Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thankful Thursday #5

After last weekend's horrific scene in Virginia, I'm definitely thankful for friends who won't back down when idiots think they can instill fear in our communities.

But for the basic thank-yous of the week ...

Absorbent desk blotters ... because coffee and gravity aren't always the best of friends

Healthy pugs -- but what's up with Frannie being a senior now? Time flies ... pugs do not. Word to the wise. Just kidding, it was only Frannie's annual checkup and Spade's bordetella booster and nail trims for both because it takes 4 people to hold Spade down. #bigboy

Frannie -- happy as can be ... but still trying to escape.

Spade ... this is his normal face. I think he's happy here.

Big salads - I'm trying the mason jar salads this week. Apparently, a quart jar is the equivalent to Elaine's Big Salad on Seinfeld. Best day was when I used fresh garden salsa as the 'dressing'. Also thankful for coworkers with gardens and sharing their fresh-made salsa.
Looks are deceiving here. This is a BIG dinner plate. Big.

The Last Tycoon - watched the first episode and I'm hooked. Also want to reread the book, because that's what I do. Fun fact - F Scott Fitzgerald books were my reading choice every time I had to fly. Not sure why I didn't want to read anything else but I would always take a paperback of his to read on planes. Weird.

Running - thankful I can keep doing it. 11 weeks (and 2 days) till my birthday marathon and I'm trying to remember how to fuel to prep for long runs, as well as what to fuel DURING the long runs.

Public school - Very thankful that the kids have access to quality education in the public school system here. But we went to the high school's open house last week and it was shocking the difference of this year compared to last year's open house. When Will was a freshman, it seemed like each class was full of parents. This year, I think all of his classes had no more than 3 or 4 sets of parents in attendance.

Also thankful for texts of concern received during and after the open house from friends who saw both of us there and couldn't believe what they were seeing. Thankful I can usually put my anger and bitterness aside for the sake of the kids. Key word: usually

Personal/bittersweet note here - thankful for August 15 and what it will always mean to me. Just because I'm going through a divorce doesn't mean I want to forget this day or the past 19 years ...

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thankful Thursday #4

Keeping it simple this week - just wanted to get this posted before I forget! 

Family mealtimes 
Coffee (told you it'd make a frequent appearance on these lists)
Downtime with the kids 
Sunrises during morning runs
Sunsets during walks with the kids and pugs
Fresh eggs
Texts, calls, emails, and IMs from friends near and far
Lotion and lip balm - really.
Cinnamon toast (and the 15 year old who asks me to show him out to make it the way my mom taught me)
Games with the 13 year old (and that even though her phone was blowing up with texts and notifications, she said "it's Mom/Allie time right now")

Many more ... but saving for another week :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Reading! Books! -- Show Us Your Books (link-up with Steph and Jana)

This is my first time linking up on the SUYB posts, but I recommend going to Stephanie's and Jana's link-up and checking out everyone else's suggestions/book lists. My list isn't very interesting ...

Here's my thing ... on days when I just don't want to do anything, I still read. I have to read. Well, I try to read. Life circumstances have had a way of sapping me more than I realized. So ... I miss reading as much as I used to, but I'm getting back to it.

I don't read fast and I don't read a lot, but I do have to read something daily and definitely right before bed. It helps push out all the busyness going on inside my head and lets me relax - no matter how exhausted I may be, a few paragraphs and I'm ready for sleepytime. Can't get that with TV or staring mindlessly at my phone before bed.

What I've actually been reading thus far this year (pretty pathetic list, actually) ...
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling - 4 stars - took me a bit to get used to the script format but I enjoyed it.
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - 4 stars - read this one as part of the Andrew Luck Book Club. I'd read The Giver (loved it) so I was looking forward to this one. 
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - 4 stars - also part of the Andrew Luck Book Club. This was the Veterans selection. I'd had it on my to-read list anyway so I was glad to have a reason to select it. Very good read. Get it.
  • The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond - 4 stars (What can I say? I'm consistent.) Also a good read. Received as an ARC from Netgalley. Although, now that I think about it, I probably would just give it 3 stars, maybe 3.5. It was an enjoyable read but once I have time/months to think about it, would I go back and read it again? Probably not.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - 5 stars and rates high enough to be read on an annual basis. Unfortunately, this time around wasn't good for me and there were parts of it were really hurting me during this season. I still love it.
  • Drawing of the Three by Stephen King - not going to rate since S King isn't everyone's cup of tea. You either like him or you don't. If you want to read the series though, start with The Gunslinger (it was a re-read in 2016).
  • The Waste Lands by Stephen King
  • Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
  • Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  • Song of Susannah by Stephen King
  • currently reading: The Dark Tower by Stephen King to finish up this series in prep for the movie that was just released (**see note below)
  • also reading: Zorba the Greek - just picked up from the library so haven't really gotten too far into it yet
  • and also: Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald (one of my favorite authors)
  • and also: All the Little Children by Jo Furniss (discovered on Kindle First)
  • and also: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (still ... I mean, I've been working on this one for a LONG time)
  • and also: ... well, there are a couple other books that I'm reading, but this "and also" section is getting ridonkulously long. Suffice it to say that I always have a book on me - either a 'real' book or I pull out my phone and read on the Kindle app whenever I'm waiting or stuck in traffic. It's MUCH better for my sanity and a better use of my time than scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.
** I hate getting sucked into a series and then getting burned out on it ... but I feel like I have to finish it or I never will. The only reason I started it was so I'd remember what's going on when I see The Dark Tower movie and now that I haven't seen any good reviews, I probably won't even see the movie. At this writing, I'm nearing the end of The Dark Tower and it's getting to where I'm skipping over parts because I just. want. it. to. end. The end is near though. The end is near.

Yeah, when this happens, it's time to put the book down and turn off the light.

