Monday, October 29, 2012

26.2 Complete

.2:  I promise this will be the last post about running.  Reading about running is super boring, especially reading about SOMEBODY else's running

.1 You only have to read 26 things about my big day..I'll be quick.

26. It did not rain and for that I was GRATEFUL!  I would have done the race no matter the weather..but no rain made it a much easier race to run.


25.  There were more people there than I could have ever imagined.  We were advised to get there 2 hours early.  I thought that was a bit drastic. But we used EVERY second of those 2 hours to get to the start line.  Between metro back ups, people getting funneled through security checks, plus the longest lines I have EVER seen for potties we got to the start line with 12 minutes to spare.  Less time to panic!!

24.  Once the races started it took about 20 minutes to actually cross the start line.  This made getting an accurate finish time a bit tricky.  They will send me "official results", but so far I think I finished in about 5 hours..give or take a few minutes.  Not TOTALLY sure.


23.  The first part of the race I was just smiling and trotting music, no headphones.  People are lined all over the streets, yelling, cheering and holding up signs.  The amount of people there to just cheer for strangers is amazing.  I am grateful and I hope to repay one day by cheering for people in cold, windy weather..VERY early in the morning...just to help them get a good start to a REALLY long race.

22.  The signs people held were both entertaining, funny and encouraging.  A few times I actually laughed out loud.  I can't remember most of them right now..things got pretty foggy towards the end...but a few that stick out.."This is the WORST parade ever!",   "Chafe now, brag later" ,  "Run like your being chased by a hurricane", "I bet this seemed like a good idea 4 months ago", "If this were easy EVERYONE would be doing it", "Pain now, Amazing memory later".  And then there was this one guy who I saw ALL over the route, his sign said, "Yeah more Saturday long runs mean back to Friday Night &*^"  . The first time I saw him I giggled..then I just kept seeing him...even Pete saw this guy.  He REALLY wanted to get his point across.


21.  When you are alone running for an extended period of time your mind goes to very strange places.  I thought how bizarre us humans must look to other life forms.  Tens of thousands of people running FROM nothing for a REALLY long time.  What if our world ended instantly and all of us were frozen in time...what would they say when humans were able to repopulate the earth...why were all these similarly dressed people packed so closely together running such a far distance for no reason.  And then I had a flash of anger towards is his fault that I am thinking about the way future people would react to a decimated America..he like his apocalyptic movies and clearly I have sat through ONE to many.

20.  I ran without stopping until mile 22..then I thought I was going to die.

19.  I think I pulled a rookie mistake.  I got caught up in the energy and was able to pick up my pace for 22 miles.  Basically, I ran to fast..and then ran out of gas.

18.  I saw Pete at mile 22 I stopped to walk with him for a few minutes. It was a blessed few minutes.  He saw me, hugged me and I felt like crying.  His hug was the best hug I have ever had.  He lifted me off my aching legs for just an instant and it made all the difference.


17.  After I saw him I was able to run again...but I did have to walk a little in mile 23, 24 and 25.  I would run until my knees were on fire then I walked for 100 counts.  I stopped about 4 times.  This was kinda a bummer.  I wanted to run without stopping..but after mile 22 my legs locked up and I thought I was going to DIE.

16.  I wish I would have run with Advil...or stopped at a medical tent to get some.  I think that would have helped my legs...but I had a lot going on and it never dawned on me that something could help the pain.

15.  After the race I just wanted to SIT down and there was NOWHERE to sit.


14.  Then somebody told us we had to walk 3/4 mile to the Arlington Metro.  You might as well of told me to go back to the starting line and repeat the whole darn thing...I thought I was going to die.

13.  I walked VERY slow.

12. So did everybody else.


11. I got a finishers metal!  When I walked in the door and showed the kids they SCREAMED.."YOU WON, YOU WON!"  I felt like I did win.


10.  The winner finished in 2.5 hours.  I listened to him on the radio on my way home.  He was a first time marathon runner.  He said at mile 22 he began to ask himself.."Why am I doing this? This is REALLY hard". I was in good company.

9.  I have to admit that my knees still hurt and I DID not take a walk this morning.  I hope to tomorrow if the weather allows.


8.  Pete bought me my 26.2 car magnet 1 week before the race. I just put it on yesterday.  It was awesome. I have to confess that I may have gone through all of this just to own that wonderful pink number.


