Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Its that time again - setting the timer for 5 minutes and seeing what happens!!

I've got so many pictures to post and share, but very few words to write. Typically its the opposite. I'm really not a picture person. Jay is an excellent photographer - has the eye for lighting, just the right foreground or background, and perspective.

Mostly the pictures I take are of people, or fun things I've done along the way. I've yet to blog about my family's time in Cincinnati. My parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, Jay, and I went away for a 3 day weekend. We caught a Reds game, but beyond that we didn't do much.

What we did was spend time enjoying one another. Not sure how to get a picture of that or put it into words, but I'd like to try. I guess that's why I'm stalling. I want to explain what the pictures are, because they aren't the kind you'd say "oh, how pretty!" without knowing the back story.

The remainder of my year is slammed too. Its the time of year my blog tends to go radio silent. I don't really feel like I've gotten the feel of things since this time last year though, so I'm a little scared that blogging is something I'll let get away from me.

I need to get a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. My parents gave me birthday money for it all the way back in June, but I've never done the research and make the purchase. I need to get on it, though, so in my travels these next couple of weeks I have no excuses for not checking in.

Or sitting down and churning out a few at a time to schedule. Confession - I did that today, but there goes the timer.

Head over to Jaime's for more SOCS posts!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

4,000 and Counting

Over the past 2 weeks since my last thankful post, I've logged around a couple hundred more blessings in my life, pushing me over the 4,000 mark! Listed below is just a sampling:

3860) A moment to breathe, relax
3871) Pool time with the parents - refreshing drinks, steaks on the grill, football on the big screen, cigar on the back deck
3881) Sleeping through the storm
3892) Jesus in the every-day When the Game Stands Tall

3900) Jay's skill, knowledge at work
3913) Blue skies viewed while doing the back stroke in the pool
3924) RAGNAR!
3934) Finishing yet another book
3946) National Park passport stamps on family vacation
3951) Wearing Pawpaw's hat to Cincinnati Red's game

3964) Running with my sister (her longest run ever!)
3974) Fancy dinner with valet parking
3986) Hip-bumps with C1
3987) C2 on Jay's shoulders
3994) Sweet movie, sweet husband
4000) Answered prayer
4019) Running water - modern miracle
4021) Foot snuggles
4037) Being unnaturally pleasant despite less than 4 hours of sleep

 that's one sweaty butt print!

4044) Goofy race pics
4055) Jay cooking Sunday dinner
4061) Fair trade coffee - on sale!! 
4075) Relationships forged in Bible study

I love the blessing that comes from not only recording these things, but also looking back on how the Lord is constantly showing me how much He loves me.

What gifts have you been given this week which prompt you to pause and give thanks?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Townsend 15K - Race Report

I've struggled training this summer in the heat, so I wasn't sure what I would be able to do at this year's Townsend 15K. Add to that breathing issues I've had at my past two shots at this distance, and the recent emergence of ragweed in the atmosphere, I stepped up to the start line with cautious goals in place.

Kelly had registered for the race, but decided to run it leisurely. I claimed her as my pacer (after all my race pace is comfortable pace for her) and we chatted and kept things easy the first few miles.

Mile 1 - 9:23

Not sure if it nerves, my double inhaler shot (yes, my breathing has been that bad these past few weeks), or just my natural inclination to go out too fast, but we had to work to temper our pace. The most daunting hill is in mile 2, and we decided to walk up most of it. Those running around us weren't gaining much more ground than us, and the walk kept our heart rates nice and low.

Mile 2 - 10:04

With the toughest part behind us, we started chatting about goal pace. Thanks to an illness and my inability to truly race last year, my PR time was from this race 2 years ago. To meet my first goal of a new record, we'd have to beat 1:31:13 (a 9:47 pace). Since the first 2 miles balanced out to meet this pace, the remaining 7.3 would just have to be slightly faster.

Mile 3 - 9:06

The downhill part of the 3rd mile was fast, despite our attempts to conserve. The next few miles, however, felt mostly up hill both ways.

Mile 4 - 9:46

The course is a lollipop, and the "stick" starts in the third mile and continues through the 7th. Kelly kept saying "at least we'll get this uphill back at the turn" and she was right, kinda.

Mile 5 - 9:37

The miles were rolling more than anything. The downhills mostly just allowed a moment to catch my breath before starting the up again. I carried my handheld water bottle, but Kelly walked through the aid stations (catching up with me on the other side easily enough).

Mile 6 - 9:20

My favorite part of this race is the country roads and scenery of the race. At one point we ran along side a field of horses. They took off in a run and Kelly chased after them. She only beat them because they paused long enough to look at her like she was crazy. They were right.

 Mile 7 - 9:39

I really wanted to turn on the juice just after the 7 mile marker, but I had forgotten at the hills still up ahead. At least at this point I knew I didn't have to save up anything for a strong finish. 

Mile 8 - 9:32

In the final mile, we picked up the pace in the 8s. I panicked that I wouldn't be able to hold pace through the remaining mile plus, so we took brief walk break then hit the home stretch hard.

Mile 9 - 9:04

I didn't have much of a kick left in me, but the last tenth of a mile (or less) I kicked it in high gear for a strong finish.