A few years ago, I noticed I was reading the same books over and and over and wasn't really getting anything new in my brain -- hey, you find something you like and you want to go back to it ... again and again apparently. So I tried to switch it up with a rotation of a new book, then a classic (either new to me or a re-read), then a non-fiction new read, then a re-read 'modern'. I stopped that rotation for whatever reason and might need to get back to it -- mainly so I'm reading consistently again and not getting bored with what I'm reading. And ... I guess it'll help show the kids that reading is fun! In their minds, reading for fun doesn't exist now that they're having to read for school. I've been there kids ... boy, have I been there. And I've also been reading books that I should have read for a highschool or college class, just to see what I missed. Believe me, no one reads The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka for "fun".

Who else has gone back to read books that they were supposed to have read in high school or college but had skipped to the Cliff Notes version or watched the movie instead? Tell me I'm not the only one here, please. 

Do you read more than one book at a time or do I need to see a doctor about this?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What's New With You ... that You're Thankful For #3 (what?) - Aug ed.

Well, I was planning on doing the monthly What's New With You linkup with Kristen and Gretchen -- but as I need to be more intentional about gratitude and being thankful during this time, I'm going to adapt the WNWY items with Thankful Thursday with Rebecca. Deal with it.

I can't figure out how not to cut off the Thankful Thursday pic ... I guess I'm only 60% thankful today? 

First of all, realize that this is basically a chance for me to bore people with what's going on with me. Honestly though, I'm thankful for the posts and comments and texts/e-mails I get when people read what I write - but I'm not a pro at this and am just doing it more for an online diary to keep track of my life. When I see a link-up of any topic, I want to join in just so it gives me something different to write about other than marathon training. It also gives me something else to think about other than what's going on in my personal life.

What I'm eating ... we have a biometric screening coming up at work next week. The better the results, the lower my health insurance premium. And since I'm all about saving money whenever possible, I've been cutting back on meat-products and sweets (yay for high cholesterol and high blood sugar!). I *should* be eating like that year-round, but I'm human and there's bacon and chocolate and life-stressors. So I mentioned before that I'm back on a quinoa kick and also try to keep one of these in the freezer at work for when I don't have time to put a lunch together:

Thankful for - a job that provides decent health insurance and the motivation to monitor my own health so I'm not reliant on pills or doctors to keep me alive. 

What I'm reading ... Gah ... when you're stuck in a series and you just!! I'm on the last book of the Dark Tower series (finally) and I'm just ready for it to be done. My Goodreads to-read list is so long ... oh, but wait! Andrew Luck (QB for the Indpls Colts) has a book club and he released the next books to read! Wonder by R.J. Palacio for the rookies/kids and Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis for the veterans/adults. I've already read (and highly recommend) Wonder, so I might try Zorba the Greek next ... unless another book catches my eye when I finish what I'm reading.

Thankful for - books and reading and parents who encouraged our reading and education.

What I'm watching ... finishing up Gilmore Girls on Netflix with Allie. This is her second go-around watching the series so we usually watch a few episodes while playing board or card games. I remember trying to watch it when it was on regular TV but since I didn't know the history of the characters, I couldn't get into it. Glad I finally got around to watching it from the beginning and is it weird that it's also helping to give me closure/advice on this divorce thing? Relationships (broken or not), trying to be "friends" for the sake of the kids even when someone does what he did, moving past things, and keeping my sanity ...

Thankful for - unexpected laughter when I'm frequently down lower-than-low. I mean, when I realized I was laughing during a game while we were watching an episode, I stopped quickly because I hadn't heard that sound coming from me in a LONG while. Then I started crying because I was mad I had thought he took my laughter/joy from me along with my trust. Not today, Satan. Not today.

What I'm listening to ... my car radio is funky. As in, very temperamental. I'm used to it though. The car I had to drive for several years didn't have a working radio for most of that time. I don't have a long commute so it wasn't a big deal (7-10 minutes, tops). The radio in the car I drive now barely picks up local stations and the volume control jumps from high to low to blasting to silence ... so I'm trying to get into podcasts. Looking for recommendations ...

Thankful for - short commutes (except when a bridge is closed). Memories of Shermaggedon ...

What I'm planning for August ... I'm not sure how this will work out but after school supplies and clothes wiped me out in July, here's hoping for a no-spend or low-spend August (except for gas and groceries ... oh, and I think I need new running shoes - but that's it!). Have a vacation coming up and I need to pinch my pennies now so I won't be relying on the credit card.

This is exactly what it felt like school supply shopping by myself with the kids. 
I definitely felt nauseous afterward.

Thankful for - an abundance of everything so I don't have to purchase things unnecessarily. Also thankful for some minimalist blogs/websites that have given me motivation to gradually whittle down our possessions to where there is enough. Still have a long way to go but I've been dropping off bags of clothes and household goods at Salvation Army and The Mustard Seed

What I'm running ... since the majority of my other posts are running-related, NOT going to do a running recap here ... except to say that I had the best 9 mile run last weekend. Weather was cool, met up early with some running peeps, and had a good pace even with the chatting.

Thankful for - continued good health and a patella that has chosen to cooperate through all this running. I dislocated it (or rather, it was forcibly removed from my knee ligaments) during a youth ski trip 20 years ago ... I was one of the leaders, so that was fun.

What's new with you or what are you thankful for right now?

Friday, July 28, 2017

My Second Virtual Race ... coming up!

This is a guest post (my first!) from Kristy at Runaway Bridal Planner. I'm registered for this and will be incorporating the virtual race in with my marathon training. For the most part, my runs aren't anything more than 'get the mileage in' or 'get the time in'. Using a race for a long run, even if it's a virtual race, will hopefully help me change my mindset for that particular day and see how much I've improved since my last race.


Have you considered a Virtual Race to help you with your fitness motivation?