7.  I wore a hat, which I never do, and my head looks very small in all my pictures..oh well! Next time I will wear my hair different..all very important details.  Live and learn.


6.  There was a stretch of running that  had a display of fallen soldiers.  Their picture, age and unit was shown.  Broke my heart...young men..YOUNG with little kids..all gone.  Brave guys.


5.  My favorite part of the race was in Georgetown (and that hug from Pete).  I loved that place (and that hug)!

4.  My least favorite part were the 2 REALLY boring, UGLY bridges we crossed.

3.  People ate donuts on the run.  The Marines were passing them out at mile 24. I can't even imagine EATING A DONUT WHILE RUNNING.

2.  Today..I am happy...happy ...happy.  I did it.  IT IS OVER!!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

I can not believe I am getting to actually run 26.2 miles in 2 days and 18 hrs (countdown clock on


I am sure you all do not feel like hearing everything that is RUNNING through my very nervous brain right now..but let me just take a minute to say 26.2 things...

1.  Pete!!  You are amazing!  You let me run more in the last 3 months then I ever thought possible.  Thank you!  Not always fun to have me gone...and truth be told, it was not always fun being gone!  You are the ONLY reason I can do this .  Thank you!!  You give up a lot by helping me get my runs in...not only for this occasion...but our whole marriage!!  HOLY COW!!

2.  Tara, thank you for running with me all those years back in the Oakland Hills..still my favorite running memories EVER!!

3.  Thanks to Kim who came over one day in HOT PINK running shoes, saying she was training for the MCM.  I was hooked.

4.  Thank you to Race for the Seminarians Race Team that I am signed up under.  They bought 30 spots and then let Catholics in the Diocese of Arlington raise money to Run for Seminarians...if you want to donate..feel free.

5.  I ran 6 days a week.

6.  I usually ran in the morning before light was ever present.  I was scared most mornings of tripping and by God's grace I never did.

7.  One day I had to run 15 miles.  It was overcast when I began, but quickly heated up while I was out.  I did not bring enough water and had to stop running at 13.75 miles.  Walking home that 1.25 miles was AWFUL!!!  I thought I was going to die.  I learned a great lesson that day.  Just because I want to get something done RIGHT that minute does not mean I least when it comes to running.

8.  The easiest run was a few weeks ago after Jack's whole Palsy episode. That Friday I had a 12 mile run.  It had been such an emotional week I ran that 12 miles and felt like it was 3.  My mind was so filled with hurt and thoughts that it took me over.  I have never felt like that running felt like a gift.  I cherished it as such.

9.  I had the opportunity to run several long runs at a beautiful lake.  I loved those crisp mornings and the beautiful light spilling through the trees.

10.  If you think your neighborhood is flat...just take a quick jog is probably NOT as flat as you think!

11.  I have never considered myself a real "runner"..this week...I kinda feel like I am.

12.  Since August 4th I have run 375.3 miles

13.  I have burned 34,495 calories..and eaten back EVERY STINKIN' ONE!!!

14.  My average pace was 10'00 over that time.

15.  I start my long runs SUPER 11'30 pace I can finish with a faster pace.

16.  I ran 12 miles several times, 2 half marathon s( 13.1),  14 twice, 15 twice, a 16, a 17, a 19 and 20 miler in order to get ready for Sunday.

17.  I have listened to books for most of those runs.  I started a super long book back in October about World War II called The Winds of War.  I finished all 45 hours and 53 minutes..running!

18.  I then bought War and Remembrance, 56 hours and 8 minutes.  I have 3 hrs. 51 minutes left as of this morning.

19.  I also listened to Expecting Adam, Before I Go To Sleep, and part of the Book Thief during this training period.

20.  I am not a fancy looking runner.  Running in complete darkness has always given me the luxury of not caring what I look like....I kinda care for Sunday.  They keep sending me e-mails saying they have photographers ALL over the race.  Not the moments I want to worry about what I look like.

21.  I have such a sense of gratitude to be running in the Marine Corp. marathon.  The 2 books that have carried me through this training were all about World War II.  What an amazing time in our history.  What people have gone through.  The Jewish people especially.  My heart aches for all the people that had their life cut short.  What a unimaginable HORROR.  Running in a race, surrounded by history and men who have served our country makes me super proud!!

