Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolution #3

TO NOT FALL DOWN! Good luck with that. Twice this year. Which probably isn't much considering how many days and how many miles I ran this year. This morning I wiped out. Had there been judges, I would have scored high 9's and 10's on this one. Here's the story.
I couldn't sleep last night. I was dealing with two separate issues that had me unable to sleep, required prayer, and by 4:30 a.m. when I was still up, I layered up, laced up, and hit the road. Told Nate to keep his phone on and close to him in case I needed someone. This sounds early, but if it was a work day, it would not be too early, so I figured I was okay. I ran. Hard. I thought I would run and pray and run until I felt I needed to turn around. At 7 miles, I turned around, even though I didn't think it was necessary, it was just far enough. Did I get an answer to my prayers? Actually, didn't need an answer, needed the strength and guidance to just do the right thing. Some things I don't need to pray and ask for answer, God's Word is very clear on our responsibilities as parents, "train up a child", "spare the rod, spoil the child", "parents, do not provoke your children", etc. It's just hard. It's also very cut and dried, "wives, submit to your husbands". So the prayer time was not asking for guidance, it was asking for the kick in the pants this willful woman needed to do what she knew was right.
So here I am on my 14 mile run. It's 21 degrees. I can see my breath. To the point that a few times I felt I was running through fog. I am flying. For me, this was the fastest double digit time I have ever posted. I was wearing my headlamp, but I was not concentrating on the path. I'm on my way home, about mile 9.5 and I have to cross a bridge, on the street with 5 lanes of traffic. It's 6:30, not much traffic, but I still sprint across the bridge (I have to, there is a bike path sidewalk that runs under this bridge, but I have seen sleeping bags and two liter bottles under there, so I don't ever run underneath the bridge by myself). I get across the bridge, hop over the cement divider and hit the ground running. For two steps. Then I'm skidding on my hands, chest, belly and thighs. Lots of things hurt, so I lay really still for a moment to see how badly I'm hurt. Fortunately I'm covered head to toe, so there is no blood. I did rip a whole in the palm of my right glove, but since I was wearing two pair, I was okay. After a moment of being still, I started getting cold and I realized I was okay to continue running and not call Nate to come pick me up, so I took off again. 16 hours later the bruises have shown up, and I'm stiff. Both knees are purple, my left thigh is scraped and purple, my stomach has a bruise and the back of my left hand is bruised. I can't explain that one. I still consider this a successful run. I came home with peace about how to deal with my circumstances (and they weren't terrible, but when it's family relationships, it's always a big deal to me to handle it correct) and a 14 mile run in 149:26 which for me is moving for that distance, and includes the time I spent skidding and laying on the sidewalk.
So back to resolution #3. The wipe out this morning is almost metaphorical for me. Had I not spent the time praying and clearing my head (on my run) and had handled my situation the way I wanted to in the moment, I would've wiped out. I would not have been proud of the my immediate decision, would've had to apologize, and then would have felt bad. This would've been a harder wipe out to heal from then my literal wipeout. I resolve this year to "not fall down". To make decisions after I talk to God. After I search his Word, or just remember the Scriptures I know that deal with the topic I'm needing to make a decision on.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Resolution #2

I am going to spend more time with my friends. Some of them will see it here first, because they don't know this is one of my resolutions. I think I spend too much time watching TV when I could be around my friends. And since I never know when they will UP AND MOVE away (California, Massachusetts, Texas, you know who you are) I intend to spend more time with you now. So those of you who are still here, look out. Those of you who moved away, well, I'm coming to visit. And those of you planning on visiting Wichita better look me up. And I mean in the most loving threatening way possible.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Resolution #1

In 2011 I resolve to eat better/healthier. Since Thanksgiving due to holiday and birthday celebrations I have eaten at Cafe Bel Ami, The Anchor (2x), College Hill Deli, Uptown Bistro, On the Border, Taco Shop, Scholtsky's Deli (2x), and Cracker Barrel. Then throw in Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas dinners and desserts, and birthday cake, well, it's been a very fattening month. Add to the fact that I find myself eating a meal that is sugar cookies and fudge (yes, I did have that for dinner one night when no one else was home). There was the piece of pumpkin pie that I did not top with cool whip, I took the half tub of cool whip, no lie, and put the piece of pie in the tub and then ate it. Sugar Babies at the movie theater. All this, and I managed to lose two pounds through the holiday season. HOW??? By Running 116.92 miles in the last five weeks, spending 6 hours on the elliptical, 1 hour on the spin bike (my behind said not to do that again) and 12 core express (abdominal) work outs, totaling 6 hours. I think I ate two salads in the last 5 weeks. So here is to making better food choices going forward. Maybe not better, but definitely healthier.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Conversations With Whitney

Setting: Sheila’s kitchen

Emily: After we go to lunch Whitney is coming home with us.
Me: Okay
Emily: And we are spending a lot of time together over the break.
Me: That’s okay, I like for Whitney to be around you. If you guys do something bad, I know you will get in trouble by your mom.
Emily: (disgusted snort) What will we do bad?
Me: I don’t know, knock over a liquor store?
Emily: Nah, we did that last time.

Also heard..."Whitney, you are so cool, you are practically frozen"

Call His Name...

Black is not the new pink. And 40 is not the new 30. Black is still black and 40 is still 40 (or 43 in my case). What brings up my deep thinking today, you might ask? Or not, but I’m going to share anyway. I got my haircut. A lot. 6 inches or so off plus layers and bangs. And I have been asked some very challenging questions about this. What made me decide to cut my hair? Do I miss it? Did I do it to look younger? (Because I have heard that I do, 10 years. Which makes me 33 instead of 43.) Am I hiding my forehead? (Yep, that one made me laugh too.) Honest answer is that I wanted to. And I like it…except I’m afraid I might now look like a soccer (volleyball) mom.
I didn’t think that till today. But I’m kind of dressed in the sports mom uniform. Jeans. Tennis shoes. Fleece pullover. But it is casual day. I’m usually dressed up. Or in running clothes.
I was surprised that a haircut got this much attention. This haircust has nothing to do with how I behave or how I feel. In fact, I don't know the difference except when I fix it or walk by a mirror. Or when I'm running, my pony tail/bun was pretty heavy. My bun bobbled around on my head and my sweaty pony tail whipped around and slapped my face.

All this drove home a point I continue to reiterate to myself right now. Just as I am not what my hair looks like (ten years younger) or what clothes I wear (soccer mom), I also am not who people say I am. I am who God says I am. I am reminding Steve of this also, as he is going through some rough times. Sometimes life beats us down. People beat us down. And we keep our chins up and power on. But sometimes life and people find just the right combination of words and actions to really get us where it hurts most. Make you question everything about yourself. It’s even worse when you know it’s purposed to hurt you. Once they get you down they start kicking you. This is when we remember we are who God says we are. Chosen, forgiven, redeemed, gifted, fearfully and wonderfully and PURPOSEFULLY made. In His image. And we are loved. LOVED! I can’t say that enough. We are loved.
This Christmas season there has only been one time I've been moved to tears. This is very unusual for me because I cry easy. It was not a Folgers commercial or a lifetime movie (Steve is addicted to them). It was not even tears of joy that a new Tom Clancy novel was released earlier this month. 950 pages of nirvana for this Clancy geek.
I was reading the Christmas story and it was the phrase "he will be called Jesus". Not the idea of him being named Jesus, the idea that we can “call Jesus” and when we call Jesus we are immediately in his presence. He’s as close as the mention of his name. He's there, waiting for us, wanting us to call on him. Luke 2:21 "his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's going on!

I'm a procrastinator. Or just laid back about things. Still have Christmas shopping to do. Last week on Wednesday I was going to put up my tree. I was going to buy an artificial one this year. But that takes planning. Actually going shopping for something specific I can't just pick up while I'm grocery shopping. I'm not very good at that. Steve called me Wednesday, he won this in the raffle at work. They delivered it fully decorated.
I have a tree forever now. Won't have to resort to 2008's tree again.
This is the crew tee shirts Steve had made for his crew at the Ozark Trail 100.

