Sunday, August 30, 2009

September 1 Resolutions

Usually we make resolutions on January 1. We start the year with these great intentions to make changes. When I think I need to make a change, I make a change. I try to not even wait till tomorrow. Because to quote Garth "If tomorrow never comes"... I'm a spur of the moment person. This is not one of my better qualities, as it lends itself to sudden 90 degree, 180 degree and even occasionally 360 degree turns. However, I can stick with something, like a diet or a marathon training program, but I tend to modify it as I go along because these are life time behaviors for me.
Along with this "fly by the seat of my pants" mentality comes the ability to cancel plans and doctor appointments if I feel better, and I can even decide at 10:00 in the morning to take off work at 1:00 in the afternoon to drive to Dodge City, KS for a baseball game because I just can't stand to miss it after all (thank God for my very flexible job and co-workers). It's why I'm inappropriately dressed much of the time. I plan to go by home and change clothes before going to the next place, and then I decide the extra 3o minutes in the car and 10 minutes to change could be better spent doing something more important. Like browsing the clearance racks at TJ Maxx or previewing several new releases at Barnes & Noble while I enjoy a carmel machiato. Or reading greeting cards.
Two-thirds of the way through 2009 I have been seriously looking at where the year started and where I am now. It's going by so quick. It has been a year of tests and trial, victory and grace, blessings bigger than we deserve. But have I made the most of it? And how about going forward? What are my plans before the end of 2009? Here are some of my goals for the last 3rd of the year.
1. Read the Bible through. This is entirely possible, as I read constantly and have the Bible on my IPOD and available on my Blackberry. I have a 90 day program that I think it would be greatly beneficial for me to complete. I can always walk closer to God.
2. I have met a couple of new people at my church that I want to spend some time getting to know better. This does take time and planning (and not canceling).
3. 15 more pounds. 4 months, that's doable.
4. I have two races I want to run before the end of the year.

I can always do better in all areas of my life, and I don't want to get complacent and settle for things as usual.

Week 13

This was a rough week. I pushed myself on Saturday and Sunday and I felt it all week. I didn’t do anything Monday and it is supposed to be a rest day.
Tuesday was weights and a 1 mile run and a mile on the elliptical and pizza and baseball with Nate.
Wednesday was rest.
Thursday was 5 miles, and as tired as I was and with as many excuses as I made to myself, I did it and it was hard, Steve even told me he could hear me panting trying to keep up with him. THEN SLOW DOWN!
Friday was rest day – Steve and I went to dinner at a restaurant opening as a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society (more pizza) and spent 3 hours with brand new friends (he’s a marathoner, she’s a half marathoner like me, we had a great time).
Saturday was a supposed to be new distance, and I never "attempt" a new distance, because I always plan on completing it. This week it was not to be. Left the house Saturday morning 30 minutes before sunrise. 64 degrees, I was sweating at half a mile. That was the first bad sign. I got to 3.6 miles which is where Sheila was meeting me and I wanted to go home. The tape on my big toe had unwound and was sticking where it wasn’t supposed to and I ended up taking it off. I ran to our turn around point of 11.28 miles and was miserable every step of the way, running into 18+ mph winds. We turned around and headed home with a strong tailwind which is always good. We had met up with Steve who was running 28 miles, and he pulled ahead of us, but when we got to our next water stop he was waiting for us and intended to run the rest of the way with us. I made it about a 10th of a mile when I told Steve and Sheila to go on without me and I called my sister to come pick me up. It was so discouraging. I watched Steve and Sheila take off and I actually had tears in my eyes. Not from the pain in my big toe or the total utter exhaustion I felt, but because I was being left behind. I ended up with a 15.17 mile run today. I plan to take it easy this week, I’m very tired.
I went to the Y today for cross training on the elliptical and some weight training, I took it easy, but did get the blood flowing. I haven’t looked at my training schedule for this week, but I sure hope it’s a fall back week on distance.
Seven weeks till marathon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: Mom, for Thanksgiving can you fix those turkey legs like they have at the amusement parks? Those are my favorites.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things I've learned