22.  I will get up Monday and take a walk.

23. God willing I will be back to running by Tuesday.  Running for me is not an is what makes me!

24.  I am almost done!

25.  I may never do this again!

26.  No matter what...I am excited that I made it this far..that I have run 375 miles...that I ran 20 miles in 3 hours 42 minutes.  I hope to finish in 4 hours and 45 minutes.  I hope to finish!!

.1- Rain and wind is what is on tap for Sunday.  I have trained in both.  Even when I wanted to sleep in because I did not want to go out in the rain..I ran...I told myself, "You never know what that day will be ready".

.2 Pray for me and the other people that have taken this challenge, raised money for great causes, run with disabilities, and the hero's that are Marines!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yarn Along

I am about to talk about knitting, and yarn, and more Pete, go ahead and flash through the pictures but don't feel the need to read on.  I know knitting posts are not your favorite.  I just love that you read my blog!!!

Ok..I am in a super chatty here we go....



Long ago I was in a major shawl mood.  I spent way to much time looking at shawls on Ravelry.  I wanted to knit each one I saw.  I just think they are so elegant, and feminine...not the two words that I can always clothe myself in on a daily basis.  But owning a shawl..or two makes me feel...pretty!




So after I knit Big Yellow..I went on to knit Big Blue.  I always like to make the shawl just a little bit bigger.  I figure a shawl that is to big can be made to work..a shawl that is to small may never work at all.  And yes, I have spent lots of time thinking about shawls and I don't mind admitting it.


(Oh..look what pattern is in my knitting bag...just the cutest sweater pattern EVER)

This shawl took a long time to make.  Very small needles and fingering weight yarn.  By the time I was done I was kinda sick of the shawl and I could not bare to take pictures of it.  So silly...but sometimes it feel that annoying to have worked on something SO long, finish and then NEVER WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!!

But I have tucked it away long enough for my warm hearted feeling to have returned.  And then after I spent a long time knitting this beautiful shawl I realized having 2 huge shawls is nice..but not that practical.  The occasions I have in my life that calls for a beautiful wool shawl is rare. Now I have to make a major choice each time a shawl is called for. Plus I made them SO big I can not use them as a scarf as many other more fashionable knitters have maybe smaller can be better after all.

The pattern was Gemma Shawl and I love most anything from Quince and after all is said and done..this was no different!

So, now what am I up to??

Well, I have been DYING to knit the Annabel Cardigan from Carrie Bostick Hoge ever since...forever.  I just loved to boxy cut of the cardigan and I figured it was to easy for me to mess up.  I am almost done with the body and will be moving on the the sleeves tonight...this will take me FOREVER because I HATE knitting sleeves.





I love the squishy feel of this sweater.  I am hoping it does not make me look bulky...but I think it might.  It is a bulky yarn...which has the purpose and construction to add BULK...probably something I should have thought about before I got to sleeve #1.  The yarn is Quince and I love it.  I don't love the color ..yet.  But I might when I slap it on with some cute earrings and who knows what else....


As for reading..well.  I bought KNIT SCENE the other day at Wegman's and I think I want to knit EVERYTHING in this magazine.  I love the sweater on the REALLY love it.  It says Advanced for knitting skill.  I wish there was a quiz you could take to determine your skill level.  I think if you have ever wanted to buy a knitting magazine THIS IS THE ISSUE TO BUY!!! SO many cute knits...



I am hoping to be done with my Annabel by next week.  There is supposed to be cool weather coming!!

My marathon is this weekend.  I am KINDA freaking out!!  I will have to write a post about this whole process one day...not exactly because you are dying to read about it..but more for me to be reminded in case I am EVER tempted to repeat this INSANE marathon running idea!!!


Finally joining Ginny, the fabulous creator of the Sunday Sweater pattern, for her weekly Yarn Along!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Laugh a Little




I had this friend a couple of years ago who made a huge impact on me. She was in my life for a brief period, but her impact was big. I have written about her before.

 Things went off track with our friendship and I have thought about it many times. This friend wrote me a letter last year to try and clear the air. With all 9 of her kids she actually took the time to write me....

 I never wrote her back.  Not exactly the right move.

 I have her letter still and I would rather just meet her for lunch than try to write back. We seem to have two different memories of how things ended for us. I am not sure if it matters really. I loved her then and still do now, regardless of details.

  What does matter is the things I learned from her in the short time she was in my life.



 She was super busy..even when we first became friends and she had 7 kids at the time, she had a lot going on. I would go over her house and just soak in how she ran her show...

