner and just cried. I can nearly guarantee that after one “good” cry, the next day I come back stronger and more focused than ever. It may be just a girl thing but sometimes it just has to be done (if you can’t get a long run in). I’ve also made sure that I didn’t stop finding a time to go run. Running is a huge stress reliever for me and I knew that it needed to be done even if I thought I was too tired to go. The great thing is that lately, because I’ve been having to go nearly all the time at night, I’ve picked up a new running buddy – Jason! 🙂 ( Our older kids keep the baby monitor with them and listen for Zach and Zoe for us.) Instead of running those boring loops at the track, we’ve been running all over Seminary. It’s been so nice to get to run and talk to each other -almost like a date!- and it’s also been neat to see the town from a different view. I took my son, Tyler last night with me and proudly gave him the tour of the town as we chatted the whole time. At first I felt like my circumstances were forcing me into running at a certain time but now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 🙂
Don’t get me wrong. All of these things that I’ve been doing and currently doing are all things I want to do because they involve, in one way or the other, people I care about. The trouble I have is when it all seems to happen at once or so close that it seems like it’s all at one time. I’m not the most organized person you’ve ever met either. The first step is to admit it, right? 🙂
My big focus on my list right now is the Race for Grace 5k, planning another birthday (but at least it will be at a laser tag place), and starting my half marathon training. I’m also hoping to do a product review soon, a race report from the Watermelon 5k (Yes, the one in July…) and I’m going to feature a runner/walker from our state and do a Q&A blog with them. It may be a slow going process but at least now you know what has been keeping me so busy lately. Don’t give up on me! I’m getting there, one step at a time. 🙂
Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.(NLT)
I’ve been writing this blog for nearly 2 days and I’ve started and stopped about 20 times, so if I sound a little scatter-brained throughout it – it’s because I am! 🙂
It’s been another busy week around here. My days have been so jumbled up that I’ve only gotten to run at night, which is not my preference unless it’s scorching hot during the day. My normal hill training night (Monday) was spent riding out severe weather, so I pushed it over to Tuesday. By the time I finally got out of the house, it was really late and I decided to go to our local school’s track and push hills over to Thursday. My run Tuesday night wasn’t too shabby. It was actually really chilly which is fine by me! I ran a 5k in 30:02 (woohoo!). I think I’m still in disbelief that I’m finally speeding up a little. You’ll rarely, if ever, hear of me running any farther than a 5k when I go to the track. I just don’t like running in circles! If I had to choose, I think I’d probably enjoy running longer mileage on a treadmill (I don’t enjoy treadmills) than on a track, which is why I spend most of my running time on the Longleaf Trace. That being said, I’ll take what I can get and go where I can when my choices are limited.
We went to visit my parents yesterday (Thursday) and the kids had such a fun time playing with them. Zach finally got to go fishing with my dad and caught 15 fish! By the time we got home, ate and got the kids ready for bed and asleep, you guessed it, late again. I’ll admit, it’s been really, really hard getting out of the house and going to run this week. I think most of it had to do with it being later at night and I leave the house already feeling pretty tired. When I can go during the day, I’ve still got a little energy but by 9 at night, I’m just ready to do nothing. But, I know that if I don’t go, I’ll completely regret it and I almost always feel more energized after I’m finished.
When I arrived at the park, I stepped out of my vehicle and was shocked to hear, “Hey, Gina, is that you??” It was my niece and my sister-in-law out walking/running. (They’ve been to the last 2 races that we’ve been in and my sister-in-law, Donna, ran most of the way in the last race! I’m so proud of her!) It was so nice to get to run my first lap with them last night. They helped get me motivated and out of my slump I was feeling like I was in. After they left, I didn’t try to overdo since we’ve decided to race on Saturday and hills usually leave my legs feeling a little spent for a day or two afterward. My run was good,32:23, but not nearly as fast as my run on Tuesday night but that’s ok. They don’t all have to be personal records especially on hot, muggy nights when you’re running hills. What I haven’t done lately is add extra mileage to my runs. I’ve got to get back on track with that next week because the Crescent City Classic is 2 weeks away and I have to be ready!!
Something amazing has happened in the last week or so that has not only taken me by surprise but has also touched and encouraged me. I’ve had at least 5 people either call me, email me or text me to let me know that they’ve started walking or running because of reading my blog. Some have just contacted me to let me know and others to ask a question. You have to know that when I began this journey, it was to improve my life and my health. After my experiences (good and bad) in this last year, I’ve had an overwhelming need to share it with others. I didn’t know if anyone would even have an interest in what I had to say but since it doesn’t cost anything but a little time here and there, I had to try.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a running expert. I’m just someone who has experienced what consistent physical activity can do to change your overall well-being. I get tired, I get frustrated and even discouraged at times but I see where I used to be and where I am now and that keeps me motivated. I don’t proclaim to know it all or even half of what is out there to know but I do promise you this: I will always do my best to share what knowledge I do have with you. I’m constantly learning – usually from mistakes – but I think that’s when I learn the most. I mess up, I try again and sometimes I mess up again but I learn. I want you to hear about my good runs but I also want you to hear more about all those bad ones because that’s what make the good runs, great! I want to write about how painful the speed workouts can be and how hard it is to run hills some days because if I do well running a race with hills, you can see that the training works (even if I do complain!). I’ll also share anything helpful that we stumble up on, whether it’s a book or gear or just something that’s kinda cool.
