Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pinehaven Farm 2012










1:58.39

Third time is a charm, right? I had the most amazing run yesterday, and I did it. I broke the two hour mark.

I was hoping to break two hours at the Women Rock Half Marathon. I missed it by like 8 seconds. So, despite the fact that I don't like to train for more than one half marathon a year, I signed up for the Monster Dash. I figured that because it was a similar course to the Women Rock one, I would have be prepared for the two hills. And let's be honest, I wanted the cool jacket. I became even more excited for the race when my friends Holly and Kelly signed up for it...THEIR FIRST ONE!!! Unfortunately, medical issues during the last two months have kept me from training the way I wanted. I only got in a handful of long runs, and I had to skip at least one run almost every single week. I completely stopped any cross training I did over the summer. Long story short, I pretty much gave up hope that I would get my goal time. I went to the race just wanting to enjoy myself. I found the 2 hour pacer because I knew her from my previous teaching job, but I made a deal that if it wasn't fun, I would slow down.

Then I met Jessica right before the end of Mile #1. She started asking me questions, and we just continued to run together. I mentioned that my goal was to break two hours, and she pledged to get me there if I wanted. I was astonished because I knew she was faster than me. She had just completed the TC Marathon in a time I can only dream about. But then she told me her goal...to find someone to talk with the whole race. I told her that if she could get me to that finish line in 2 hours, I was her gal.

So we stayed together. We slowed down a bit when I needed to, but she was able to watch her watch and know if we were slowing down too much. I made her look behind her a few times to make sure the 2 hour pacer was still out of sight, but otherwise I just trusted her to help me make my goal. I also told her that I might kiss her if we crossed the finish line in time:)

We chatted about kids, pregnancy, our jobs, and of course running. Both of us are teachers, and both of us are currently experiencing the joys of running with our own children. Miles kept flying by. The wall I normally hit around mile 11 came and went. We even paced about a 9:15 up the hill at mile 11. When we first saw the finish line, she looked at me and told me her watch said we had been running for 1:55. She told me there was NO WAY it would take us five minutes to finish. It was then that I officially knew we were going to make my goal time.

Crossing the finish line was incredible. I enjoyed EVERY moment of that run, and it felt so good to finally reach a goal I set over a year ago. I was thrilled to take a picture with Jessica and exchange contact information. I couldn't have planned a better race or running partner.

To make the day even better, I was fortunate enough to still have energy left to walk back about a half mile to wait for Holly and Kelly to come through. I was able to cheer on runners who looked depleted. I could inform them that as soon as they turned a corner, the finish line would be in sight. I cheered for a few minutes, and Monster Kelly and Monster Holly came into sight. I hopped back into the race and got to run them to the finish line. Again. I repeat. I couldn't have orchestrated a better race if I tried.  



Through the process of training for my many races, there are two things I have constantly learned. One is that running is officially a part of my life; when I can't do it, I get cranky. I need time away from my responsibilities. Mentally, I need that time to think, pray, and re-define my impossible (thanks Nike for that phrase). I also learned that MY running is not just about me. If it weren't for the people around me who encourage me to redefine my impossible, running would never happen. There are plenty of people in my life who think I am crazy for running as much as I do. But I also have plenty of family and friends who support me and do what they can to encourage me. Brandon makes sacrifices to allow me to race and train, and I couldn't be more thankful. My kids make sacrifices, yet at the same time they are learning what it means (through example) to be healthy and to shoot for the moon. Three years ago I would have never dreamed how much running would be a part of me and my family's life. Today, though, it is. And I am grateful. I don't know how long God will allow my body to run, but I will cherish each time He does.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Blessed


Being Still

Still? Really? Let's be honest. I don't do well with still. Does running count as my "stillness" time?

Okay. Joking aside. I follow blogs like there is no tomorrow. As in, I am a regular reader of about 30 blogs. Maybe more. But today I am linking up to Finding Joy. Her recent Sunday post made me sit for a moment and just be still. Yes. It was a short moment, but it worked. Here is my version of her Sunday Stills.

today: dressing comfy for spirit day; teaching effective introductions and long a vowel sounds; sharing my love of books; kissing boys' cheeks; writing blog posts; reflecting on life
want to be: a college professor and known for my actions as a Christ-follower;
blessings: a finished law class; listening to Griffin read a book; proactive doctors
thinking: about throwing my heart monitor against the wall
planning: my family's Christmas Cards; what I will wear for the rest of spirit week; a ten-year anniversary trip
writing: emails, blog posts, and comments to other blogs
loving: my new Nike running outfit; my Kindle; pictures of the boys
grateful: for new opportunities; time to read; the ability to run; my amazing family.
today {again}: let me be grateful for today... celebrating the little moments and finding joy.

Strong Enough

Below is the chorus to one of my current favorite songs:

I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

As I look at everything that has gone on in my life in the last few years, this verse reminds me of how faithful God is. While I know that my trials and tribulations are nothing compared to what many go through, it is all about perspective. My perspective. In the last six or so years, my family and I have embarked on so many incredible journeys...some more difficult than others. But each day, I get to make a choice. I choose what to make of each day God has granted me and my family. It's easy to rejoice on the good days. On the bad days, it's easy to say, "I can't do it all."But then I am reminded of this song. I don't have to be strong enough to do it all.