I get 11 days off for the holidays. I'm so excited! I plan to read, sleep, go out to eat with friends, etc. Just hang out and do whatever, whenever. Can't wait!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Training Update

This marks the end of 6 weeks since I started running after my stress fracture. Fortunately I have not had any setbacks with the stress fracture. Unfortunately, my body is having a hard time getting used to the aches and pains again. My feet and legs have been screaming at me. In some ways it was like I never quit running, I can go out and run 10 miles, sprint 3 at full tilt. In other ways, it’s like starting over again. Getting used to the tight calves, scheduling the running back into my life, sweating, the smell of running clothes, etc.
I am registered to run a 50K (31 miles) in February. I was waffling about signing up, but Steve said he thought I could do it, and knowing he believes in me was all I needed.
Normally I wouldn’t share this information, because I have a peeve about people listing all the stuff they “got” for a birthday or Christmas or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day or Anniversary (you get the idea). However, for my birthday this month I was very surprised to receive new trail shoes. I love them. It’s like running on clouds or marshmallows or cotton. Then he surprised me even more with cold weather running tights. They work. Earphones that stay in when I run. Running gloves that are fleece and some other magic fabric that keep my hands nice and warm. Best of all, a light weight warm dry fit running jacket with built in mittens. It’s bright pink, he picked pink so he wouldn’t borrow it. (He has since received one of his own, in a nice manly black with royal blue trim because that was just so sweet.)
I have really enjoyed running in the cold and the dark. I didn’t enjoy the 15 miles on Saturday. By 7 miles I was done. And we hadn’t turned around yet. The trail running nazi (Steve) added the extra mile loop at the front of the run (because he knew I wouldn’t do it at the end) and then proceeded to show me the new trails he found back by the river. It was cool, definitely, but hilly and sandy. And by hilly I mean not flat. Total elevation increase/decrease may have been 45 feet. But at that point in the run just picking my feet up was success. Finished 15.37 miles and actually in an okay time, considering bathroom breaks and countless stops to dump sand out of my shoes. It just seemed rough. So I pulled out last summers training journal and was surprised to find that this distance, this week of training last summer was the worst run I had. In the notes section I actually wrote “WORST RUN EVER!” So maybe it’s going to get better from here. Gonna think that way, because there is no way I can stop running. I have all this cool running gear now.
Another side note to my training, core strength is good for runners. I don’t have a weak core, pretty strong abs and back, but decided I wasn’t working them enough and told Steve I was going to start taking core express classes at the Y. These are 30 minute classes strictly working the abs and back. He said he would come with me. He is every instructor’s favorite student. (We take classes from 3 different instructors). He does get a good work out, because like me, he tends to slack on ab work and would never do 30 minutes 3 times a week on his own. But every time the instructor gives options with 1 being easiest and 3 being superman he can do the superman. They really are called superman, because typically you do this option with your arms straight out over your head like superman does when he flies. I struggle to complete some of the sets we do, and struggle to do some of the exercises. I’m getting better. In one of last week’s classes the instructor told us the exercise we were going to do and I heard Steve beside me start laughing. I knew then I was in trouble. If “superman” laughs, it’s beyond me. And it was. So my new goal is to be able to do these. I’m going to see try and describe them.
1. Put gliders under your feet – gliders are round cardboard covered cloth pieces that make your hands and feet slide on the polished wood floor.
2. Get in plank/push up position
3. Walk forward four steps with your hands, pulling your feet behind you
4. Pull knees up to chest, still only touching the floor with your hands and feet
5. Push knees back to plank position
6. Walk backward four steps, pushing your feet backwards
7. Do 4 push ups
8. Repeat 7 more times, never lowering your body to the floor.
INSTRUCTOR IS A SADIST!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sunburn & Thorns

I was sharing prayer requests with a friend this week and I told her I was struggling with something. She told me she wished she could send me sunshine and roses. I commented that sunshine comes with sunburn and roses come with thorns, maybe I should put on my SPF and my gardening gloves and just get on with it. And then I thought about what I said. How sunny and beautiful my life really is, but I'm focusing on the thorns and sunburn. How often I think I’m in a bad place, when I’m really just dealing with the thorn of something very beautiful in my life. For example (a lighthearted example), Whitney is a rose in my life. She is beautiful. I could literally just sit and look at her for hours. But she’s 14, not a sleeping baby and it, in her words, is creepy. She’s fragrant. (NOT literally, she wore my tennis shoes to the Y the other day and I wouldn’t put them on for two days, I was afraid my feet might melt). By fragrant, I mean people are drawn to her, they love her. I walked down the hallway at church Sunday morning on our way out and 3 guys I’ve known for a long time, (in a church of 4000 people I can walk down the hallway and never see anyone I know) played volleyball with, socialize with, know their wives and kids, etc. were in the hallway. None of them spoke to me. Because they were all too busy smiling and speaking to Whitney, including one high five and one fist bump. But she’s a thorny little thing when she wants to be. I tell her to clean her room (her bedroom is a thorn all on its own) and I end up with two loads of laundry and a sink full of dishes. Attitude in the mornings. Thirty minute car rides where she never speaks. Just little thorns, nothing some good gloves can’t fix.
Steve is definitely sunshine in my life. Someone who loves me, and makes sure I know he does. He’s good to me, and he likes to spend time with me. He encourages me. He makes me a better person. But be careful standing to close to him, cause you can get sunburned. And do not look directly at him. (I make me laugh). I have so much to be thankful for. I am employed. Rose, right? Don’t always like everything about my job, it has some thorns. I have 3 dependable vehicles. Sunshine, most definitely. Flat tires, oil changes, there is some burn. Enough with the analogies, when I started looking for sunshine and roses, I found a lot of brightness and beauty in my life. And sometimes the trials I think I’m feeling come from these blessings. And I want the blessings. So here’s sending sunshine and roses your way, and a reminder to myself as well, don’t forget your SPF and gardening gloves.

Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! (The Amplified Bible)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. It's rare, you cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has10,000 calories in every sip? It's a treat. Enjoy it, have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it.
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Pecan, Chocolate, Lemon... Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like Pecan, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. Have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read these tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm just sitting here at the computer listening to my kids laugh. I love to hear them laugh.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: In the car listening to the radio, the groups name is 3 Oh 3

Me: This is really weird.
Whitney: This isn't anything.
Me: When I was your age we had Madonna and Devo. That was cutting edge. You have a woman who wears her bra to Yankees games and meat dresses to awards shows.
Maddi: Yeah, you know how weird it's going to be in ten years?
Me: I was thinking the same thing. What will your kids grow up with?
Whitney: We'll all be wearing meat by then.
Maddi: We're going to die of salmonella or e coli or mad cow or something.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Whitney's hair

My daughter has been blessed with quite possibly the most awesome hair ever. Two of these pictures had me rolling, so I thought I'd share some "awesome hair moments" of Whitney. (And these are all since school started in August).










You say it's your birthday...

It's my birthday too, yeah!
It really is. I'm celebrating being another year older today. Another day closer to Heaven. And I wish I had something clever to share about the 43 years of my life. Or even something great and enlightening about the last year. But I don't.
So happy birthday to me. Check out my new trail shoes. Amazingly bright, would have never picked these out, but Newton only makes one color per year so I have these to go with my bright orange and green sparkly street shoes. But they are the most wonderfully comfortable feet friendly shoes I've ever worn. I took them for a 14 mile birthday run this weekend. Steve and I are going to celebrate next weekend. He's kind of great to me, new running shoes and he slows down and runs with me. I couldn't ask for more.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When Infection is a good thing

I have splinters in two of my fingers. At the Turkey Trot I washed my hands off with water from my water bottle and then drug them through the grass to dry them. In a sand burr patch. Been pulling stickers out ever since. I still have two. I can't find the entrance to dig them out. I've been trying with no luck. My fingers hurt. They are swollen and red. But I can't see the pockets of infection under the skin...yet. I know it's coming. Earlier this week I had one splinter that I could see the infection around and so I pricked it and when I squeezed the sticker came out with the infection. I'm waiting for the next two.
In my Bible study this week I realized I have seen this happen in my Christian life. I get a "splinter". Bitterness, lust, greed, selfishness, discontentment. And if not removed immediately, however painful it is, it worms its way in deeper and deeper. But these emotions, like my splinter, are harmful, and they have bad results in my spiritual life, just like the splinter does in my finger. I can put topical medicine on them, a smile, a have a good day, band aid it even, but it doesn't get the source of the problem. Right now, I'm soaking my finger every day a couple of times in epsom salts because the doctor's office says this will bring the splinters to the surface so I can pull them out.
This is what I need to do with these spiritual splinters. Soak them out with the truth of God's Word. Dig into them with a needle and tweezers and dig the sticker out. Poke the infection and squeeze every bit of the infection as well as the splinter out of my body. Recently I've had one of these splinters worming it's way under the surface. But fortunately, God gave me this little object lesson and brought it to mind before I completely let it get absorbed under my skin. Because God is cool like that. He will leave use something as simple (and painful) as a sand burr to get my attention. And I won't even tell you the events that happened to get me to stick my hand in the sand burr patch. But God can make you uncomfortable to get your attention. And it can hurt. And humiliate. And free you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

And yet another one from Nate:

Maddi: Your hair is getting really long.
Me & Nate in unison: Thank you
Me: Oh sorry, thought you were talking to me.
Maddi: I was
Nate: What's the matter, don't you like "the Fluff" runs his hand through his hair and it sticks straight up, about three inches
Me: The Fluff?
Nate: Yep, that's what I call it
Me: If it gets any longer you can have a Bieber
Nate: I would commit suici...I'd cut my hair
Me: much laughter
Nate: I realized how stupid that sounded.