For you wives and mothers out there (husbands and daddies too), I will be the first to tell you that it’s going to be difficult on some days to get out of the house to go run or walk. Sometimes you may have to go later and sometimes you may have to go earlier. Other days, you may have to load those babies up and bring them with you or if that doesn’t work, scrap it and remember that you can always go tomorrow. Even though it’s extremely important to take care of yourself, your family needs your attention too and some days it’s impossible to get away (unless you go at midnight, lol). I don’t want to ever sound like I’m being selfish about my time spent exercising. I devote all of my days (and nights) to my family and I’m so thankful that I have a husband that provides for us so I can be with our kids everyday. I think that if I take an hour out of the day, usually 3 days a week, to go run my stress away, it’s a good thing for everyone (they agree, by the way). 🙂
I always find that I handle things so much better after I’ve come back from running and I bet you will too. I used to be on anxiety/depression medication but not anymore. Running is now my medication and it works so much better! Just remember that you aren’t just doing this for yourself….you’re doing this for your kids and for your spouse too. You are setting an example that will be a positive influence in their lives. I don’t want it to be a shock when they see me in my running clothes, I want it to be as normal as seeing me in pajamas at night. I want my kids to see that being active is a part of their parents lives and hopefully they will want to be that way too.
One of the best running books, in my opinion, is Jeff Galloway’s Book on Running. We are constantly referring to it. If you ever get a chance to pick up a copy or even borrow a copy, get it and read it. He’s extremely knowledgeable and stresses the RUN-WALK-RUN™ method so you can stay injury free and have a more positive experience. We were loaned our first copy and then promptly headed out to buy our own. (By the way, this is only my opinion and I haven’t been compensated in any way to endorse this book.)
Jeff Galloway's Book on Running
I know I’ve been long-winded today with my writing but I’ve been so excited to tell you about what’s been going on and to let you know how much you’re encouraging me. I’ve touched on a few things today that I will go more in-depth in on another blog. I’m so excited for all of you that have gone out and taken those first steps on your journey to a new and healthier life!! Whether you’re running, walking, biking or something else, ease into it, be patient with yourself and most of all, enjoy it! I want you to see that if I can do this, you can do it too!
We’ll be racing tomorrow in the Run for the Roses 5k. I’m afraid it’s going to be super hot and muggy but I’m really looking forward to the experience after reading about all of the fanfare that goes along with that race!
For a long time, I’ve mulled over having my own place (other than a notebook) to jot my thoughts down as they came to me. Then, in the last month or so, I had made the decision to start a blog, if I ever had the time to sit down and form more than a sentence at a time. What I’ve found is that, not only do I hardly have time to write more than a couple of sentences at a time but the ones I do write down take forever to type because I have so much “help” while doing it. These few sentences alone have taken about 20 minutes to write because I’ve had to try and put Zoe down for a nap (it didn’t take, btw)…and now keep her entertained while the cat tries to see how many times he can walk across my keyboard and brush his tail in my face. As she toddles off again….(and now I’m back from retrieving her), I’ve realized that my thoughts come in such huge waves that I’ll probably never blog as much as I’d like to and by the time I do get to, most of what I thought of will be forgotten because I have so many other things going on in this head of mine. C’est la vie.
Another thing I’ve realized is that technology has really gotten away from me. Back when I only had a couple of kids (wow, when was that???), it seemed like my computer knowledge was so much more vast. Now, if it doesn’t involve clicking the “Home” or “Upload pictures” button on Facebook, then I’m nearly clueless. I’ve tried to fix my little blog page up so that it looks more personalized and it’s been everything but easy! In fact, it’s been so hard that I pretty much come away feeling like a big dummy. I have always considered myself a fast learner but apparently not when it comes to this. I’m currently looking at a different blogging site that might easier for me to figure out because this one is obviously way over my head.
On a side note, I’m certainly not complaining about having an abundance of children. I really don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have them filling up our home with their diverse personalities and of course their toys and clothes! I do love a little bit of quiet time but I think I’d go stir crazy if I didn’t have someone here who needed a snack, a diaper change, help finding a toy, a ride somewhere or just someone to listen to them talk about what’s on their mind. It’s usually a circus around here most of the time and my house definitely has that tornado just hit lived in look but it’s what makes this journey through life “ours” and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.