Another Four Miles on the Fourth

July’s race for 2018 was the CRMC 4-Mile run which was on Independence Day.  This is the same four-mile run we did last year, with the same course.  The money from the race goes to support a local hospital.

This year, we had more friends join us for this race.  Cinderella decided that she wanted to run this race this year as well, so she also joined us.  Why she wanted to run this race so badly, I have no idea.  I tried to remind her that race time was at 7:30 am, that it was a 40 minute drive, so we would be getting up very early.  She insisted that she still wanted to run this race.

A friend and I went together for packet pick up the day before the race.  This was her first time to run this race, so after packet pick up we went and drove the course.  At least we knew what the course was this time!

I was immediately reminded of the steep hill at the beginning of the race and the hill at the end of the race as well.

Race day morning was ugly.  All the excitement of the race had worn off, and getting up and out of bed at an unreasonable time no longer seemed fun to Cinderella.  However, she did get up and get out the door.

We were plenty early, which worked out well since my oldest daughter still had to register.  There was a playground nearby that kept Cinderella and Sofia the First occupied.

Start time was finally here, and we were off.  The sun was bearing down and felt very hot so I was trying to run wherever there was shade.  After about the first half mile Cinderella decided she couldn’t run any further.  We did some walking and I tried to encourage her to do some more running, but to no avail.  Then I tried running ahead quite a distance, but that didn’t work either.

Finally, I decided to suck it up and walk with her.  She was extremely cranky, and being around her was not pleasant.  I reminded her that I was five times her age.  At one point she asked me to let her win.  I told her not to worry, that I would let her go ahead of me across the finish line.

At the three-mile mark was a water sprinkler that felt really nice.  Shortly after that was a group of cheerleaders.  For some reason, Cinderella decided that was her cue to run; and run, she did.  She took off like a bullet and there was no reason for me to even try to keep up!  She crossed the finish line before I did, and it wasn’t because I let her win.  She was so excited to get second place in her age group!

Afterwards, we went to the same local diner as last year and had breakfast.  Seeing men in uniform was yet another reminder of the great country we live in and the sacrifices individuals and their families make every day so we can enjoy our freedoms.  Thank you to all that have served.

Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof, Leviticus 25:10

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My Hope is in the Lord

This past year, specifically the past school year, has been the worst year ever.  If I were a new home educator, I probably would’ve given up months ago.

Fortunately, I have 21 years of experience on my side.  I know that problems don’t have to be fixed right here and right now, and that often it takes time to see results.  I am qualified and I know I can do this, despite the fact that my family is saying the opposite.

What makes me qualified?  I love my daughter more than anyone else on this planet.  The only one that loves her more than I do is Jesus.  I will do what it takes.  I will scour the planet for the answers, find them, and put their practices into place.  Just as Jesus will leave the 99 to go after the one stray sheep, find it, and carry it home, I will do what is necessary to find what my daughter needs and see that those needs are met.

Watching a child struggle is heartbreaking.  Searching and searching for help and not finding it can be even more heartbreaking.  Thankfully, God has led us to the people we need one by one.  God is great, loving, and kind; and with Him we will succeed.

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,  Psalm 146:5

A Sentence a Day for May 2018

As always, May was another busy month.  Once it warmed up, soccer came to an end.  Then there were graduations and Mother’s Day.  Finally, Memorial Day is often looked at as the official start of summer.

  1.  Tuesday:  It is starting to feel like summer:  80 degrees and humid.
  2. Wednesday:  We had our first tornado drill of the season tonight.
  3. Thursday:  I sweated more today than I have in a long time, and it felt really, really good.
  4. Friday:  We had about a week of spring, and now summer is here.
  5. Saturday:  Cinderella’s last soccer game was today.
  6. Sunday:  I got to spend lots of time with Liam today.
  7. Monday:  We heard a loud crash this morning and later found that it was all of my medals crashing to the floor.
  8. Tuesday:
  9. Wednesday:
  10. Thursday:  I finally broke down and turned the a/c on tonight since DH had a fire outside and I couldn’t open the windows.
  11. Friday:  I am thankful that Cinderella got to meet some new friends today.
  12. Saturday:  It was exciting for a young man to get a “robin hood” in archery this morning.
  13. Sunday, Mother’s day:  It would’ve been nice to stay home and rest, but it was a good day anyway.
  14. Monday:  Cinderella got to go to an art class this evening.
  15. Tuesday:
  16. Wednesday:  I had a good run tonight, but I think I need bigger shoes.
  17. Thursday:  This evening was the last day of our C25K program.
  18. Friday:  The Brandon Russell Flash Dash is tomorrow, and it’s supposed to be a wet one!
  19. Saturday:  We went to my nephew’s graduation party tonight–it just doesn’t seem possible.
  20. Sunday:  Cinderella got to see a high school graduation today.
  21. Monday:  The first day of ITBS for Cinderella.
  22. Tuesday:  It was fun to get together with the C25K group one last time.
  23. Wednesday:  I made it four miles tonight, but it nearly killed me.
  24. Thursday:  I am feeling pretty zapped today.
  25. Friday:  We spent the evening with the princess who keeps getting ornerier and ornerier.
  26. Saturday:  I just want one day where people do things for me instead of the other way around.
  27. Sunday:  It was a hot and miserable run at the mill today.
  28. Monday:  I ended up babysitting the grandkids this afternoon.
  29. Tuesday:
  30. Wednesday:  We had a hilly, but interesting, route with the Rock & Run group.
  31. Thursday:  It was nice not to have to go to vision therapy today, but that meant doing it on our own at home.