Monday, November 29, 2010

In My Corner

I ate Thanksgiving dinner. And didn't feel out of control or stuffed afterward.
I completed every workout on my training plan last week. This was a huge undertaking, coming back from a stress fracture.
I registered for a race in February. Have never signed up this far in advance. Puts a lot of pressure on me.
I enjoyed extra time spent with my husband this weekend.
I saw God at work in my life.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting my house, breaker was weak and my dryer wasn't getting hot.

Whitney: Yay! Our dryer is fixed. No more crispy towels.(I've been line drying them.)
Nate: Yes, it's been like a towel and exfoliator in one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm baaaaack

Got new trail shoes, new cold weather tights, all Nate's old cold weather baseball shirts and my very own headlamp. I can't run whenever and wherever I want. I'm so excited.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In My Corner...

I watched the most exciting football game I think I've ever seen. Heights didn't lead in the game until 24 seconds left in the 4th quarter. They are going to state. GO FALCONS!!!
I ran ten miles in the 2010 Wichita Turkey Trot. Third year in a row. Not bad considering I didn't run for 6 of the last 8 weeks because of a stress fracture. Ran with the biggest grin, because I got to run. People thought I was so friendly...
I endured a really bad day. Prayed for guidance and peace and to hold my tongue. God answered, and turned a bad situation completely around, better than I thought possible.
I made fudge. And shared this time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Bumped for Nate again...
Nate: I might take fire sciences this semester.
Me: I didn't know you were interested in being a fireman.
Nate: I'd be a good fireman.
Me: I think so too.
Nate: I'd be safer running into a burning building than I would be working in an office.
Me: really?
Nate: yeah, if I worked in an office I would commit suicide.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Game

I was thinking last week that if life is a game, I'm on the bench. With no hope of getting in the game. Just don't have the right skills for the game. Then I got to thinking that if life is a game, maybe I'm playing the wrong one. If life is a baseball game and I'm playing volleyball, I'm dressed wrong, playing by the wrong rules, and I'm short a few players on my team. My Bible study today talked about David and when the Amalekites took all the women and children away, didn't kill any of them, and David prayed and asked God if he should chase them and God told him to chase them and catch them, he would have success. David did have success, got all of the women and children that belonged to the men of his army back. Not without a fight. God had promised him success. But it was still a battle. It was a win. It was a tough, hard win. It was not a big win, but it was a win. Do you ever feel like you need a win? I do.
I decided that I have to focus on what I know, not on what I feel. I also decided I don't want to play the game anymore. Trying to decide if I would be a better coach, referee, sportscaster or cheerleader. Or maybe groundskeeper.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tar Baby Relationships


Do you remember the story of Tar Baby and Brer Rabbit? The Fox played a trick on Brer Rabbit and made a cute baby doll out of tar and stuck it on the side of the road. Brer Rabbit tried to talk to him and he didn't answer, so he hit him. And stuck to him. So he hit him with the other hand. And stuck. Jumped up to kick him, feet stuck. Head butted him, and by this time he is completely stuck and covered in tar.
I have relationships like this. We really don't communicate, but we are stuck together. Our lives are intertwined and there is no getting out of it. In my case, there is more than one, and some is family and some are just peripheral people that will always be somehow in my life, no matter what. A friend of mine once said it this way, some relationships will never be right this side of Heaven. Much more eloquent then my tar baby analogy. Stuck in relationships that are falling apart.
I would love right here to give great advice and talk all peace and love and hallelujah we're all brothers and sisters in Christ, but it happened all through the Bible. Abraham and Lot and their herdsman had to split up because they fought over land. Joseph's brothers threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery. Paul and Barnabas separated on a missionary journey. My husband has relationships like this also. So we just deal the best we can, love with Christ's love because humanly it's not possible and wait for Christ to fix them in the everafter.

I could go on with fox throwing Brer Rabbit in the briar patch, tie that into Joseph being sold into slavery, etc. but I just don't want to work that hard.

In My Corner...

I said good bye to a very dear friend who is moving away.
I ate fudge. Like a whole pan of fudge, by myself.
I felt sick. (see above)
I ran 3.5 miles in one run. (6.5 for the week, again, see above)
I scored a cool black dress at Target for $4.58 and a new pair of hot pink Nike running shorts at the thrift store for $3.98.
I slept for 13 hours straight, last weekend finally caught up with me.
I registered for the 2011 Turkey Trot. May actually come in last place, but I'm running it anyway.
I read Runners World, Ultra Running magazine, more of Anna Karenina, portions of several books at Barnes & Noble (one of my happy places).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Running

I got to run this week. Stress fracture is all better,(weird tingly pain in two toes know, but nothing to keep me from running) and I started out low mileage like I was told. 1 mile twice this week and two miles once. It's hard stopping at that point, but I've been able to. Legs have felt great, breathing was good, except I do need to get back on the exercise induced asthma medicine for longer runs. I did these runs indoor on treadmills or the running track at the Y, and I'm really anxious to get back outside. It's chilly, but that don't bother me.
Steve is in his words, 80% back. Swelling is almost gone from his legs,I have no idea how many milligrams of salt he took, but it was a lot. Knee pain is almost gone, he walks and moves like normal not like a guy who ran 88 miles 5 days ago. We are working on a year long training plan for him (us?) and I have a pretty good race schedule lined out for him, all Kansas runs pretty much, and all trails. Get some additional trail running experience in longer distances and different terrains and paths and maybe attach the Ozark Trail 100 again in November.
Any way, life is settling back into normalcy for us,of course, change in inevitable, and we are looking at some major changes coming up in other areas of our lives. But running seems to keep us sane and fairly level, not to mention the fact that we love doing it and continue to meet great people because of this sport. Happy weekend to everyone, I'm going to enjoy mine!

Conversations with Whitney

Bumped for Nate this week. Upon our return from Missouri.

Me: I see you survived the weekend on your own.
Nate: I foraged for nuts and berries.
Me: Who ate the ramen? I see the pan on the stove.
Nate: I foraged for nuts and berries and ramen.
Me: ahhh
Nate: (quite proudly) and I cleaned my room and hung my towel after I showered.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ozark Trail 100 (aka The Steve 88) race report - crew view

The weekend started out really great. We got to Bass River Resort in plenty of time and were headed to the pre-race meeting and spaghetti dinner (runners know what I mean). Found out my camera didn't need new batteries, my camera needed replaced. Thank goodness for the droid. I mentioned Steve's water bottles to him, and his face was priceless. He forgot his water bottles. The town of Steelville, MO does have a grocery store, but does not sell insulated water bottles with handles. I got out medical tape and a tube sock and Paul, Aerospace Engineer, triathlete, rock climber, marathonner and pace runner (and he's single ladies) came up with this. Worked like a charm. Jed had the extra yellow one. Crisis averted.
Race morning we were up at 2:30 (2:00 for me) to get Steve to the bus for the starting line. I decided I wanted to go to the starting line so we jumped in behind the bus to follow them. Ozark roads with names like CR 2336 and Route 8 and Junction T had me confused. It was 26 degrees at the starting line, and dark like only a moonless night miles from civilization can be (the stars were incredible, though). This is Steve at the starting line.
I left Steve and headed to the first crew accessible aid station at mile 17.6. I knew once I got there I would have to wait for him, so I left my coat and hat and gloves on and pulled two fleece blankets over me and took a nap. I love naps. Then I headed to the aid station to wait for my runner. I got to meet a lot of runner's crews, some really nice people. And hear all kinds of stories. Steve eventually showed up and took off his running tights and changed shirts to running clothes suitable for 60 degree weather. He said he was feeling good and left his flashlight and headlamp and took off. I watched several runners come in with their legs and knees bloodied and dirty which told me how difficult the trail was.