What are Virtual Races? They are Runners, walkers or hikers who sign up for a distance they want to conquer for their goal. Come race week participants pick a course of their choice, race any day during the race week, and go any pace they'd like. That is the best part, time doesn't have to be scheduled away from other things in life, day or night what is ever best works!

Efforts and completion as in a regular road race, are provided with a race t-shirt and beautiful unique finishers medallion to show off your accomplishments and add to your race bling collections.
In fact Run Sea to shining Sea has created a unique finishers medallion you can earn for all your hard work here is a glimpse of the design. (Note: the actual medal will be a nice quality heavier nickel metal about 3 inches wide with a navy blue splash of color.)

Sound like something you’d like to do? Join up today!

Registrations spots for the Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Races are filling up fast and prices go up August 1st. If you register today, you can use discount code FUNRUN and save 15% off the registration price. HINT: If you are willing to share you signed up on Facebook during registration you can save an additional 10% too. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, don't wait! Secure your spot today!!

Are you a parent? Are your kids telling you they are bored this summer?

Run Sea to Shining Sea has group discounts available so feel free to register your entire family for some fun competition.
Your kids will love the finisher’s medal they can earn by participating and will be fun for them to show off to their friends about their accomplishments!

It Doesn’t Have to be on a Treadmill or Neighborhood street

With a virtual race you can take yourself to the course of your dreams. Mountains, Valleys, National Parks, Beaches… Your choice!

Need a Few More Reasons to Enter Run Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Races?

* Use it as a training run for a fall race you are gearing towards.

* To motivate you to stay active or to become active.

* Compete against yourself. Or grab some friends for some healthy fun competition.

* Compete in your own way with no restrictions, run during the time of day and day of the week that works best for your schedule.

* It supports American small businesses, medal creation, and t-shirt screen printing all done by American based companies. In addition, the event project itself is for a college thesis project so you'll be helping a runner get her Recreational Management degree!

* To earn a new medallion to add to your race accomplishment displays.

Want to give it a try? You can REGISTER HERE today before registration prices increase.


Have you done any virtual races of any distance?
How do you keep motivated for those long runs in training?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thankful Thursday - #2

This has been a crazy week ... and so many things to be thankful for.

Church camp - picked Allie up from camp on Saturday and it always brings back great memories of going to Camp Tippecanoe as a camper, then a counselor. And also Camp Woody in Alaska ... as a counselor, then program director. The friendships that formed in those short weeks, exchanging addresses and writing letters back and forth, seeing them again the next year, the songs, the games, the chapel times, the getting-closer-to-God times ... all of it. And now, well ... I doubt physical addresses are exchanged anymore, but Allie had loads of names to add to her Snapchat and Instagram and was asking how far it was to various towns so she could make plans to visit new friends.

Car repair - trying to be thankful for this one ... but it cost more than I was expecting and I'm hopeful that it means this car will be good to go for me for at least another 5 years.

Starbucks - thank you for being next door to my car repair place.

Some Peach Green Tea Lemonade as I wait for my car to be finished.

Friends - never underestimate what a random text or phone call or e-mail throughout the day will do.

Essential oils - I'm gradually getting into this essential oils craze and the more I find out about them, the more I like them.  Diffused some cedarwood and lavender last night to help all of us sleep better before the first day of school ... I don't know about the kids but I slept better and they were both up early and in pleasant moods this morning.

School supplies - I will always love shopping for school supplies and I'm glad my daughter shares this love. :)

Long-term care facilities - This is a tough one. I know there are nursing homes out there with horrible reputations. My mental image of a nursing home is based on what I experienced growing up and going to visit relatives in their nursing homes -- everyone in bed all the time, never seeing anyone walking around or happy, the smells ... and this is why we always said we'd never let our parents go into a nursing home. Well, after my dad passed away in 2012 and my mom's dementia started affecting her motor skills, it was too much for my sister to continue home care and we moved Mom to a long-term care facility down here rather than in Indianapolis. This place is amazing and I really am thankful for all they do for the residents. It's not a "nursing home" -- it's more an assisted living facility, but it IS a nursing home. It's just that the residents there are kept active and are happy. There are visitors there all the time, lots of groups coming in to lead games, church services, etc. and it really is the best place for my mama. Plus, it's not too far from me so I can visit regularly. She might not know me or the kids or him anymore (and with what's going on in my life, that is currently a blessing) but to see her laughing and participating in activities makes my heart smile.

Mom claimed she didn't want to play "balloon bop" ... yet she was participating and laughing with everyone. 
So good to see her smiling and alert.

Public schools - thankful to live in an area where my kids get high-quality public school education. Today is the first day of school and whereas both weren't too excited to start this week, this morning had smiles and laughter in the car ride to school. Praying for a good year for both of them.

There are many more for this week but I'll stop here. :)

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Training Tuesday (life update, etc.)

OK ... while I missed a weekly update, my training continues. I had to cut myself some slack because I only ran 4 miles instead of the recommended 6 miles on one long-run-Saturday. I so hate this heat. It wasn't even very humid out, so I should be thankful for that. But when I'm dripping sweat and creating my own little cloud of humidity ... it's just not all that much fun.

Yeah, this is my hair. Thank goodness I got it cut so it's much easier to rein in on these summer days.

The runs for most of the other days have been on target though and were completed with minimal complaints (except the heat ... dear Lord, the heat ... ).

I need to put this out there as a result of some comments I've gotten ... whatever you think of as "fast" is not me, nor is it any other person. "Fast" is a relative term -- and really shouldn't be used in comparisons AND you shouldn't be comparing yourself to others anyway. I have never considered myself a runner. Still don't. But what helped me start to enjoy this hobby is the realization that I'm just trying to improve my time based on how I did previously. I'm only competing against myself.

It used to be that when I'd read blogs from other runners, I'd see their times and know in my heart that I could never be that fast. Then I'd start to think ... why even try? And then I get stuck in a downward spiral of comparison.

