Tag Archives: kids

Why my blog has been MIA lately….


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 tad bit 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.



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Hitting the Wall…then pushing through it



Have you ever had so much going on in your life at one time that you almost felt paralyzed from it all?  Yes?

Me too…

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)

 

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Okatoma 5k Race tomorrow – I think I can, I think I can!


Here I sit on another race day eve and our vow to “go to bed as early as possible” seems to have fallen through…again. We have a sweet baby girl that seems to just know when there’s a race the next morning or if I need to go run, lol. Maybe she just doesn’t want to miss out on something exciting. 🙂 I guess it’s probably a good thing that we didn’t go to bed too early because I’d nearly forgotten to put my running clothes in the dryer. That would have been an unpleasant little surprise in the morning, especially if we’re running late. 

I must admit that I’ve had a little anxiety going on over this race tomorrow. I really don’t know why. We have run in a lot of races this season and it’s only a 5k. Maybe it’s because last year’s race is associated with lots of pain, physically and emotionally, for me. Also, it doesn’t help that Jason has been talking about it non-stop about it being a huge race for weeks, lol!! Oh, and my parents will be there to watch me race for the first time ever too so, of course I’d like to do really well for that reason. I’ll be using my new Nike GPS watch, which I’m not quite used to yet. I’ve run with it twice but still find myself waiting to hear my Ipod count down the distance for me. So…maybe I do know why I’m a little amped up after all, lol. The last couple of mornings have been really cool and I’m hoping that we can squeeze in one more for the race tomorrow. It would be so nice to have the weather working in our favor! It’s supposed to be 49 tonight…so we’ll see! 🙂

As I drove my son Tyler around the race course today, I kept saying, “Now here’s another hill but just remember to pace yourself and you’ll be fine.” Finally, he stopped me and sweetly said with a smile, “Mama, the hills just don’t bother me. I never really even think about them.” What?? It made me wonder if I should think (or not think) more like he does. I’m working hard tonight to think positive and remind myself that I’ve done this many times and I can do it again. I ran hills in a race last month that put the ones in tomorrow’s race to shame…and won 1st place in my age group. I can do this!! (That’s me thinking positve. :))

Besides trying out a new watch this week, I’ve also tried a new food. I bought Chia seeds yesterday after reading about them and learning how great they’re supposed to be for us. I ate some this morning mixed up in my oatmeal and then actually drank some in my water this afternoon. They aren’t bad at all! I did feel super full after drinking them but I think that’s part of what they’re supposed to do. No tummy problems to report and that’s always a good thing for me. Since today has been the first day of me eating them, I’ll let you know more about what I think of them as time goes by.

Tomorrow isn’t just a race day, it’s also a huge milestone for Tyler. His first prom is tomorrow night! He also won a trophy in band on Monday night for most improved. It seems just like yesterday that he was Zach’s age, who by the way, graduated from K-4 last night! It’s been an exciting week and we’re so proud of both of them (and the rest of our children, of course). Time really does go by so fast….

Unless you’re running and then it can go pretty slow. 🙂

I think it’s finally bedtime for us. Have a wonderful weekend!






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Not So Easy In The Big Easy – Crescent City Classic Recap


What a hectic week it’s been! Who am I kidding? It’s hectic around here nearly all the time, lol!  Although, with Easter and the Crescent City Classic jam-packed into one weekend, things did seem a little more stressful than usual around here. It’s taken me nearly all week to write this blog but here it is…finally!!

Since we were going sans kids on this trip, we had planned to start making our drop-offs around 11am that morning to two different grandparent’s houses. (With a brood as large as ours, it helps sometimes to have 2 stay at one grandparent’s house and the other 3 at the other house. So thankful for our parents!!!) Of course, we were nowhere near the exterior of our home at 11am much less dropping anyone off! After several false starts, we were finally on our way sometime after 12 to drop off our first two kids at Jason’s parents’ house. My parents live about 40 miles away but in the direction of New Orleans so after another pit stop back at our house, we headed their way! Jason kept asking me how I was feeling about the race the next day. Was I getting excited, was I feeling nervous, dreading it, hoping for a PR? My answer: “Honestly, I haven’t even really thought about it today.”… And I really had not. Yes, I was aware that a 10k race was imminent but getting 5 kids and ourselves packed and out of the door to go anywhere is a major undertaking (even though the older ones can pack for themselves, it’s getting them to actually do it before it’s time to leave…and that isn’t easy). When we’d finally said our last goodbyes to our little (and big) ones, it took me about an hour or so before I could shake that stressed, rush, rush, rush mode that I get into when we have to go somewhere.

