Saturday, February 16, 2013

Race Recap- Run 4 the Children

The first race I ran last year (intervals) was the Run 4 the Children.  It is a race I see myself participating in every year because the cause is so close to my heart.  This race is all about adoption.  The proceeds benefit families trying to adopt.  One of the things I find very cool about this race is that they actually give out 2 different colored shirts- one color is for people who are part of an adoptive family and the other color for people who are not.  It’s neat to see different people out on the course in their shirts and a great conversation starter later, because people who have participated know what color means what.  I just think that’s cool. 

Because of the cause this race supports my whole family went out for this event today….

As you can see it was a little chilly at race start, but it warmed up nicely as the morning went on and actually was pretty close to perfect weather in my book Winking smile  I actually wasn’t going to wear my tutu, but I ended up putting it on because I’m very insecure about the size of my butt Sad smile LOL  In the end, I was the only girl with a tutu on at the race (there was one guy….  not sure what that means…..  and it turned out to be a great conversation starter on the course, so I was glad I wore it Winking smile

My other BRF Trishia ran this one with me, and she will run it every year too.  We at least know in the busyness of our schedules this will likely come up on both of our calendars Winking smile

See the different colored shirts?  Most races you don’t wear the race shirt at the race, but this one is different like that Winking smile

My sweet husband walked the course with the babies in the stroller and Gregory (my 13 year old) hung back with him.  I am incredibly impressed with my husband pushing the stroller the whole way!  Seriously, those babies make up almost 80 pounds of weight and that is no small task.  FYI- the race is 4 miles, and there is a short cut that makes it like 2.6 or something like that.  Pretty much all of the other walkers with strollers took the short cut and Michael did not.  He’s pretty freaking awesome Smile  And, Gregory told me after the race that he just really enjoyed walking with his dad, they had some nice bonding time together.

Auston (my superfast 16 year old) came in 4th in his age group and finished at like 34:18 for the 4 miles.  He was pretty much sick when he saw that the 3rd place winner was 34:16….  He was rethinking stopping to put his water cup down LOL  Poor guy….  Next year maybe he’ll win Smile

He is so in his element when he’s running Smile <3 <3

For my time, I killed my time from last year (when I only ran probably a total of 2- 2.5 miles of it. ) My finishing time this year was 49:41 and I am SUPER happy with that, because I was hoping to keep in under 50 minutes LOL  Winking smile  Last year’s time was 1:01, so I was much improved from last year Smile

I also ran this consistently.  My first time to go 4 miles without stopping.  It was pretty cool to accomplish that goal.  I’m not sure I want to go much longer without stopping, but now I can say I did it Smile

Another cool thing about this race- I knew SO many people!  The race organizer is also the head honcho for my Katy Fit group, so there were a TON of people from that out there, and then I saw 3 people from my Bible Study and Susan from my church who ran with me last year too Smile  Oh, and a guy that works with my husband was there with his wife too Smile  It was like a family reunion with no drama LOL

So, my take on this race is it is a great cause, it is very well organized, the after party was great, lots of vendors, and Whole Foods was nice enough to send me home with a CASE of bananas!  LOL  The guy was saying, “banana pudding, banana bread, banana smoothies…”  My husband pointed to my youngest and said, “banana eater…”  LOL

Just an all around great day Smile

Friday, February 15, 2013

Race Recap- Hot Chocolate 5K Dallas, TX

Finisher Mug

WAY back in November my BRF Jessica and I signed up for this race.  Running, Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Fondue…  What’s not to love?

We were signed up for the 5K, but there was a 15K as well.  Some other members of our MRTT chapter were racing the 15K, but we weren’t able to meet up with them.  As we were getting in to the corrals they were making announcements, and one of those was that they had just over 12,000 people registered for this event.  That’s a LOT of people.  I have to say that I can’t imagine the task of organizing that number of people, but the people at RAM racing did a great job.  They put us in corrals of about 1,000 runners each and released the corrals 3 minutes apart.  it was very good spacing.

Pre Race

Here we are just before getting in to the corrals.  We were in different corrals, which was kind of a bummer, but we were actually racing this one, so we weren’t going to chat the whole way anyway…  Plus, Jessica’s pace is a LOT faster than mine, so I was glad I wasn’t going to hold her back Smile  Tell me you love our Tutus….  Aren’t they cute?

