Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vloggin' Wednesday

This picture is what my video is about:

It was taken at 2:30 this a.m., right after I went out for a run.  I was too lazy to change into running clothes.  Since I knew I'd need a shower after I was done....why bother making more laundry for myself.  As usual it all made sense in my head at the time.  It helped that I figured no one was going to see me anyway, so who cares what I was wearing.  Shoot, I just realized I could have taken my streaking to a whole new level.....I'M KIDDING....*giggle*

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday's Tunes

It's been awhile since I paid attention to my tunes, if I was even playing any, during my run.  I listen to music 95% of the time when I run.  It's not really for motivation, although sometimes it does do that for me.  I just like music.  Sometimes I sing along.  Which if you hear me belting some awful tune it's because it's really hard to decently sing while running.  But sometimes I can't help it.  I may sound awful, but I'm going to sing anyway.  Most of the time though I lip sync.  Even if I can't utter the "noise" when a song speaks to me/when it moves me, I feel it in my soul and good luck keeping all that in.  I just explode.  I'm sure it looks like I'm in the midst of my own personal rock concert.  A little air guitar playing, head banging, hand clapping or hands raised to Jesus.  You name it, I probably do it on a daily basis while listening to music. 

Here are my tunes:

Mighty to Save - Michael W. Smith
Jesus Messiah - Chris Tomlin
Lemonade - Chris Rice
Bye Bye Bye - N'Sync
Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
C'mon Everybody - All Shook Up Soundtrack
Best Days of Your Life - Kellie Pickler
Glorious Day - Casting Crown
I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher
You'll Be in my Heart - Phil Collins
Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord - Michael W. Smith
Girl Can Rock - Hillary Duff

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

I've been meaning to show you the trophy I earned at the Illinois 5k back in April.
Talk about sweet!  Because this event is chipped timed and there are thousands of people who do this 5k they don't hand out awards on race night.  You just run and then leave.  Or hang out, which ever.  It's kind of nice that you don't have to wait hours afterwards for them to figure out who won, placed in what age group, etc.  Plus, this race has always had a nice award for those who do place.  Not your standard award here.  They even pay to mail it to you.  In the past years it's been a nice draw string bag.  Different from the one you get for doing the marathon.  Which is great, but how many draw string bags could I possibly need?  It was nice to get a different award, plus one that was personalized.  It might take awhile before I shove this one down in the basement.  It wasn't my best ran race and not quite my PR, but it's a sub 21 which I had been working on for a few years and finally was able to achieve this past spring.  Now if I can just get a sub 20.....that's my next goal (once I'm healed from my injury and can actually train for it).

Do you listen to music while you run/workout/live life?  I listen to music everyday of my life.  I also sing & dance along with it.

What is the neatest/most unusual race award you've earned?  Three times I have earned pies for being the overall winner.  Strawberry, Rhubarb & Apple.  Yuuuum!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nothing feels right

Last Monday when I came on to blog I was tempting to let you all know that I should probably just take a break from the blog.  Running has been so "ugh" and I was getting into full summer mode which means I spend very little time on the computer.  I know, it's a miracle, but I do have times where I don't want to spend time on this time sucking machine.  Instead, I launched into a nice little pity party then ignored you all for the rest of the week.  I know I never owe an explanation for being absent from posting.  If anything everyone knows that life happens and that my life doesn't revolve around blogging.  And there is no rule that says I have to blog everyday or M-F either.  They are just ideals in my head that I like to stick to.

In those days that I took off I actually spent a lot of time venting talking to my friend Kristen, who isn't even a runner, just a good friend that helped me get some good perspective.  I know I could have gained great perspective from many of you as well.  My problem is that I like to fully talk things through.  I'm kind of a long winded, full of details person.  I always want to talk things through on here, but when I sit down and try to type it all out it doesn't always make sense.  I think that's why I like vlogging, I can express myself much better verbally.  Or at least I feel like I do.  But that just leads to loooong videos and I usually just stuff it all in until my mind explodes & I can't take it anymore.

Anyway, to go back & recap:  I fell & tore my glute/hamstring on May 11.  I tried running, very slow & easy for a few days before giving way to walking.  Then I went & saw my chiropractor who gave me some stretches that helped me tremendously.  After a few more days I decided to try running again.   Ding, ding, ding....we have a winner, I could run.  I was aware that I was slightly altering my form, I didn't think in a bad way, more a cautious lower to the ground way to keep it easy.  After a week of running 3-5 miles with ease I decided to bump things up.  I went out for a 8 mile run.  Oh, it felt so good & amaaaaaazing!  My body seemed to handle it quite well so I ran 8 miles the next day & the next.  Yes, that is 3 days in a row.  At about mile 6 of that last day my calf started to hurt.  Not in any settle way, but in screaming hopping mad fashion.  I should have stopped right then & walked, but I finished my run.  I had to get home somehow, right?!  Might as well be sooner rather than later. (It seriously makes sense in my head at the time).