Want to see some of my training times? Keep in mind that I'm still at the interval setting of run 3 minutes/walk 2 minutes so these times include those walking minutes.

Distance Time min/mi
7.21 mi 1:30 12:29
3.3 mi 40 12:07
3.7 mi 42 11:21

This is not what I consider "fast" ... but I've improved greatly from when I first started almost 5 years ago. 

So ... other updates for those who care to read about the minutiae of my life ... 

Back on the quinoa kick. This is a quick dish that is good for multiple meals for me -- mainly since no one else is willing to try it. I usually make it with tomato sauce but saw the fire-roasted tomatoes and thought it'd add a different flavor. It did, but not as much as I was hoping. Added some salsa and that was better.

House projects gradually getting done. Not sure what we were thinking when we purchased this monstrosity/money pit. Plus, while I'd been juggling basic housecare, kidcare, bill-paying duties, while working full-time -- it led to neglect of basic home maintenance/updates that I just couldn't do on my own and I didn't want to be known as "The Nagging Wife". Funny how it turns out ...

Anyway, not much else to update. School starts this week so I've been spending time with the kiddos.

What's up in your world? 
When does school start in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trying to be Thankful - #1

For the past umpteen-many Thursdays, I've read Rebecca's thankful posts and admired her ability to see joy in things that aren't always joy-giving. And in this season of my life, I know I need to keep my focus on what's good and not dwell on what's bad. So ... while I'm not good at consistency (anyone who knows me will attest to that), I'm going to try to participate in Thankful Thursdays. If anything is a repeat - just think of it as me being extra-thankful for that.

coffee - because.

air-conditioning - because I'm a wimp. My parents didn't have central air when I was growing up (they got it a year or two after I moved out) and I know I could go back to living without it ... but I'd really rather not.

technology - because texts, emails, comments on blog posts, etc. from friends I know well or know from online have been so appreciated these past few months. I liked getting them before, but getting them now means even more to me.

church camp - I spent many years as a camper, then as a counselor, and finally one year as a program director at church camp. I loved the friendships made, the activities and games, the songs, ... all of it. My daughter is at camp this week with a cousin and I love seeing photos of her on Facebook - seeing her smile, seeing the activities they're doing, and knowing that she has a love for Christ that current events happening at home have not lessened.

Sorry, not sorry - but this is funny ... and why I've always disliked 'trust falls'

my job - I complain about it on occasion, but there are aspects of every job that someone would surely complain about. It's not a career (though I've been here almost 16 years) and it's definitely not what I had planned to do with my college degrees of German and Journalism ... but there are good people here and they do good things in the communities we serve.

And ending this week's list with the ...

my kids - they are my reason for living right now and everything I am doing is for their benefit and their future. That's what moms do and that will never change.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

What's new with you - July update

Linking up with Gretchen at GretchRuns and Kristen at See You in a Porridge this first Thursday of July!

Training -
Moving right along with the marathon training. Currently towards the end of week 3 and it's a little boring. The intervals are still at run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes and I find myself running a bit longer after the timer goes off to start walking ... and then re-starting running before the timer goes off to run again. But I've also noticed that my speed has increased, without me really trying to go faster. I think I'm going to have to look into joining a running group that will have dedicated speed sessions. Otherwise, I won't know what's the best way to go about that. I also know I need to do cross-training (something I hate) to get stronger ... which will also help on the speed. Too much to think about when I just want to forget about everything. And for those in on my Netflix woes, I'm watching Gilmore Girls now during any treadmill runs. I've been getting some runs in outside but when scheduling or weather keeps me inside, I have the witty banter of Lorelei and Rory to humor me.

Preach it, Barney

Life -
It's still sucktastic. Thanks for asking. But I'm grateful for friends. So many things running through my head at all hours - it's amazing I'm still able to get my job done as well as everything else I'm doing.

What do you do when you find out one of your friends (a close one - a very close one - possibly your spouse) has written you off and moved on without a second glance or any remorse? I have my faith to keep me going but there's always going to be a question of 'what the hell just happened here?' Is it really that much easier just to skip out on life and responsibilities than to put some JOINT effort into something? Should it be that easy that one can simply sign on the dotted line to void a marriage and there be no repercussions? Ugh ...

Michael knows. 
Actually, the storyline doesn't really go with my life story ... but it's the Godfather. I had to use it.

Goals -
Just keep waking up and putting one foot in front of the other. And keep the kids alive. :) And keep trying new things. Now that I don't have to needlessly worry about what someone else thinks about what I like/don't like (realizing that he just really didn't care anyway), I'm so enjoying getting out with friends and exploring and trying new things.

My most recent finished project from The Glass Gypsy.
It's symbolic (but hard to see in the photo) -- there's a large piece of cut glass in the middle for Indianapolis (my hometown) and a broken mirror for New Albany (where I live now and 'found' myself). 

Books -
While I did set a goal on GoodReads, I realized a few years ago that book goals aren't realistic for me. I'm not into picking fluff books to read and wonder why can't adults get the same type of reading goals that they set for kids? I'd rather measure what I read in pages, not books ... or give extra credit for the weighty tomes. Besides, wasn't really much in the reading mood for awhile. I've gotten back into it gradually, if only for something to do to keep my mind off "things".

I've been staring at paint blotches on the wall for more than a year. 
Apparently, the blotches only bothered me so I'm the one doing the painting.

Rest of month activities -
Well, I'm not on the family vacation right now that has been planned for more than a year. And I've deactivated Facebook for the week so I don't see all the photos and posts from those who did go. I'm working on the house while the kids are gone - painting what I can, decluttering what should have been tossed a long time ago (really just had no time or motivation and then someone was little-to-zero help). But, I'll be spending the rest of this month with W and A (as much time as I possibly can - they're growing up faster than I can keep up). I love the people they are becoming and we are talking more and more each day about everything and nothing and I'm loving every minute of it! (could this be the one 'positive' that comes out of the separation/pending divorce?) AND ... to get a text from them while they're gone that says they miss me this week. Bittersweet.

