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Archive for March, 2013

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It’s not every day that you have to wipe sweat off of your glow stick crown.
Such is the life of a glow-runner I suppose. This past weekend I had my first race in quite a while.  Last time I had seriously timed myself I was running a very snail-like 13 minute pace. Nothing to feel good about I assure you. I chalk it up to the fact that I’m an absolutely terrible runner. No really, it is just NOT my thing. But I do it for the challenge, not the ease. So I signed up for the Great Glow Run in New Bern, NC along with many of the Stroller Warrior Gals. None of whom I know besides Kari here who came with me from Japan. I wasn’t really sure of what I had gotten myself into until about an hour before the race started.

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I’m somewhere back here behind about 700 people. With 1,000 registered racers, and 800+ that actually showed up, I was blown away by my first race in the United States. Sunset is glorious, runners all buzzing, and me, trying to stay motivated, telling myself I can keep up with my beautiful friends. You see it’s been hard lately. I can’t quite find the motivation this go around. As hard as it is to admit, I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life. Still average by health code standards, but not healthy enough by mine. I think a huge problem that women face isn’t the fact that they’re actually overweight, but that they know they can be better than what they are. I can be better. I can be healthier. I can do more. And yet I don’t. I get discouraged, I feel insecure. Then a race like this comes along and I feel that crossing the finish line feeling, the one only runners know.

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That no matter what your final time is, you’ve accomplished something. And I did, I beat my goal time by about 6 minutes and quickened my mile pace by almost 2 minutes. Proof that the going is slow, quite literally, but that it’s improving.  I seem to remember in Junior High and High School having to run 9 minute miles, it’s always in the back of my mind. I mean granted I was about 110lbs and had a metabolism that could perform by itself in the Olympics, but really… I think about it still. My metabolism is still doing pretty well, but I couldn’t run a 9 minute mile without passing out half-way through in the coffee puddle that would be my blood. So how do you stay motivated? When the only person you’re home with all day is a 3 year old that could care less how fast he is going, but that he just gets to ride in the stroller, you don’t get someone cheering you on the whole way like you do at races. Maybe I just need a track in my playlist of cheering for a half an hour. My neighbors already judge the weird blonde freak that runs circles in the neighborhood, I assume it would only get worse if I have my hands in the air shout-singing Eye of the Tiger.

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I have to draw motivation from somewhere. Whether it’s the future, and having to run drills with what will be hopefully the most athletic son ever, or the women I look up to like Stroller Warriors, or my step-mom. I have to draw on every ounce I can find. Some days it’s harder than others, but the point is to be out regardless. I have to challenge myself, keep myself accountable, even when it seems impossible to do any better than average. That is what I’m struggling with at the moment, keeping myself accountable. So the Glow Run reminded me that it can be fun, and it is worth it. It’s worth the finishing feeling. The days I feel like being a starfish in bed, I need to be up having a slice of PB toast, amping myself up, and tearing up some asphalt with my stroller-loving son. Eye of the Tiger or not, I’m gonna cross those finish lines, and I’m going to do it with a smile. Well maybe not a smile, half wince, half smile, none of it photogenic. Thank God for the veil of darkness and funny glow sticks.

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Here’s to the next race and feeling like Rocky.

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Do you ever get the feeling something is crawling on you? Like right now, I wrote that, and you probably felt some little twinge somewhere on your body.  Or I could be really mean and say, right now, in your home, is an insect that will touch you at some point this week. Just lying in wait. Uncomfortable yet? Welcome to my weekend.

I was sitting on my couch watching TV and cruising through Pinterest, the kiddo was in bed, husband off doing whatever he does, I don’t know I’m not his keeper. Wait… Anyway, I had just got into that perfect butt crevice on the couch so I didn’t have to move for the next hour or so when I felt a flick in my hair. Now normally that doesn’t bother me. My hair is long and it has a mind of it’s own. I swear one day I’ll wake up and it will be trying to suffocate me. And when I run I look like this:
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So I don’t normally notice when my hair flops onto my shoulder, but this time… something was different. I quickly flicked my hair back over my shoulder and out of the corner of my eye saw a dark spot travel right down into my cleavage. Then the creepy crawly feeling happened and I realized something was trapped, running circles in my sports bra. If you’re any sort of busty gal who wears a sports bra, you know sometimes you almost resort to greasing yourself out of those things. I jumped up from the couch squirming around, thanking God my blinds were closed, trying to rip off my shirt and bra while what I assumed was a spider was wreaking havoc in my… cushy spots. I probably looked insane. I wasn’t making a sound for fear of waking up the toddler tornado and having to explain to him why mommy is topless in the living room.