Not a list, just one long one - Getting hit on scares the living daylights out of me. It doesn’t happen often. (Twice this year, and once was via Facebook so it doesn’t really count). Last Saturday in the library a guy followed me around (stalker!) for 30 minutes and then finally approached me when I sat down with my books. He told me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. I had a “radiant beauty”. (Pretty sure it was suntan glow and endorphins from my 19 mile run that morning). I tried to keep my left hand extremely prominent, waving my rings around like I was newly engaged, but I realize that being married does not mean what it used, unfortunately. He did say he thought this probably wouldn't go any further but he wanted to meet me. I told him it wouldn't go any further and gave him a fake name - sorry Peggy, couldn't think very fast. I suppose maybe I should have been flattered, but I wasn't. Considering the source and all, it was not a flattering experience and if you had been there, you would understand this is not a scenario to brag about, in fact had you been there you would wonder why I'm sharing. I was scared to go to my car. You can forget how to deal with this kind of stuff after many years of marriage and parenting. You feel invisible so much that when someone actually sees you it’s frightening. Does this scare anyone else? Or does it happen to you guys often enough that you know how to deal with it?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Other people's kids

I "borrowed" a child in Wal-mart tonight. The last 6 pack of bottles of diet A&W root beer was so far back on the shelf I couldn't reach it. I asked the lady in the aisle if her 6 year old daughter could crawl back there and get it for me. She did. I'm wondering if I can borrow more children? Could I borrow kids that say thanks for dinner mom, thanks for throwing the baseball to me for 3 hours this week mom, kids that tell me about their day at school? How about kids that might actually put away laundry or load the dishwasher? Ooooo, I may be on to something. Maybe time share children?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 12

After 44.5 miles last week, I have been tired this week. I took Monday off (YAY). My kids started back to school this week, so our schedule has been a little bit more "scheduled". (YAY). Tuesday I rode my bike to loosen my legs up and get the blood flowing which they really needed, and then Nate asked me to play catch with him and we went to the park and I threw soft toss to him. Playing catch with him was the scariest thing I have done in years. Scarier than the snakes. He just finished his15th year of organized baseball. He throws hard. Playing catch he throws 70+ mph. He plays 3rd which means he throws from 3rd to 1st base, 90 feet, trying to beat the runner. He plays catcher which means he throws home to second, 90 feet, trying to beat a runner stealing. He throws hard, far, and extremely accurate. Which is a good thing, except I don’t want the ball hitting me in the chest. I want to reach my arm way out from my body and catch the ball. That way when I miss it rolls to the fence, it doesn’t black my eye. I had also forgotten how hard it is to squat for long periods of time. And then chase and pick up 72 baseballs. I jumped the fence 4 times. And then did this all over again Thursday. The best part? I got to spend time with Nate. Not much I wouldn’t do to spend a couple hours in his company.
Wednesday I had a 6 mile run scheduled and Steve texted me and asked if I was up for running with him. I said yes. When I got home he said 10? I said sure. It was windy, so we drove north to leave a car, but 10 miles was a country road, so we went 11 and left our car at the Schneider’s house. I think I sweated the worst I ever have on this run. It was running down my forearms and dripping off. Is that too much information? Want me to describe the smell of Steve’s and my workout clothes that I didn’t wash till the next day?
I really see the benefits of running day after day and putting additional miles on, even when it’s hard. I’m understanding that’s where the increased strength comes from, not from the Saturday long run, but the weekday back to back to back workouts. (There is definitely a spiritual lesson in this, but I’ll save it for another day of the week and stick with training.) Took Friday off.
Saturday I ran 19.5 miles. Longest distance ever, and that is always a great feeling. We had a busy day Saturday, so we ran early. Not early for me, which is 8:00, but early for anyone. We crossed into another level of insanity. 6:00 a.m. Ridiculous. And it was 55 degrees when I left my house. Had to wear a long sleeve tee over my running clothes for the first 4 miles. Also dug out every old insulated lunch box I could find, every cooler, and bought one additional Styrofoam cooler and instead of dropping off water and planning stops by kwikshop, I hid coolers in bushes and ditches. Worked great. We had cold water/gatorade and snacks and energy gel plus a place to leave my tee shirt.
Steve told me today that when he has a new distance he doesn't ever think "I'm going to try and go 25", which he did on Saturday, but he says "I'm running 25 this weekend". I think there is something in that. Confidence, yes, but the idea that you will accept no less than that from yourself. I did feel great accomplishment, in fact I told Steve "I am amazing" and he agreed. It was a weird run in the sense Sheila was running 14, I was running 19.5 and Steve was running 25. We all ran the same route, Steve just ran further and had a headstart. I picked Sheila up at the corner on my way by, so I ran the first 3 by myself, next 14 with Sheila, and 7 with Steve, but he was really running well, so I told him not to wait for me and with 4 miles left, he took off for home. Sheila peeled off with 3 miles left for me, and I had to run them on my own. I had this feeling that Steve would get home and come back and check on me, and it would be hard Hard HARD not to get in the car with him, so I ran. When I saw the car pull out of the driveway, I was two blocks from home. He was impressed, which made me feel even better. Now today, I have two toenails turning black, a couple of blisters, and I thought I was tough enough for an hour of racquetball. It was an awesome workout, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but my feet and hip joints are sore. Will carry on, I'm actually enjoying this training.