 

 

Spring Update

Right now we have a brief lull in activities, so I’m trying to lay low and take it easy.  Spring is always a busy time, with April being the busiest month of the year, so I know it’s not going to last long.  And this year we have a grandbaby coming in April as well.  In a few weeks, it will be time to shift into overdrive!

I already have an event planned for every weekend in April.  They keep stacking up, so there are some Saturdays that I have three places I need to be.  Ain’t gonna happen!

Last week I ran four miles for the first time since I sprained my ankle.  It was slower than all get out, but that’s ok.  My doctor says it should be healed and he thinks the pain I’m feeling is just from it being stiff and not as elastic as it used to be, so I’m trying to move more and keep it loosened up.

I am definitely loving daylight savings time.  It is so nice to have more daylight in the evening and to be able to get outside.  It certainly is taking some adjustment, though.  Everytime I look at my watch, it’s an hour or two later than I think.  It seems like it’s making the time fly away.

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I unintentionally took a break from juicing for several months.  I just got out of the habit of making it.  I was starting to feel the effects of not having juice in my diet, so I have gotten back to making juice again.  I was expecting it not to taste good to me after not having it for so long.  Actually, it was delicious, and I felt like I had been missing something special.  Lesson learned.

It seems like it has been a longer, harder winter than what we’ve had in the past.  It got cold earlier in the fall than what we’re used to.  I remember going to the sports store looking for winter running accessories in October and the sales clerk telling me that it had gotten cold earlier than usual so they weren’t going to have winter items in for a few weeks yet.  We didn’t have a lot of snow this year, but we had a lot of small snow falls or even sleet and ice.  Our weather wasn’t necessarily harsh or severe, it just made it more difficult to get out.  As you know, once you start slacking off, it’s easy to continue.

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Now that we are in daylight savings time and it’s a bit warmer, I feel like spring is just around the corner.  Time to break free!

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’m trying to remember that, I really am.

I’m trying to ignore that my stress levels are through the roof, my eating is completely out of control, and I’ve gained a few pounds.

I want to believe that we will find the answers for Cinderella that we’re so desperately looking for.  I want to believe that one day things will be “normal” for us.  A few weeks ago I had completely lost hope.

But now there is a glimmer–a glimmer of hope.  And, after all, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

 


May you accept the greatest gift of all this Christmas season–the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

A Blessing in Disguise?

As a contrast to last week’s post, this week I’m writing about why I’m not running–at least for the moment.

First I injured myself which has prevented me from running.  I would like to start trying a little bit of running, but I’m not sure what I’m up to right now.

On top of all of that, life has gotten very complicated.  Cinderella is needing my attention around the clock.  This is all exhausting and making me very weary but under the guise that we’d all do anything for our children, I keep going.

Trying to find the time to take a walk around the block is almost impossible.  If it does happen, it’s late at night.  In thinking about when to fit running into my schedule, I come up empty right now.  The only time available is late at night, and if I run after 8:00 I can’t sleep.

Thankfully, this is all temporary.  We’re being yanked into a new schedule and way of doing things.  Once we get adjusted and figure it all out, it will be better in the end.  The adjustment period is the killer!

In retrospect, I’m looking at this injury as a blessing in disguise.  Right now I’m having a difficult time finding time to go to the grocery store and to the doctor for my injury.  If I were trying to fit another thing into my schedule (like running) it would just be more stress and more exhaustion. I know I wouldn’t be doing anything well.

Right now I need to step away from the pavement and give Cinderella my full attention.  This injury is forcing me to do that.  Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

305 lbs. 5 People, 5 Tons of Baby Paraphernalia

Once the Couch to 5K program was over, it was over.  It was up to each one of us as to whether we were going to continue any kind of running or exercise regimen.

One of the ladies in the group, Marie, wanted to continue to run regularly, so several of us continued to meet once a week.  We met on Tuesday nights and would run an out and back that was about a two and a half mile run.  My daughter and I also started running together even though she runs at a much faster pace than I do.  She literally ran circles around me.