You might also notice the sweatshirts.  It was SO FREAKING COLD….  Jessica and I are kindred spirits in our dislike for the cold.  As we got ready to go and saw how cold it was we wondered if it was worth it.  REALLY….  FYI- cold to us is anything close to or under 40 degrees….  But the worst part was the wind…  The wind just cut through us…..  We tried not to be too grumpy to each other, but also both understand our dislike for the cold, so we walked the MILE to the start area (not kidding) mostly in silence LOL

For me, this race was the first 5K I was going to try to run continuously since last May.  I ran the Girls on the Run 5K last May and then the heat of the summer made it difficult for me.  As I started training for the Half Marathon I was using the Galloway Method, and running 3 minutes with 1 minute breaks.  I managed to get my body VERY used to stopping every 3 minutes, so lost some of my stamina for continuous running.  So, for the last few weeks I’ve been working back up to the 5K distance.  It’s still a challenge for me, I am certainly not in the “easy 5K distance” camp by any means.  I had hoped to beat my time from last year, but my main goal was to keep running Winking smile

Around 1.5 miles in I made the turn in the course and saw in front of me a fairly long hill….  I don’t run hills.  We were set to go over an overpass….  My first thought was, “What the heck is this about?”  My second thought was, “Is there a way to go around?” and then I thought, “If I made it to the top of this sucker without stopping I am DARN SURE not stopping until I hit the finish!”  And I made it to the top Smile  There was some congestion here on the course because a LOT of people walked it.  I was proud to still be running, however slowly it was Winking smile

Right around 2.25 miles there was another smaller hill, which I tackled as well (even though the sight of it made me mad LOL) and I managed to keep running through the finish Smile

My time at the GOTR last May was 38:48, and I wish I had looked that up before the race, because my official time on this 5K was 38:52!  UGH Sad smile  Oh well, I’m still proud because I ran the whole way, I kept a strong pace, and I had negative splits on my miles even though there were hills.

After I made it through the finish line I went to get my finisher mug and go find Jessica.  I was very impressed with the time it took to get my mug- they were very fast, and, while I would have liked a mug I could use for coffee later, (It has compartments), the hot chocolate was delicious and the chocolate fondue was rich and scrumptious.  They did not skimp on the chocolate, and with 12,000 people to serve I was very impressed with that Smile

Will I race it again?  Maybe…  My reasons for not doing it have nothing to do with the race, though…  They are: (It requires a hotel stay, and Dallas is cold) LOL

Do I recommend it?  Absolutely!  I doubt you will be disappointed.

One other thing to mention- the sweatshirts are super nice, but the sizing seems small to me.  I got an XL and it a little tight….

Flat Mama

This is my flat mama for the race- Jessica and I had the shirts made for the race- they are very comfortable and cute if you ask me!  I wasn’t sure if I was going to wear the sweatshirt or not, since it was so cold.  I opted for my Gritty Goddess Sweatshirt because it has a zipper.  I took it off as soon as I started running because I know from experience the sweat just makes me more freezing…..

Here I am in the hotel, about to leave.  I love the way the Tutu hides my big butt and thunder thighs LOL 

The advantage of a race in another city?  A whole new crop of police officers to talk to!  I was trying to sneak in and say hi, but Jessica caught me….  Oh well….  next time LOL

Hot chocolate

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Be Self Controlled and Alert. Your enemy the devil prowls along like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour--

Ahhh February….  The month of Love! 

For some, this is a tough subject.  Maybe your marriage is not the best it has ever been right now.  Maybe you’re even wondering if you should be married to the person you are.

With divorce rates at a scary 50% for first marriages and even worse for subsequent marriages, I’m betting you either are, or know someone who is considering divorce.

I am a child of divorced parents, and their divorce affected me greatly.  I actually double dipped in a way, because my mother and my biological father were never married.  When I was almost two my mother and my adopted father married and my adoption was finalized.  My biological father gave up all rights to me so that the adoption could happen.  I always knew I was adopted by my dad, and had occasional visits with my biological dad and my brothers and sister that he and his wife had. 

This gave room for it’s own issues.  As a child and particularly a teenager I really struggled with my own identity.  I lashed out at my adopted dad frequently.  It wasn’t until I was older and began having my own children that I really understood how lucky I was to have him.