We just knew that traffic was going to be awful as we drove into New Orleans, but, there’s a first time for everything and we cruised right on in with no problems. As we made our way to the Hilton Riverside, we discovered that all the traffic we thought we’d dodged had actually congregated down between the Sheraton and the Hilton! It wasn’t just vehicles but people…everywhere. Most of the ones we saw were scurrying around carrying their yellow Crescent City Classic bags and it made me anxious to go check in to our hotel and head over to the Sheraton and get my own little yellow bag. Our room was great! The best part about it was the awesome view of the Mississippi River. I loved watching the boats go by and hearing the boat horns. Very, very cool.

View of the river and boats from our room.

Another view from our room at the Hilton Riverside.

A quick picture before we head out to the Expo.


Jason has been nursing a sore foot in the last few weeks so we decided to look like lazy runners and take a cab over to the Expo. Our driver was very….impatient, to put it lightly. I don’t think I’ve ever traveled that fast or prayed that hard in a cab. He was blowing the horn and tailgating and I was really surprised we made it. Period. Needless to say, when it was time to go back to our hotel, Jason said he’d risk a little foot pain and we walked back. 🙂

The Expo was great! Last year’s was overshadowed by the super-long lines we had to wait in to get our timing chips to go on our shoes. This year, everyone was chipped and it was attached to our numbers that we got in the mail, so the only line we waited in was for our yellow bag that held that t-shirt we all know we want (no matter how ugly it is) when we sign up for a race! It’s always fun getting the free stuff that the different vendors are giving out and looking at all the various running products they have to offer. Our favorite stop was at the Bondi Band booth and the One More Mile booth! We would have stayed a lot longer but next on our agenda was a late dinner at Drago’s and we were starving!!

Hey, look what I found!


Jason and me at the Crescent City Classic Expo


Food, glorious food!!


After a fabulous (but not too heavy) meal, we made our way back up to our room to get ready for the big race the next morning. Of course, by the time we’d taken our showers and gotten our pajamas on, I realized that I’d forgotten my self-tanner downstairs in our van. If you’ve seen any of my race day photos, I don’t have to tell you that I am a tan-in a can-aholic, lol. It’s obviously not necessary to do this and race but since I look like a vampire right out of Forks,WA if I don’t, I’d rather save everyone from being blinded, lol. In a way, maybe it does help me a little. It’s one less negative thing for me to think about while I’m racing. If I start feeling bad, all kinds of crazy, negative thoughts try to jump in and if I can keep the “you are blinding everyone with your pasty white skin” thoughts out of my head, then great! So…I freaked out when I realized my tanner was way down in the parking garage. Pajama clad, Jason was sweet enough to trek with me across the hotel & parking garage to go and get it so I could put a good coating on before bedtime (and have one less thing to worry about the next day:)).

The next morning, we woke up pretty early so we could go eat breakfast in the beautiful executive lounge the Hilton offers. They had a good breakfast (didn’t have the oatmeal I was hoping for :() and an even better view of the Mississippi River and, on the other side, the city of New Orleans. It’s always nice to be able to get up early enough on race days and not feel rushed. Although, since we seem to be chronically late to nearly every race, maybe we should get up even earlier! 🙂 I’ll spare you the pictures that Jason took of me eating breakfast that morning. Definitely not blog worthy! 😉 Here’s what we saw while we ate breakfast:

What a way to wake up! We enjoyed this beautiful sunrise while we had breakfast.

