Shabby Miss Jenn

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Brotherly Love

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm A Runner

There are a lot of things I'd like to be or do in life.  In fact I have a pretty long running list in my head.  Some are achievable and some I don't think will ever happen.  For instance, I'd love to be a morning person.  Life would be a lot easier if I enjoyed getting up at the crack of dawn instead of being woken up by Wade every morning.  Who needs an alarm clock when you have a child who wakes before the sun rises?  I also want to be organized.  You know, like the "perfect" mom in all the blogs and pinned everywhere on pinterest.  The one who has pre-made snacks in the fridge, items crossed off her colorful to do list, and an organized pantry with overflowing labeled bins.  I'd also like to NOT be a procrastinator, but as you can tell by the lapse of entries on this blog, that doesn't seem to be in the cards either.  I've also always wanted to be a runner.  In actuality, I think I wanted to want to be a runner.  It just seemed like the perfect workout--alone time and cute, colorful outfits and shoes.  What's not to love:-)  Much to everyone's surprise--including my own--this one came to fruition.  I'm 39 years old, and I can finally call myself a runner!

Last summer after a trip to the water park, I declared that I was going to get in shape for Wade's sake.  I came home from VA and began Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred while doing Advocare's 24 Day Challenge.  I'm not brave enough to post before and after pictures, but there was definitely a difference.  I only lost about 5lbs, but I lost a lot of inches and gained some muscle and endurance.  My reward to myself for finishing was a new pair of running shoes.  In the heat of the summer, I started the Couch to 5K running plan.  I could barely run the 60 and 90 seconds in the beginning.  I would come home beet red, sweating like a pig, with horrendous shin splints.  But I was determined to run a 5K.  Plus, I'd never hear the end of it from Curtis for spending money on shoes that were just sitting in the closet!  After a few weeks, my friend Stacey started running with me.  Her pace was faster than mine, so we'd start off at the track together, run the neighborhood, and meet back up at the track.  It was great for accountability and safety.  We ran our first 5K on Thanksgiving.

That's all it took; one 5K and I was hooked. I started thinking towards a half marathon, but thought it might me too lofty of a goal, too soon.  We ran The Jingle Bell Run and another 5K in January, then a 5 mile race in February.  The next thing I knew, we were counting out weeks on Hal Higdon's half marathon training plan and picking a race!  I'll spare you all the details, but there were times in the beginning I didn't think it would pan out.  Training is time consuming, especially when you're trying to work around two people's schedules.  Wade ended up with the flu at the end of February which earned him a trip to the hospital for five days because of pancreatititis.  That next week was spring break, and he and I flew to VA.  When all was said it done,  I went three weeks without running, and I was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.  During spring break, I was able to visit a friend in NC.  Keri started running again after she had twins in spring 2012, and she convinced me that I could continue training and be ready by May 5.  Sitting on her couch that night, I wasn't so sure.  But I'm so glad I took her advice and continued on.  Keri was my motivation to begin running, and she was my motivation to finish training and complete my first half.  She is most certainly one of the strongest women I know.  Not only is she a military spouse who has survived a deployment with newborn twins and a toddler son, she also battles chronic pain and has children with health issues that she is trying to sort out.  If she can do it, then this mama with fibromyalgia and a child with a disability can do it!  Thank you Keri for being my inspiration.  You'll never know just how much you've influenced and encouraged me.

May 5, 2013--The Heels and Hills Half Marathon; the day my mom said she would've never bet on and the event Curtis said had he been in Vegas, he would've bet the house I would never do.  I completed my first half marathon and I achieved my two goals--I didn't come in last and I finished in under 3 hours!  Finishing that race was the most exhilarating thing I've ever done.  This body ran 13.1 miles!!!!  I can't even describe the sense of accomplishment and pride I felt crossing that finish line.

All of that being said, saying "I'm a runner" is still a hard pill to swallow.  It's hard not to compare myself to others.  I'm not fast; I'm not in super shape; I don't "look" like a runner.  BUT, I'm faster than I was last August; I'm in better shape than I've probably ever been in; and what does a runner "look like" anyway?  I'm finally doing something good for myself and it's an activity I can share with Wade.  We just ordered him an adaptive jogging stroller so he can run with me.

So, a half marathon has been completed.  It's one thing I can scratch off that bucket list.  As of October 27, 2013--God willing--I'll be able to scratch a MARATHON off that list.  Again, thanks to Keri's encouragement, I'll be running the Marine Corps Marathon for Hope for the Warriors.  If you'd like to donate money to this wonderful organization, please visit my donation page here.  I would really appreciate your support.  Also, please keep me in your thoughts during my training.  Training kicks off this week!  YIKES!  Thank you!