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.

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.