Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's Awesome Wednesday!

Another wordy, picture-less post (sorry), but I have to tell you about an amazing woman I met yesterday.

The Husbeast took me along while he ran errands which included picking up his textbooks for summer classes. There was a friendly woman helping, despite my best ADHD moments of, "Look! There's Haruki Murakami's book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running! I want to read that! What class is that for? They're so lucky!"

So, the lady, Beth, finds the few books Tim needs, then proceeds to ask about the running book. I told her what I've heard about it, and how it's on my list, and then she says she recently lost 150 lbs and just started running, and wants to run the Indy Mini next year.

To which I nearly leapt out of my skin with excitement for her.

And then I did something this shy girl rarely does: I gave out my name and number, and told her to call me any time she wants a running buddy, and that I'd run anywhere, any pace if she needs company.

It got me so excited to see someone who decided to make a change, and did it. Beth told us peer pressure from friends and doctors was guiding her towards bariatric surgery, but she wanted to make a real change, not a quick fix.

And then she DID it. She still has more weight to lose, but can I get a "HOW AWESOME IS BETH? SUPER AWESOME!!!!"

People like Beth are the role models our nation needs right now. Quick fixes don't change long-term problems; hard work Does.

Beth, I may never see you again (but I hope I do- I hope we can run together!), but I hope she knows that she made an impact, and it brings me such joy to see someone on a journey like this. I hope my encouragement will at least ring in her ears and get her to sign up for the Mini.

Way to go, bookstore Beth!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

I had to find a picture I haven't shared yet... so here's the Husbeast with the dog baby. She looks evil, but she was sleeping and making the cutest little noises!
Happy Memorial Day to my own personal veteran, and to all the others! Today's a day to honor those still here, and those who have since gone. Thanks, Grandpa Z, Uncle John, all 3 Schnell cousins, Grandpa Van, great Uncle Bill, and all the others who have served, especially my Husbeast! In 7 months, he'll be heading off to OTS, continuing on the amazing path he's blazing for himself.

How about a happy update on my progress? I decided today will only focus on positives, rather than more frustrations.
I went for a walk. All of .25 miles, but it's still progress.
We moved the recliner back where it belongs (well, he moved it) because I can finally sit comfortably on the couch again. Amazing how much more normal that makes me feel!
I have rotation! I'm like a tornado, I can (slowly) twist again! Or, as Tim said, I have progressed from having just an x axis on Wednesday to having a y axis by Thursday, and now I have a z axis again!
And, best of all... I slept until 9. That's a full night of sleep for the first time since Monday night last week!

So here's to progress. Just like the 2 marathons I've run, I just need to keep moving forward, slowly but surely. And before I know it, I'll be finishing marathon #3 in September. And 4 in November. And an ultra in December. :)

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you had a great holiday weekend!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


That's the theme here lately.

Mom came down yesterday to "babysit" me while Tim went to a wedding (he really wanted to stay home with me; he's awesome like that. But he's also awesome enough to do what he can to be there for a friend, and since he was In the wedding as a groomsman, he felt like he had to at least try to go). Thankfully, she helped my sanity a little by taking me on an adventure down to Kokomo for some cross stitch fabric and lunch a Panera. It was SO nice being out of the house.

But, I'm so frustrated right now.

I can't even open the ice cream and dig out a scoop without pain. I can't cut a piece of cold pizza. I can't move faster than about .5 mph (which is probably about 10x faster than I was 2 days ago!).

I know, I know, I need to be patient. That's not exactly my strong suit.

I'm doing my best. I've only had 2 melt-downs. One Thursday night because I was so tired after no real sleep for 2 days, and one Friday night with the whole inability to cut pizza thing.

I'm trying to be patient, I swear.

After Mom left, I was alone for about an hour before my friend Courtney could get here. Boy, that was a long hour since I was waiting for her to come open the ice cream for me! :)

And when Tim got home, he let me shuffle over to the neighbors' back porch to sit around their fire pit.

I think if I can just get a little out-of-the-house time each day, it will really help the happiness levels, which will help keep the frustration down a little.