Final 0.4 - 8:56

Chip Time: 1:29:06

Age Group: 3/3

I told Kelly we'd share my 3rd place water bottle since she helped me earn it. Turns out, there were only 3 people in my age group. Which makes the award kinda a bummer. But whatevs.

Overall: 76/114

After the award ceremony we goofed around for some pictures. She and Gretchen  had stayed at my house the night before (between getting in bed after midnight and being up early to work registration, we got less than 4 hours sleep!)

From beginning to end, this race encompassed what I love about running. Good friends, pushing myself (but not too much), meeting my goals, and having a good time.

Oh yeah, and it was a PR by 2 minutes and 7 seconds! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Attack of the Giant Lizard aka SoCS

Yet another Stream of Consciousness Saturday and boy do I have a doozy for ya!

Last night for a friend's 40th birthday, a bunch of us went out to play laser tag. I hadn't done it in a couple decades, Jay had never done it. The first round of play, we took a high place and stood together to protect it. We ended up finishing 3th and 4th out of 24 people.

Also I started taking my Singulair for fall allergies again this week. Still summer temps for my runs (boooooo!) but fall breathing as well. One of the reasons I only take Singulair in the fall is that it really messes it's my head.

All that to say...

Last night I dreamed that the Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) was my boyfriend. He and I were going to overtake this shark before it got out of control. Only he got trapped in a cave and the shark morphed into a lizard. I took charge to save the day. Jay was my ex in the dream, but he and I teamed up to help free my new honey.

Along the way a dude I dated a couple of the times made an appearance, and Jay got territorial. I reminded him how the Rock must feel about Jay and I working together.

Somewhere along the way my sis and her kiddos came into the picture. The giant lizard forgotten, but not my handsome man trapped in the cave.

Jay (in real life) had a business call this morning, waking me from my dream. Fitting that my 5 minute alarm just went off.

Until next week!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bleacher Basketball

I stand at the track, waiting to be handed my hip number. I'm surrounded by faster, skinner girls in my age division. My heart races, thoughts of inadequacy dart through my mind. She knows I'm slow. She's not giving me a number in hopes I won't waste everyone's time showing up at the start line. Just give up.

I recognize the lies.

I see the middle school basketball team sitting on the bleachers - awaiting their coach's recognition. One by one, he calls their name into the microphone, celebrating them in front of the school.

First the starting 5.
Then the second string.
Finally the beach warmers - its almost my time.

I remain seated as he moves on to the stats keeper and team manager. 
He finishes up the assembly. 
I sit alone. 
The one not called.
The one not chosen.
Yet somehow fearful that everyone has notice.
That no one will forget.

That moment - in being overlooked, I felt the gaze of the school upon me.

What I don't see, what I don't hear, is my mother's conversation afterward. The words of anger flowing freely from her lips. The love she feels for me overcoming any shyness in her body. She must protect me, stand up for me.

Long after the shine of the trophies fade, the uniforms are discarded, and the team is disbanded, it is that moment - my mother's love, devotion, and protection of me - calling me to stand.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hal Canfield Memorial Milefest - Race Report

As a participant in the Thursday Night at the Track meets this summer, I was hoping to do enough speed focused runs to do really well at the Hal Canfield mile race. Each year I've participated, I've been working on a different training focus (mostly fall half marathon stuff).

Speed has never been my thing, but then again I've never really worked on it either. Which came first - am I not good because I don't do the work, or do I not enjoy the work because I'm not good? This year would be the year I did the work.

Only the track meets were late and humid. And I was one of the slowest people there. Physically exhausted and mentally defeated, these were each workouts I very much regretted. Still, I was hopeful for a good mile result and a PR for the Labor Day annual mile race.

As my Mamaw likes to say hope in one hand, poop in the other and see which one fills up fastest.

I set my watch to quarter mile laps so I could review my pacing. Quarter mile splits: 1:51, 1:58, 2:05, 1:54.

Total time: 7:48

I was 22 seconds off a new PR. Disappointing, sure, but I knew I had given a good effort. Given my training (very little speed work) and the conditions (warm, humid air) I just didn't have a PR in me.

 Amy, me, and Gretchen - they placed 2nd and 3rd in the Masters Division

It was, however, good enough for 4th place in my division - awards were given out for the top 10. There were a total of 8 of us racing.

I do still want a 1 mile PR before the end of the year, but I'm not sure of any other 1 mile races in the area. I was thinking of doing a little speed work then heading to the track to attempt a fast mile.

What do you think? Do you count PRs set in a training environment? Or do you only count the records set while racing with official timing systems?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Gratitude - In Pictures


Bush's museum + dinner with my parents, sister, BIL, niece & nephew

rafting with the run crew

Jump Jam birthday party for a friend

card writing ministry at church

dinner prepared by niece with my parents & nephew

seat-belt for the little man's tricycle


y'all know how much i dislike photos of my legs, but i heart a good cropping tool.

 movie night with my darling
watched: Snatch & The Lone Ranger

 picnic at the park with Bible study crew


 more track work and dinner w/the socialites

last game of the regular season
first game Jay and I have attended all year

safety awareness training (+ run + dinner) with the run crew

I also had Thursday/Friday plans to round out my week, but those fell through. I'm scheduling this post, in hopes that I'll have time over the holiday weekend to rest up and regroup from all this excitement.
What's on tap for you and your crew this holiday weekend?