The next aid station was at mile 43.5 and before that aid station I had to meet up with the rest of the crew (Patrick, Joni, Jed and Paul) and get Paul to the aid station to run 25 miles with Steve. We had heard of the Bixby General Store at the prerace meeting, and decided to meet there, because we didn't know of anything else. The Bixby General Store is smaller than a QuikTrip, selling everything from gas, auto supplies and hard liquor to milk and cereal. It also had a restaurant in it. I got the best cheeseburger and fries I have ever eaten. Unfortunately I couldn't eat it all and had to pass up the homemade pie. When the rest of the crew got there, they had meatloaf sandwiches, (they looked so awesome) and pie. Of course, they were running, not staying in the car. We all left Bixby and went to aid station to wait for our runner. We got to see several runners come in and leave. This was the first aid station where we saw runners in distress.
Steve came in and got his running tights and jacket, lamp, gloves and pace runner Paul for the next 25 miles and was ready to run again. He was tired, but this leg was not as technically difficult as the first 17.6 had been.
The next crew aid station was at 68.5 miles and had a 3:00 a.m. cut off. Jed (marathonner, triathlete and ultra runner) and I head over there for his turn to pace Steve and Patrick and Joni went for a nap before she paced Steve. Jed and I parked at the campground and as it was getting dark and I only had two short naps under my belt for the day I made a pallet on the ground next to my car, huddled under two fleece blankets and napped until I heard the shouts "runner"... at the aid station. Jed was up from his nap in the car and so we started to get things together for Steve. And we waited, and waited.... eventually I was so cold we went back to the car and ran the heater and seat warmers to get the cold out of our bones.
There was a point I started getting worried about Steve. I expected him around 11:00 and he wasn't there. I checked with race officials and they told me what time he had checked out of the last aid station so I recalculated when he should be there and set myself to wait again. And he didn't show when I expected him. I stood at the juncture where the trail ran into the campground/aid station and stared into pitch black, looking for the bobbing light that signified head lamps. The runners kept trickling in, and eventually the lights were Paul and Steve. I didn't recognize them till Paul was passed me and Steve was next to me. Steve was cold and his legs were dead. The back of his right knee was hurting pretty bad. He was fine, just really tired and dead. It was also 24 hours since he'd gotten out of bed. We got some soup in Steve, some dry shoes food, repacked his belt pack with GU and S Caps and tried to move him along. We ended up telling him he was within the hour of cutoff time and he might want that hour on the trail, not on the aid station. And him and Jed were off. Paul and I packed the car and headed to the next aid station at mile 81.5. I got Paul's report that the first 12 of the 25 went great, but that was where Steve started to struggle. He said it was a blast running (in the dark on treacherous trails) and it was an experience of a lifetime. He also said that for a while something was tracking them in the brush next the trail. Since we had been warned of feral hogs, that was a little disconcerting.
We got to the 81.5 mile aid station and took another nap. Jed and Steve rolled in later than I was expecting, but since I was asleep I wasn't worried. Until I talked to Steve. He was in pain. Legs were definitely starting to fail and the back of his knee was hurting worse. Again, his great crew stepped in with soup, potatoes and dry socks and we repacked his belt pack and Joni and Steve took off. I didn't want to let him go. If he had shown any signs of defeat at that point, any indication of quitting, I would have not only encouraged it, but probably forced the issue. Since he didn't, I hugged him, prayed for him, and let him go. Jed told me that they came to a creek and Steve looked for a way around it, but there wasn't want. Jed carried him across the creek. One pacer willing to fight feral pigs and another one that will carry you. How great is that? He also said Steve got a little cranky with him, but he told him to keep it up, he'd run faster.
From here we headed to aid station 95.
We had an idea of what time to expect him, so we were all there hanging out and waiting. I was very concerned for Steve.

I walked back up this trail (I was looking for Steve, and I needed a port a john and there wasn't one and the only convenience store in the Ozarks was too hard to find) and did something I haven't done ever and peed in the woods. Twice this weekend. I hiked a little further to get a feel for the trail and headed back out. As I was getting close to the aid station I saw Joni and Jed coming in after me, Steve had made it to the aid station at mile 88 and pulled himself. It was not mental, he had decided if he couldn't stand up out of the chair by himself at the aid station he was done. Joni, being another phenomenal pace runner (and triathlete and marathonner herself) did her job and tried with everything she had to convince him to continue, but he was done. As in poke him with a fork done.
I got to the car where he was waiting and I could see it too, he didn't have it in him to go on. Not mentally, he could've beat that. But the physical toll it had taken on him was evident. There were runners who have run other 100 mile races and they said this was the hardest they had run. The hills were crazy insane, the trail was covered with leaves and under the leaves there were rocks and roots, and I almost fell twice just walking. There were 88 registered runners and last I heard, less than 40 still on the trail. I'm waiting for them to post results to see how many finished.
Of course Steve really wanted to finish, but was at peace with stopping. He said when we were leaving the aid station that he would never attempt the Ozark Trail 100 again, or even a 100. But after food (three times) and two catnaps in the car, he and Jed were talking strategy for building his own training plan and how to build on this experience and which races to run to gain more experience running shorter and/or easier ultra's so he can go back and beat the Ozark Trail 100. I expected this.
While we didn't know Jed and Paul before this run, Jed is my new BFF as I subjected him to hours of girl talk because, well, he was captive in my car. (It is okay to feel very sorry for him). He has a beautiful family and we will consider him a friend for life. Paul managed to avoid my girl talk, but he is planning to run some training runs with Steve. I may show up at the same ultra Paul is planning to run and try it myself. And Joni and Patrick, friends from Newspring, we just love all these guys. They were awesome crew members. They looked out for Steve, the runner, and made his goal their goal and worked hard to get him there. (I on the other hand looked out for Steve, the man I love and I didn't want to see him hurting. It's a good thing they were there.)
I would crew for anyone that needed someone, and be a pace runner in this kind of endeavor. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, even with the peeing in the woods, sleeping under the stars, 40 hours living in my car on diet coke and pb crackers (other than the cheeseburger). The people were interesting and fun. It was a friendly and positive environment. I'm looking forward to a chance to be the runner, not the crew.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: I don't know why teachers can't just do their jobs.
Me: Their job is too teach you. What are they doing?
Whitney: They don't teach, they just give homework.
Me: That's part of their job.
Whitney: They should teach during class.
Me: What do they do during class?
Whitney: Talk.
Me: About what?
Whitney: I don't know. Who listens?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's like looking through mud

2 Corinthians 4:7 "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves."
We have these treasures in earthen vessels…
This verse fascinates me. An earthen vessel, clay jar, whatever you call it, basically it’s mud. Have you ever tried to look through mud? It’s impossible. So our treasure is inside mud.
Do you ever judge someone on their outside? The way they are dressed, skin color, the look on their face, the way they behave just one time? I’m not talking about the negative, either. We can see someone on a good day and think they are a positive happy person, when in reality that’s the only time they’ve smiled this decade. Think someone is classy or elegant or a freak based on the way they are dressed? I met this head on the last two weeks. Nate’s two friends that died on consecutive Saturdays. If you put pictures side by side, one was an Abercrombie wearing eagle scout card carrying Christian clean cut white boy. One was a rap music loving baseball hat baggy pants gold chain wearing black boy. One got shot being robbed at a convenience store by a gang member. One died in a drunk driving accident when he tried to make a turn going 90 miles an hour. Nate’s commentary? White boy drunk driving, he could’ve seen it coming. He was known as a partier, Nate was surprised to hear he was a Christian. Black boy loved rap music shot in parking lot? One of the greatest kids Nate knew. Totally not the kind of kid to be in a place where that happened, it was accidental wrong place, wrong time. Nate admired him.

So as I was chewing on the fact that our treasure is hidden in clay vessels, I wondered how everyone sees it. Do we pour it out? I think we pour out our love, our time, our talents, but I had another thought on this. Our “treasure” is being refined. Zechariah 13:9 says "I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold." The worthless, unnecessary junk is being burned up, leaving behind what is valuable. Isaiah 48:10 says "I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering". So as our earthen vessel is fired in the furnace of suffering, we are being stripped of the stuff that doesn’t matter in our lives. How does the world see that? As our vessels are cracked and broken, the precious metal shines through. When we have chunks taken out of our shell, the beauty of what God has done in our lives is allowed to shine through. It is when we are at our most vulnerable the beauty is most visible. So when you are in the furnace of suffering, we are being made beautiful.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Big Weekend

This is why I proofread. I just typed three paragraphs, and when I read them back, I deleted them. That's the kind of day I'm having.