38 more days, if my tired brain is adding correctly!

Friday, May 24, 2013


I am home (felt like they'd never let me leave yesterday). What's even better is I had been home just long enough to shower and slowly make my way to the nest my husband built for me on the couch (isn't he sweet), and 2 of my coworkers stopped by with a card and flowers.

They were 2 of the group that helped me have fun the night before surgery, too. I have a whole bunch of amazing people surrounding me. For the first time since I found out how so many "friends" in high school were just back-stabbing garden tools, I actually feel surrounded by friends.

And YOU guys complete the circle!

So thanks for the well-wishes.

Really. :)

 5 weeks and 5 days until I can run again- I'll be good resting until then, but you can be damn sure I'll run on July 4th!!! Can't break our anniversary tradition, after all!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


A part of me feels terrified- afraid of all that will go along with surgery, with recovery, afraid of losing fitness/gaining weight.... Etc.
And then there is a very small part of me that is (almost) relieved to have 6 weeks of forced rest. I'm not looking forward to it At All. But... When I think back, and realize that I haven't taken more than 6 days off in the last 16 months (even with gallbladder surgery and the flu).... Well, this forced rest could be a good thing. I know my feet sure look like they need it (sorry if you're eating).
So, while I sit here dreading most of tomorrow, I know the reasons outweigh any discomfort, and this sabbatical wont be all bad. After all, maybe these "beauties" will finally heal!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Last hurrah... For a bit, anyway.

This morning, I ran the Police Week 5k (on short notice). It was fun to have one more shot at an official 5k before my hiatus.
I finished in 24:36, my fastest 5k to date (excluding the Eastwood run that I ran the curves so well it measured short by a tenth). And since I ran to and from the race, I ended up with 5.3 miles for the day. The Husbeast took a quick picture before I left this morning so I could show off my awesome Team Tough Chik jersey. I even came home with a 1st place medal- easy to do when you're the only female!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The garden grows

All the plants are in. I just have to finish mulching my pathway, and then gets one extra mulch (in a different color?) to go around the plants. I love the way it came out, especially since I just winged it as far as the "design" goes.
It should be done in time. Should. If not, Tim will have to finish up.

Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 Goals, revised

I can't believe we are nearing the halfway point for the year! It seems like a good time to check in with my goals for the year... and to be honest with myself.

I didn't set many goals, but I did make some big ones.

#1: run 1000 miles this year. Yeah, NOT going to happen. Even if I weren't 9 days away from surgery (that will take me out for 6 stupid weeks), this goal just wasn't going to happen this year. Despite training for Circular Logic, my mileage stayed low (again). I haven't even broken 300 yet. Call me a slacker. I ran 227 miles from Decmebr to March for that marathon training, which is oddly enough 1 mile LESS than I ran during training for the AF full last year. At least I'm consistent in my low mileage.

#2: Complete 3 more marathons. 1 down, 2 to go. I know, barring injury, I will finish. So I feel ok about this. But I know semi-secret goal of one of those marathons being under 4:30 is in jeopardy.

I think I'll approach the AF marathon as a long training run for the Veteran's marathon. And between now and then, I'll keep reminding myself the a DNF will NOT affect my self-worth.

And, who knows. The optimist in me is reminding me of last fall's Freedom Half- I felt like I had taken the whole month off beforehand, and yet I still had that massive PR. Maybe, just Maybe, 6 weeks off will leave me feeling rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle this training cycle with renewed vigor.

#3: Run the HUFF 50K, my first ultra.  I'm still confident it will happen. But, like the semi-secret time goal for the marathons, I'm not sure how fast it will be... I could very well be racing the clock to meet the cut-off time.

{I'll be honest: I just got home from my pre-op appointment, and while I took the "you're sure you are ok not having kids" discussion in stride (calm acceptance, I really am ok with that part), I straight up BAWLED when I was told no running for 6 weeks.