Any thoughts?
Any updates you want to share?
Any suggestions on how to cope?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Training and stuff - week 1 done

I was NOT looking forward to starting running again. Not at all. Totally lost any motivation with the separation. But ... apparently it's my "thing" because everyone seemed to be concerned with me needing to run.

"How are you doing? Are you still running?"

"I just can't believe it. Have you been able to keep running at least?"


So in following the Marathoning for Mortals plan, Day 1 was Monday and I did finally finish it that evening. At least the runs during the week are based on times, not distance. It's been crazy hot/humid and I hate both types of weather ... so yes, I did the 3 1/2 runs during the week on the treadmill. No big deal since I'm also watching The Crown on Netflix and it was a chance to get most of an episode in during each run.

Monday - run 3 min/walk 2 min 7x for 35 minutes, with a 5 minute warmup walk and end with a 5 minute cooldown.

Tuesday - was supposed to have been the same but I had gone out on the river with some friends on their boat and we didn't get back until late, and then didn't leave their house until nearly 1 a.m. ... so no run, and the dogs ended up having their supper at 1 a.m. and then their breakfast at 6 a.m.

The evening was near-perfect. First time for me on the Ohio River.

Wednesday - was supposed to have been a cross-train day but I did the run 3/walk 2 that was scheduled for Tuesday. And went with my favorite daughter to The Glass Gypsy - a local artsy place where you create your own mosaic, made of broken glass pieces, beads, etc. Very fun and I'm pretty sure she had a good time too.

Masterpieces in progress ... I went back a few days later after they had covered it in resin.

Thursday - same, run 3/walk 2 7x (still watching The Crown) and finished the evening playing games with Allie. After work, I had to meet with M. and the attorney he picked out to be our joint lawyer in this unblessed event. And yes, don't worry - I'm well aware that one attorney can't represent both sides.

Friday - rest day -- need it too. Not from running, but just from crappity crap. Best part of the day though was Bring Your Dog to Work Day ... and my co-worker, Frannie. 

A good representation of work-life. First photo is at the beginning and she's all excited. 
Second photo is after lunch and she's ready for early retirement.

Saturday - was supposed to have been a 5 mile run at run 3/walk 2 intervals. Allie and I ended up going to the Farmer's Market and walking around downtown. By the time we got back from errand running, I knew it was too warm for me outside and I didn't want to do the treadmill AGAIN so I delayed it. Also, my brother, his wife, and my sister came down for a quick visit.

Sunday - would have been a rest day but as I am taking a break from church due to nosy snoops and gossip-mongers, I was able to get a run in outside. Only completed 3 miles outside before I realized that I was woefully unprepared -- supper the night before consisted of only a strawberry shortcake from Zestos. Breakfast that morning was non-existent and I still hadn't had any coffee for a burst of energy. I ended up leaving after 3 miles to go home, eat something and then finished up on the treadmill. 

And so ends week 1 of marathon #2 training.

And I have to say that while I was dreading the running, I also enjoyed the running. I can't say I missed it, because I didn't ... and it's going to be difficult to get all the scheduled runs and workouts in while trying to figure out a new life/schedule as a single parent. But I think I have a good support system -- just have to figure out who I can trust again.

Suggestions for cross-training? 
Have you gotten back to something after taking a break and was it better/worse than you remembered?
Suggestions for mom/son activities with a teenage boy who is on self-imposed exile in the basement?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Marathon Monday! (well, training for it ... )

So ... here I go. Back at it. Training begins today for Marathon #2. And this is how excited I am ...

Yeah, that's a nope.

Lots of stuff going on now. Divorce crap and more crap. But I did get my running shoes out of the closet for the first time since the Indy Mini in May ... and I did set out my clothes to run in. But the motivation was not there this morning. Here's hoping I find the time to do something this evening. 

As before, following the Marathoning for Mortals run/walk plan. Original plan when I registered for this second marathon was to beat my time. That may still be the goal, but I realize I need to train first. And nutrition needs to be a focus (not eating much now ... but I'm starting this training program 20 pounds lighter than last year. Is that a plus?). And sleep needs to be a priority (wouldn't happen without melatonin). 

So there you go. Wish me luck ... 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Running/existing in a random stream of consciousness

I guess I first started this blog as a way to keep track of what my little family was doing ... but after starting it, I didn't have time to update it because I was too busy living/loving life with my little family.

Then when I started running, I figured I'd use it to keep track of my training, races, etc. and I've pretty much stuck with that, even though I don't update it as often as I should.

Also, I haven't really made my blog public knowledge yet. I mean, I'm okay if people find out about it but it's not something I publicize or promote. More like a "these are my thoughts - read them at your own risk" kind of thing.

side note: I do love to write. I just rarely have time to.

And I thought the title of this particular post is very apt with how I'm coping these days ... pretty much in a random stream of consciousness. Day by day, hour by hour, whatever it takes to get to the next thing.

And that's pretty much how I run too. Without music (unless I'm on the dreadmill) and just thinking my thoughts in a random state of mind. I think about life, I think about love, I think about my family, I think about the future, I think about how much pain I'm in (physical, emotional, etc.), and I think about pretty much everything in between. I pray. I solve whatever problems I think I have. I ask for help for whatever situations I may need help with. I thank God for every blessing I undeservedly have. Basically, I think about anything and everything. I mean, the actual act of running is pretty boring and my mind moves faster than my legs do anyway.