After breakfast, we hurried back to our room to get our running clothes on. I have to admit that my nerves had finally kicked in just a little bit as I got ready. Even though I hadn’t had time in the last couple of days to think a lot about the race, I had been aware of one major thing. It was going to be really, really hot.  Even the night before as we waited to be seated at the restaurant, I could hear runners talking to each other about the next day and the main topic was the heat.  I wondered to myself if I’d had enough water to drink and reminded myself that my time to drink any more was starting to run out. No need to try to gulp down a ton of water and have to go stand in a mile long porta potty line!  We took a couple of pictures and then headed out. As I gathered up my belongings to take with me, I realized I had forgotten my Nike+ sensor in the van!! No!!! I was freaking out (just a little). That’s like showing up to a race with no shoes, which is a bad thing, unless you’re a barefoot runner, lol. Needless to say, my pre-race warm up was a sprint to the parking garage to get my sensor and a sprint back into the hotel because I had to have one more potty break before we went to the starting line. Disaster averted. Whew.

Getting ready to head to the race

One last potty stop before going to the starting line!

Our walk to the starting line was another good warm up but I could tell it was really starting to get steamy hot already. We saw the variety of runners and walkers on our trip over. These are those folks I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog that brave the heat and must have quite the tolerance for wearing things that would literally drive me batty if I had to run in them.


Thing 1&2 on one side of me, air brushed workout clothes on another side.

Tutus were abundant...even on some guys!

When we nearly to the starting line, we were really excited to see that we had gotten there in enough time to watch the small parade start that goes before the elite runners start their run. We even had this crazy idea that we’d get to see the elites take off and still have enough time to get in line. Wrong. As we got closer to the starting line, there was a race official telling us we had to take a left and go a couple of blocks down. Jason was suddenly in panic mode. It was a fast walk (and jog at times) but we finally made it and started trying to work our way into our correct corral, which isn’t easy. We ducked into the crowd in one spot but realized that tons of people with a different color number were there too and it would be a much slower start, so off we went again trying to get closer to the starting line. When we found a suitable spot and waited for the starting gun, Jason took a couple of pictures of the crowd and then, as I always do, I kissed him goodbye and stared straight ahead. (I try not to focus on Jason when a race begins because he runs so much faster than I do. If I watch him running away, I have this weird urge to chase him and since I’d never catch him, it’s better to just focus on my run and not his.)

Here's the parade getting ready to go. You can see the starting line behind them.


Our first spot in the line up...still not close enough.

Here's a view of the sea of people behind us.

When the gun sounded, there wasn’t this mass of people taking off in a sprint, it was more like a fast shuffle. This was because everyone, except the elites, were way behind the starting line and there’s no need to run to it, at least there was no reason for me to, lol. I would say that basically everyone around us was thinking the same thing.The excitement of the crowd was definitely contagious and I was anxious to start running. As I hit that starting line, I took off with a burst of speed. I ran through the first leg of the race thinking how much stronger I felt this year as compared to last year’s race when I hit the wall extremely early on. I was also very glad that we’d moved closer to the starting line because, although there were some, there weren’t nearly as many folks that had lined up in the wrong spot and so I didn’t have to do as much dodging. It was really hot, especially when we were on the streets that had little to no shade. I was ever so grateful to finally make a turn onto the street that went through a neighborhood and I could move over and run in the shade. By the time I reached the halfway mark, the time clock that they had set up said 33 mins (no idea what the seconds were) but it wasn’t a bad time considering the crowd and heat. Somewhere a little beyond the half way point things started going downhill and I don’t mean the streets!!! I felt like I was going to die. It was SO HOT!! I was feeling weak. My sunglasses even felt too heavy on my face. I kept trying to call up my inner coach…the one that always shows up just in the nick of time. Where was she? Had she sat this one out? Things weren’t going well at all. I had even convinced myself that somehow they had added something to the course. My left brain kept chiming in, “Why don’t you just walk?” “Maybe you should quit and you’d feel better.” “You probably can’t even run that 5k next weekend.” “How did you ever finish the 1/2 marathon?”  “You know you’re never going to make it, it’s way too hot.” “Jason has already finished and is enjoying ice cold water right now.” “Look at all these other people around you…they’re passing you.” “You are so SLOW!” Yeah, my left brain isn’t very nice to me when I’ve hit the wall. It gets ugly in there.  On the final loop before we headed toward the finish line, I looked over and could have sworn I saw people making an extra loop in the distance. I nearly started crying. If there was an extra loop, that was it. I couldn’t do it. I kept pounding the pavement and every step seemed to take every bit of energy I had. Lowest point of the day: A guy in a banana suit passed me as if I was standing still. What had he been doing the whole time? Pacing behind me, waiting to break my spirit even more? I started praying. I pleaded for it to be over soon…to just be able to make it across the finish line without passing out.