I have been granted the opportunity to pursue my dream of one day becoming a college professor. I believe I am destined to teach other people how to teach tomorrow's youth. Is getting my doctoral degree easy? Um. No. Is it hard to be a wife, a mom, and teach 7th graders full-time in addition to teaching my adjunct class for St. Scholastica? Um. Yes. But I am able to make it work because God is strong enough for the both of us. I normally need 8-9 hours of sleep each night. Really. It's true. I was the dork who went to bed early in college because I would get sick immediately if I didn't. This year... 8-9 hours of sleep just isn't happening. Not even close. *I don't like doing homework while my boys are awake, so I have to stay up late to get what I need to get done. But my friends, my family, and my faith are making it possible, and on most days enjoyable, for me to be everything I need to be right now. I absolutely love my jobs, and I want to help future teachers fall in love with their jobs. God made me to be a wife, mother, and teacher. As a result, I am able to multi-task like it's nobody's business during school and after the kiddos go to bed. I am able to soak up the love and laughter from having two crazy boys and an amazing husband. I can do so many things throughout the day that seem impossible to me. All because it's true. God is strong enough for the both of us.

*I'd be lying if I said I never did homework while the boys are awake. I do need some sleep :) But, I have managed to hold off on homework most nights until after the boys are tucked into bed. This makes me lose sleep, but it's working.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Health Update

Once again, I am battling a blood clot. Thankfully it is going away, so I avoided a 4th surgery, but to say I am frustrated is putting it mildly. Missing school is overwhelming and stressful, and every time I get a clot, I have to be away from classroom for at least a couple of days. I am super thankful, however, that I have great family, friends, and co-workers who support me in any way they can. The doctors are running a bunch of tests on me to figure out the cause, so I am hopeful we will be able to put a stop to all of this soon. In the meantime, I got fitted to wear an event monitor for a month. It is slightly annoying to wear 24/7 (and I haven't had it for more than a few hours), but I am sure I will get used to it. I am excited to give it a "run" for its money in a short while. 

Still Gluten Free...


And we are finally seeing some major growth! Grayson ate FOUR pieces of GF pizza yesterday, and he is officially getting taller. He outgrew some of his clothes from last winter, which is a major improvement seeing as he wore the same clothes two summers in a row. He is still small, but with everything he has been eating lately, I am not sure he will stay that way for long.

Bowling Cuties



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Evaluations

Sometimes you just need a feel good experience, right? Well, God granted me two of those in the last week. I was observed on Saturday at the College of St. Scholastica by the head of the program in which I teach. I was nervous because this is my first semester teaching at the college level. Well, my class could not have gone any better. My observer was extremely pleased, and she even asked if she could have one of my activities. She then said, “I wish you could come and do this lesson with my students!” I had a smile on my face for the rest of the weekend! Fast forward a few days…I am observed at OVMS. My principal came into my room unannounced and observed one of my best lessons! He couldn't have chosen to come on a better day. Sometimes we don’t get much praise or recognition as teachers; in the last few days I got plenty of both, and it felt good. I have been so overwhelmed lately with everything I have on my plate. God knew I needed some encouragement and handed it to me on a silver platter. I love how He works.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

They Make Me Smile


This picture was taken after a long lazy Sunday. After being in their pajamas for most of the day, the two finally decided to get dressed around dinner time. Upon dressing himself, Griffin declared that he wanted to pick out his brother’s outfit as well, so they could be matching. When the two of them came out of their room, I had to take a picture. We are so blessed by these two energetic boys.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Anders Flaa Memorial 5K





The OVMS community gathered around tightly today to celebrate an amazing student who will live on in the hearts of many. Running races with Griffin is always a joy, but my favorite part, believe it or not, was having the difficult conversation with Griffin about how a young man passed away before he finished growing up. Anders accepted Jesus as the Leader of his life, so Griffin completely understood that one day he could meet him in Heaven. I hope that this run continues to be an annual tradition.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Marathon Cheering

Griffin and I woke up at 4:40AM to cheer on the TC 10 mile and the TC Marathon. I love to cheer on runners, and I am sure Griffin does too! Through spectating and running races myself, I have learned a few lessons over the last couple of years:
  • I know that I can easily run 7-8 miles without needing water.
  • I can run 10 without needing gu or applesauce. 
  • I crash at mile 11. 
  • BODY GLIDE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND IN THE SUMMER!
  • My slowest mile is always #2. 
  • Spending good money on running shoes is WORTH it. 
  • Speed workouts are mostly mental. 
  • Keep your toenails shorter than normal.
  • Don't get a pedicure too close to a long run, and make sure they keep some of your callouses on your feet!
  • Running with friends is super fun. A perfect way to catch up.
  • EVERYONE is faster than they think they are. 
  • EVERYONE can run farther than they think they can. 
  • Running long distances on the treadmill is tolerable while watching "How I Met Your Mother."
  • I turn into a crazy woman if I don't get at least two runs in a week. I prefer three. My mental status declines significantly if I don't give my body a runner's high on a frequent basis.
  • Running with your child is one of the best feelings EVER!
  • Pushing a jogging stroller while running is next to impossible.
  • Ice baths aren't as bad as they sound, and they WORK!
  • Seeing family and friends cheer you on at a race makes you faster.
  • Cheering on family and friends at races makes you want to run even more!
  • Seeing runners who are depleted smile when you shout their name..PRICELESS!
  • When I run my marathon...currently aiming for Women Rock 2014...I will put my name on my shirt, so that everyone around me can shout my name...whether they really know me or not!
  • Having The Bostrom Family cheer me on for my first marathon is a must.
  • Having Griffin run a mile or two with me during my first marathon is non-negotiable.




What running lessons have you learned?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012