When I was in the Army I had the opportunity to really talk to my biological dad about my thoughts and feelings about how I grew up and we really came to a new understanding of each other.  We now have a good relationship, filled with mutual respect.  I understand why he did the things he did, and that he did it in love.

Still, though, the fact that he did what he thought was best for me did not mean there wasn’t pain.

Divorce causes pain.

It does not matter the reason.

Divorce causes pain.

Later in my life (just before my parents’ 25th Anniversary), my parents divorced.  The separation began in 2001, and since that time my relationship with my mother has been strained at best.

Their divorce literally divided our entire extended family.

Divorce causes pain.

It does not matter the reason.

Divorce causes pain.

You may be sitting there thinking, what does she know?  She’s got the perfect marriage!

Let me assure you.  My husband and I have been through our fair share of troubles, and I’m sure we will have more as we navigate this crazy life together. 

So, how do we guard against this in our own marriage?

I’ve talked a little on this on my other (poorly updated) blog, Life Inside a Marriage.  Today I want to touch on how your marriage is perceived by others, or more accurately, how your are presenting your marriage to others.

My family is a family of hackers.  Frequently when we have a facebook page open, whoever finds this opportunity takes advantage of it….

It’s all in good fun and most of the time we just laugh it off when we start getting the notifications like "hacked”, and “lol”… and “someone left their facebook open…….again…..”  Winking smile.

The other day my husband hacked my facebook page, and this is what he wrote:

Mere words can't totally express how wonderful my husband, Michael is!! He loves me through all of my quirkiness, and those of you that know me, know that is really, really, really hard. Hard to believe he won me over a candy bar!

It took me quite a while to find out because I didn’t get the usual responses.  In fact, when I got back on facebook I noticed that 10 people had liked my status…  I thought, hmmmm…  I wonder what they like?  I don’t remember saying anything of any importance….

Would you believe not one person on my friends’ list thought I was hacked?

This got me to thinking, and I told my husband “There’s a blog post in there!”  He totally laughed…

But seriously, here’s what I want you to ponder:

The people that are around you, and the people who are on your facebook etc are always watching your marriage.  You may not realize it.  You may not like it.  But the moment you indicate there is a problem is the moment you open the door wide open for more problems.

1 Peter 5:8 says, Be self controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls along like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”

This passage isn’t speaking directly to marriage, but I believe it applies well, especially in this age.  There are people in your life that are waiting for problems in your marriage.  You may not believe it.  You may not want to believe it.  THEY may not even realize it.  But they are there.

Be self controlled and alert.  Be self controlled about what you say about your spouse, and about your marriage.  Be self controlled about to whom you vent to.  Listen, it’s important to be able to vent to someone.  We all have days when we don’t particularly like being married.  Broadcasting that to the world is not helpful.  Have an accountability partner.  Your accountability partner should be interested in helping you to nourish your marriage.  Do not choose an accountability partner who is not married.  Do not choose an accountability partner who will later think less of your spouse.  Do not choose an accountability partner who’s marriage is completely different from yours.  Choose someone whom you can confide in with confidence that what you say to each other is confidential, and contained to that one conversation.  They need not bring up past issues when you’re discussing the current one.

Here’s my question and challenge to you:

If your facebook status was hacked with something similar to the above statement regarding your spouse, would people think you were hacked, or would they believe that is truly the way you feel?

If they don’t believe you feel this way about your spouse, there is a problem with how you are presenting your marriage to others.

Let me be clear.  The problem is not your spouse.  The problem is with how you present your marriage.  And you need to understand and make peace with this:  If you are not presenting your marriage in a positive light to others, you are actively asking for division in your marriage and opening the door for divorce.

Marriage is hard.

I can’t say it enough. 

It’s hard.

It takes two people giving 110% all the time.  It takes two people giving 110% especially when they don’t want to.

Don’t allow pride to set in to your soul and convince you that you deserve better.  You don’t.  (unless there is abuse, which is an entirely different issue). 

You married your spouse.  When you did so you said for better or for worse, or something to that effect.  You meant what you said the day everything was happy.  Be a person of your word and mean it when it’s not happy.

The best thing you can do for your kids is to nurture your marriage.  The best thing you can do to nurture your marriage is to take it seriously.  Be your own biggest cheerleader.  Be your spouse’s cheerleader.  You are married, and therefore you are 2 parts of one whole.  Take that seriously and invest in it.  Smile