I'm taking some time off from running. It's not that I'm burned out - but I am. I'm burned out on a lot of things right now -- running, reading, walking during my lunch hour or even with the pugs around the neighborhood ... pretty much anything that I enjoyed is not high on my priority list right now. And that sucks. I've been doing some Pure Barre classes. Signed up for a free week and then got suckered into signing up for 30 days at a 'low' rate. They might think it's low but after the 30 days are up, I'm definitely done. I even went ahead and put my name on the schedule for as many days as possible -- but I've already missed one. Will likely miss more as the weeks go on. But training for marathon #2 will start on June 19. I'm not really looking forward to it as without my running partner, I've lost all motivation. I have to prove it to myself that I can do this without his support.

I was talking with someone recently about communication and how there are so many different aspects to successful communication. It's not just talking and listening. It's about being heard and making sure you're communicating in a way that the other person will hear and understand. I spent a summer in Germany during college. My German sucked (still does) and even though many of the students I became friends with had been studying English for many years, there were always communication difficulties. For example - this was the summer that Wayne's World came out and I went to see it in the theater over there. Some of the jokes were translated literally and made no sense in German so no one laughed throughout the movie and I found out that the movie basically bombed outside the U.S. Had the translators rewrote some of the jokes so that they'd appeal to German (or foreign) audiences, the movie would have been more successful. Likewise, if I'm trying to communicate with someone or they with me, we need to be able to read each other to know if the other person is actively listening and comprehending what is being said and not said. If it appears the other person just doesn't get it, then we need to change how we are expressing ourselves to that person. Sure makes a hell of a lot of sense to me ... just wish I had realized this a few years ago. But ... well ... it's too little, too late. Amiright?

Life sucks sometimes.

Thanks for reading though. If you're a praying person, please say a prayer for me. I'm in the most difficult season of my life right now ... but I know that if I can get through this, and if I can show my kids that I can survive this, then I'll come out stronger in the end. God help me.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Indy Mini - my 7th half-marathon and a PR!

I wasn't sure about this race. Matt had agreed last year to run this one with me ... and I knew it would be a week after the Kentucky Derby Festival half that we had already registered for as well. I guess we figured that we'd still be tired/sore after the KDF race that we'd be able to run/walk this one together and just enjoy the scenery and the chance to be on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. Well, life got in the way and Matt decided not to go. I didn't want to give up on $120 for the two registrations so I decided to press on and go anyway. No goal for the race other than to finish still standing. That's about my daily goal anyway these days ... 

Packet pickup was at the Indiana Convention Center and it was very nice ... considering this is the largest race in Indiana, there are tons of sponsors and there were more than 70 vendors with booths to tempt me. I was good though -- the only booth I knew I wanted to stop at and get something was the Indiana University Alumni Runners booth ... and no one was there! They have an annual membership that provides race discounts to a variety of races, but membership also gives a discount for IU running apparel. Alas ... no one was at the booth so I admired the candy-stripe tech shirts (homage to the striped warm-up pants of the basketball team) and the IU logo'd shirts/tech hats/etc. and kept on moving. 

Had also made plans to meet up with my oldest and dearest friend, Amy. I know I've said it before (at least on Facebook -- but I think on here too) that everyone needs an Amy in their life. She's seen me at my best and at my worst. She's talked me off ledges (figuratively) and knows just when to contact me when she hasn't heard from me in awhile. So since my traditional pre-race meal is pizza (something about needing that extra sodium before long races that helps keep my hands/fingers from swelling), we went to Jockamo's Upper Crust Pizza in Irvington. Split some breadsticks and a Pomodoro pizza with her (Grilled eggplant, tomato, fresh basil, garlic, extra sauce) ... Delicious! (no photo - so take my word for it) 

Since my mom has moved to a nursing home near me, my sister is still at the family house, cleaning up her accumulations over the years and also seeing if there's anything that belongs to me or my brother that we can take with us after a visit. The weather has been all over the place lately and not only have they had flooding, but also it's been chilly/cold ... and she didn't want to turn the furnace back on until absolutely necessary. I slept in my parents' old bedroom ... which has the entrance to the crawlspace in the closet ... which is where the sump pump is ... which was coming on every few minutes. I legit slept in my clothes - jacket, socks, a few extra blankets - and couldn't sleep anyway due to normal pre-race jitters, life being sucky lately, being cold, being in a strange bed, and then the sump pump singing its praises regularly. Possibly had 3 hours sleep total ... not sure.

Ended up leaving the house at 6 a.m. even though my wave didn't start until 7:40. I didn't know how bad parking would be so I decided to just go. Rather than park on the street and try to figure out the meters, I went to my go-to parking garage at Circle Centre mall. And from past experiences, I knew I needed to take a photo of what level I parked on and also the nearest sign post to locate my car. Post-race brain fog is a real thing.

After taking a photo of the level and location of where I parked, I thought about also taking a picture of the entrance to the parking garage and marking it on Google Maps. It may be my hometown but I'm no longer a local.

This was a big race. I was assigned to Wave 2 and Corral I. I've been in races with corrals before -- and those are a joke. When you're assigned to Corral B and people next to you are wearing bibs that clearly say they are in Corral E or F and they don't care that they are going to be slowing down everyone around them ... it's a pet peeve of mine. Start in the correct corrals, folks! They're there for a reason!

This happens to be the biggest race in the state though. And they do corrals right. The entire race start line is behind barricades and you can only enter the barricades through specific points ... and there are race volunteers there checking your bib to make sure you're allowed to be in that particular corral. I loved it!! What I didn't love is that apparently I thought Matt and I were going to be Speedy McSpeedsters when I sent in our registrations. Since they put me in 'I' and I knew that I'd be going slower than originally planned anyway, I was going to start at the end of the corral/beginning of the J corral. Well, that happened to be right where the 2:00 pace group was. There was no way they assigned us to the faster-than-2:00 corral ... but they had. Idiots. 