We continued to run in the evening because that fit our schedule.  As winter approached and Daylight Savings time came to an end, we began running in the dark.  Darkness was what brought my running to and end the winter before.  However, my daughter and Marie were determined that we were going to keep on keeping on, so we did.

We soon discovered how treacherous running on the sidewalks at night can be.  If there was an uneven spot in the sidewalk, I would find it and trip.  A few times my daughter caught me, a few times I fell palms down with my phone in my hand.  After a few incidents, I was blessed with a running belt as a gift.

Running at night was almost like it’s own little sport with it’s own equipment.  The year prior I had bought a reflective vest but hadn’t used it much.  It was now a necessity for every run.  I tried to wear bright-colored clothing along with a light–not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of oncoming traffic as well.  I eventually fell and got scraped up enough times on the sidewalk, that I started running in the street to avoid injury.

In October we did the Pumpkin Run at a farm.  It was my first off-road race, and it was tough going.  It was still a fun day with perfect running weather.

October also brought us a new granddaughter, this one belonging to my son and his wife.

It had come to the point that my job was detrimental to my health.  I gained a few pounds and was not feeling up to par.  I left in the morning before anyone else was up, and often came home after dark when everyone was winding down for bed.  I might as well have packed my bags and left for two days every week.  It was adding a lot of stress to the family, and they weren’t handling it very well.

Worse yet, I watched the drivers.  They were all battling diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and the list goes on.  Some were battling the physical that they’re required to take every two years.  To sum things up, their job was killing them.

I took a weekend off in October so we could take a trip.  My oldest daughter and granddaughter also went with us.  It was five people and five tons of baby paraphernalia, but we had a great time.  My daughter and I even did some hiking/walking on the trails where we stayed.

When we returned from our trip, I handed in my resignation.  I agreed to stay until the end of November if they were willing to let me stay.  I was very saddened because I liked my job and the people that I worked with.  My reasons for leaving had nothing to do with the job, but 100% to do with my personal life.

In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  Psalm 56:11

4 Miles on the 4th

We celebrated July and Independence Day with the CRMC 4-Mile run.  This was a 4 mile run in a small community, and the funds raised went to support their local hospital.

Packet pickup was on Monday.  Cinderella and I made a day of it by getting a haircut and then heading up to packet pick up.  We got our packets and then went to attempt to find the route for the race.  I had a map of the route of the race, the only problem was that it did not indicate the direction.  It did not take long to find the arrows already marked on the road indicating where to turn and for me to realize that we were going backwards.  I turned around and we then drove what we thought was the route of the race in the correct direction.

After that, Cinderella and I found a local diner, and we both had a delicious and inexpensive meal.

I was a little apprehensive about this race because I had not been consistently running distances over two miles.  My last race was a 6K (3.8 miles) and I had walked a lot of it.  My goal for this race was to run a majority of it and to finish in at least the same time as the last race even though it was a longer distance.

On the morning of the fourth, we had typical summer weather (hot and humid) but we were blessed that it was cloudy and overcast.  When we lined up for the race, we lined up going in the opposition direction I thought we’d be going, so I didn’t know what to expect.  I had told my daughter that it was a pretty flat course, and she’d be fine.  The first thing we did was run up a big hill!

Evidently, I had somehow missed the first leg of the race.  I was not mentally prepared for the two big hills that were in that leg.  I decided I wasn’t going to wear myself out on the first mile and then be pooped out the rest of the race, so I did go ahead and walk some of the hills in the race.

I was about the same pace as a guy that told me he had been running for 30 years, hadn’t done any running in the last 11 years, and was starting to run again.  After I told him I had just started running two years ago, it seemed like he was trying to be an encourager.  Evidently, we had opposite strategies, so we kept passing each other.

The race was exhausting, and I definitely felt like I had reached my max.  However, not only did I reach my goal, I actually finished over a minute under my last race which was a shorter distance!

Afterwards, we hung around for the awards and then went back to the same local diner for breakfast.  It was a great way to kick off the Fourth and enjoy the freedoms we have thanks to so many that have gone before us and made many, many sacrifices.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

 

305 lbs. I Will not be Afraid

It was good to be employed again.  What money I made was our safety net.  It was a good, secure feeling.

I also enjoyed seeing the drivers that I worked with on a weekly basis.  When I worked from home, I talked to them a lot on the phone, but rarely actually saw them.  It was good to see them face to face and many of them would come in and talk to me for a few minutes during shift change.

The question of the day became, “Have you talked to Mr. G?”  I nearly strangled the last driver that asked me that question, and no one ever asked me that question again.

It didn’t take long before working on Friday and Saturday cramped my style so to speak.  We often went to the pool on Friday nights.  In the past, I could take my work stuff with me and work poolside.  I was not able to do that this time around.