Not nail polish.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: Mall parking lot

Me: What’s on your shirt?

Whitney: I don’t know. I just picked it up off the floor and put it on.

Nate: (laughing) I do that too!

I am walking far ahead, pretending they are not my children.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Priorities

I was asked the other about my priorities. What really is important to me? So I made a list, and rearranged it, and once I made this list I wondered if I was brave enough to share it. And I am. There are things that need to change and some that should come off the list, but if I’m being honest, these all belong on here right now, and then I need to do some work.

1. God, Bible Study, Prayer – I am glad I can honestly say this is my first priority. Hasn’t always been, but the majority of the time, I keep this one here.
2. Steve – It’s hard to keep him here. I can get him moved to position number 1 if I’m not careful, and he should not ever displace God. On the other side of that, he can fall to position 3 below my kids, and he certainly doesn’t belong there either. There have been times I would have had these top 3 out of order, but they have always been my top 3. It’s keeping them straight that takes the most work.
3. My kids – For me it’s important to remember time does not equal priority level. Kids take more time than anything else, for a season. That’s expected and understood. Time invested does not mean they are a higher priority than they should be.
4. Food – I spend too much time thinking, planning and eating food (not quantity, I’m just a really slow eater). I do need to make this less of a priority, but food is an issue for me.
5. My extended family – they should be higher on the list, above food. And they will definitely move up the next time my mom makes her homemade caramel frosted long john donuts.
6. Sleep – I never get enough. It’s lunch hour while I type this and I want to go to my car and take a nap. It’s 68 degrees in August in Kansas. Perfect day for a nap in the car. Maybe not, I don’t think the baseball blanket is in there.
7. Exercise – I make this a priority. This is probably where it belongs.
8. Church – I love my church and would love to be more involved. My family commitments right now keep me less involved than I would like, but like I said in #3, it’s just for this season of life.
9. Friends – I love my friends. Wish I could find a way to move them up the list. In some ways I do, I Bible Study with them, eat with them, exercise with them, go to church with them.
10. Money – I need more money. Always. I have teenagers.
11. Books – I will put my library books in a trash bag and get totally drenched walking through the rain to get inside and get more books. I honestly can get a little anxious when I don’t have a book around to read. I always escaped into books when I was a kid, and it is still a place of escape from real life now.
12. Television – I like my television
13. Diet Coke – Go ahead and laugh, but I went to Kwik Shop at 11:00 at night the other day to get one because I was out at home. The only other items I would do that for are toilet paper and medicines.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Day of School

I was going to post about the first day of school yesterday. Nate started his senior year and Whitney started her last year of middle school. I kind of thought with Nate being a senior I might be a little emotional. Hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will later on in the year. I hope he is prepared for this year and for life going forward. I watch my friends that have smaller children and I remember the excitement of school with little ones. I talked to my friend’s son Benjamin on his first day of first grade last week and he was so excited. He was jumping up and down on the couch waving his rubber sword wearing a Darth Vader helmet. He told me he had a great day and he played on the equipment at recess, and he has 3 recesses and he has two new friends. I talked to Nate on the first day of his senior year. He barely looked up from sports center, he needs a $100.00 calculator for trigonometry but he can rent one from the school for $10.00. And he has the same lunch hour as Macy, Courtney, Tait and Dallas so can he just go out for lunch with them every day? We covered the important things.
So to all you moms, I hope you and your children have a blessed year. Whether you choose home school, private education or public school, God bless your families and kids. For those of you who haven’t yet started your families, I pray God blesses you and your family too, and when you do have children, enjoy every minute. Because they go by too quick and you can’t turn back time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 11