Steve's hundred mile run is this weekend, we leave Friday for Missouri, will let you all know how he does.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What do I know?

Heard a really good sermon this morning. Grace, and being restored. Passages from Lamentations and Psalms asking God to restore the joy of our salvation. The story of Peter denying Christ (one of my favorites, as I've shared before) and Christ restoring him. The point was made that we need to do what we KNOW is right, not what we FEEL. As Jason talked about sliding away from God, I realized this is probably the one thing in my life I struggle with the most. Letting my feelings get in the way of what I know and that in turn leads to distance from God.
My relationship with Christ is the single most important thing in my life. If I can keep that first, and keep it right, everything else is much easier. Good reminder.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: Cujo was like, the best movie EVER!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fishnets

I’m too old for an identity crisis, but seem to be experiencing one. I know who I am. I know what I like. I can embrace what I like. The identity crisis comes with my 42 year old self still loving 21 year old fashion. As the 80’s fashion comes back around, I find myself liking the same stuff I did in the 80’s. Fishnet hose, flippy skirts, lots of black, and Dr. Martens army boots. Pretty much trade the Dr. Martens for motorcycle boots and the flippy skirt for an A line and that’s what I’m wearing today. Betsey Johnson said find what you like that looks good on you and wear it with confidence. That has always been my philosophy. So as the Victorian era clothing comes into fashion, I’m really digging it. With my fishnets and boots, of course.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And yet again...

Two weekends in a row. Saturday night my son comes in with a story about a classmate that died Friday night. Fresh off the funeral of the 18 year old boy that died in a drunk driving accident last Friday night (early Saturday morning) was a boy that was a senior Nate's freshman year. He was on the baseball team at Heights. And he was one of those seniors that talked to freshman. Nate liked him, looked up to him. And he went to University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri to watch his cousin play today. But unfortunately, last night when he stopped at a convenience store he was robbed at gunpoint and as he tried to run away, they shot him three times in the chest. Nate says Aaron was a good kid. I DON'T CARE if he was a good kid or not. I can't hardly stand the thought of the grieving parents I know right now. I haven't even told you about Max, another of Nate's classmates that died in a car accident driving to college in August. Or Mitch, who died driving back to Wichita State in August. It is heart wrenching. I know accidents happen, and people die. And I know teenagers die. But it is unbearably sad.
I do want to say to Pastor Jason Thornton of True Life Church, WAY TO GO!!! That man stood on stage and gave the good news of the gospel at Austin's funeral service Friday. As I looked around at so many kids that Nate knows, I just bowed my head and prayed that they were listening and that the Holy Spirit would work in their lives. Took a minute to pray very selfishly and thank God that my kids were believers and that they were alive.
Hopefully you won't see any more posts about dead teenagers for a while.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

The many emotions of Whitney...
Scared

Happy

Tough

This is all from last week. Life with her is always interesting and fun.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Future

I have been reading a book, and it's set in a carnival. It's about demons. It does include demons and the devil as being part of the Spiritual realm, and even references the Bible, although it is decidedly a secular book. I picked it up at the library, and while I won't recommend it, it has kept my interest and I'm going to finish it. The part on the fortune teller has really kept me in a grip. I know my future. No matter what this life holds, at the end of this life, I begin my real life with Jesus, and that is my future. I know my end, and I know the end of this world, because the Bible spells it out for us. Thinking about it in earthly terms though, would I want to know what the future holds? In some circumstances, it would be nice. Looking back on raising my kids, there were some things I should've done different. And a few financial decisions I shouldn't have made. I don't even want to think about dating mistakes. There are also things I'm glad I didn't know. The Bible very clearly states not to worry about tomorrow, it has enough worries of its own. If I knew the future, I'd be a mess. But God, in his all knowing wisdom has decided that we need to live one day at a time. Actually, a second by second, minute by minute approach is best for me. I need to stay firmly rooted and trust God in the here and now, because I may not have a tomorrow.
With Halloween approaching, we are surrounded with all kinds of Halloweeny type stuff. I have always let my kids trick or treat and dress up in costumes. But we celebrate "Halloween Light", all candy and cute costumes. We believe that evil exists, but not in the form of werewolves, vampires and ghosts. Along with that,
I don't believe in fortune tellers and psychics, I'm pretty sure that stuff comes from Satan and is witchcraft. And the Bible specifically calls witchraft a sin.
1 Samuel 15:2 "Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols." (Really not gonna touch on the sin of rebellion.) My future is set, I know my end, and all I can do in the near term is live my best life to honor Jesus, point the way to him to as many lost souls as I can, and look forward to that blessed appearing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dripping

Part 2 of Scripture Proverbs 19:13 "A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping."
I've been bummed, for lack of a better way to put it for the last couple weeks. There is the stress fracture, not to keep dwelling on it, but I missed the marathon and have been relegated to crew only for Steve's 100 mile race. On the good side, he has pace runners coming out of the woodwork, volunteering to run with him, and I was worried I would be the only one. Now he has three. Which is awesome. For him. I'm still bummed. I've had a sinus infection for about two months, had a shot and a z pack, and it's back again. Ear hurts. So my foot hurts and my ear hurts. I'm so fortunate that both of my pains will heal, I know people live in constant pain. It wears on you, though. I've had some ongoing junk at work. Thought it was going to work itself out, but found out Friday I'm going to have to continue on with the junk. I've been working for 10 months with the sole point in my mind that I'm working for the Lord, not for man. Because otherwise it would be impossible. And my job situation has changed in that ten months, but never for the better. My boss, his boss, and his boss all think I'm doing great job, I got good reviews, big raise, highest retention, etc. But I have to force myself to have a good attitude. I continually remind myself to work for the Lord. I constantly say remember you are a grown up. I don't say all this for pity, because I don't need it someone should really tell me to get over myself and move on, I have been blessed so much, but MAN life is hard when it comes at you from all different directions. But to get back to my point, I was walking today, (looking for Steve, he ran 50 miles on our trail and I just felt the need to check on him) and was thinking of that verse. I've not been quarrelsome, but just not my usual self. And I wondered when it would get to the point that this was normal behavior, when I had "dripped" so long that it was accepted. Steve gets to deal with my all junk, and he is a kind and longsuffering person. This is another area of my life where I'm so blessed. I don't want Steve to get used to me being unsettled and unhappy. If I'm going to drip, I want to drip good stuff. And so I will continue to adjust my attitude and my outlook on life and remember to remember all the good things. I have so many.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Calamity

Proverbs 19:13 "A foolish child is a calamity to a father"
There are several things as a parent I wasn't prepared for. And dealing with the pain of the death of a friend as teenagers was one of them. In the last 7 months, my kids have had friends die. Whitney's friend in a freak golf cart accident in March, and then one in August leaving for college, one of Nate's classmates fell asleep at the wheel. Friday night a kid from Nate's graduating class was in a car accident and died. Nate had him in class for four years, and had good friends that were friends with this kid. But this one was different. He was driving drunk. Nate said he could've told everyone this was coming. He'd already been in two or three accidents, and was a known partier. To me, this is a foolish child, a calamity to the parents. How sad his parents must be. My heart breaks for them.
With a son this age, it hits close to home. Not the drinking and driving, with five kids, I've never had to deal with that issue. But the loss of life way before it's time, in a totally preventable accident. He took out a tree and a telephone pole, from what I understand, not another car/life. I see high school kids on facebook having parties and getting wasted. Nate said he's surprised cops don't look at it and see how many kids talk about going out partying and getting wasted. I'm surprised parents don't look at that stuff. Nate tells me there are parents who don't care, and I know that to be true.
My kids have dealt with loss and grief at an earlier age than I have. I've lost grandparents and aunts and uncles, but this is different. It makes me want to print up business cards with my name and phone number and pass them out at the school, "Taxi Patsy". It also makes me want to be a street preacher on the corner of 53rd and Hillside, telling everyone how short life is and how to spend their eternity in Heaven. Foolish child.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

And she says, "I don't need to carry a purse anymore". (Chapstick on the other side of her head)

Second place tournament last weekend at the Freshman tournament. She was thrilled to get play with these girls after moving up to JV for the second half of the season.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Easy

I’ve been studying through the Old Testament in my Bible Study. Reading the story of Hannah and Elkanah, so many things touched me in that story, in a different way than ever before, mostly because I’m giving up my son right now. Sure, he’s 18 and in college, not 3 going to live in the temple, I realize that’s a big difference, but it’s heart wrenching anyway. But what struck me reading last night was so simple. I had to answer a question about sin. And I can’t remember the exact question right now, and it doesn’t really matter, and this isn’t the type of answer I think they were looking for. It’s not theologically deep. My answer about sin? It’s easy. The right choice is generally harder. That’s probably why it’s called the narrow road. Why the Christian life is described “take up your cross and follow me”. When I think about this, there are so many times that the right choice takes more work. Your child misbehaves and you make excuses that they are tired and don’t discipline. Or they break curfew and you don’t ground them because then you are stuck at home with them. Or take their cell phone because then you can’t get a hold of them. Don’t judge me. A man at work tells you you look nice and you can tell he’s interested in you. Instead of walking the long way to your desk to avoid this, you continue to walk by because you don’t get enough compliments at home. You aren’t seeking him out, but you aren’t making the wise choice. And if your money is tight (and who’s isn’t?) that’s a whole new can of worms. I know there are always areas in my life that need improvement. I try and fail every day. But I’m still trying.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In my corner...

