Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Secret City Half Marathon 11/18/2012 Oak Ridge, TN

Personal best record on today's Secret City Half Marathon in Oak Ridge TN. Time was 1:53!

I didn’t really believe that I could beat my 1:57 time from last year’s half marathon. But I knew I wanted to try. I told Karen my strategy at our traditional pre-race pasta dinner the night before the race. “I’m going to go out fast- between 8:15 – 8:45 miles- and I am going to hold it there as long as I can. And if I slack off because of fatigue, I will hopefully have enough of a lead to see me through.”

It was a cold race. The temp was 30ยบ at the 8:00am start. I broke my rule of “nothing new” and wore gloves for the first half of the race. During the race, my legs were really cold and my toes were numb which made it hard to concentrate on my stride. I just couldn’t feel much. And my adrenaline was racing.

One enjoyable part was speaking with a British guy who kindly asked me the manufacturer of my water belt. He had to ask me 3 times because my music was cranked up so loud and it took a moment for me to comprehend what he was asking. He was very patient and friendly. He told me he hadn’t seen a waterbelt like mine before. I had to turn the belt around to read the name Amphipod. I offered him Gu which he politely refused and then he ran on ahead. I looked at my watch and was surprised and amused that I had held a conversation at an 8:30ish pace.


This course was a double loop so I got to see my family at the halfway mark. There were no other fans on the course. I’m sure my family was freezing in the cold weather but they were smiling and cheering for me on the sidelines. It was a precious snapshot moment for me to treasure. I smiled and waved at them, so happy to see them. I tossed my gloves to my Dad and kept on running.

Math is not my strong suit when I’m running. Trying to figure out whether I was ahead or behind was making my head swim. I had printed out a 1:55 pace bracelet but had forgotten to put it on. I remember at 1:35, a man was yelling out times to us. He shouted 1:42 to me. I checked my watch and checked it again. I thought he was surely wrong but the fear he was right sent a fresh hit of adrenaline through me. I really wanted to slow down…just a bit…but I decided to push on. “Push on, push on!” I muttered to myself.


The course had several hills and I was pleased I had done some hill training prior to the race. My “rabbit” was in a pack of runners ahead of me. I had watched as the gap between us kept increasing particularly on the flats. I knew I was doing my best but it was hard to see her slipping away. Between mile 10-11 there was a water station and my rabbit, along with a bunch of runners, stopped to walk though the station. I sprinted on ahead and was thrilled to pass my rabbit. I figured she would pass me again but I stayed ahead of her for the rest of the race.

As I passed mile 12, my mind filled with memories.
The metal stress of February and March as I struggled to decide if I would do a Summer triathlon.
The slacking off in April when I decided not to.
Pushing too far and too fast in May and injuring both feet with plantar fasciitis.
The horrible three weeks in June when I couldn’t run at all due to doctor’s orders.
Those terrible 2-3 mile runs in July when nothing felt right with my feet and legs.
All the stretching. Stretching my hamstrings and calves up to 5 times a day.
Sleeping every night since June 11th with a night brace on my right foot.
All the nights I wanted to rip the damn thing off so I could rest easier.
All the mornings when I was grateful I had once again left it on if it meant I could run.
That incredible 5 miles in July when I felt like myself again and how I kissed everyone for the rest of the day, so great was my relief.
The sacrifices my family has made so that I could have a gym membership, a pool membership and a marathon trainer.
Watching myself grow stronger and faster over the past six months.
And how desperately I wanted to cross the finish line, knowing with no doubts that I had given it my best. My very best.

And when I saw the race clock and knew I had beaten last year’s time. I went from smiling...

to screaming...

to crying in mere seconds.

I crossed the finish line, sat on the road, and had myself a big ole crying jag.

Karen tells me that my parents looked at me and her as if they were thinking, “Holy Crap. Is she hurt, is she upset?” But Karen knew. She grabbed my face and said, “You did it baby! You did it!”

My family covered me with a blanket and quietly let me have my tears. Karen fixed my recovery drink. And the race was done.

I composed myself, changed clothes, and posed for pictures.

There are moments that mark you for the rest of your life. November 18th, 2012 was one of mine.
Time: 1:53:45
Placed 135 out of 495 runners
Finished Fourth in my age group.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Project Life Week 45

Project Life Week 45 page1

A Less Rushed, More Inspired Christmas: When I decided to run another marathon, I knew I wanted to do a better job with Christmas than last year. So this year, I started early. And when we drive to TN next week, we will be taking wrapped Christmas presents with us. There are still more gifts to prepare, but I’m proud of what I’ve put together and focused on finishing the rest earlier rather than later.