These weekly updates have shown me just how quick time goes by. And here it is, another week gone. I had a good training week. I ran a lot of miles, (44.5) and Thursday night I had the best run of my life to date (I sure hope I have more great ones like this). I went to church with Steve and ran home, by myself, which typically running by myself long distance is hard for me. I have discovered a lot of things are necessary on longer runs, like vaseline to prevent chafing, water, something for sustenance part way through, because 12 miles with no nutrition is hard. I tried something brand new that I can do now because I have the garmin, I ran minutes 1 to 4 and walked 4 to 5, ran 5 to 9 walked 9 to 10, all the way through the 12.5 miles. I never felt really tired, because I started walking before I felt tired. I ran over a minute per mile faster on my time than I ever have before. I think sometimes my walk breaks have been longer than they should have been, but because I ran myself into the ground it took longer to recover. I will definitely utilize this on my long runs. I also knew every four minutes I got to walk. Maybe it was mental, but it worked. After 44.5 this week (12 miles, 4 miles, 12.5 miles, 4 miles and then 11 miles) I will probably take 2 or 3 days off from running and ride my bike instead and do some additional strength training. I am pretty tired, but nothing really hurts. My body is screaming at me "why did you do that to me?" But just in the idea of achy muscles and tired feet. I burned 6,479 calories just from running, not counting bicycling or strength training. No wonder I'm hungry all the time. I have given up painting my toenails, and it has paid off. I am able to tell by looking at them that they are healthy and I can keep them short enough to avoid losing them. I do miss my pretty toes, though. It's a sacrifice. MARATHON IS IN 56 DAYS!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Me: You need to clean your room.

Whitney: It is clean.

Me: No it isn't.

Whitney: Well except for that pile of clothes on the floor. I leave them there in case I fall out of bed. I want to land on something soft.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


My favorite movie genre would be disaster movies. I have the boxed set of Airport movies, 1970, 1975, 1979, etc. My favorite movie of all time is the original Poseidon Adventure. The recent two remakes just aren’t as good. I also enjoyed Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. And give me a movie with an avalanche, volcano, typhoon, hurricane, earthquake or asteroid, and I’m in. Even the possibility that all life may be ended if something isn’t changed will keep me glued to a movie. This includes movies about killer animals, anacondas, killer bees and tarantulas, anything that could end our lives, Aliens, Jurassic Park, and even war movies. I am fascinated by movies and television series about World War II, because again, war is a disaster and could end our lives. They are hard to watch, because my grandpa was a foot soldier in WWII and saw actual war and lived through it. Picturing him in those rotten situations is not fun. But I watch it because I get to see a re-enactment and I know what my freedom cost people I love dearly.
I realize a lot of these things will never happen, (some couldn’t), but the premise that we are all going to die if someone doesn’t rescue us never fails to draw me in. Take the Poseidon Adventure. One man heroically takes control and says we have to go to the bottom of the ship (UP) to get out. A handful of people follow him and are saved. In Armageddon a group of misfit oil drillers become astronauts (I also love space movies, The Right Stuff, Apollo 13) and one man gets to sacrifice his life to save everyone on planet earth. Recently the movie The Day After Tomorrow came out, it was about a weather disturbance that caused another ice age. Everyone who listened and did what they were told lived. The ones who did things their own way died. And those who never got the message also died, without getting the opportunity to make any decision. Every disaster movie has at least one hero, many times more than one. What makes me love these movies is that things are so dark and dire, civilization is coming to an end. And at the last moment, someone saves the day.
In my list of favorite disaster movies, I would have to include The Passion of the Christ. Up to this point in history, there was disaster looming in a big way. In the movie, we don’t it. We briefly see the snake Jesus steps on at the beginning of the movie and the creepy guy. But the snake and the creepy guy are the worst disaster the world has ever faced, ever will face. It’s not the tidal wave, the volcano, the hurricane, the asteroid, or the storm, it is the deadliest of all these. The disaster that might ruin our life on earth, might even end it is nothing compared to the disaster of spending eternity in Hell instead of Heaven. In the Passion of the Christ we get to see our hero and we get to see his triumphant resurrection from the grave. I’m sure Jesus was not seen as a hero to anyone on earth who knew him the day he died. It was nightmarish for those who loved him. But imagine when they saw him alive a few days later. Now that is a hero. And when I read Revelation I can’t wait for the ultimate “war movie” when Jesus leads his army on earth. I really don’t think he will need an army, I think it’s for effect. I think he is the one man that could do it by himself, forget Rambo, Terminator and Chuck Norris.
Just like the movie The Day After Tomorrow, we all have a choice, to choose the salvation from our sin that is available because of Jesus death on the cross, or to do things our way, think we can earn it and be good enough on our own and face our eternity without Jesus. And just like The Day After Tomorrow, there were those who never got the message. They never knew of the storm, no one warned them to stay inside. I was reminded of this last week when a friend was telling me about sharing Jesus with a co-worker. Are we doing all we can to save our friends from disaster?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm already an after

