Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: Car on the way home from the Y

Steve: What nationality is Lolit's dad?
Whitney: He's half black and half Indian
Whitney: Native American Indian, not "nahni nahni" indian.
Steve: Nahni nahni?
Whitney: yeah, starts singing "nahni nahni nahni nahni".
Steve: What?
Me: "Outsourced" Indian
Steve: Oh, the country India
Whitney: Yeah
Steve: looks over his shoulder at Whitney "Nahni nahni"?
Whitney: shrugs

It's my Anniversary

My wedding anniversary. Instead of telling you how wonderful Steve is (he is) how wonderful my marriage is (it is, praise God) and how blessed I am (I really am) I decided to share a few things I admire from marriages of some of my friends. These are marriages that are solid in all aspects, it's just some of the things that stick out to me that make them special.

Marriage #1 She knows how to do family time and she knows how to do date night and she knows how to do girls night. She makes sure that they have family time and mom and kid time and dad and kid time and that dad has time with his friends and that she spends time with her friends. And they spend time together. We all know that relationships are work. And she does this so well. Steve and I love to spend time with her and her husband, we double date quite regularly. As much as I love her, I think our husband have as close a bond as we do, and that makes for a lot of fun. I admire the intentional way she is raising her family and the way she puts her marriage first. I also know that their time with their individual friends allows them to be refreshed and better for their family.

Marriage #2 I have known both of these individuals before they got married. They are 20 years together and stronger now than ever. They make each other better. I have watched over the years how they support each other. They have some of the same interests, things they love to do together. But they each have their unique interests and these have never caused a wedge between them. I have seen him spend hours researching her interests to get just the right birthday present. They encourage each other and support each other. Totally understand that your individuality and uniqueness should not be lost when you get married. Yes, two become one, but neither loses themself.

Marriage #3 Submission is such a hard concept in todays society. It's hard for the secular world, and it's even hard in the Christian world. It's hard for me. This lady gets it. And does it. She's not a doormat. She's not incapable. Far from it, she has a masters degree, is a gifted teacher and brilliant writer. She is one that everyone wants to be friends with. She puts herself under her husbands leadership and while that may seem weak to the world, it has resulted in a relationship, a marriage that is one of the strongest I have ever seen.

These are not earth shattering. They are not recipes for happy marriages (although they will not hurt a marriage). They all know the secret of putting your loved ones needs, wants and desires ahead of your own. Today I want to leave you with my secret in my marriage when I'm in a rough time. I recite this to myself.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

I recite these to myself when I'm upset, almost like a mantra. Sometimes just one line over and over like, love is not bears all does not insist on its own way...

And remember LOVE NEVER ENDS!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

30 X 30

I was going to do a 30 X 30 challenge.
30 items from my closet, mixed and matched for 30 days.
Two things stopped me.
The 90 degree difference in temperatures we had in a week and the fact that even with my running clothes I don't have 30 pieces I like to wear.
Maybe it's time to shop.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Training Update

My favorite running songs

If You Leave - The Cure (phrase "I'll be running the other way")
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco (no explanation, just love this German)
Separate Ways - Journey (great running beat)
All These Things That I've Done - Killers (from the sermon series "Running")
Turn Me Loose - Loverboy (first line "I was born to run")
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats ("we can dance if we want to" what's not to love?)
Sister Christian - Knightranger (the phrase "you're motoring" just really motivates me)

The Queen Block
I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Fat Bottomed Girls (REALLY??? Yep)
I Want it All

Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (because I feel like Rocky, may even take a few shadow boxing punches while I run)

The Tears for Fears block, (because I loved them in my teen formative years)
Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Head Over Heels

21 Guns - Green Day (and yes, I know it's anti-war, but when I heard it, it spoke to me about my spiritual life and still does).

And the U2 block, because I love pretty much all things U2
With or Without You
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
The Sweetest Thing
I Will Follow

This is my secular playlist, heavily influenced by the 80's when I was a teenager/early adult. I have a very long running playlist because I run for a very long time, that I don't mess with, because it works. There are more songs on this playlist, but these are my favorites. I have another one, it's my Christian/worship music playlist. I can't combine the two, because I'm afraid my head might explode going back and forth. I pick based on my mood, and someday I'll share the Christian one as well. Sometimes I run without music, and enjoy nature and time with God and my thoughts. But sometimes, I need the pounding beat to match my pounding blood.

