Monday, March 10, 2014

No blood but plenty of sweat and tears

My First Marathon Experience

Well, I’ve just run the L.A. Marathon and it was for sure an unforgettable moment.  Here are the highlights mile-by-mile (for those of you who want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly):
Mile 1: very slow start…sure takes a long time to get 25,000 people to the starting line
Mile 2:  slower pace than normal which was what I wanted (especially on the downhills)
Mile 3:  opening up a bit
Mile 4:  weather still cloudy – not too hot yet
Mile 5:  that man with the cow bells on his sneakers is really annoying me
Mile 6:   uh oh – right knee is starting to talk to me
Mile 7:  focusing on my pacing (yikes! am I really one whole mile behind?!)
Mile 8:  right knee not happy
Mile 9:  need to keep drinking water…no longer cloudy
Mile 10:  shut up knee (should I walk?  I shouldn't - I’m not even at the half-way mark)
Mile 11:  I see my family!!!  Not sure I’m really going to even finish (sniff, sniff)
Mile 12:  trying to slow down even more…maybe knee will be happier? left a crying voicemail for Air Boss that I don't think I'm going to make it
Mile 13:  okay, at least I can say I made it half way
Mile 14:  need to drink more (losing more water through tears than sweat)
Mile 15:  okay…let’s walk more than every 11 minutes (sniff, sniff)
Mile 16:  this isn’t looking good;  do I call for help?  Should I bail now?
Mile 17:  God help me
Mile 18:  I think I’m walking as much as I’m pretending to run (but Gumby and I are pacing each other)
Mile 19:  sniff, sniff, WAAAAH; stomach doesn’t feel so good; good thing my knee is distracting me
Mile 20:  walking 100%; providing clean water for kids is Africa is no longer a motivating thought
Mile 21:  stop telling me I’m almost there….do you know how long it takes to walk over 5 miles?!
Mile 22:  I see them again! I love my family, hate running, love family, hate running, stupid knee
Mile 23:  am I even moving?!?!  A man with a crutch just passed me!
Mile 24:  “Piggy-back rides $5/mile”…drat – left my money at home; 2 miles may as well be another 26
Mile 25:  left knee is failing me now…will I have to CRAWL this last mile?
Mile 26:  stop telling me to run to the finish line! Trust me – this is as fast as I can go.

Mile 26.2:  Thank you God for letting me finish – it was pathetic but You allowed me to finish and I am truly thankful for that.  [Alternate ending:  This was so fun! I feel great and can’t wait to do it again!]
In all seriousness, I didn't have the ideal marathon finish or overall experience.  I was miserable the last 6 miles and looking back, I'm surprised I stuck it out for so long.  But you know what?  God was good.  No.  He was amazing.  He answered my prayer to finish the marathon.  He gave me an important reason to run and as a result, the lives of 120 children will be changed because I ran and because many people supported me.  I finished.  And I am healthy.  I have a huge blister on my little toe (almost the size of a dime) and 6" of chafing where my skin was rubbed red and raw.  I felt neither the blister nor the chafing.  He knew my pain limit.
God is good.  All the time.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Things I’ve Accomplished This Week

Sometimes I feel frustrated when I don’t think I’ve accomplished anything this week.  During these times, it makes me feel better to write down the things I’ve accomplished so it appears that I’ve actually done something.  So here goes….my list for this week:

1. Vacuumed, dusted, and wet-mopped the first floor (after the contractors left – yay!) just in time for it to get dirty/dusty again when the painters arrived (boo)

2.  Spent three days unpacking my kitchen stuff and cooked for the first time in over eight weeks

3.       Sat on a chair and ate dinner at our dining room table like a civilized person

4.       Had Air Boss ask his doctor (who happens to be my doctor as well) a personal GYN question on my behalf

5.       Got super frustrated at ‘Shroom for losing a math assignment (which only took two full days to complete), a graphic organizer to a composition assignment, and his library book all within 24 hours (we eventually found 2 out of the 3 but a lot of time was wasted)

6.       Added a scum sucker (Plecostomos) to our little fish tank so we wouldn’t have to clean the tank so often; two days later, the tank is clean….wonder if this little sucker can live outside of water…like in my living room, my kitchen, the dusty corners of my house….

7.       Began reading Enders Game with the kids after we had to give up on The Fellowship of the Ring less than two chapters from the end; unfortunately the Tolkein  book is lost under plastic tarp somewhere  in our house

8.       Read only one book this week due to a somewhat chaotic schedule

9.       Had a botched morning run when I thought that I had “cheated” by running 5 minutes less than my required run; made up for it in the next run only to realize that I had skipped a week in the schedule and was running longer than required (note to self: figure out how to read training schedules)

10.   Got up before 6 AM every day this week so far

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What I Did This Summer...

....was live without a kitchen for almost 8 weeks.  Although summer ended two weeks ago when school began, we are still operating without a kitchen.  Over the past couple of months, our home has been whittled down to one bathroom (down from 3) and about 500 SF (down from 2,100).

I've tried not to complain about it because I know that to have the financial means to renovate a 40+ year old kitchen and tiny master bathroom is a luxury.  Despite this thinking, I'm beginning to reach my limit.  And while I think the construction workers in our home are super nice, I'm wanting to give them the boot and reclaim my house (minus the huge dumpster on my driveway and the 200 pounds of dust covering every surface on every piece of furniture in every room).

Something about seeing washed breakfast bowls next to the toenail clipper on the bathroom counter just doesn't feel right.  Nor does the rice cooker steaming our lunch next to 'Shroom's not-quite-thoroughly-cleaned-orthodontics render a healthy (or any) appetite in me.

With my fingers and toes crossed, we should be able to cook our first meal in the kitchen within the next week.  And I'll be able to take care of personal business in my new bathroom without elementary school aged children entering without the prerequisite knock.

Framing of new master bath

What a difference 5 (long) weeks makes! (don't mind the trash barrel)