I found a disk of pictures from the Little League World Series July 2006. One of the mom's made copies of all her pictures for us. This was on there.
This was the week before I started my fitness program. And I realized looking at this picture from June which I have showed you before, that I'M ALREADY AN AFTER! Three years later I have made enough of a difference to show a before and after and know I have made huge changes, both inside and out.

There will be another "after" picture, after the marathon. I plan after this training and running the marathon to keep running and working out, but at some point I am going to accept I have arrived at my destination and I feel like I'm getting close.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday, Monday

I'm sitting here at the computer thinking of all the things I've done today and all the things I still need to get done tonight, and don't want to do anything. I worked my 8 hour shift, avoided two line stoppages and made a delivery to a supplier. I got the oil changed in my car. Had lunch with my kids. Went to the grocery store for necessities (diet coke, honeybuns and toilet paper). Took Whitney to spend the night with a friend, what with this being the last week before school starts. My four mile run got rained out. Well, not the rain, it was the lightning that kept me in. Took a 10 minute power nap. Wish it was longer, but when Steve turned on the DVR's episode of UFC (ultimate fighting) the volume was much louder so I woke up. Fixed dinner, tuna casserole, peas and biscuits. Leftovers anyone? Load of laundry in the dryer, should start another one and put away the one I took out when I got home from work. Dishwasher waiting to be unloaded, lunches needing to be packed. Vacuumed, charged the Garmin, brought the baseball glove in that was left in the rain and getting it dried. Will be up waiting for Nate to get home from a friend's house. Not asking for pity, this is my life, has been for many years now, and it's a good one. My husband is sitting happily on the couch watching a news show. Kids with friends, and both are good christian kids. Food in the fridge, toilet paper in the bathroom, air conditioning working well. In an industry that is always struck hard by recession, my husband and I are still both employed. His employer is making 10% cuts, which means he will only work half a day on Fridays. We will figure a way to cut somewhere (give up diet coke, maybe). God always works it out for us. Has never let us down. Our kids are healthy. Our parents are healthy. I have a good marriage. I have wonderful friends to talk to and spend time with. I have even made friends through my blog. People I have never met, but will someday because we will spend our eternity the same place. I have so much to be thankful for. I had a busy day. I'm tired. But I am able to do all these things. Physically and financially I am able to lead a very blessed life. Just felt like publicly counting my blessings. So happy to have a fulfilling (if tiring) life. It might be pointed out here I'm a little tired from my 12 mile run and 11.25 mile bike ride yesterday, but honestly, these energize, not tire.
I have a friend who lost a brother last week. A friend who lost a brother-in-law in a freak accident last week. A friend who's mother is having a biopsy this week because tests last week were inconclusive. Someone I loves daughter is in a children's home tonight because she ran away this weekend, it's believed she's using drugs. And everyone of these people will also tell you how good God is, and that is where their hope is.
I have read Genesis the last two days and I couldn't help but make the parallel that there was trouble then. No one gets a pass. But we all get God. And that my friends, is all we need. Have a blessed week. I do have to pack lunches.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week 10