Running is my therapy, my hobby, my way of calming my mind... running is the friend that is always there when needed, and never gives me (too) much crap if I skip it once in a while, since it knows I'll be back. Running has taught me to appreciate my strength, to read the scale as how Strong I am rather than how heavy. So, 6 weeks without it will be rough. The NP offered to ask for some Xanax for after surgery, but I've been down that road- I told her no thanks. I'd rather force myself to find a way to cope (like cross-stitch binges or knitting) than medicate. I don't like the way that crap makes me feel. I'd rather be present than checked out, even if present means being fully aware of how much I'll want to run.}

2 new goals

#4: 13.1 miles on May 21! I'm adding this one to the list. I know I'll be a ball of nerves the day before surgery, so right now, my plan is to run a half marathon on the base 5k trail- 4 laps plus a few of the running track should get me there. If I time it right, I'll finish around the time the running group is meeting. It would be awesome if some of them would joins me for the last lap.

#5: have fun at Track Day. Track Day is this Thursday- I want to put on a good showing for my 1.5 mile race. If I can round out the last of my races with another strong one, I'll feel a tiny bit better about time off. So far, I've set 3 new PRs this spring (full and 5K twice), which helps.

How are your goals for the year coming along?

Date Night sight

Last week, my husband had to go see his recruiter for the delayed enlistment check-in (which he'll tell you is silly since he's already enlisted). His new work schedule is so wonky he knew he wouldn't make it to the Saturday meeting, so he went down on Tuesday. And, being awesome, invited me along to turn it into date night. Might as well make it a date and eat a good meal while in civilization, right?

It was fun. I got to put a face to the name for his recruiter, who also happens to be a runner, and I had a great meal at Wasabi, and a great night spent (mostly) one-on-one with my husband. We don't get many of those lately.

On the way home, he even insisted we stop to photograph this sign:
Shaved Amish, anyone?

What's the funniest sign you've seen lately?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fitness Month 5K (Another W)

I successfully defended my title as the reigning 5K overall female winner today.....

Which translates into

Fast is a relative term.

Seriously. I have a serious case of speed-envy for anyone who breaks 20:00 for a 5k (hell, I used to be sooooo jealous of people who could break 25 minutes- and then I worked my ass off and got there).

But being the overall female winner at 4 of the last 5 races on base has earned me a little reputation (which makes me blush like boiled lobster). It makes me a little uncomfortable because I know there are much faster people, heck, some are on base but rarely show up for these fun runs.

My whole point here is that fast is relative. I am fast by Miami County standards, and wicked fast by Grissom ARB fun run standards. But all I need to do to feel slow is to go south 20 minutes to Kokomo, and I am reminded just how relative speed can be. My NYE run, a PR at the time (25:15) didn't even get me a place for age group, and when you add all the females, I think I was somewhere like 19th place.

So, yeah. My husband's coworkers think I'm fast. I know I'm faster than I used to be, thanks to a year of hard work. But I also know to enjoy what is speedy for me, to take pride in my PRs, even if at the same time I am painfully aware that I'll never make a living as a runner.... though, I'm pretty sure that would take all the fun out of it anyway.

Tonight, I will bask in the glow of a course PR of 24:53, 3 seconds faster than the 5k I ran there just 4 weeks ago. And given I ran 4 quick-for-me miles yesterday, I'm pretty pleased with that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

FAST! and slow

I had a fantastic run today. Amazing. Brilliant. Stellar. Freaking awesome. It was just a "slow" 4 miles with the group. The grey skies kept away half the regulars, but the 5 of us who ran barely even felt the few raindrops that fell. Since our coach was home sick, that left me as the leader of the pack, and we set off with me in the lead for an "easy" 4 miles. 

Turns out my easy has gotten much faster. We dropped one guy from our lead group of 3 (don't worry, the other 2 have similar paces and always hang back- I did't abandon anyone) after 2 miles, and I dropped the other guy after 3 (neither of them finished the last mile because they got too worn out trying to keep up with me. ME!). 

I can't even explain how foreign being called too fast is. 