I went to the doctor...three times.
I had my first ever bone scan.
I watched 8 volleyball matches. (Only 4 left of high school season).
I cheered for my husband (and Sheila, Steve, Barb, Debbie, Robin, Scott and several people I've never met) at the marathon. Drove around to four different locations.
I started a new Bible study.
I was cranky the majority of the last two weeks. (Constant nagging pain will do that).
I watched entirely too much television. (Constant nagging foot pain will do that).
I ate an entire bag of candy corn. Twice. Is there a candy corner's anonymous group?
I looked forward to some great opportunities coming up.
I woke up to a foot that doesn't hurt. So I'm wearing my motorcycle boots, the only shoes that feel really good with the sore foot and orthotics in them, and being very thankful to be on the mend and for weather that allows me to wear boots and tights.
I saw Whitney and Steve both earn medals this weekend, one at the marathon and one at the volleyball tournament. It's so cool to earn medals and prizes for hard work.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: South High School parking lot after a game

Whitney: Mom, can I go to FCA tonight?
Me: What?
Whitney: Fellowship of Christian Athletes. At Grant's house. Can I go? I can ride with Jada.
Me: YES!!!

I know exactly what FCA is, I was just caught off guard. Like the day she asked if she could go to See You at the Pole.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm thankful for...

I have been bummed about my foot for 11 days now. I haven't run for ELEVEN DAYS! Running is several things to me, an outlet, a mood booster, the ability to eat sweets, prayer time, ipod worship time, and about 6 hours a week of sweaty alone time with Steve (couldn't resist). I love it. Today I drove home by the bike path I like to run and I felt a real sense of loss. But earlier today I saw something else that took some of the sting out. My boss was supposed to attend a meeting today, but they scheduled it during his lunch hour and he had other stuff. (I have the same lunch hour). He assigned the meeting to me. I work in a huge facility. Several square miles. I park .25 of a mile from the door. If I leave at lunch I walk a mile a day. The building the meeting was in required another park about .25 miles from the door. So it was easier and the same distance to just walk the whole way. EXCEPT I have a stress fracture. I'm using one crutch to keep the weight off my right foot. I move slow. So I spent an hour and forty five minutes crutching it over a mile and up and down four flights of stairs for a 30 minute meeting attended only by other management. Not complaining, I have a good job. It provides much needed insurance. I missed lunch, my foot hurt, my armpit now hurts, as does my right hand. I work with a wonderful engineering guy who limps all the time. Bum knee. Requires replacement. Won't get well. He doesn't even walk as well as I do with crutches. And I will fully recover and be running again in November. (BONUS! Found a run in February I think I can do too, make up for the marathon I'm missing Sunday.)
All that to say, I will heal. My foot will be pain free. And on top of that, I will be more rested than I have been in 3 months. Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.[a] And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture." (NLT) That will be me. Leaping, not running, LEAPING for joy like a calf let out to pasture. Probably the only time I will ever compare myself to a cow.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Training Update

There is no update. Waiting for the doctor to schedule a bone scan to see if I have stress fracture. He didn't see one on the xray, and if it's not a stress fracture he doesn't know what it is. He did say that if it was, it was right here and pushed on a spot, well away from the pain. Didn't make any sense to me. As much as I want to run, and as much as I can take pain, I am smart enough to know that if I continue running with this pain, it will only get worse. Really stinks is my plantar fasciitis is completely gone. No pain. Then this. And I have a sinus infection. Zithromaxx tripack. Hopefully it will be completely gone in another day or two. I am cranky from the sinus infection and depressed about my foot. Bad combination. I am fighting with myself, self pity versus it's not the end of the world. But self pity seems to be winning.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

A picture is worth a thousand words...
This is Whitney's all time best friend.
(Don't ask about the butter knife at the throat, it was really done in fun)

She is the daughter of my best friend since childhood, my running partner, volleyball partner, confidant, friend.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The End of an Era

I knew this day would come. Didn't know when, and it got here sooner than I expected. Nate quit baseball today. Texted me yesterday and said he was going to. Played last night, and played really well. Went in the coaches office this morning and sat down and talked to him. Before I tell you all what was said, when I asked why Nate told me "I'm tired of being tired, stressed out and unhappy. I don't love it as much as I thought I did". The coach first off told him how much he appreciated him handling it like a man and coming to him face to face to talk about it. He said they were very impressed with him the first couple weeks and then it seemed he hit a wall. They knew he was giving them 110%, but it wasn't the same. They also knew he would work it out and had big plans for him and he would be very successful. Coach then asked him if this had been eating at him for awhile. Nate said it had. Coach told him that it made sense. This is the wall he hit. He was done. He was still giving it his all, but his heart wasn't there. Nate told the coach he wouldn't do it half hearted, he wouldn't do that to the team. I am so proud of my boy. The only thing that even remotely bothered me about this is that he discussed it with his girlfirend before he told me. At least she gave him good, sound advice. I didin't care that he talked to his cousin who had also quite college baseball, but the girlfriend was a bit of a wound. I know he's growing (grown?) up as a college freshman. I still want him to be my boy. But those days are gone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Freebie

There is a movie that is/was out this summer, one an award from the Sundance Movie Festival. I stumbled across it on line by accident, looking for running stuff. Anyway, this 30's aged couple is at a lull in the sex lives. Can't even remember how long it's been since they had sex. BIG PROBLEM THERE. Should never go that long. I won't share my philosopy on that, again, veil of silence, but that's just wrong. This couple decides to spice up their sex life by you guessed it, each of them having a "freebie" a night to do whatever with whomever, no strings, no questions. Everything in me just screams how wrong this is. The review did allude to the fact that the end of the movie did give the idea that this was a bad idea and didn't work out well. (YA THINK???) I won't be seeing it, but I hope this is true.
Marriage is hard work. I have to imagine there are times where not only does Steve choose to love me, but he has to choose to like me as well. The smile? May be only because he loves the Lord and so it comes through to me. But looking for satisfaction outside of your marriage is nothing but a recipe for disaster. I took this especially hard because I have a friend with teenagers who is most likely going to leave her husband in the very near future. I can't stop it, I can't help. I know it's going to be devastating to her kids. And I just wonder when and where it went wrong? Letting an issue slide because it wasn't worth the time, or the effort to work out that you were hurt and why? Not apologizing for when you hurt your spouse? Being indifferent to their needs? Being indifferent to them in general? Not taking the time to treat them like you want to be treated? Not loving them as Christ loved you, forgiving as Christ forgave you? Not being selfless instead of selfish? And it makes me want to be good to my husband.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My husband IS HOT!!

I came home from work today and he was vacuuming! The only time he looks hotter is when he's doing the dishes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Training Update

I have run 413 miles since July 1. But this morning I went out to run 24 and 2 miles in my right foot was hurting on the top bad enough I was limping. Steve doesn't let me push through some pain. If I limp for two miles, he knows I'm done. Fortunately, we had changed our running plan this week and had gone to a local park that has miles of running/bike trails and Sheila had met us there. She had 8 miles to run. We did the first loop of 4 and she had to get her son to a parade, so I went home with her and Steve finished his 32. (I know, that's crazy!) I'm going to give it a few days and hopefully that will take care of it. RICE, or in my case, RIICE, rest, ice, ibuprofen, compression and elevation. Marathon is two weeks from tomorrow. I don't think it's a sideline injury, and I know my body and running pain pretty well, so I'm not to worried...yet. I will have to run 24 next week as I am taking this weekend off. I still have to plan for my "follow up" marathon in November to keep Steve company on his 100 miler. I may try aqua jogging tomorrow just to get an hour of alternate training in. Will see how I feel. And if my swimsuit still fits. I'm much skinnier. 413 miles in triple digit heat in three months will do that, if you are looking for a quick weight loss program.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: Heights High School gym, freshman volleyball game.