This week I did my mid-week runs fairly easily. The strength training was a booger. Steve was with me and told me if I could do 40 reps I probably should increase my weights so that at about rep 8 I should feel like I can't do any more. So I powered through 20 pound hammer dumb bells and 40 pound barbell bicep curls. I felt like Wonder Woman. Then I did abs including reverse crunches w/ball. My abs still hurt today (and that was Tuesday).
My long run on Saturday was exactly that. Long. And hot. My running partner Sheila was finally able to run with me after 3 weekends of softball tournaments with her daughter and then vacation to Florida. Her, Steve and I ran 12 miles and 5 of them were face first into 25 mph winds with gusts up to 31 mph. Brutal. Sunday Steve and I rode our bikes and again it was really windy, same 25 mph winds with 31 mph gusts. It is hard to ride (or run) face first into that kind of wind. I like to avoid the wind, but learned a lesson about that when we ran a half marathon in June and had to run 4 miles uphill against 25 mph winds, and Kansas doesn't offer much in the way of wind breaks. So it is something I try not to let keep me from running. I do like the GU energy gel packs. They are portable, easy to consume, and much more effective than a handful of skittles or gummy bears. I am sold on the Joint MD. Glucosamine has become a necessary part of my life, I take it with my vitamin now. It has made a difference in the way my knees, ankles and feet feel. I also like the Garmin. It's pretty cool to know you are running 6.2 mph and anytime you look at it you know exactly how far you have ran. (Which translates for me exactly how far I have left to go.
I'm going to repeat something I have said before. One thing that continues to amaze me is the increased strength I have. I don't mean for lifting heavier weight, although that's pretty great. The strength I'm talking about is more stamina. Working hard one day and getting up able to work hard the next. I really like this and don't want to lose it. I feel so much better.

I have decided this week to put in a spiritual training regimen that is as challenging as the marathon training. It will be physically less demanding, require less time, and I'm sure it will be harder. But I CAN do it, and I think it's important. I most likely will share more on this at a later date.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

My daughter turns 13 on Sunday. Since all my Friday posts are dedicated to her, I’m going to celebrate her today. She is sugar and spice and snips and snails both. Girliest of girls; nails, curly hair, mascara and sleepovers. Shins covered in wood burns from diving in volleyball tournaments. Climbs trees. Plays video games. She has been one of the unexpected blessings of my life. When Steve and I got married he had 3 girls, I had Nate, and we thought 4 was enough. God knew it wasn’t, he knew we needed her. She is unpredictable, has been that way since she made her way into the world 10 days early. Sent me to the hospital 3 times before she actually put in her appearance. First two pains were two minutes apart, then seven, then four then nine, then two. She didn’t sleep all night until she started kindergarten, and still doesn’t sleep well. She is proof that sleeping disorders can be genetic. She sleeps as hard as her dad, it’s impossible to wake her up. She also suffers from insomnia like me. (May add to why she’s so hard to wake up.) She watches QVC to fall asleep. I love everything about this girl, but here are some specifics:

1. She finds humor in some of the dumbest things, and this is contagious. Like the word “hobo”.
2. She makes me laugh.
3. She is determined. She does not quit, she does not give up.
4. She told her dad after a particularly rough episode with one of her sisters that there would be “none of that teenage drama from me. I will be the good child.”
5. She knows how to forgive and put things behind her. I have seen her forgive some pretty rotten treatment.
6. She likes my adult friends. Wants to know about them, likes to meet them, wants to hear stories about them and loves to interact with them.
7. She makes me laugh. (I know I already listed this, but it is worth repeating.)
8. Saturday nights she will spend hours trying on different outfits with different shoes trying to decide what to wear to church. I love to watch this.
Here is a picture from her party with her brother, cousins, Nate and Cameron's girlfriends and my sister. Whitney is the second girl on the right side of the table.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Age is only a number