And, to top it off, I checked my Garmin at the end (I'll be honest- I was going to tell them they were whiny and I didn't run that fast).... and was surprised to see the splits: 9:16, 8:56, 8:47, 8:47. This may not be fast to some, but when my easy were all in the 10:30-12:00 pace last year, well HOLY MOLY!

I guess I was just feeling good after Tuesday's date night with the Husbeast, and doing yard work together yesterday (the garden is halfway in!).

And, now that I scroll back through my Garmin, my easy 3.12 miles after Monday's ab class and yoga averaged an 8:55 pace, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised. Whose legs are these, though?

My runner's prayer right now: Please, Lord, don't let me lose all this speed because of surgery! 

Tonight, I'll be whiling away the evening working on this:
Yes, our house has multiple cross stitch pieces framed as art. What can I say, I'm a little old lady at heart.

Cross stitch takes forever to finish. I kind of love how tedious it is, since it means I get to work on a fun project for a long time (and keep my hands busy, my mind content, and myself from mindless eating). It's not for everyone, but I love it.

It also makes a great quiet hobby to keep me busy while the Husbeast sleeps. I hate his new work schedule... but at least my stitchy projects give me something quiet to do while he sleeps!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I'm hopping up all over!

Get it? Since I have bunny ears on in this photo?

Had to share this from our egg run right before Easter. It's just one of those photos that makes me smile and laugh at myself. I seem to end up photographed in every run (and most recently as the push-up princess, according to my coworkers-- I'll share that one once they post it).

I can't lie- I love photos with both feet off the ground- it captures the feeling of flying I get on a good run! Though, I know this run felt heavy as all get out since it was the first after Circular Logic. It's reassuring to know I keep pretty decent form even when I feel like lead.

Race planning for 2014 (already!)

If you've been following for awhile, you know my husband will be headed to OTS next spring. This means I need to keep busy (and stay safe!). I hate doing long runs solo. I hate feeling vulnerable. Most of my long runs for this last marathon were either on base while my husband was working, or they were run early enough in the day so that I knew my husband was at home and available to save me if any problems arose.

With all this in mind, I decided next year I will focus on halves. The remainder of this year is all long- 2 marathons and the Huff- but I'm going into all of it with the sole goal of finishing. I have no clue how this surgery will affect my speed/endurance, but I am confident no matter what, I will still be finishing those races (even if I'm pushing the time limits- I don't care). By focusing on halves, I can easily run long runs on Fridays after work on the 5K trail.

(It's almost surreal that I'm thinking of 10 mile runs as easy. Funny how a few years can change perspective on distance)

The Carmel Marathon  has a super sweet early bird discount right now- $37 for the full, $30 for the half, good through midnight TONIGHT (EST)!!!!

Which means it just got added to the schedule. I'm looking at the Indy mini next year (I want to run that one before we move, and next year is the last sure thing chance I'll have), perhaps Run the Bluegrass in Kentucky since my brother lives 20 minutes from their (and I'm trying to talk my SIL into her first half!).

I never plan things this far in advance- the AF Marathon events are the exception since Tim actually knows he can get off work. Usually, I miss out on these early bird prices. It's kind of nice that this year I've been able to plan a little more, and can plan next year, too.

So, I have a big race for March, April, and May potentially picked out. Any other fun events I should look into?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday phone dump

1. Lunch: asparagus milanese. 2. finished cross stitch 3. and where it is now hanging. 4. Why you should never run in your cross-trainers if they aren't running shoes.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fitness Month

May is fitness month at the gym on base. Which means besides my normal classes that I teach, I've been encouraged/coerced by my coworkers to join some of the challenges.
Today was the push-up challenge.
I don't like push-ups. I was only there because our group run was starting 10 minutes later. But, one thing led to another and I got coerced in. And won, though there were only 2 girls. But, 36 push-ups (with full extensions/bending to 90) in a minute? Yeah, I can be happy about that. It's not much, but I still beat one guy! And what the selfie doesn't show is that I was wearing my running skirt, so the photo going in the base newsletter will be hilarious.