Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sometimes ME does benefit WE. The ME Impact.

When I decided to change my lifestyle and take control of my life back in May 2012, I had no idea the impact it would make on my family.  

It's really amazing when you think about it. I lost weight, I got in shape and I started running (a lot). All of those are ME things. I made an investment in MYSELF and my FAMILY is reaping the harvest!

For the most part, my kids only know about me running. They see my running shoes, my medals and they hear me talking about it. I train before they wake up in the morning and they have only gone to a couple of races, and never a "big" race. 

But they love it. And they are have started to consider themselves runners as well!

Since next weekend is going to be all about me and my marathon (well, and Doug and his first 1/2 marathon! Go Doug!!) this weekend I didn't participate in the Lion's Spooktacular Race except to jog the 1 mile fun run with Kylie. Maddie ran the 1 mile (for a personal best time) and Lexi' and her brownie troop participated as well. Doug ran the 5k.

It was hard for me not to race given that it was 1 year ago at this vary race that I ran my first 10k and felt like a REAL RUNNER. I just kept telling myself that this weekend was for the girls!

The sky was overcast and it was cool... great running weather!
Kylie wasn't thrilled about the pictures (when is she ever.ugh.) but she was SO excited to get her bib pinned on. She knows what this means! It's race time!
Here we are before the race. Lexi's troop wore tutu's and their shirts that we screen printed. Maddie is taller than me. I can't believe it.

The 1/2 marathon people had started long before we arrived, the 10k runners started a few minutes later (my running friends... ouch), then the 5k. Doug is the one in the orange shirt taller than everyone else!

Here is Lexi's troop before the race. Aren't they cute. We are missing a few of the kids, given that it looked like it was going to rain at any moment I'm not surprised!

And here we are getting ready to start. I love how serious Maddie is. No surprise.

And we are off.

By this point I had fully embraced my non-racing day and decided to take pictures and cheer on runners. As a runner who LOVES races, I think this was really good for me. It reminded me about the importance of being a great fan.

Isn't she adorable!

And then we turned around and went back to get the finishers.

Love this picture! So typical of Maddie. She finished strong, running past the finish line. That just the way she is. Always. We should all be so determined.

And here is Lexi coming in. It's not a close up, my camera sometimes takes tooo loong processing from one picture to the next. grrr.

And why do I think races are important? Look at these kids faces! They are so PROUD of themselves! There weren't any places to win, it was about finishing!

And then we cheered Doug in!

And a family photo.

Then I sent my family home cause it was wet and COLD at this point and I cheered for my fellow runners as they crossed the finish line. It was lots of fun.

Later we found out that Doug took 3rd place in his age group in the 5k! Cool stuff.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A little "pin" money..

I have a lot of random talents. I get that. But I don't just have this all consuming passion for one thing. Too bad, cause if I did, maybe I could perfect that one talent into something useful!  Instead I am kind of good at a lot of things. I know, poor baby.

Anyway, I'd like to make a little "pin" money as grandmothers used to call it. When I told Doug, he kind of grimaced and replied with "Why? Don't have enough going on?" He asks with reason, I've done this sort of thing before. I did the home party circuit with jewelry and scrapbook supplies. It was a lot of work, a lot of investment and not much return.

And that's exactly what I DON'T want! I want to create something that is special, a keepsake that while not needed could be treasured. Sure, I could make jewelry.. I make a mean crocheted metal and bead necklace. Remember?
I could sell screen printed t shirts.
But if you live in my world, you have more t shirts than days of the month!

I could even make custom wall art...
But I'm not loving that. They are cute, but not special.

So I need some feedback from all of you out there in bloggy world. One of the things that I LOVE to do is watercolor portraits. I love doing these loose watercolor tone on tone paintings. 
art samples_2628

But what do you think? Would people want this type of painting? And for how much? Do you think I could get $35 for an 8x10 unframed original watercolor?

Please be honest with me. And thanks. And to answer Doug's question and possibly yours; I want to make a little extra money, because I want too. If I want to save up and go run a half marathon in the wine country, cool. I work full-time and with direct deposit I never see my paycheck and with the kids demands and life, I never see any "extra" funds just hanging around either! So given that I do have lots of talents, I'd like to find one that can benefit me and my family in some way!

Hope you have a great day and if you think of a better project... let me know!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Carving and New Traditions

I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween. To be frank, we didn't celebrate many holidays and most of my memories of my childhood are tied up in people and not holidays. I don't consider that to be a bad thing. It's just different than a lot of people.