All those trite sayings, appearance isn’t everything, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, beauty is only skin deep…yeah, tell that one to the 13 year old who wears bifocals or reading glasses over her contacts and just got braces and hasn’t yet lost her baby fat. This one is from the Bible, man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. I don’t consider this trite, I think it is much deeper than just saying who cares about your appearance God cares about your heart. But think about it, if you say this to the 35+ year old woman whose husband left her and her 3 pre-teen/young teenage kids for another woman and she has seen the reality that 15 pounds of leftover pregnancy weight (per child) and no education and job experience because she worked to finance his college degree and then stayed home and took care of the kids, it’s not going to be a big encouragement to her. She’s thinking “my heart is beautiful, but I can’t provide what my kids really need, THEIR DAD, and I’m lonely and will most likely always be this way.”
I was thinking about appearances at the gym last time I was there. There are women there with their hair fixed nicer than mine ever looks (Steve likes it natural and wild, happy to comply) even in ponytails. They have full make up on. My face absorbs make up. I put a coat on and can still see the brown spots on my right cheek. I put another coat on, can still see them. Powder, still can’t cover it up. When I put blush on, can’t see it, I add more and more, until you would think I looked like a clown, but still, can’t see it. Eye shadow is the same way. Put the lightest tone on, can’t see it, figured it was too light, so I tried the medium, and couldn’t see it, so thought it was my flesh color, put on the dark, and it’s dark, and it changes to my skin color as well. I wear two different types of mascara in multiple layers just so you can see my eyelashes. On the whole, I have just accepted this and do the best I can. But the outfits! Oh my. Some of these women are very well turned out for the gym. Everything is grey and pink, or neon green and black even down to their tennis shoes. I was wearing a white tee shirt I got from the fair for free 9 years ago with a pair of navy blue with white trim Umbro soccer shorts I have had longer than I’ve had Steve. He wears them most of the time. The sides of the leg are split and one side has ripped a little way up. I buy my tennis shoes by particular style and brand and will take whatever color they make them in that season. Of course, when I’m exercising, I’m all about comfort. I have my favorite running clothes, and they are what I wear. My friend Sheila is the same way even down to having two identical shirts except one is blue and one is green, and she likes one of them better.
I think we should make an effort to look decent, maybe even better than decent, appropriate for the location and activity, even maybe look our best??? I don’t think we should make ourselves crazy over this. The other day we were driving home from Walmart and we saw a couple, obviously retired, driving down the sidewalk in their golf cart. They seemed to be having a good time. My son laughs and says he loves old people. He can’t wait to be old. Why do we need to wait to be a certain age to feel free to do what makes us happy? I mean totally within moral and ethical and legal bounds. Why do we worry about what people think about us on things that don’t matter? If they don’t like your clothes (or shoes) who cares? If what you say isn’t offensive, they just disagree, who cares? Life is too short. I don’t share my son’s sentiment that I can’t wait to be old because I know what aging does to your body. But if freedom from people’s judgment comes with old age, I’m putting on my red hat and eating at Golden Corral.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Amnesty Day

Last week I watched a news report on the first annual Connecticut Exotic Pet Amnesty Day. The Florida Wildlife Fish and Game Commission has hosted these for several years now. The pets are collected, examined by vets, where possible adopted by other pet owners or placed in zoos. Many of the pets are not illegal to own, just become very hard to care for. The owners, wrongly think it is okay to release them into the wild. A vast majority of these pets will die. Captive bred pets have not learned the skills necessary to survive in the wild. On the flip side of that, some animals thrive and take over the Ecosystem they are released into in and “invasive species” kind of way. Iguanas and Burmese pythons have established populations in Florida. Chameleons are causing concern in Hawaii. Even Parakeets have colonized some areas to the detriment of native species and agriculture.
Many of the exotic pets I know of can be deadly. I’m even afraid of Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. I could never understand why you would bring something into your house that could kill you. I realize guns and knives and household cleaners can kill me, but they require an action on human part for that to happen. I’m talking something that without you doing anything can kill you.
Then I realized that I play around with stuff that has great potential to hurt me, and don’t really give it a second thought. Things that are deadly to my spiritual and emotional life. I get out of the habit of reading my Bible every morning. I don’t discipline my kids on issues of behavior because it’s easier to pretend I’m unaware (don’t judge me, remember this when you are on kids 4 and 5 well into their teenage years. You just get tired). I become lazy in my marriage and don’t let my husband know how wonderful he really is. After a long rough day at work when you get home to a mountain of laundry, a sink full of dishes, 3 hungry people watching TV and playing basketball (NOT doing any chores) the last thing I want to do is smile and say “hi everyone. How was your day? DID YOU ENJOY DOING NOTHING???” Okay, got that out of my system. They all have selective vision, they really don’t see the dishes or dust.
So I’m declaring an amnesty day, I’m looking at my life and deciding what “exotic pets” need to go. Some are illegal and will require confession and forgiveness. Some have just grown too big for me to handle and I just need to let them go, not take care of them anymore.