Whitney: Did you bring me a drink?
Me: No, do you have your water bottle?
Whitney: No.
Me: I’ll get you something.

I call Steve and ask him to bring his water jug in when he gets there. He takes a two gallon red and white Coleman jug to work with him every day.

Steve: Here’s your water.
Whitney: THIS IS AWESOME! (Hangs it over her arm like a purse) I’m going to carry this with me everywhere I go from now on. It’s an accessory! Thanks Dad!

I want to point out that there is never any excitement over the green insulated 24 oz water bottle I got for her, or the stainless steel one I generally fill and bring for her, or the Gatorade I get on occasion (except to say “I like red better”…)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Appearances can be deceiving

I had two humorous comments made Sunday morning. Humorous to me, but kind of sadly poignant as well. I get to church running a little late. I walk into church to the child care sign in, moving quickly (and I can walk fast, Steve has been "encouraging" me when I have to walk on my long training runs to walk fast and keep my heart rate up). I have on a dress and a pair of my ridiculously high heeled shoes that I love to wear, hair done, fashion sunglasses on, purse over my shoulder, pink diaper bag, baby on hip complete with red and white plaid shirt under denim jumper, red bows in the curly hair, red socks and white shirt, carrying my venti pumpkin spice latte, iced, (which is why I was late, it was so good, and after getting up to run at 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning and sitting for 12 hours immediately following that at a volleyball tournament a necessity but with Anneshia in the car I didn't want to run in Kwik Shop to get a cheaper one and have to carry her and make my own coffee) I check Anneshia in. The comment is made behind me by a young mother, "wow, you really have it all together." Part of this is due to the sunglasses, she can't see my laugh lines (wrinkles) to know I'm much older than her. Not that that matters, I have friends my age with toddlers. But I just smiled at her and her three little ones and moved on.
When church was over, I met Steve coming off the stage and handed him the baby, pink diaper bag and traded keys so I could stop at the grocery store. When I get to the parking lot to unlock his camaro, the mom in the mini-van next to me says, "I remember those days." What days? The days when your elementary age children are 10 years older than they are now? I wanted to laugh again. Flattered that I look younger than I am (did I mention my sunglasses are really oversized?) But I just smiled and got in the car and went to Dillons for bleach and ground beef.
Neither of these women would have benefitted from me telling them I don't have it all together, and I'm not 20 years younger than I am with my life before me. The fact that I can leave church by myself and get in a sports car and drive off is something I remember doing as well, but now I realize what a privilege/luxury/sad occasion it is. Reality? I miss my kids being little. I like the age they are now, I love being with them and relating on an adult level in many instances, but I miss things I can't get back. It's all about seasons of life. And the best advice I have for mom's in any season of life, is enjoy it. Every minute. Don't wish it away for clothes without spit up stains and donut kisses on your skirt. Don't wish for trips to the grocery store without your kids, enjoy the time with them. Because what is looked forward too right now, a trip by yourself, will become the norm. And then you will miss it. You have all the time to get everything on your list, you won't forget anything, you will get to look at what you want and comparison shop, but you will be alone. Like I said before, I enjoy a lot about this season of my life, and I'm changing with it, and making the best of it. I don't want a new baby to repeat it all. I just want to say enjoy where you are. Make the most of every minute. Because it goes too fast. I walked by a little league baseball field the other day, probably about 9 years old, and looked at those boys and was flooded with memories of a thick bodied little guy in gray pinstriped baseball pants wearing catchers gear. I now see a grown man at second base.
All that to say, you can fool people. I don't have it all together. Never have. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl, always have been, always will be. But I am confident in my not having it all together. I am confident in that fact that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I have been blessed more than I deserve, more than I thought possible.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Favorite Men

This is my brother, Kelly, father to three of my other favorite men. He is my sibling closest in age, we are 18 months apart. We work for the same company and get to have lunch together fairly often. We IM on a regular basis, so we keep in pretty constant contact, especially considering I still see him often. He comes to Whitney's volleyball matches. I watch Jeff's cross country and baseball games. He also takes the time to work on baseball with Nate. He does batting practice with Nate once a week or so to help him out with his college practices, keep him sharp and give him an edge. He also spent a lot of time with Nate right before college tryouts to get him in fighting shape.
He completed his first triathlon, sprint distance, this last weekend. He beat his goal time by 4 minutes. 98 athletes, he was 26th overall, 82nd in the swim, 39th running, and 11th on the bike, which is by far his strongest and the event he loves the most. I am so proud of him.

Monday, September 20, 2010

In My Corner

I watched 14 volleyball matches. Whitney rocked it out.
I fell on my long run Saturday, cut my hand, bruised my thigh, mile 12, still ran all the way home.
I won $40 in our business unit's biggest loser competition at work.
I lost 14 pounds in 6 weeks to win 3rd place.
I bought a new pair of running shorts, two sizes smaller and on the 70% off clearance rack. DOUBLE SCORE!!!
I went to parent teacher conferences for Whitney.
I saw the sunrise when I was getting home from my run Saturday morning. God's creation is so amzingly beautiful

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Training Update

I ran my Saturday long run in the dark again. Whitney had a volleyball tournament Saturday and had to be there at 7:30. 22.5 miles all in the dark. And I fell down. Went a little further than I had ever gone before so I was unfamiliar with the sidewalk and I wasn't as careful as I should have been. I have a flashlight and glow stick, but I wasn't using it. I am so used to something hurting that I don't know how I would act if I got out of bed and nothing ached. On the other side of that, I feel so much better than I used to that I can't complain about it. Usually it quits hurting after I'm up for a while and everything warms up and loosens up. I have a mobile pain in my legs. Never know if it will be my right heel or my left ankle or the top of my right foot or my calf...
The marathon is in three weeks, and my biggest concern is what to wear. Seriously. I'm trying to figure out what running clothes will look presentable and decent in front of other runners and still be comfortable instead of just throwing on something and running. I can't try anything new, because it might chafe or not wear well.
This week I have 58 miles to run. But no volleyball tournament on Saturday, so I can get up at a decent time like 4:30 a.m. to run.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Conversations With Whitney

Whitney: It was so hot at the football game I had to leave the student section and go two rows up so I could breathe.
Denae: I know. It was so hot it was like the devil was hugging me wearing his wool sweater.





Denae is one of Whitney's friends that could easily be one of ours. She fits in our family like crazy. Fights with Steve, hangs crap on Nate and is as loyal to Whitney as a sibling. I looked for a picture of her to put on here with Whitney and I have so many to choose from. I love this girl.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hey Diddle, Diddle

I love to read the books of the New Testament 1 Peter and 2 Peter. There is something about a man that walks with Jesus, lives life with Jesus, sees him taken away to be killed, denies him, sees him come back to life, and accepts face to face his forgiveness for this. When I think about a man who walked with Jesus and saw his miracles and yet still denied he knew him, I wonder how you could do that. But I think my life does not always give witness that I know him. And I have met Jesus and walked with him too. But I was raised by Christian parents and accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age, and everything I’ve done wrong I did after I knew him. I love those testimonies where people say what a sinner they were when Jesus found them and they turned their life around and live for him. I on the other hand, was probably out partying with them and they had no idea I knew Jesus. I have put those sins under the blood of Christ, and I try with everything I have to live for him. Not the way other godly women live for him, I’ve tried to mimic them and I’ve tried to model myself after godly women. Ultimately though, I accept that Christ modeled the life I’m supposed to live, and that’s what I try to do. I really sell myself short when I try to be someone or something I’m not. There is a sign here at work that says “Always remember, you are unique. Just like everyone else”. I love this. We are all created unique, and while it makes me special that no one else is like me, it makes them special that no one else is like them. But it also makes us all the same in our uniqueness. I’m not better, I’m just different. There are women I know I wish I was more like. I wish I had M’s laid back easy going outlook, go with the flow. J’s kindness to everyone she meets. There is no way she can like everybody (is there?) and yet it appears she does. I would love to be more like C with her ability to always say the right thing, even in chastisement, kindly. S’s determination, she’s never failed at anything. R’s organizational and planning abilities. K’s “water off a ducks back” dealing with the past.