Now any sane normal person might know that running 3 back to back days of 8 miles was over doing after an injury.  Although I'm convinced it wasn't the bump up in mileage, but the altering of my form.  My physical therapist told me once that your body can only handle doing something wrong/incorrect for so long and then it just gives.  For the next few days I could barely run (make no mistake I was out there trying) and I was frustrated.  On the plus side the initial injury was feeling much better, but now I had other pains that were rearing their ugly head.  Most runners know that it doesn't take much to make you feel like you will NEVER RUN AGAIN!  Or so it feels in the midst of injuries.

And that is when I posted last Monday.  I had been out for a quick 1 mile run that morning.  I knew I could not run with altered form so I went back to what I knew was right.  I told myself to take it easy, but I pumped out an 8:30 mile.  Now that's not fast by any means (at least not for me), but it's not slow either.  The problem is that the run felt so wrong and different.  Ok, sure I can go through the motions, but what good is that when everything else is off.  I then went out later that day, ran 5 miles at an 8 minute pace.  Again feeling all wrong and that just added to my confusion.  You'd think I'd be happy with what I ran, but I knew that nothing felt right.  *insert the beating head against the wall moments, several of them!*

After hammering things through with Kristen several times (I should give her my biggest trophy just for putting up with me) I came to a few conclusions.  First, let's clear up that sure maybe...MAYBE I shouldn't be running.  In fact my dr. & my chiro told me no running.  Which I didn't for about 10 days, I walked.  Which is not the same thing as running.  Sure I was still logging 3-5 miles a day, which is still exercise & strain on my injury.  I was keeping it up to maintain my streak, but it's also just not an option to sit around & do nothing.  So it's not the end of the world if I break my streak & not run at all for a few weeks.  I DO realize that.  Call it what you want, but I'm just not ok with that.

I also realized that my while recovering my body wants to do all sorts of funky things.  I have to really keep on top of my form.  By forcing my body to keep in line it's putting some stressors on other muscles.  When I won't let my body do what it wants, when I'm forcing it to do what is right, it's hard work.  Harder than usual.  Normally my body falls into line on it's own, when it's healthy and strong.  I'm aware my body is not 100%.  So it's taking a lot of work, work I'm not used to.  Of course, nothing feels right, it's not right.  I refuse to see this in black & white.  I refuse to say that because I can't give 100% that I should give 0%.  That because I'm not or can't be strong & healthy I should become weak & out of shape.  That because I can't run strong, fast & with ease that I should not run at all.

Yes, I need to continue to recover, take it easy & account for my injury that is still healing.  Things are going to feel a little off & different.  But I'm going to keep on going.  I may need a little extra help in keeping from the pit falls of being overly frustrated.  I need to give myself more time.  It's been 5 weeks, more than likely I need 6-8.  I'm leaning toward 8.  If I start to whine & complain, just slap me.

Phew, ok, thanks for hanging in there for this long post.  See, if I had just told y'all this all along I wouldn't build up and explode, neither would I have hashed it all out in one big, long post.  It's ok, you can say "well, duh, I could have told you that!"  Thanks for having my back & being there for me :)

I'll leave you with some pictures from Father's Day.  It was also a special weekend because my mom turned 60 on Saturday & my dad turned 60 TODAY!  We had it all crammed into one weekend!!

Happy 60th Birthday Mommy & Daddy!  I am honored & blessed to have them in my life!

The usual crazy affairs of our family on Father's Day

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

I haven't been in a blogging mood lately.  Not that I don't have tons to blog about, it just wasn't happening this past week.  Normally I don't blog on the weekends, but sometimes the spirit calls.  For today I thought I'd write a short tribute to the fathers in my life.

My father:

I love this man to pieces.  I don't always agree with him and we have different points of views on many things, but I can't ask for a better father.  He gets major props for putting up with me through out life.  Especially my teenage years.....oh, you have no idea what I put that man through.  He has loved me no matter what and continues to be the best dad I could ever want.

My father-in-law:
An old pic, I was 6 months pregnant with Andrew.

I'm painfully aware that this is the first father's day we will celebrate without Jim's dad.  We always called him on this day.  I'm sure I didn't give much thought to those phone calls when we made them, but now that we can't it deeply hurts my heart.  Jim's dad, ever so lovingly called Papa Jim, was not the idealistic father to Jim growing up.  There is a lot of history there I won't touch here on my blog, but I've always said that I don't care about what happened before I married Jim.  (Well, I care, but you know what I mean).  I've always focused on my father in law and how he has treated me, how he was personally, since I met & married Jim and to that I have nothing but good things to say.  Dad was always loving & supportive of me and I miss him terribly.  Not so much in the everyday stuff.  He lived far away & we didn't see him often.  It's the little things and simply just knowing he's not on this earth (in a better heavenly place for sure) that breaks my hearts.