Now to make this a “horror” blog, I’m going to share three TRUE LIFE snake stories.
1. From my son – a guy had taken care of his boa and forgot to put the top on the terrarium. He then went to bed and to sleep. He woke up with the snake stretched out next to him on the bed. He thought it was dead, but when he picked it up it was still alive so he put it back in the terrarium and took it to the vet. The vet told him the snake was “sizing him up”, he was about to be breakfast. When the victim is alive, they have to crush it and kill it. But if it’s already dead, they just size him up and swallow. Terrifying. Really. (My nephew actually knows this guy.)
2. From a friend of my husband – he and his dad had gone to youth camp and his mom had stayed home. She sat down to lunch one day while they were gone and looked across the table and a snake was slithering up the chair across the table from her. She got the broom and poked and tried to push it out the door onto the deck. She got it close and it slithered behind the refrigerator. She caught it on the broom and threw it on the deck. It opened its mouth and hissed at her, and it was a cotton mouth. She got the hoe, and killed the snake (and splintered part of the deck, I’m told) and then didn’t think her husband and son would believe her, so she hung it over the grill till they got home. Friend made the comment, wonder how long it had been living under our dining room table?
3. Preacher on the radio this morning – snake handler had a boa from the time it was 7 inches long. Trained it, fed it, took care of it, took it to exhibitions. Last exhibition he took it too, he opened the cage, the snake slithered out and wrapped himself around the handler. The crowd went wild for about 30 seconds. Then they noticed the guy turning blue. It got very quiet, and they could hear the sound of bones breaking.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Week 9

I started this week off schedule, by resting on Sunday which is normally cross training. Being somewhat (okay, a whole lot) of a rebel, this doesn’t really bother me. I switch my training days to fit my schedule, if I miss one, it doesn’t make me repeat a week or try to squeeze it in elsewhere, I just keep going forward. If I’m supposed to run 16 miles and I cut a corner or two it’s not a big deal. What is a big deal is missing more than one or two work outs in a row. I may be off schedule, and I may skip one or two, but after that, I miss it. This is what leads me to believe I am actually a runner, not just someone who runs. If something hurts, I google the running pain to find out if I have to rest or if I can keep running. I have more running clothes than I have work clothes. I have my next 4 races planned. I’m not registered, but I have them planned and the training plan in place to make sure I’m ready for them.
This week’s workouts:
Monday 3 mile run, I didn’t attempt to do it fast or better, I just ran.
Tuesday strength training, stretching and spin bike. Spin bike seats are painful.
Wednesday 5 mile run.
Thursday and Friday both I didn’t exercise.
Saturday's 18 mile run ended up being a bike ride and moved the 18 mile to Sunday.
Sunday, due to the 15 mph south winds, we drove 20 miles north and parked the car so we could run with a tailwind the whole way. Steve was running 20 I was scheduled for 18. I wasn't going to make 18 in the time he made 20, and I knew it. I made it 7 miles before the chafing was so bad I gave up. Running when your legs are chafing is miserable. Dealing with the rash the next few days is also miserable. I was disappointed, I was hoping for 16 miles today, but I can't make myself consider running 7.2 miles failure. I will just press on
I have added some things to my training:
These are hard to see, but this is the route I'm running with mileage and water stops marked. It helps me plan where to drop water and I also have an idea of how far I have run. The phone is showing my stopwatch, so I can accurately track my time.
This is a garmin GPS a friend loaned us to see if we get enough use out of it to make it worth our money to purchase our own. Then, I have added Joint MD and it is really helping my legs. The GU are energy gel, like eating frosting. They taste okay. Not as good as frosting, but not bad. It's easy to run with one or two in a pocket and have them during the run for added energy as well.
All things considered, I'm still feeling pretty positive and like I'm on track. I'm glad I'm way ahead of schedule, so two weeks in a row missing my distance doesn't knock me out of being ready in October.
Hope everyone has a great week.