We came around that loop and there it was – the Marathonfoto spot where they are up on a platform, waiting for us to run through so they can take our pictures. Significant turn of events. 🙂 If they are there on that overhang thingy, that means one thing to me – finish line in sight!! YES!!! Apparently, I’d been hallucinating or maybe had just caught sight of the race after-party. Oh, and guess who decided to show up for picture time? “She” did. (Better late than never?) I was suddenly kicking it back into overdrive again. I pushed my once seemingly 80lb sunglasses on top of my head and approached the photographers with a big thumbs up, smiling like I’d been cruising effortless the whole way. After that point, it was as if I were as fresh as a daisy. I came across the finish line with both hands up in the air, thanking God that I had made it. Prayers answered. 🙂 I may have finished strong but I was very near the point of quitting not long before that. 

Immediately I began trying to look around for Jason. Last year, he wasn’t able to see me because there had been an emergency at the finish line and they had made him move. It took an hour to finally find each other. This year was going to be different. He had even brought his camera in his SPIbelt so he could get a picture of me crossing the finish. They kept us moving along and I kept searching the huge crowd for him but I couldn’t find him anywhere. We were supposed to meet at the first water stop after the finish line. I got there along with a zillion other runners. Because people were constantly coming from the finish line, it was almost impossible to search the crowd. I waited and I waited. Finally, my phone rang and a strange number showed up. It was Jason. He had been to the water stop but had encountered the same problem I had and finally decided to call. When we were finally reunited beside the water truck, he had bad news for me. He never saw me cross the finish line. He said he waited until the 1:15 point, trying to give me more than enough time and finally realized that somehow he’d missed me, again.  Good news was that he got a picture of a guy dressed in a banana suit. The same one that blew passed me. 😦 I think next year I’ll put the words “HEY JASON – HERE I AM!” on my shirt. 🙂

Can you imagine how fast he can probably go without the banana suit on?

These guys were supposed to be the Blues Brothers, I think. How did they not have a heat stroke in those coats?

Entrance to the big party after the race.

The race after party is always exciting. There’s tons of free food and drinks live bands playing. It was also getting hotter by the second. From the time I hit the first water stop when I was waiting on Jason until the time we left to get on the bus back, I drank 2 bottles of water, a bottle of Powerade and 2 chocolate milks. I was really, really thirsty. (I didn’t stop at the water stops along the race route.) I also found out that Jason started out way too fast and was feeling about the same way I had been feeling during the race. He said that he was feeling the effects of the heat around the 2nd mile and beyond. Running in the heat stinks!  It was getting hotter by the second at the race party so after we took a few pictures, we decided it was time to get back to the hotel and find some real food.

Jason and me at the race after party.

Me with the stage in the background.

Look at the sheer volume of folks still coming across the finish line!

Our next big hurdle was to stand in a very long line in the heat, waiting to get on a bus.

Super long lines and we weren't even at the end!

So very happy to be on a bus (with a/c!!) and on our way back to the hotel!

We were both so thankful to be out of the heat and off of our feet!

The ride back to the hotel was very enjoyable but a familiar feeling on the bottom of my feet wasn’t feeling great at all. As soon as we got inside of our hotel room, I pulled my sweaty shoes and socks off to check things out. Blisters? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve never gotten blisters from running a 10k. Not even when I was just beginning. The only blisters I’ve ever had from running was when I was training for the half and had gotten a few because of the high mileage. I still don’t understand it. In fact, if any of you can think of a reason why I would have gotten them, I’d love to hear! I was wearing my favorite running socks and shoes….nothing new on my feet. I’m baffled.

After getting cleaned up, we went and enjoyed a great post race lunch at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. It was so nice to sit down and eat! The restaurant was beautiful and had a courtyard-type area beside it that we were able to sit by the windows and see. By the time we finished eating and went outside, the wind had starting blowing so hard, you’d think a hurricane was on the way. It was like a wind tunnel! It felt so good and I couldn’t help but wish it had shown up a little earlier when I was suffering from heat exposure, lol!

Jason getting ready to enjoy a post race steak.