I will note that I do have a step father in law.  I don't think I have a single picture of me with him.  I don't have many stories to tell about him either.  He is very polite, accepting & loving toward me.  I can't say anything bad about him.  We've just never had a close personable relationship.  I am thankful for the many years of Christmas holidays that we spend at his house.  It's all my kids know & remember about Christmas Day, spending it at Grandpa & Grandma Wilson's.  It's a tradition he's played a major part in giving my children and that means a lot to me.

The father of my children:

I couldn't have picked a better man to be the father of our children.  If it were up to him we'd have 100+ babies, we'd easily put the Duggars to shame.  And I have no doubt he'd love each and everyone with all his heart.  Let's face it, we make some pretty awesome kids!!  If I had to I could sit here and write hundreds and thousands of stories about Jim being a father.  Sure some of them might be less than stellar or perfect, he is human after all.  I don't think anyone doubts that, but all that is good in him as a father far out weighs any of that.  I am blessed...truly blessed!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hang on

Ahhh....the on going saga with my leg.  I'm about to beat my head against the wall.  Oh, wait I already have.  More than once.  And I know I have so much to be thankful for.  Really, things are not that bad right now.  My leg just can't make up it's mind with recovering.  Good days & bad days.  Days where I feel like there is great progress and days where I feel like I'll never run again.  Of course, all I want to do is run.  Without pain.  See, I'm not asking for much.

My mind will talk in constant circles.  Most of the time it's my worst enemy.  I work hard to fill my mind with positive thoughts & influences.  I spend daily time praying & reading God's Word to give me direction.  Some days more than others.   Regardless my mind is still a roller coaster of good thoughts/moments and bad.  Maaaaan, it sucks to be human.

I've been down this road of injury & recovery before.  Looking back it's just a small blip in my running life.  Even though I know at the time each day was agonizing as I worked my way through that time.  I'm sure some day I will look back at this blip and laugh at how well I didn't handle it.

Taking each day, each run at a time is about all I can handle.  Bear with me.  I'm wild & crazy even on my good days.  Hang on while it's rough.  I'd appreciate that.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Running Day

Who's going to run today?*jumping up and down like a little kid*.  Come on, get out and run!!  Or walk!  Or cross your arms and say I don't want to (hmmm, wonder who that could be......)!

How would you finish the above phrase?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dash for Trash

I spent last weekend in my hometown of Muscatine, IA.  I go home often, maybe a dozen times a year, but usually our trips over are short.  Since it's only a 1 hour & 15 minute drive to get there we often go over for what we need then head back the same day.  Even if it is an overnight trip we're usually consumed with why we went over there & it leaves little time for much else.  With the increasing demand of our lives here in Galesburg (mostly due to our children & their activities) we don't get over as much as we have in years past.  I'm ok with this because it's for good reason, but going home has always had a special place in my heart.

I was fortunate to have spent 3 days in Muscatine.  Yes, I had a specific reason to go over, but that only required a portion of my time.  The rest of the time we did as we please. Only 4 of my kids could come with me.  We packed the bikes in the van (one advantage of a big 12 passenger vehicle) and spent time biking along the River Front Park that winds down the Mississippi River.  The bugs were horrible (HORRIBLE!!!!), but the weather was great & we had a wonderful time.

On Saturday I went to meet up with the Muscatine Running Friends (MRF).  They are great about keeping me as part of the group even though I only get to run & sometimes race with them a few times a year.  They had an event planned called Dash for Trash.  We were provided with trash bags & plastic gloves then split into groups and worked at picking up trash through out the streets of Muscatine.

Even though it's a running group and it met during it's normal run time the event didn't require running.  If you've ever tried to pick up trash (lots of it, not just a random thing or two) then you don't get far and you have to stop, stoop over & pick it up.  So we did a lot of walking.  It took our group over 1 hour to walk the first mile of our route.  Sadly our world has become massively trash filled over the last several years.  Yes, we may be blessed compared to some nations & other parts of this world.  If you stop and really look though there is trash EVERYWHERE!  It's disheartening.

We were happy to come together for this cause.  For the most part we sacrificed our run time.  When you are with a great group of people it's worth it.  We still had fun, we still got plenty of exercise (and even some running in) and we helped the community.  I was paired up with Bill, Angela & Margarete.  We quickly filled up all of our bags we were provided with.  We chatted along the way & talked about what we were finding.  More than once we thought we had hit the millions with a winning lottery ticket.  I picked up siding from a house.  Several car parts were found, we joked that all put together we might be able to construct our own car.  We couldn't even begin to pick up all the cigarette butts we found.  We'd have to crawl on our hands & knees and inch along to get that done.  Bill found a water gun & it still worked.  He had a lot of fun with that.  It definitely required a Charlie's Angels pose.
 who says you can't have fun with a toy gun?!?!

We took turns running full bags of trash back to the start point 
 (see, when a runner really wants a run, we find a way!) and eventually made our way back to the beginning.  

In the end with all the groups combined we picked up 240 pounds of trash.

Sounds like a lot, yet there is so much more out there to be picked up and only a portion of the town was covered.  I'm still happy to be a part of this effort, every little bit counts!!

Have you ever picked up trash in your town?