SO just to recap, I am spinning in circles, huffing and puffing, stuck halfway out of my shirt and a sports bra stuck halfway over my head. One of Satan’s hell hounds in the form of an insect is still running all over me, probably laughing. Finally I resort to punching and smacking myself to smash it against my own skin, which I realize is a terrible idea after the fact. But huzzah! The crawling has stopped. Tiny evil laughter has been silenced. Then I see it. You are no spider. You are a COCKROACH. A cockroach just tried to murder me. Okay maybe not homicide, but still, he attacked me. And now he was in tiny pieces all over my… cushy spots. Almost 4 years of diaper changing and I’ve never used so many baby wipes.

So why share this story on Military Monday on the ol’ blog? Well because it has everything to do with adjusting to this new place. We didn’t really have cockroaches on Camp Pendleton, we had large flying ones in Okinawa that I usually killed with boots or trapped in cup prisons, but the North Carolina breed are apparently sick, twisted, creepy little jerks. They wait until you’re comfortable and surprise you from behind, making sure to embarrass you as much as possible. One morning I’m going to stumble out of bed, walk to my mirror, and have one on my upper lip posing as a moustache. I’m telling you, NC cockroaches make it their final mission to make a fool of you before they die. In Okinawa it was geckos, and before that on Pendleton it was basically all of God’s creatures. There’s always going to be differences between stations, even if it’s something as silly as what pests you have to deal with.  You’re always going to have to overcome them, whether it’s not making friends as easy as you thought, or having a battle royale against little invaders.

In my almost 26 years of life, I’ve overcome a lot. So I know in my heart that anything this new place throws at me, I’ll be able to get over it. Right now it’s simple things like the 3 hour time difference between here and home, dealing with the cold weather & rain, not being able to pick out color palettes for rooms, etc. I just smile at myself, knowing I may act funny immediately, but in the end I’ll be smarter and know how to handle similar situations I may encounter down the road.

Maybe not attack cockroaches, but I hope you understand my point.

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When you’re a small child, a monster can be anything you fear; something underneath your bed, dentists, the dark, your floor turning to lava… anything. That imaginative sense of monsters carries over to your adult life to something much more realistic, now you deal with different kinds of monsters. I don’t generally go with the “woe is me” crowd simply because we’re  a military family. I honestly don’t think we have it off any worse than the average American family at this point. I might change my tune had my husband been deployed more, but I’m one of the lucky Marine wives who’s gotten to keep her husband at her side for most of our marriage. I mean, life is no walk in the park, I assure you. I did just spend 3 years in a country I knew nothing about, thousands of miles from the only place I’ve called home and all of our family. And now, after all of the changes I went through personally during that time, I’m having to start all over again. Still thousands of miles away mind you, but at least on the same continent. Enter: PCSing.

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This is our new home for the next few years. On a coast I’ve barely visited, in an area I know nothing about, and a handful of friends I’m only just getting to know. Such is the life of a military wife they say. The new monster? Stress. Every adult, EVER, has stress, if only a small amount. My stress? Probably miniscule in comparison. I worry about making our home just right, about trying to start school for both me and my son, about my husband being in a new shop, about just about everything possible. I catch myself doing it too, and realize that, I have it really, REALLY good. I stop myself.  I have to stop battling the silly little stress monster, that honestly has no place in my life. He needs to take a hike, the little asshole.

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 I have a new house, new area, tons of new opportunities…this is going to be epic.  So for now I’m going to enjoy all things new, and quit stressing myself into a frenzy about absolutely nothing. I had taken a break from my little blogaroo, because honestly no one wants to blog in the mindset of a PCS move. It’s terrible. None of it is fun, I assure you. I’m going to enjoy my new East Coast domain and all that it has to offer. From here on out I’ll be blogging from my little, okay not little, Southern home and hopefully shedding some light on life as military wife, part time stay at home mom, old lady student, and transplant from the West Coast.  No seriously, my California-ness is kind of apparent here. I had Macklemore and Sublime pumping out of my car the other day and realized the VERY Southern woman in her Oldsmobile next to me had the most terrified look on her face. And when I use words like rad, gnarly, and dude, well… I might as well tattoo CALI across my forehead.

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We’re going to have fun here.

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