This was a giant mural on the side of the JW Marriott. Notice the bright orange O and N signs -- those are the corral identifiers. I think they had corrals down to the letter Z ... I know I saw an X corral. The corrals started in waves -- so about 4 or 5 corrals would start at a time. My start time was 7:40.

I didn't take any photos during the race. For one, it was raining a bit at the start. And cold (42 degrees). One of the freebies in the race packet was a tech hat (as seen in the above photo -- the white/blue one) so I made sure to wear that to keep the rain out of my eyes. It definitely helped. I also enjoyed running through parts of the city I had never been in before or the areas had been updated since I was last through there. Because of the large number of runners in the race, I was constantly being passed and also passing others the entire 13.1 miles. Being able to run by myself without knowing anyone else in the race was probably what I needed. I could focus on my thoughts, my breathing, meditate on what life is dishing out, and stop to walk whenever. The thing is ... even after the KDF half the week before, I felt fine. I really think running with intervals is my lifesaver. So I kept my interval timer set at run 5 min/walk 1 min and turned it on after about the 2nd mile. 

Because this is a large race, there were "pit stops" at every mile marker with water or Gatorade and a long line of portapotties. I waited until probably mile marker 4 or 5 till I found a line of portapotties without a line of people waiting -- dashed in there right quick, got back on the road, and didn't stop my RunKeeper timer since it was less than a minute.

There are also tons of support groups -- I think they said there were more than 50 bands, cheer groups, etc. along the way. That has to include the people who were helping hand out water but it was still pretty amazing to always see another group of cheering people or a band up ahead. There were cloggers and square-dancers ... there were school groups (from elementary to college) ... there were church groups. It was just an awesome experience all around. 

What I was really looking forward to was being on the track at around mile 6-9 -- and we ran the entire oval (2.5 miles). I kind of wish I did stop for a photo but Meb Keflezighi was at the track and I got a high-five from him. He's a little fellow -- a little taller than me (I'm 5'1") and just a toothpick. But I probably would be too if I were a professional marathon runner. It was pretty cool to see him though. And running over the finish line (made of bricks, hence the track's nickname of The Brickyard) was also neato. 

At one point while on the track, I realized that the sun had come out and I was getting warm in the rain jacket so I pulled over to the side to try to take it off. Of course I would safety-pin my bib all the way through the jacket to my shirt ... so I was wasting valuable minutes trying to undo the pins to get the jacket off, then re-pin the bib to my shirt and then figure out how to tie the rain jacket around me and be able to run without it falling down. My phone and gels were in the pocket though and I ended up having to stop a few more times until I could get everything situated.

I don't remember much about the last few miles other than the supporters were more supportive and seemed to be more running-group mentors than regular school groups. Not sure if it just seemed that way or if they were placed there because the organizers knew that people would be struggling at the end. I needed them though. And they put my name on my bib so it was incredibly helpful to have them run alongside me saying "you've got this, Elizabeth". Yep ... started getting teary-eyed each time too.

I had a good idea on what time I crossed the start line (about 8 minutes after the first people started) so I tried to do the calculations at each mile marker to see how I was doing. I'm pretty sure I messed up at some point though because when I saw the timer at the finish line, it showed I was going to have a PR ... say what?

Yep -- with all the crap going on right now and with having completed a half 7 days prior and with having only 3 hours of sleep the night before and with stopping for several minutes to fix my bib/rain jacket ... I finished in 2:26:00 for a PR
And got a nice medal too.  

Post race - unfortunately, I never saw the chocolate milk table. After a race is pretty much the only time I indulge in chocolate milk ... so I was bummed about that. I did get a chocolate chip cookie, banana, granola bar, fruit cups of pineapple and mandarin oranges, pretzels, and a bottle of water. Since no one was waiting for me at the finish line, I just meandered my way out of there and back to the car to get back to the house to clean up and head home. Since I had only had a PowerBar for breakfast, my sister and I went to Panera for lunch and I got my usual ... a Mediterranean Veggie 1/2 sandwich and bowl of the tomato soup -- can't wait until the squash soup is available again!

Not pictured, my chocolate chip cookie and a French Toast bagel.
Hey, when Panera tells me I can get a free bagel each day during the month of May, I don't want to disappoint them.

So I was thinking that this would be a one-and-done race and could just mark it off my bucket list and move on to something else. That may still be the case but I really enjoyed this race. They'll be opening up registration this week for $60 (I think) and then will close registration until later this summer and at a higher price.

Just curious -- do you have any running events that are on your bucket list? Or, if not running, then something you want to do/see/experience? (mine include hiking the Grand Canyon and also Machu Picchu)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kentucky Derby Festival Half-Marathon - 2017

This is a What's New With Me recap for April as well as a race recap. Linking up with Kristen and GretchRuns for this post. Honestly, if it weren't for the link-up reminders, I doubt I'd be posting anything ... so here goes ...

The race? I finished. That's really all that matters. My training was next to nothing since the Papa John's 10-miler on April 1st. My sleep was minimal, nutrition likewise, motivation was in the pits.

But I'm frugal - we've been trying to pay off our credit cards and get out of the debt cycle for so many years that when I spend money on something, I will follow through to the death. Of course, I discovered that my frugality has limited me on getting out of the house and doing things with friends and that appears to be a blackmark against me ... but I digress.

Literally. Four credit cards between us - all maxed out at one point to the tune of about $60k total. Bought a house way too big than we were ready for. And since I pay the bills, I'm the one who had to juggle what went where. Stressful? Heck, yeah. Dave Ramsey would have slapped us silly ... and we would have deserved it. Not to worry though - total debt is now down considerably and there's some wiggle room now on being able to tackle house projects for once.