Gazebo beside the restaurant


Jason documented my "wind blown" look, haha.

There was just one more stop on my to do list before we packed up and headed home. I wanted to go visit the new Fleurty Girl shop close to Jackson Square. I think the wind blew us most of the way there!  That particular part of New Orleans is so beautiful and filled with history. I could easily wander around down there and just look for hours. We found the shop and I even got a few early Mother’s Day gifts. Yay! 🙂

Neat little place that always decorates for every season. They had a bubble machine going. Perfect for a windy, Spring day.

Trying to find the Fleurty Girl shop.

Overall, it was a great trip. The race could have been better but it’s in the books now and we will take what we’ve learned and apply it to the next race we run. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that when it’s really hot and you hit the wall, a 10k race can seem longer and more difficult than a half marathon. I also learned that I have something inside of me that won’t let me quit, no matter how hard I beg at times. Call it stubbornness, call it willpower or even call it stupid but whatever it is, I’m so grateful it’s in there because this is one race that wouldn’t have been finished without it. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great race if you have one planned!



P.S. I completely spaced out and forgot to tell you my finishing time!! My chip time was 1:09:28. I finished 4926 out of nearly 22,000! Jason’s time was 52:24 (PR) and he finished 1364. Great day for him!



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A bad run is better than no run


Don’t worry, you aren’t seeing things! I know I just posted a blog yesterday and it’s absolutely unheard of for me to post back to back but I wanted to share with you about my awful run last night.

Yesterday was one of those days that seemed never-ending. (Much like today…hmmm.) Basically, it’s just been one of those weeks around  here. I wanted to work in 3 runs this week before the race on Saturday and I still may be able to get the 3rd in tomorrow night. Last night was one of the times that I was dying to get out and go and it just seemed like everything was working against me. One reason I wanted to go was so I could try my new running clothes that I’m planning on wearing in the Crescent City Classic. If there’s nothing else you do before a race (besides train a lot, drink a lot of water, train some more, and eat right), please try out anything you have that’s new!! The last thing you want to do is find out 2 miles into a 10k that your pants are too baggy, that your shoes are rubbing your heels or your shirt is riding up. So, that was my big concern last night. I wanted to go run and see how the outfit felt, just in case I had to make an emergency trip to the post office to send it back!

Zoe was super tired. We had spent part of the morning on a field trip with Zach and she’d only had one nap. I just knew she’d go down fast and I could head out for a quick run and be back in no time, right? Wrong. Somehow, on days that she’s dead tired, she digs down deep and finds energy that I only wish I had. Long story short, it was after 9pm by the time she went to sleep, after 9:30 by the time I changed into my clothes and nearly 10 when I started my run. Added on to that was the extra awkwardness I felt because our school was just finishing a baseball game up and a zillion people were still there. I do not feel comfortable running when people are possibly looking at me. I know it’s silly but surely someone else feels that way too and that’s why I’m admitting it. (Now you know you aren’t alone. :)) Races are different. People are supposed to be watching you then. Training is a time when I don’t want to have an audience because sometimes I’m feeling like I’m dying and I know it shows. Other times, I’m feeling pretty great and I might sing or play the drums and that looks kind of weird too. So…it was a little awkward getting out there and running in new clothes with people everywhere that possibly knew me or my family, on a track and it was hot. Really hot.

Good news first: My clothes basically felt great. The only complaint I had was a pesky tag that kept sticking in my side like a knife the whole time. I’ll make sure it’s long gone by Saturday. Other good news was that the run itself, meaning the time (31:23) and pace (6:16/km), wasn’t awful after you factor in the heat and 81% humidity. Yes, 81%. I knew it was hot but had no clue that it was so humid until I got home.

Bad news: I started out in a semi-panic because of all the people there so that means that I took off running way too fast. You would think that now I’d say that after the first mile I finally settled down and found my comfort zone…but I didn’t. I ran like a crazy lady…a crazy, sweaty, oxygen deprived lady that felt like everybody there was staring at her. (Looking back, I’m pretty sure they weren’t.) At 3.98 km, I had decided to just quit. I was near the bleachers where I’d put my keys and I looked down at my Ipod and brought my thumb over to hit “stop”.  “Don’t you dare stop!” was the sassy voice I heard coming deep from inside of me. Thank goodness “she” showed up! She quickly reminded me that I had tried all day to be right there – running. I was there for a reason and it was time to suck it up and finish what I started. She also reminded me that I would kick myself for stopping and, it’s true, I would have. I finished. It wasn’t pretty. It was ugly, in fact, but I did it and now I’m glad I did.

