Monday, May 19, 2014

The Week's Happenings

My parents came to visit over Mother's Day weekend but I wouldn't say it was a "vacation" for them! We dragged them around to various kids activities but it was a lovely time together! They were able to witness Jesse's first time getting 3 hits during a baseball game and being awarded the game ball, participate in Grandparent's day at school, steal some snuggles on the couch, and make homemade ravioli and sauce with me!

 Grammie and Josie sounds asleep

 Could anything be cuter than this?!

Keeping the Italian traditions alive!

Then of course I feel like I have to keep you all updated on my running happenings now that I have professed my future goals out loud for the world to hear! I loved the feedback I received from you and the truly warms my heart and helps spur me on!

This past weekend I ran another 10K but was able to share my passion with my 2 older children. Asher has already shown a desire (and talent) for running and triathlons and he has been begging me to sign him up for a 5K this season. Anna got wind that a friend of hers was doing this particular race so she wanted in on the fun too! Why not, off to "Carter's Run" we go. This particular race meant something to me as a local family puts on the event to raise awareness and money for the Dandy-Walker Syndrome (a disease that their oldest son was diagnosed with). The mom is a member of my running group and her son use to take swim lessons with Jesse when she was planning the 1st Carter's Run. We would chase our babies and chat about her plans. This was only their 3rd year and it is amazing how organized and wonderful this event is-the most family friendly racing event we have ever attended. Such an honor to be a part of this fabulous event!

Ready for the race! The race was a 5K loop that the 10K-ers did twice with the 10K starting 15 minutes before the 5K. So my goal was to catch my kids during my 2nd loop! Asher was too fast (he finished in 28 minutes on the dot...yes a talent in that boy!) but I saw Anna during my last half a mile and I truly believe it put a fire under my feet! I got another PR this season (47.38 10K time) and finished 2nd female overall! It was extra special being able to share the experience with my kids. Anna finished with her friend in 38:08. Then we all got to enjoy the family fun fest afterwards...we didn't leave the festivities until they were packing up the tents! There was face painting, moon bounces, prize wheels, a Redskins player who signed our shirts, and a trackless train. It was an awesome morning.
 Josie with Scooby Doo.

 Trackless train.

 Jesse won us some free desserts!

Fred Smoot signed their race shirts!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A heart to heart with myself

Goals...we all have goals in life, yes? Striving, reaching, challenging ourselves. It is one thing that keeps us motivated when days seem like running on a hamster wheel. The Lord has blessed me with running. I always tell people that I have always been a runner but I just realized that this isn't true. A dear high school friend of mine keeps reminding me of a time when we ran together in high school and I wheezingly kept begging him to stop at friends' houses for water. Granted, dear Brett Wolfe-it was hot that day!!! His story always frustrated me because "I have always been a runner!". But he is right-I most certainly was not. I liked sports, was athletic, and had goals. I have always had the desire to run a marathon and started running recreationly late in high school and into the college years. I held the marathon dream close. I got married and kept running. I had 1 kid and kept running. I had 2 kids and remember thinking "what am I waiting for?". I believe I was scared to make the commitment because that meant my dream was out there. Others would know and I could fail. But I committed. I ran my first half marathon during my training and then tore a calf muscle 6 weeks out from the first marathon I committed to...that was a sad sad day but only fueled the fire more. I ran my another half in New Hampshire and then my first marathon in Massachusetts in July (CRAZY) and it was 7 laps around a lake. Not the most glamorous of races but I DID IT! It was hard, miserable, and amazing. I became addicted to running. I kept having more kids but running gave me a peace, moments with God away from the chaos of being a stay at home mom, an outlet to express my emotions safely as they are pounded into the pavement mile by mile. I have never once regretted going out for a run. Now I have 4 half marathons under my belt, 3 marathons, and a handful of other races ranging from 5ks to 10 milers...meager numbers compared to the runners I have been blessed to know over the years. I use to think my numbers were special until I joined running clubs and heard their stats. But I have also learned that as competitive as we runners compete within yourself and not others: against your PRs, against your mind not wanting to get out of bed that morning, against the side stitch as you see the finish line, against your body telling you to quit.

So I ran a local 10K this past weekend and was the 4th woman overall to finish and won my age group (GASP-this has never happened to me before)! And after 4 races in 7 weeks, I decided to sit on my rear for a week and evaluate my "goals" for next "training cycle". 

So here I am as an adult with my passion for running reaching an all new high. I feel like it has just been the past few years that have truly ignited something new in me and that is a passion for the competition side of running. It challenges my mind and body on a whole new level. I have realized I am capable of far more that I ever thought I was. I can not be afraid of putting my goals out there because a failure does not mean I am defeated. It means that I won't quit, that I can get back out there and compete again, that I can do my best, hold my head up high, and be proud of every step I accomplish. And I will see you at the next race! (BTW egats running races is expensive. I have been selling everything I can find in the house to pay my entry fees! and you would be shocked at the number of running shoes I have in my closet).

So as I sit on my rear (trying to truly recover from knee bursitis so I can hit the pavement again-no lectures Mom, please!!), I am debating a 10K next weekend, a relay race in June, a 4 miler, and praying that a dear friend of mine and I get into the Bridger Ridge run (a 20 miler in Montana) as our race to unite is this year...and I have come to terms with my ultimate goal and am going to put it out there for all to hear - I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I believe I can do it if I put the work in. I believe my time is now (basically because I am aging up a level which means I get 5 minutes added to the time I need to qaulify). This is scary - it takes commitment, it takes passion, it takes work. I could fail. I could try and try again. We have a move coming this summer. I have 4 kids. I could fail. I am blessed. I will try. Any marathon recommendations?! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

All About Jesse

Happy Birthday to Jesse!! Despite his fears of being forgotten, Jesse had a wonderful birthday. His actual birthday on Monday included his choice for breakfast, his favorite dinner (cheeseburgers and watermelon), Zinga for dessert and family presents. BUT THEN it was also his year for a "real" party so he counted down all week to his laser tag birthday party on Friday night. It was special to meet all his friends from school and see them interact. It sure was a rowdy group of boys but laser tag is the perfect place to let them lose.

 Chocolate cupcakes along with a chorus of "happy birthday"...the boys barely paused to scarf them down. They had way more important things to do!

 Some of that importance included arcade games.

 Looks like a nice group of kids right...

The niceness disappears! They were on a team against another birthday party and are proud to say they emerged as the winners!

Jesse is still our "stealth" child, independent and disappears causing our heart rates to rise as we search for him...always finding him calmly sitting somewhere doing his own thing. He has done amazing in kindergarten conquering reading (his favorite books are Splat the Cat and the Elephant and Piggy series by Mo Williams) and even single digit math. However he drags his backpack along the sidewalk as he heads to the bus stop because "school is just work work work...soooo boring". He is all guns, and sports, and at the moment lost in his halo men surrounding himself in a battle as he sits on the back porch. The boys dimples make our hearts melt. Yet he just said to me the day after his birthday "Mommy, please don't call me Jesse Bear anymore"....GASP! Can we just freeze time? He has to stay my Jesse Bear!