 She laughed a lot. She laughed with her kids. They would sometimes do things, as any kid can, that would be ...not what she wanted. She had a way of keeping her cool, laughing her way through the situation, and get things resolved. I was in awe.

 I tend to NOT laugh...I tend to NOT keep my cool. I want to. I want to keep calm, use a lite note, solve the problem..move on to laugh over it later. It just seems to be less..messy. I am sure she would loose her cool sometimes...but even then I am sure she rebounded with humor. It was awesome!!



Even better than using humor with her kids...she used it with her husband!!

 One weekend we got to escape for a few days to do some teacher planning together. It was a fun weekend that I will never forget. But one night we were eating dinner and her husband called her. I only heard one side of the conversation but I sensed he may have been sharing some complaints...she just teased him a little, laughed about his complaints and ended with a "love you." She hung up, smiled and went on guilt free. She was a cool cat!! I remembered thinking..I HAVE GOT TO DO THAT!!

 I take things so personal. I can't laugh at things because I am truly PERSONALLY SAD over the slightest things....
 ....bad grade on a math test...I'm hurt not tripping over themselves to get to mass on Sunday...I'm PERSONALLY hurt
 .... Pete coming home and wiping the kitchen counters....BROKEN HEART
 ....Him asking me when I will be home when I am out...Guilt ridden heart break...

 No laughter, no sweet teasing to diffuse the situation. I want to do that!! I want to feel that. I need to have a thicker skin...a more sensitive funny bone.




I wonder if more kids adds more humor. I wonder if things just get easier to laugh at when you are really in so deep all you can do is laugh??

 I miss my friend. I miss her example. I am a better person for getting the chance to be her friend.

 I try..I want to laugh easier. As my kids get older I see the beauty of finding the humor and joy in all that comes with being their mom.


Here's to a week full of laughter...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Month Top Ten List

1.  The day is broken into 3 parts: getting ready for school, time away at school, coming home from school.  My life between the second and third part of the day feels completely new.



2.  I am enjoying not teaching school full time.  I have to assist with homework at night and that is not always super fun, but so far..not bad.




DSC_3371 DSC_3381


3.  Both schools we have entered have been wonderful.  I was never a anti-school home school-er   I always knew one day I might be knocking on the door to a school somewhere somehow.  I have to admit to be a little afraid of "public" school.  The teachers have been really great and all 3 kids are being challenged academically.





4.  Emily is finding her way.  As the oldest most of my stress lies with her transition.  I am proud of her and I know she is under going great change.  My mind is always praying for her.



5.  I hate that they are not in Catholic school.  I could go into great length why they are far away for us, to expensive, to expensive, to expensive.  I have had many discussions on this matter with lots of my friends.  Each family really approaches education, finances, and driving all over the place a little different.  It is not always easy to understand somebody else's view point.  Some families make GREAT sacrifices to put their kids in Catholic School.  I am humbled by what they choose to do.

 Pete and I decided long ago that one of our goals as parents was to live a debt free life and do whatever we can to give our kids a debt free start to life.  When we are making financial decisions we hold fast to these two principals.  Does that take away from the importance of a Catholic education??  Not in my eyes.  It is a very biblical principal to live debt free.  We have been blessed with financial resources from God.  We have to discern what we are to do with those resources. Preparing for the future and living within our means AT ALL TIMES is what guides us.  We choose to not afford Catholic School now in order to afford higher education later.  We can't afford both..and that is OK.  Pete and I desperately want out kids to stay does our Lord..probably more than we do.


DSC_0002 6.  Since God is not present in overt  ways in the public schools I have had to ramp things up at home.  This feels so GOOD.  I was getting SO lazy in my spiritual walk with God.  I felt that my home schooling was as spiritual as I could get.  I felt like I had nothing left to actually grow in my faith.  I was barely hanging on.  Since I have NOT been teaching my kids all day my need for God has felt much stronger.  I realize this is not the story for everybody, but it is my story.

7.  God is in school.  The schools have all these"character traits" and other ways to teach VIRTUE!!  They are preaching and teaching very Catholic things even if they won't call it that.  The kids come home and tell me all these things the school is doing and I bad they won't allow God to be part of all these teachings.  He is there.  They just won't recognize Him.  I do!!

8.  My kids hate PE as much as I did.

9.  School is fun, scary, exciting, tiring, hard, wonderful and awful all wrapped up in one building.

10.  The best part of the day is when they are all home!!