The only time this was a real problem for me was in 2nd grade. I made a C on an art project. I had to make a Halloween pumpkin. For a child that had never participated in such an event, this was hard. I made a pretty pumpkin with big green leaves and a stem. I remember that C. It was big. It was on the front of the drawing. The drawing was posted on the bulletin board with the rest of  jack-o-lanterns (is that what they are called?) for everyone to see. I can still to this day, more than 30 years later see that pumpkin and that C on that bulletin board.

It's because of that gut wrenching feeling that I want my kids to experience ALL of the holidays. Personally, I rather dislike Halloween, but I want my girls to have positive feelings and positive experiences, so guess what? I joined up with a couple of my friends and invited myself and my girls into their Pumpkin Carving Tradition! Thank goodness for good friends!

So last Saturday afternoon, we went over to Christi's house and carved pumpkins, made haunted graham cracker houses and had fun. Let me say was MESSY!! I am not made for this kind of mess. Thank you Christi!

We carved pumpkins on her kitchen floor and she had a system fine-tuned from years of experience. She quickly cut the top off of Kylie's pumpkin and we got to work. I bought the sticker patterns and they worked great. Kylie could actually cut the pumpkin and had a blast!

I helped after a while. We would have been there all day! Sidenote: look how skinny I look. Thanks Christi for the great picture taking! You can take pics of me anytime! :)

And Lexi did a FABULOUS job on her pumpkin. She would NOT use a pattern and drew her own design completely. She then cut it out herself too! She was a natural!

After Lexi finished with the pumpkin she created her haunted house. She and her best friend Emma worked together and had a blast!

After the worked, they ate lunch and chilled. All the kids were great


Picture time.

Yeah, who is missing from the photo? Yeah. Kylie through a FIT and would not be in the picture. Great. But yes, I did include her in a shot so that I can PROVE to her later that she was there and being a turkey!

Lexi's finished pumpkin!

Overall, even with Kylie's 4 year old attitude, it was a great afternoon. The girls had a blast and who knows, if they are asked to draw a pumpkin in school maybe they won't make a C on it!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Color Chaos 5k

This morning I ran my first color run. Can't say it was my favorite thing to do.  I really don't like getting stuff on me, but it was for our education foundation, so I wanted to support them!

This was the first cold morning of the year, it's amazing how fast you can go from wearing tank tops and shorts for training runs to cold weather pants and three shirts!

Here are some teacher friends after the race! My face was spared the color cause I wore a hood that I pulled around my face and yelled "not on my face" repeatedly while running through the color sprayers!

Me and one of my non-teacher friends. Yes, I do have those too! :)

Me and one of my favorite former students! He took 2nd place overall.

My 5k time was 29:21. 

More importantly for me was that I ran 6.64 miles at 5am, then went to breakfast with a friend and had a biscuit and gravy and 5 cups of coffee and then ran the 5k at 8:30am. And I felt good! I love, love, love that I have come to a place where I can run a 9:30 pace and not be out of gas.

It excites me about the marathon. In 13 days.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Run For A Reason. I want to run... anyone want to pay for my entry fee?

I really, really want to run the Chevron Houston Marathon as part of the National Kidney Foundations, Run For A Reason, runners. 



But the fee is a $350 tax-deductible donation + the entry fee. And it's not a committement that I'll raise the money by the January marathon. It's an immediate charge on my credit card. ugh.

So... here is what I am wondering.

Anyone out there want to "Gift An Hero" Entry for me?? 

I promise, if you purchase my entry for the National Kidney Foundation, I will run with PRIDE and DETERMINATION and make you PROUD.

Thanks for thinking about it.

And feel free to pass it on to anyone that you know that might want to purchase a "Gift A Hero" entry for me!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Getting Stoked for the Big Day!

My mom and sister's gave me this necklace today! I love it! Especially during this taper time when all fears and nerves start lingering in the back of my head. 

26.2 Believe! I'm believing.

I've done the training. More months of training really than I had to given that I was running 18 back in March.

Now it's just getting me healthy and ready.

The outfit is about there... New Brooks Glycerin 11s. And new compression socks. The rest of the outfit is to be determined based on weather.

All that's left is figuring out the kids and logistics of the weekend. No problem. Right? 