Actually - no. I'll continue. When I was informed of this ... ever so kindly ... by someone, I took action to spend a little money on myself for a change. During the month of April, I might not have been training physically, but it's also good to build myself up emotionally as well. New hair-do, new shoes for Easter (no new dress, because ... frugal), signed up for a (free) week of Pure Barre classes - which was pretty much my only training for the half-marathon, meeting up with friends for dinner for the first time in a LONG time, meeting up with another friend for an artsy-crafty evening at The Glass Gypsy ... and it has felt good to reconnect with friends and with myself. Too little, too late probably/most definitely.

My tree. 
And the letters were a little messed up during the resin process so I get to return to make another one. 
Anyone want to join me?

My only running during this month included an almost-5k fundraiser for the Open Door Youth Shelter. I remember crossing the finish line and seeing the time clock almost stunned that I finished the 5k in less than 30 minutes -- even with a couple walk breaks! ... only to look at my RunKeeper and see that it wasn't even a full 3 miles. :(  But it was a fundraiser and I enjoyed myself, even if Matt did not.

One is trying to take a photo while looking at the camera rather than the phone screen. 
The other has the definite look of wanting to be anywhere but there. 

I think I ran on the treadmill once during the month too. But does that really count? I guess it does. I do know I was looking forward to finishing the second season of Twin Peaks. I had watched the first season when I was a senior in high school - so I missed the second season thanks to a crazy hectic first year away at IU. Unfortunately, I couldn't even watch the whole first episode of the second season. It was too weird/bizarre/dumb.

I still love the music though. But, wowee ... was that first episode of the second season bizarre ... 

So on to the race ... which always starts with packet pickup the day before.

My original plan was to take a shuttle from downtown to the fairgrounds so I wouldn't have to worry with traffic or parking ... but then discovered that I wouldn't be allowed to pick up Matt's bib for him, so he had to come with. While I wasn't a fan of the new location (fairgrounds as opposed to downtown), I definitely liked that the expo seemed larger - but maybe because it was spread out more and it didn't feel like we were cattle lined up to go through processing this time. We even saw a good friend that we see at either every expo or every race. On the way back to the car, we stopped at the Thornton's food truck and tried the bourbon vanilla latte ... definitely tasty but I had never had bourbon before and it really just tasted like a vanilla latte.

We had some torrential storms during the night and since I haven't been sleeping well, I didn't get much sleep that night either. And I need to back-up ... Friday morning, a cute little Jack Russell kept trying to get into the house. I didn't know what to do with her so was going to take her to the local shelter after taking the kids to school and on my way to a doctor's appointment. Lo and behold, Allie discovered that the little dog had a fairly deep gash on her back and I didn't want to just leave her at the shelter without it being looked at ... so off to our vet I went. NO MICROCHIP! People, if you have a pet ... please ... make sure it has a microchip in it for this exact reason. Anyway, they put staples in, pulled off several ticks, I took some photos to post on the lost pet Facebook pages, and 5 days later ... we still have her. The pugs aren't happy and it's a lot of work trying to keep them separated ... but I truly believe her arrival was a God-thing to take my mind off of the horrific doctor appointment I'd been dreading that was on Friday morning as well.

She was just the sweetest little girl. 
Unfortunately, our old pug wanted nothing to do with her other than try to rip her throat out ...

So now we're at race morning and I see an email that the race has been delayed till 8:00. I forced myself to drink water and eat 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich (couldn't finish it) and we left. Found a really good parking garage that was practically empty due to a concert the night before -- the sign outside said it was full but it was definitely not even close to being full. We started out to the start line and discovered that the race had been delayed again till 8:30 -- back to the car to wait. Left again around 8:20 because I really needed to use a portapottie. Sorry, not sorry. And then to find out it was delayed again?!?! The skies were scary looking so I understood but it just wasn't doing anything and I was worried about the coming heat of the day and my less-than-half of a peanut butter sandwich. Of course it did start raining around that time and pouring when the race finally started around 9:20 so now I just wanted to finish.

A bit of an exaggeration. But the clouds were moving quickly and the sky was dark.

I had my interval timer set for 5 minute run/1 minute walk but didn't need to turn it on until after running through the first 4 miles only walking the water stops. But by the time I started the intervals, I think it was too late. I'm pretty sure the lack of sleep/nutrition/motivation/etc. had had enough of me pushing my body for so long. I decided I needed to drink double at all the stops and take whatever food that spectators were offering, safety be damned. That helped. It also helped that I started dumping the last half of my water cups on my head and back of my neck. Just had to remember not to dump the PowerAde on my head by mistake ...

I stopped at another portapotty around mile 5. Emotions were wearing on me at that point and I legit started sobbing when one guy asked me how I was doing with my race. That'll teach him.

Look, pal ... don't ask if you don't want to know.

One nice thing that happened was I finally met and chatted with a lady I see at almost every race. We've seen each other so often that we say hi but have never introduced ourselves. She's from New Albany too and has been running about as long as I have. And then I also saw a lady who walks the bridge as much as I do - we high-fived as I passed her.

Not quite like this -- it was around mile 12 so not much effort went into it.

I really just wasn't feeling it this race. I'm glad I did it and I had paused my RunKeeper while in the portapotty line ... so when I did finally get to the finish, it was almost a PR, even with all my extra walking. I guess losing 20 pounds in a month has some benefit ... I don't recommend it though. RunKeeper time - 2:31 ... official KDF Mini time - 2:34. I'm OK with both times and I'll probably try to run this one each year ... or at least as long as I continue running.

The medal. The prize. The loot. And all I wanted at the end was to curl up in a ball and cry. 

Hoping I get my mojo back soon. I have another half coming up ... THIS WEEKEND. So I guess I'll do another recap for that and then ease up (more than usual) on the blog entries until I get back to my marathon training in June. Unless I need to vent about life ... then you'll be hearing from me again.

Please tell me your pet has a microchip. What do you do when you see a stray animal - try to keep it and find the owner on your own? take it to the local shelter?

What do you do when life smacks you upside the head and you lose all motivation for pretty much everything?