Sometimes we are going to be outside of our comfort zones and  we have a choice to make: to push through it or stop. I’m really glad I pushed through, even though it wasn’t easy. I think we all have that little voice inside of us. I hope you’ll decide to listen to it when you think you can’t make it another step. You may be surprised at what you can do!

Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort.   

~Peter McWilliams~

If you don’t step out of your comfort zone and face your fears, the number of situations that make you uncomfortable will keep growing.   

~Theo Pistorius~



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Running in Circles


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!

Have a great weekend!


Here’s a little inspiration:




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In a fog today…Running with the F.O.G. in the morning


Well, it’s finally Friday and boy, has it been a long week! In fact, today has seemed more like 2 days. Zoe decided that she wasn’t tired last night and didn’t go to sleep until after 10pm. After we finally got to bed, I couldn’t go to sleep and then when I would drift off, she would wake up or the neighborhood dogs that come to visit our dogs would show up and start a barking frenzy. Finally, around 2am I fell asleep but still not completely because Zoe is the lightest sleeper in the world, so I’m constantly up and down checking on her. By sometime around 5am I woke up and was sure that the house was either on fire or just our room was. It was so HOT!! Apparently, one of the kids had bumped the heater up a notch or two on their way to bed and I didn’t realize it until I woke up sweating as if I’d been out working in the yard. Of course, Zoe woke up (again) as I stumbled around to go turn the inferno down. She needed a little milk, so I fixed that too. By the time I got back into bed, it was still unbearably hot, I was wide awake, the visitor dogs were back, again, and I couldn’t go back to sleep at all. 😦 Three miserable hours of sleep make for an extremely long day.

My big plan was to get the older kids off to school and wait for Zoe’s 9am nap and then I’d jump in the bed too and either sleep until she woke up or until it was time to pick Zach up at 11:20. (As you can tell, I’ve done this before. Naps are wonderful!!) I fed her breakfast, we played, we watched Barney and then I carefully made my way back to her room, praying that she was at least a teeny bit sleepy. I put her in her bed and quietly slipped out, biding my time until she finally stopped wiggling and fell asleep. A few minutes went by and I started thinking I was in the clear. Nope. “Maammmmaaa!!!” You know the saying, “If I had a dollar every time…”? Well, if I even had a quarter for every time “Mama” was yelled in this house and maybe 50 cents for every trip I make trotting into that baby girl’s room everyday, Jason could surely stop working for good! 😉 Back to my pity party story, nap time just didn’t happen for either one of us this morning. She wasn’t sleepy and the April Fool’s joke was on me for even entertaining the thought of napping. There’s been no chance since then because after I picked up Zach, we had to take her for a checkup and a shot. (The last of her shots until 5, yay!)

I’m so glad that it’s finally bedtime for the little ones even though she is in her room now emptying her bed out for the 4th or 5th time and saying “Oh No, Mama” so I’ll come back in there, lol (it’s nearly 10 now by the way). I know this stage won’t last forever. It just seems like it on days like this. 🙂

Oh and did I mention that we have a race in the morning at 8? That was the whole reason for this little blog tonight but my mind seems to wander when I’m sleep deprived.

We’ll be running in Sumrall at the Run with the F.O.G. 5k. I’m a little bit more nervous about it than most races because of some wicked hills. Jason ran it a couple of years ago and said he *thought* it only had one big hill. When we drove the course yesterday, it was like a stinking roller coaster! I’m not amused. Hills don’t freak him out like they do me. I’ve been doing some hill training lately on Mondays but aiming it towards the Okatoma 5k on May 7. I guess I should just look at this as a little extra hill training for the week and quit freaking out about it.

The great thing is that I bet I won’t lose a minute’s sleep tonight over that race in the morning when I finally go to bed, if I ever make it there.

I’ll update on the race hopefully tomorrow!

Here’s the race info:

http://www.pinebeltpacers.org/RaceInfo/Fliers11/FOG/fog.pdf

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