What motivates you?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Accentuate the positive

Normally I'm not all about "positive thoughts" and such. I much prefer prayer, thank you very much.
I had a rough week. Started with being tired (exhausted?) Self inflicted, I went to KC Friday night, ran that trail in tough conditions Saturday, and then drove home, only to get up and drive to Salina at 5:30 a.m. for an all day volleyball tournament. Add to the week a stepdaughter out of prison for less than two weeks that by all appearances has gone right back to her "before" life, taking her little sister with her. (And I know the little sister at 19 has to stand on her own two feet, but she was doing so good and appears to be sliding). A totaled car in fog that in some places was okay but in others zero visibility. Nate was one of 24 cars involved in accidents in about a 3 mile stretch. It wasn't that bad the highway I took to work, but the one he took to school was a whole different story. He's okay. Stiff, sore, banged up a bit. Knees hit the dashboard, chin took the air bag. But could've been so much worse. God's hand of protection was there for him. Not going to ask why Nate, just going to thank God he's okay. A "job interview" Tuesday night, which these meetings are always mentally tough.
Back to my positivity. In the midst of these kind of weeks, I find myself getting down. Discouraged. Disheartened. And I have learned to pray my way out of it. Typically I find praying for someone else helps. When I only pray for me, I focus on my trials. So I pray, and move on.
And then...Yesterday I heard two encouraging things. From unexpected encouragers. First I was called a "studess". I had to ask. Stud goddess. Whatever, I'll take it. Second, my trainer Freddrick talked to me after my session about my run, my plans, etc. And told me he was excited to see what I was going to do." Not what I "could" do, no "if you do this". What I was GOING TO DO. Amazing when someone believes in you.

Leaving with this verse Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an unfailing love..." I know it was written to the Israelites. But I love this verse, and I know it pertains to me as one of God's children adopted by Jesus blood. What could be more positive and encouraging than this? Unfailing, everlasting, unending, depends on what version you read, but all so permanent. And POSITIVE!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Psycho Wyco Race Update

What an experience. Whoever said Kansas is flat has never visited Wyandotte County Lake. This trail was roughly 40% uphill, 41% downhill and 19% flat. It was covered in snow. Packed snow. Slippery snow. For me this meant 40% of slow running, hiking, walking, gasping, crawling, and pulling myself up using whatever trees, ropes (yes, one tree had a rope tied to it hanging down to pull youself up) and even tiny saplings to haul myself up hill. It meant 41% of skidding, sliding, giggling, jogging, walking carefully, and even some sliding on my backside. There was 19% running, even if the snow was deeper, if it was flat, I could run. But let me take this chronologically, with pictures.
We visited the screw station before the start to have screws put in our shoes. A handful of 3/8" hex head stainless steel screws strategically placed added traction. And confidence.
The starting time was 8:00 a.m. and the first 100 yards were across a field. Ankle deep snow, about 170 people. Steve is on the right. I'm in the back, you'll never find me.
From there, we went into single track trail and immediate uphill. I was a little freaked out about what I had gotten myself into, uphill on slippery snow and some ice, but I told myself I paid for a good time, now it's time to have fun. And that's exactly what I did. There is a lot of jockeying for position at the front of the pack, but at the back of the pack, there were just a few of us. The first three miles were uneventful. Quiet, pretty, and fun. (And hard work. My calves were screaming.) Mile 3(ish) was the "Triangle Aid Station" for the Wyandotte Triangle portion of the trail. Thinking Bermuda Triangle? That's right. It weaved and wound and we just grabbed trees to stay on the trail as we maneuvered around the corners.
At this point, my race began to get more difficult. I missed a turn. There was a point where you came down a switchback and then took a hard right toward the Dam. I missed the right turn, and went up quite possibly the worst hill all day. (The worst, because it was totally unecessary). When I realized I wasn't seeing any pink ribbon markers on the trees, I knew I was in trouble. When I turned around, I didn't have any better idea where I was. So I headed back until I saw pink ribbon. But then, I couldn't figure out which way to go based on the footprints and so I waited for the next person to go by. (This will be explained later). This took about twenty-five minutes, the going the wrong way and finally figuring it out and getting back on track. I was still having a good time though. So back on the trail and looking at my watch, knew I was definitely behind where I wanted to be.
I left the 5 mile aid station feeling pretty good.
Somewhere between miles 5 and 6 I went down a hill that was very unexpected. I tried to run down hills, but with very quick short steps. This hill took over. My strides got longer and faster until I think they were about twelve foot strides and I was getting some big air underneath me. Starting to worry how I was going to stop at the bottom. Fortunately, there was a tree. So I'm hanging on to the tree catching my breath and giggling, when I hear behind me "oh crap" and a woman charges down the hill screaming "ahhhhhhhg". She managed not to bite it either. Gathering by the expletive the guy behind her let loose with, he wasn't so fortunate. Shortly after this hill, I came across the patch that would make me decide to stop after one time of the ten mile loop. The trail was about a foot wide, steep incline on my left, steep decline on my right, trail slanted slightly down, and was starting to get slippery. And I was feeling vertigo. I was leaning right, running off the trail, and afraid that the roll to the bottom of the hill, while it would be bad, wouldn't begin with trying to get back up it. When I finally passed this point, I came to a little hill that had a rope tied to a tree with knots in it so you could haul yourself up. The vertigo at mile 6 was scary. I figured at mile 16 when I was even more tired it might be dangerous. And that was my decision to not go back out. Not sure if it was the cold medicine, or that I'm just prone to motion sickness and vertigo, but I didn't want to experience it again.
From here on in I began getting out of the way of the fast people. Ten milers that had a later start were now catching me. My time was shot because of getting lost, and it wasn't going to be official because I was dropping back, so I just stepped aside for everyone.
And I finished the hardest ten miles of my life.

