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Archive for September, 2013

Have you seen this article? :

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324807704579085084130007974.html?mod=trending_now_2

It pissed me off.

As a young runner, who has a running family full of people from all different strokes and ages, this made me sad. Is this truly what the older crowd thinks? It’s a viewpoint I had never seen before. Certainly there is a better way of challenging us younger runners than by calling them out maliciously, and ultimately calling them slow? I think what this apparently ANCIENT man has missed is that there are such things as FUN RUNS. I started out in a small crew, to get out and meet other Moms and explore the area I lived in better. I had no intention of becoming a runner. Here I am, a year and a half down the road from that first workout, and a week or so away from my first half-marathon, which is yes, TIMED. I’ve done a few fun runs, where I wasn’t concerned with my time or what I got at the finish line. I run to have fun. The day it becomes something other than fun, is the day I stop running.

Everyone has to start somewhere. The more glow runs, colors runs, foam runs etc., there are, the more people are going to get involved in running. People who have probably never tried to run since grade school P.E. are getting out there. And SO WHAT if they do it for a medal, or just to finish. They aren’t sitting at home. They’re out, having fun, being healthy, and getting rewarded for it. They aren’t signing up for races to impress anyone. They’re building on friendships or family strength, and having fun doing it. Do I think people should spend time training for races like the Chicago Marathon? Absolutely. But I’m not going to belittle anyone’s ambitions if they choose to do otherwise. I’d be more concerned with people not taking a Marathon seriously and injuring themselves, more than training in order to get a good time and beat other people. Competition is absolutely healthy, but it’s a race, competition is a given. People are going to feed off of support and run better with cheers rather than people judging them from the other side of the finish line.

I’ve been training off and on for this half-marathon. Let’s be honest, my goal IS JUST TO FINISH. Would I like it to be under 3hours? Sure. If it isn’t will I lament about it? Maybe a little. I do not however, look down on others for the time finish in, and receiving Β a medal for it. In my thoughts, anyone who crosses the finish line behind me, is just as deserving. Now obviously, if they’re drinking sodas and eating chicken wings along the race route, they probably shouldn’t be rewarded for it. But I’ve never met a runner who did a race and wasn’t proud to finish. The fact is they’re out there. And I HIGHLY doubt anyone is signing up for races like the Chicago Marathon without any sort of training or effort. You have to qualify for certain corrals, so even though they have options for an almost 7 hour marathon time, you STILL HAVE TO TRY.

I just think this article was ridiculous. Everyone has a reason to race. Everyone wants to just finish. It’s up to the race coordinators on how to hand out medals. It’s up to runners to register for races based on what they want out of it. The bottom line is that they’re out there, running it. People compete against their own demons enough, they don’t need to worry about the people finishing before them thinking they’re weaker or didn’t make enough of an effort. Runners struggle with their own pressures. Your life must be insanely sad to have to bash other people’s motivations for races. Finish your race, take your medal, and shut up. This is the running family, we’re supportive, encouraging, and we challenge each other. We certainly don’t make people feel like shit for not being as good as we are, or beating each others times across the finish. Enjoy your Denny’s Senior Special sir, I hope your well earned medal doesn’t clink too much against the bowl.

I am for one STOKED that more younger people are starting on this road to running.

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Happy Fall Y’all

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Fall has finally arrived officially! Here in North Carolina we have been celebrating the on and off cooler weather. It’s a big deal when you don’t step outside and melt into a puddle of human with a frizzy ball of hair on top. Β It also makes for better trips outdoors when the mosquitoes aren’t all over you and the sweat stays at bay a bit. Half-marathon training is also going a lot smoother. I am just not built for heat and humidity. With the cooler weather there’s also about a thousand more options on things to do. We have festivals, fairs, and races out the wazoo. AND JEANS! I can wear jeans again! Not sweaters quite yet, or scarves, but I will soon, and it will be glorious.

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We’ve already done a little hiking (well nature walks I guess. No actual hiking here!). No crafting just yet, but I’m on it. This season also makes it a lot easier for someone who has a zombie themed kitchen to find cute decor, haha! I do wonder what the homeowners face is going to look like when he comes to visit at the end of this week. I sure made this rental home ours, haha. I’m super nervous to meet him. I’ve never really had a landlord come over to check out the digs so I’m paranoid about it, of course. “Hey, you know how your house is kind of an epic fail inside? Well I made it pretty. I can make it prettier if you take it out of our rent.” Seriously, there is a complete iron mark on the carpet in our master room. Who the hell irons on the floor? Actually, who the hell irons? We have the awful wallpaper, odd outside paint job, marks all over everything, ugly counter tops… I could go on. But it’s our funny little home and I love it.

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I am again, appreciative for the awareness I have of how awesome it is to be back in the U.S. for actual seasons. I have Okinawa to thank for that. Being home for the holidays has been pretty amazing. I suppose now that I’ve been on the sidelines for them before, some of the things Americans do for holidays is pretty silly. The pumpkin spice crave is definitely one of those things. Β I am just not a fan of everything I eat tasting like potpourri. Wait unless it’s actual potpourri, that’s allowed to be pumpkin spice. And pie. Mmm…. pumpkin pie.

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See? Pumpkin spice smelly stuff. HAHA!

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We have a lot on the ol’ bucket list this season. I plan to conquer it.
So Happy Fall Y’all as they say here in the sort of South, I hope you get out an enjoy it!