Kylie cut out each ornament and stamped it lightly with a K. We added a red ribbon. We will give them to our family for them to hang from their trees next week.

Project Life Week 45 page 2

Sight word lists: see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you, all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came.

“When I grow up, I want to be an artist. Except for one night a week, I want to be a rockstar”.

On Thursday, November 8th, Emily and her entire basketball team dedicated their season to Karen’s sister Amy who has Carcinoid Cancer. They had special tshirts made and zebra-striped shoe laces. They gave a special black-and-white striped basketball to Amy that was signed by the team. The black and white stripes are the signature colors for this type of cancer and the moto is “No One Fights Alone.”

I usually include Kylie’s artwork in letter-sized sheet protectors, but I loved this cut-out watercolor picture.

So that's it for another week. Thanks for looking! Click on the photos to view the credits. If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
The Mom Creative

Friday, November 09, 2012

Project Life Week 43 and 44

Project Life Week 43 page 1

Yeesh, there are lots of shadows and glares on this week’s pictures of my Project Life pages. Hardly looks like the real thing. Playing catch up here. Thanks for looking!

We are thankful for Momma’s safe return home to Florida. We all drove to TN on Saturday, October 13th. Kylie and I drove home on Wednesday, October 17th. Karen stayed in TN to help her Mom and flew home to us on Wednesday, October 24th. We are thankful to all be at home together again.

Grandpa gave Kylie this garden that grows crystals.

Kylie loves the “mood” turtle necklace that we got for her in San Francisco. She wears it all the time and likes interpreting the colors and moods. She is wearing it in the picture below.

Project Life Week 43 page 2

Kylie & her American Girl Doll Riley ath AB elementary School track playground.

Lost Second Tooth: I was ready to pull Kylie’s second tooth after dinner and before bedtime but she decided she would rather do it herself! The tooth fairy brought her $2.50 and a new toothbrush.

I love how you’ve started to entwine your fingers in mine during your nighttime meditation and how you like to give me a “kissing hand”.

In her craft kit from Kiwi Crate, Kylie made her own kaleidoscope and shadow puppets.

Project Life Week 44 page 1

This page documents the Halloween craft I provided at Kylie’s school. I included an example of the superhero cuff along with one of the cards that I gave out with their bracelet craft. The cards suggests powers for the different stickers such as if the child presses the ghost on her bracelet, she can turn invisible. I made a “boy” card as well and tucked it behind the girl one. I had so much fun watching the kids play with their bracelets and enjoy their other Halloween classroom activities.

Project Life Week 44 page 2

On Wednesday, 10/31 we had our parent/teacher conference at Kylie’s school. We expressed our concerns about Kylie staying with “known and therefore easy” work and asked her Ms. Kirby & Ms. Elizabeth to encourage her to move on to new things. We also talked about Kylie’s tendency to want to do her work with the other children, particularly Emma. We are worried about some of the bossy behavior Kylie exhibits when she feels like she has to supervise a younger child so that they complete their work, like the 45 layout, perfectly. Again we asked for Kylie to be encouraged to do some work on her own which will enable her to focus on her own actions rather than try to control someone else’s. Lastly, we reviewed Kylie’s report card.

Kylie had her six month check up with her dentist, Dr. Alvarez at Safari of Smiles

Karen took me out to lunch on Saturday for my 42nd birthday. We did some Christmas shopping; I bought some shirts at H&M and we read at Starbucks.

Poor sweet Kylie vomited three times on Thursday night causing us to have to change her bed three times. She was sick again on Friday morning. This was the first time she has really puked a lot and it frightened her. We believe it was caused by something she ate, perhaps a bad grape. But it wasn’t until her belly was truly empty that she started to get better. We gave her anti-nausea medicine, fever reducer and pedialyte and by Friday evening she was a little better. The poor darling just lay on the couch all day and wanted either Karen or I sitting with her so that she could put her head in our lap.

Although Kylie wasn’t 100% by Saturday, she and Karen still went out for their usual Saturday morning fun. They brought home Madagascar 3 with a matching circus afro wig. We all took turns wearing the silly thing just to make Kylie smile.

So that's it for another two weeks. Thanks for looking! Click on the photos to view the credits. If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
The Mom Creative

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween Butterfly