Oh yeah, and running the 26.2 miles!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Smoldering Bronchitis

Just in case you were not aware, I am 22 days from the Abilene Marathon.

I'm so glad it's taper time, cause guess what. I have a case of "smoldering bronchitis." What does that mean? It means that the bronchitis from August never fully resolved and that my life of late has not been very conducive to rest... which means that the 20 miler last weekend triggered something.

So here I am taking another antibiotic. Hopefully this time I'll get rid of this junk.

And to answer the burning question of the marathon?  There isn't a question... I'm running it! Thankfully my doctor understands and is supportive! She is on board and going to do her best to make sure I run it healthy!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Epic 20 Miler... CHECK! Next stop the Marathon!

I have heard so much about the dreaded yet epic 20 mile training run from friends, from reading running blogs, from training books that I have to say I was nervous and a little worried about my ability to complete it upright! Everyone says that it's a mind game and given that my last 18 miler was horrible, my mind was in a whirl all week!

But guess what?
It could not have been a better run! And even better, I know why. I took it SLOW!! Yes, my very slow pace kept me on the road longer, but it worked. I finished feeling great and knowing that I could have done another 6 miles! How cool it that!

My friend Sharla and I started at 4am... well, you can see from runkeeper that the official start time was 4:06AM.

It's pretty nuts, I'd would NEVER get up at 3:45 for work, to go anywhere or do anything... but running well sure! We started out and got to see some of the teenage/college kids coming home. Scary to be on the road with people who have been up partying all night! 

It was low 70's with 70% humidity, but at this point in the year, that feels cool-ish. 

At mile 4.5 we picked up some more friends at the park and continued on.

At mile 8 we dropped off a friend.

At mile 13, the winds changed, it got cool and started sprinkling. It was so nice. I'm guessing the temperature dropped 10 degrees!

At mile 15 we dropped off another friend and picked up more friends.. fresh legs are always welcome!

At mile 18.5 it was just us again.  

At mile 19, we decided to kick it in gear and finish well by conquering "splashville hill" a steep grassy hill at our city park. We did it!

And at Mile 20, we knew that if it had been race day, we would have conquered that too!
What a feeling!

Here we are at the end of the run. For just having run 20 miles we look fantastic!

So what do I do for the next few weeks. TAPER! My training plan calls it Sharpening. But nonetheless, a little less mileage on the weekends.

I am really getting excited about the Abilene Marathon now!

Friday, October 4, 2013

A video of the Big Show

Okay, here is my last Big Show post...

The production company that filmed the show and put the live footage on the mega screens sent us a copy of the performance.  I'm proud of myself and my google-abilities as I was able to convert the DVD to a file that I could upload to youtube!

And here is the performance.  It includes a few minutes of our jazz band prior to the performance.  With the extra footage the video is still only 34 minutes.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Trailblazer IV Two-Fifths Marathon

Last Saturday morning, since I was in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and had time on my hands, I decided that instead of a long training run on the hotel treadmill, I'd run at a local race.

I was still exhausted from the Big Show the day before, but since the race didn't start until 8:30am, I could sleep later than I sleep on Saturday mornings anyway.

I got up and left the hotel in downtown Dallas and found the park in Arlington where the race was held. It was already humid and not cool. When the race started at close to 9am it was officially 82 degrees and 82% humidity. That makes for painful conditions.

I enjoyed the first half of the race a lot. The course was on the bike/running trails around Arlington and easy to follow. It was just so hot! After the turn around, I struggled. As I ran through mile 7, I was kicking myself for eating so little on Friday. Fueling up for a 10.486 mile race means eating more than 1/2 of a egg/spinach wrap for breakfast, 1/2 of a 1/2 of a ham sandwhich and a couple of pieces of pizza for dinner. Worse, I only drank probably the equivalent of one glass of water all day. OUCH! Needlesstosay, I was not fueled or hydrated to race.

In the end, I finished slower than I had wanted, but I was proud of getting through the race. I really felt like it was a good simulation of the mid 10 miles of the marathon.

After it was all over, my time was 1:55:30 for 10.6 miles unofficially. There wasn't a chip time, so I'm not sure exactly how they get true times.

I placed 3rd in my age group.

As you can see, getting the medal was a great pick me up!

And another thing I'm really proud of is that I have learned to keep moving throughout the day. I used to race and crash. Now I race, shower and keep going!

And lastly, the Abilene Marathon is 31 days away!