Steve finished the 50K, he did awesome. He didn't struggle with anything. He blew through the first loop at a 10 milers good pace, and he was conserving because he was planning on doing twenty more. He's gotten so much stronger. He did have an little stomach issue all day which affected his run a little, but the biggest impact was before he started last 10 mile loop he spent a little extra time in the aid station to calm his stomach down and take care of a few things he didn't want to take care of by the side of the trail. So that added 25 minutes. He was relieved that I didn't do the second loop. He knew it was hard, and he's waaayyyy stronger than me, so when he went back out, he at least wasn't worried about me. He would've supported me running it, but told me it was the right decision. I knew it was. I also found out several people missed the hard right turn at the dam, and that is why I saw footprints going both directions.
I'll finish with a few extra pictures, and this. If you want to know my overall feelings of this run, I plan to run it again next year and finish the 20, I'll just take motion sickness medicine before I start. And look at my face in the pictures. Yep, I loved it.

We both got hoodies, I got the little dog tag, Steve got the big medal and the 50K sticker. I was also number 5. First time I was single digit.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Conversations with Whitney

I was not involved in this conversation. She was on facebook, and she had three chat windows open. Webcam with the infamous Denae and Maddi at the same time. And if you look, you can see she is on her cell phone as well. And I thought call waiting and three way calling were technological advances when I was in high school.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life is Good

I just saw my husband's twitter post from 30 minutes ago. It said "life is good".
Made my day. Because...
Yesterday he was involved in some confrontational stuff that was not of his doing, his making, and he's the one on the losing end, and yet he handled it with grace and dignity, as he always does.
As of this morning he can't put his car in reverse. We will get it in the shop, but meantime, I had to get up at 5:00 this morning, turn mine around in the driveway, (you should see the tire tracks in my front yard) and push his with my car, which scratched up his paint job.
So I'm not sure what happened to make life good, or if he really meant God is good, so life is good. But hey, I'm a happy wife when he feels that way.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Non-training update

Race is next Saturday. I didn't run further than five miles this week. My legs and feet feel awesome!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm nervous

Steve changed my registration for the February 12 Run Toto Run trail run to the 20 mile instead of the 50K. And it's a good thing, because once the 20 mile thought entered my mind, I mentally checked out of the 50K and was all about the 20. (Now I'm wondering if I should just do 10). But I looked back at my training log and in the last 6 weeks I've done several ten milers, four 14-15 mile runs, and two that were 17 or more. I'm gonna go out and run 20. Steve is doing the 50K, so my real challenge is to run 20 in the time he runs 31. It's a loop course, so if he catches me, he can just slow down and finish with me. Kansas City is getting pounded with snow, so the trail might be difficult.
I got a lecture from Coach K not too long ago about leaving my pride in the parking lot and being the athlete that I am. There is no shame in running 20 miles, and aiming to finish before Steve runs his 31 miles. I'm not in his shadow, I'm not competing with him or anyone else. I keep reminding myself of this, don't know why I want to think I'm not good enough because I'm not as fast or strong or thin or young.
So I'm revisiting my ONEWORD, ME, what is in my power. And 20 miles is mine. I've worked for it, I've prepared for it, I want to do it, I'm excited about it. I don't have a goal time, other than for Steve to not have to wait for me.

I'm not "racing" I'm "running".