My oldest daughter came up with the idea that we should run a 5K a month.  That meant we had to find 5Ks that were on Sunday.  They were out there, and we were able to do it, but it very much limited our choices.

In June we did the SuperDad 5K.  I don’t think we were able to find a race to do in July.  August was a race called Run by the River.  It was the same course as the SuperDad 5K, but the weather made a huge difference.

Saturday was also a time that my daughter and her husband wanted to go out.  It was a time that they needed a babysitter, and I was not able to do it.  There were also plenty of local events and summer activities that I simply wasn’t able to go to because I was working.

I was trying to cram seven days of household duties into five, so I soon found that I had come up with a strict schedule of what had to be done each and every day to get everything done every week.  On Saturdays while I was at work, I would often order a few groceries and schedule pick up for Sunday after church.  Sunday was my day to pay bills and do paperwork.  Monday was my day to stay home and clean house.  I don’t remember what Tuesday was.  Wednesday was my day to go grocery shopping and run errands.  Thursday was my day to stay home, do laundry, and meal prep for the next several days. It was hectic and demanding, but I was able to make it work.

I was very concerned that working would mean eating more, being less active, and gaining weight.  I would drink a smoothie for breakfast on my way to work.  I brought a salad in a jar to have later in the day as a meal, and various snacks of fruit, vegetables, and cheese for any other time I needed something to eat.  I didn’t want to be eating out or eating from a vending machine, so having more than what I would probably need with me was my solution.

As far as activity, I had to walk about 50 yards up to another building several times a day, so I would turn that trip into a brisk walk around the parking lot.  I tried running a few times and thought that I could at least work on my pace or do some sprints, but I soon found that it was not an option without being properly attired.  During the summer, I was also able to go for a walk after work.  I would often walk down to the end of the street and back which is about a mile and a half.

In June the Couch to 5K program started again.  I decided to join the program again in hopes of getting better at running.  My speed improved a little each race, but I was still very, very slow.  Also, it would put running on my calendar three days a week.

This time around, I was able to get five of my friends to join the program with me.  One of those being my closest friend who was also on her own weight-loss journey and another being my oldest daughter.  It was great to do the program with people that I knew and to share something that I loved and enjoyed.

The summer was a time of adjustment that went by quickly.  I felt very alone, but I kept telling myself that this too, shall pass.

“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.  WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”  Hebrews 13:6

Stopping the Binge

Monday was a day to get up early and get Cinderella to her gardening class.  I’ll have to admit that her little garden plot looks better than anything I have growing around the house.

My running has shifted to evenings now that our running group is meeting.  We meet at 7:00 pm, so I have also shifted all of my meals.  I cannot eat a meal more than three hours before running.  Breakfast has now become brunch.  Lunch and dinner are now “linner,” and I eat a very late supper somewhere around 8:30 or 9:00 pm.

Since Cinderella had her class and we often don’t get back until after lunch, I fixed my breakfast and took it with me.  I waited as long as I could stand to eat it, but I woke up hungry Monday morning–most likely because I went to bed hungry Sunday night.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get groceries.  The refrigerator was completely empty after going out of town the week before, so it was a big haul.  And, of course, I let Cinderella talk me into buying a few things I normally wouldn’t.

I was starting to get hungry again by the time we got home right after noon.  I knew this was bad news since my next meal wasn’t scheduled until 4:00 pm.  Cinderella opened the treats I let her pick out–a few chocolate covered raisins from the bulk section of the store and a bag of Pirate’s Booty we found in the clearance section.

I was curious about our unexpected purchases, so I gave them a taste.  And then I mindlessly ate another, and another, and another.  I was putting food away in more ways than one.

Then my mind said, “STOP!  What are you doing?  You’d be better off eating a whole other meal instead of binging on this junk!”  I immediately stopped and fixed myself a healthy snack that would hold me over until 4:00.

This, my friends, is monumental!  Why?  Because never before has my mind reacted in such a way.  Never before have I been mindlessly stuffing my pie hole only to have my brain wake up and yell, “STOP!”

What do I think precipitated this?  I have only made one change to my eating habits.  I am following a food plan, planning all of my meals ahead of time, and weighing my food.  This sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not.  This has taken a load off of my mind as far as thinking about food, what I’m going to eat, when, was it the right amount, etc.  I have been eating three meals a day, so I think that eating outside of this framework made red flags start popping up.

We have to have food to survive.  It’s everywhere, and marketers are intentionally manufacturing foods that are addictive and appeal to all of our senses.  We can give up certain foods, but we can’t give up eating all together to break the addiction.  It’s easy to see why controlling our food intake (at least in this country) may be one of the most difficult hurdles for a large portion of the population.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31