And when I was thinking about this, I know I can’t be like these women. God gave them these strengths. If I try to make it mine, it becomes fake, and I definitely never want to be fake. Truth is, unlike M, I get wound up. I can go against the flow and really wear myself out and sometimes, you do need to fight. Generally I get over it pretty quick (Steve makes me). I try to be kind to people, but I’ve also developed good avoidance skills. Big smile and wave and duck into a bathroom stall. Not the nicest thing to do. (And if you see me and I duck into a bathroom, give me the benefit of the doubt right now, it may not be personal, I have grown in this area too. Running 60 miles a week, hydration, salt tablets, abuse of diet coke and the introduction of pumpkin spice lattes into Starbucks fall line up may have more to do with it than just avoiding you, because if you are reading this, you have to be one of my favorite people.) I try never to chastise anyone or address areas of conflict. I’m better off scolding my kids virtually. That’s right, with a text. Don’t judge me. I hate conflict, and I know I shouldn’t duck and run when it really is needed, but I do. Am I the only one who has apologized by email or text to her husband? Again don’t judge me. There is an upside to this too though, by avoiding hard conversations till they have to happen and learning to hold my tongue (the armor of God should include a muzzle for people like me) has protected me from saying some things I would have to apologize for and could never undo the hurt.
I have to be very organized at work, a lot of my job is planning and scheduling. I order millions of dollars of inventory on a monthly basis. I keep about 400 people (if the material isn’t here to build, they can get sent home, affects their paychecks) working building airplane parts to schedules while maintaining a certain level of inventory, actual stock on hand and dollars in inventory. But you’d never know it at my house. We run out of toilet paper and milk and deodorant and diet coke and occasionally gas in the car. And if I could have the time back I’ve spent obsessing about my past and what I should have done differently, I’d add 10 years back to my life. Good point to this, I don’t repeat my mistakes often, because they are so close in my memory.
I’m going to try and make sense of where this came from, not sure if I can, but recently I have been in contact with two women that everything they say is quoted from the Scriptures and/or about God. From asking me how am I meeting my husband’s needs, down to asking me if I fix his favorite meals and do I know what is most important to him in the running of our household. I know what’s most important to my husband. He is a man. He has very basic needs. Sex, food and cable TV. (Whoops, he has instructed - Mandated? Banned? Censored? I’m not allowed to talk about sex on my blog.) And these women made me feel briefly, guilty because I’m not that as godly as they are. I talk about Whitney’s volleyball and the television show I watched and Saturday’s training run. I discuss recipes (sounds better than saying food) and talk to people about their kids and families. I read secular magazines, fashion magazines, running magazines. I’m not going to be the lady tweeting only inspirational sayings or lyrics from songs or Scripture references all the time. I may throw a quote from The Office out there or the lyrics to a secular song. Who’s not uplifted by “hey diddle diddle with a kitty in the middle and they swingen like they just don’t care”?
I Peter 2:15-17 says “It is God’s desire that by doing good you should stop foolish people from saying stupid things about you. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Live as servants of God. Show respect for all people: love the brothers and sisters of God’s family, respect God, honor the King.” (NCV) I should do good. What I do that is good may not be the same as the lady next to me doing good (like dodging into the bathroom). I should live as a free person, but not use my freedom as an excuse to do evil. I believe talking about volleyball to the other parents allows me to build relationships, which allows me to offer to pray, to offer help, to give godly advice, to WITNESS about my Savior. Ultimately, show respect for all people, fragilities and failures not withstanding, and love, love, LOVE. These things I can do. We have to choose to love, wholeheartedly, unabashedly, unafraid of being hurt. An old Michael W. Smith song comes to mind, “love isn’t love till you give it away.” I’m thinking of new ways to show love and remembering to tell people that I love them. I started today. Told one of Whitney’s friend’s mom how much I love her daughter. Think I’ll tell the daughter too. Hope everyone has a blessed day, full of love. I LOVE ALL OF YOU!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Career Day

Nate is working towards a liberal arts degree right now. College Algebra, English 101, Psychology, Speech, Freshman Connect and Baseball are his classes (he actually gets a credit for baseball). 14 hours. He doesn't know what he wants to study, what he wants to do with his life. This is the first time he has been unsure since he was four years old. He asked me what that Seinfeld guy did. I said he's an actor. Nate asked what he did when he stood at a microphone and everyone laughed, I told him that's a comedian. Career Day in Kindergarten Nate said he wanted to be a comedian. Everyone laughed, Nate thought he had arrived. (And he's still making me laugh today.) Elementary school he wanted to either play professional baseball, be an astronaut or a supreme court justice. I explained to him that baseball you have about .0013% of making it, but that's better than the odds of one of 12 supreme court justices or one of 6 astronauts. He said they would be hard to get into, but the hard options he has, the more likely he is to get at least one of them. A little while later he thought he'd like to be a nuclear physicist, on the bomb squad or in the military because he wanted to blow things up. One day he told me that if none of his life plans worked out he would be okay. He could live on Ramen noodles and eat at my house as much as possible. High school brought a whole new idea to him, he was invited to his baseball coach's house to watch KU play in the NCAA tournament. He discovered that while a special ed History teacher/assistant football coach/head baseball coach may not make much money, his HR director at a major aerospace company wife did serious bank, so he decided he could teach pottery like his favorite teacher Mr. Self and just marry well. At Homecoming last year his career goal was to be CEO of his own company and develop stories for video games.
And now, reality. He has to decide. I'm spending a lot of time praying for him, because he has some decisions to make. No matter what he decides I couldn't be prouder. And my life has had a lot of laughter because of this "comedian".

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Training Update

I ran 60 miles in a week. Seven days. This is a new record for me. I'm at the point in (ultra)marathon training where it takes a big part of your life. I'm working hard to keep it where it belongs, I'm making it a point to get to Whitney's volleyball games and to take care of my house and my family. But this is a lot of hours to dedicate to running. And yet somehow, I still love it. This week I had my first totally nighttime run. I have ended some runs in the dark, and 5:00 a.m. is dark, but this was different. Overnight. Steve will have to run overnight in his 100 mile, and that's the time he wants company. So Whitney got "called up" to play on the JV team in a tournament on Saturday, and in the interest of supporting her (really, I wouldn't miss watching her play every chance I get) Steve and I went to bed early Friday night. Like toddler early, and got up at midnight to run 22 miles and 30 miles respectively. This takes some extra planning. Flashlights. More 24 hour convenience stores on the route, however it's cool enough to not need as many stops. Extra 5 hour energy shots. And another toddler early bedtime on Saturday night.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Denae: EWWWWW, my parents were talking about going to a tropical island and "getting it on". Grossest thing EVER!!!
Whitney: Do you want to come live at my house?
Denae: I'm on my way!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cast your Cares

Went to church last Wednesday night. Mark asked the question “how many of you are going through a tough time right now?” I looked around at the hands that went up, and then looked at Steve. I had to ask, since neither of us raised our hands, have we accepted this as normal? Pretty much we have. Life is hard. We (as followers of Christ) were not promised an easy road. I struggle with my faults and failings that make my life harder and tougher than it needs to be, because I have enough trials with the self inflicted ones. But that’s for another day. Or not. We all have struggles. No one is exempt. But we all have something else too. 1 Peter 5:7-8 tell us “7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” After we give all of our worries and cares to God, (and the amplified version says give them to him once and for all), we are to be alert and watch out, so our enemy, the devil, doesn’t devour us. This is where my self inflicted trials come from. Not be alert. Not be watching out. I’m going to try and practice both of these more. Cast all my cares, and be alert.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In My Corner

*stealing this post idea from a friend's blog...

I SAW Whitney's two first high school volleyball games
I RAN 40.72 miles
I MISSED Nate's first college baseball game.
I READ the October issue of Runner's World - twice.
I WENT to Topeka with Steve and listened to worship music and a sermon with him.
I DROVE home from Topeka so Steve could nap.
I LISTENED to Whitney and her friends chat, (and loved every minute of it).
I SMELLED grilled pork chops.
I FEARED running into a skunk in the dark at mile 17.5 on the trail on Sunday's run.
I TASTED gator from Nate's favorite restaurant in Wichita, Da Cajun Shack.

Have a great week everyone!