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All I want to do after running is eat peanut butter sandwiches and take naps.

I have to re-learn how to walk after long runs.

I whine at my husband about having owies.

Potty Break. Potty break. Potty break.

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Look at that countdown! I can’t even believe how close I’m getting. I’m still sticking to the Hal Higdon beginners training plan as best I can, though one week I was all over the place and barely ran. Boy did I feel that one on the one run I did accomplish. So I’m feeling motivated still, especially since I’m actually registered for the race now. My name is on that list. I HAVE to finish what I’ve started. It’s actually pretty crazy looking back and realizing I started this off with the Couch to 5k program, and have reached my final race in the Couch to Crazy challenge my running group put together. In all honesty I’m not sure I would’ve ever attempted this without the women I run around. I promised myself if I finish this half without dying, I will register for the 21.5 mile Neusiok trail run in January. The fact that that is even a goal in my mind terrifies me. I’m not a runner, what in the hell am I trying to sign up for? Okay, maybe I’m a runner.

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The furthest I’d ever run was 7.5 miles, and that was with a 15 or so minute break in the middle. I’m talking sitting down on the ground, slightly dying, dousing myself in my own water bottle, type of break. Then I noticed this week that a bunch of people in the Virtual Race group I belong to were going to run 9.11 miles in honor of 9/11. I thought this was a fantastic idea (seriously, who the hell am I!?!). My training plan called for 3 miles, but I set out with a new goal of 9.11. My first few miles were actually pretty stellar, mind you this is factoring in pushing my 40ish lb toddler in a stroller that apparently had flat-ish tires, and it’s over 85 degrees outside. I hit two P.R.’s; the first was that I ran two straight miles without stopping, which is huge for me, and the second was I hit my fastest mile with a stroller ever! So I was feeling great. Mile 5 came around and my left hip went out. We’re talking 80 year old broken hip status. We’re talking someone better hand me one of those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” buttons before you find me on the pavement peeing myself. I walked it off a bit, and kept on chugging. Which I’m also proud of. I gave myself a 3 hour goal to finish this in, and ended up finishing in 2:25. My pace was ridiculous and all over the place, and as you can tell from the map, I had to be very creative with my neighborhood. Lots of cul-de-sac turn arounds which took more time than I anticipated, and a lot of arm strength. I. AM. WHIPED. I also discovered a lot about the people that live around me. Maybe a little more than I wanted to. You there, with the ducks as pets in your yard, stop that.

But I did it. I feel better about my half-marathon. I now have new goals to look towards.

Oh and I should definitely carry more than one water bottle and one Powerade, because hose water from a stranger was looking pretty good at about mile 7.

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Thoughts Over Coffee

That’s the trick, isn’t it? When you’re 26, you’re still young. When you’re 26, a mother, and a military wife… you’re old.

The majority of military wives around here are at least 5 years younger than me. Still referring to their pets as children, and drinking with friends in their apartments because they’re not old enough for shady bars. I’ll be clear, that’s the majority, not the entire group. I’m sure there are some that sit around knitting or working hard at jobs they’re over-qualified for. I don’t sit around struggling with my age, in fact I forget that around here, I’m an old gal. I don’t think that’s just in the military world either. I think there’s a ton of 26 year olds out there contemplating whether they are actually feeling the oldest they’ve ever been, or that they’re somehow younger still.

I’m still young. I have so much more to experience. I have so many goals and dreams I lose count.

I do not use my time wisely enough.

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Mind boggling.

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I can appreciate the simplicity and hard work of Amish life. I cannot, however, imagine actually doing it longer than a week or so. But man do they have a kick ass safari park. While in Ohio, the relatives said we were gonna head out to Amish country. My only other Amish country experience had been in 8th grade on a trip to Intercourse, Pennsylvania, and basically all I remember is constant giggling about the name and the dude squirting milk straight out of a cow at us. This was a far better experience. It was a gorgeous day, the kind that makes you actually appreciate the middle of nowhere. I had no idea what to expect from an Amish zoo, but I imagined it would be something like the dilapidated animal parks in Okinawa. Man was I off. My grandmother was in the front with me, and the little was running amuck in the back with his Grandma.

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SO I guess we know where I get my creature whispering from. My grandma could basically get anything to come up to her. I on the other hand scared zebras because I decided to stick half of my body out the window at them. So needless to say I would not fair well on an actual safari. I am really really good at making friends with Giraffe’s though. They’re my favorite.

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Dreams made real, people.

I have ALWAYS wanted to feed giraffes. I pet them, baby talked at them, made faces, and almost cried. It was amazing. You feel so tiny. Β I felt like racing home, building an odd shaped barn and having my own giraffe. Okay let’s be honest, I couldn’t handle that, but still! It was such a fun day of animal feeding and laughing. I couldn’t believe this was run by a bunch of Amish people, though I do see the appeal, and the money flow is probably tremendous. I did wonder though if there was an Ark hidden somewhere on the land.

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I took about a thousand photos, and had to edit and narrow it down quite a bit. You’re lucky I didn’t bring home the mini donkey, husband. After walking around to see every single creature they own, we headed off to the market and winery for more goodies. I can’t imagine there’s much else to do in Amish country aside from what we accomplished in a few hours.

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I’m still finding animal food pellets in my Jeep.

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