Wednesday, May 30, 2012

26.2 miles

OK, I may throw up. It's official, if all goes well with training, I will be running The 2012 Anthem Richmond Marathon on November 10th. "America's friendliest marathon". I signed up tonight. It was a last minute change from the marathon I've been planning to run for the last several months, (Callie's Uncle and Grandma had some things change on their end & we can all run this one together) but it looks awesome! If it's anything like the website makes it look and sound, then I know this was the best choice for my first marathon. It will be wonderful to share this experience with both my family and Callie's. They have all been so supportive, both the ones who are local and the ones across the country. Now I can start getting excited... right?!?!

This week, as I've been anticipating signing up for this, I've been a ball of nerves. The anxiety has been manifesting itself in every facet of my life from motherhood & being a wife, to cleaning, to running and back again. I'm hoping that since I now know for sure which race I'm signed up to run, and have already taken the plunge, that the nerves will ease up and the training can begin. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, with Aarik's work schedule due to change twice between now and then, and the usual life with kids thing. It's comforting that this race is two weeks further away than the other, also. Two more weeks to train and save money for the trip. Anyone who likes to pray for others, feel free to add me to your list. I'm lacking the confidence I'd hoped to have at this point in the year, and hoping that the donations, and my running ability (and excitement) will pick up again. I'm so honored to be able to join "Team GSF" and help raise money for this wonderful charity that does SO much to help improve the lives of families living and dealing with SMA.

Thank you to all that have supported me in both my fundraising and running efforts. I'll try to post as often as possible about how training is going, and keep you updated on the kiddos and Aarik too! I'm excited to share this fun and physically demanding journey with whoever cares to read about it, but hope to always keep in mind the reason that I'm doing this in such a public way. I'd be perfectly happy keeping my shortcomings as a runner to myself, especially with such a big commitment, but it's worth putting it all on the line for people to learn a little about Spinal Muscular Atrophy and maybe support the cause too! Well, here we go...

Parker's SOOO Cute

and bossy. But that's not the point :) Parker's picture was picked my Parents magazine to be in a photo contest. Konnor was picked for it once too, but I didn't know if it was a real contest or not. It's only a weekly thing, so I should have posted this before, but I'm pretty sure we can still vote until Sunday or Monday anyway so...  VOTE FOR PARKER!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Taste of Things To Come

So I had decided after doing the half on Sunday to take a few days off to build up my desire to run again. By Tuesday, as the sore ankles and foot were feeling a little better, and as nerves started to creep in that in a few short days registration for the marathon will open, the desire to run was back :) I did wait until Wednesday, after Aarik was at work for more than twelve hours that day I had to escape the jungle of stay at home motherhood. I ran Wednesday and Thursday evenings and made a little more time this week for weight training.

By the time I had let Aarik and the big kids sleep in a little this morning, and ate my breakfast I was feeling pretty good about setting a mileage goal for today's run. Somewhere between five and ten miles. Nothing too set in stone, but a goal nonetheless. I then decided that since I wasn't able to get out to buy some mace this week (so many wonderful people in our neighborhood let their overly aggressive dogs out, without supervision or a leash and I'm ready to take my Saturday mornings back from those jerks) I would drive to my moms neighborhood to run. When I finally got started around 8:30 I remembered why you can't start a long run that late in the morning living in the South.

Two reasons: heat and humidity. Ugh. Today was a slow, grueling, long but not so long six miler. My legs felt strong, but I don't know that my lungs ever opened up, they seem humidity resistant at the moment. When the water bottle I filled this morning was empty after 4.5 miles of watching people loading their cars for the lake, and pull out their blow up pools, I was more than ready to head back in. Luckily today wasn't an official training day, and luckily I have a friend who would prefer to get up and start running at 6 am on Saturday's starting next week. It would appear that my only logical choice for the next few months is early morning long runs. I also read this and this to make sure I'll be doing everything I need to in the coming months of much worse heat and humidity and much longer runs. Friday is registration day... I'll let you know how that goes. Our church does a 5k every Memorial day that Aarik may go run as his last race until November and I'm hoping we can get the monkey's out in the yard for some grilling, sprinkler and blow up pool playing, junk food eating holiday weekend fun. Healthier eating can wait until next week, right?!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How SMA Research is Progressing. A Neurologist's Point of View

Someone with decades of experience working with and researching SMA gives reason to have hope.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Divas Half

So this past weekend was the Divas Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach.  Originally this was supposed to be a fun girls weekend getaway and race with my mom and a close friend. Then we found a few more girls to invite and one of them had a great place to stay close by on the cheap. It was a fun group of girls and sure to be a good time, PERFECT! I was thinking I'd be able to leave Parker by now and, just in case he wasn't ready, had made a back up plan to have my sister come along to help out on race day. Well, as plans some times will, our plans changed. Several times. All of them. My sister was asked to do a house sitting job and needed to take it, so I decided to bring the whole family along, mom and I found another place to stay, not as close, but just as cheap, the original friend who had planned the trip with me had lots of things pop up last minute and wasn't able to make it down.  The night before the trip I got an email changing something important to me, that I have worked hard on and put lots of effort into and I was feeling pretty crummy about that. By the time Friday rolled around I was feeling overwhelmed by packing for five and buying and planning food for five and... well you can imagine. But we all loaded up and drove down to North Myrtle ( a place I don't personally believe to be the most family friendly beach, especially during bike week, which it was). The kids rode down great, Aarik was a champ like always, we had a great time, everyone behaved. It actually turned into a much needed, fairly peaceful family mini vacation. While we were there mom was awesome enough to take some family pictures for us. You may have noticed some of them already plastered on here.  I'm SO excited about finally having pictures with all of us in them. Especially because I actually got to shower and get ready before we took them! So here are a few pics from the trip.

Now onto the race :) I've made it no secret that training for this race has been a struggle. This was my third half but my first time not being able to stick to a training schedule. It was frustrating and made me lose a lot of the excitement I normally feel looking forward to a race, but two things kept me plugging away (as best I could anyway) #1- I needed to build a base again after not running during the end of my pregnancy and before I start training for my full and #2- my mom. This year my mom will turn 50, she won't look it, but she will be it. Last year was a very hard year for her, which isn't unusual, but it was really hard. So several months back I suggested she do this race as a way to celebrate her 50th year. Honestly, running is my thing. The thing One of the things that makes my family think I'm crazy. I was able to get my husband to do it, there was no way I could convince anyone else, right?!? Well, bless my mama's heart, she signed up for the race, and then she started training. I gave her a training plan, and a little advice, we found her some good shoes (insert ASICS plug here :), and a few cute outfits and she hit the pavement. Early on the plan was for us to do it together, like, all of it. Training, fueling, and the race. Then we got busy and had to do our training separately. She would ask a question here and there, we would talk about what our mileage would be on Saturdays, but she was on her own a lot. It was up to her to be accountable for her training, and she was. She would get up earlier than I would on weekends and get in her long mileage. She would come home from work and juggling other people's schedules during the week and get her mid-weekers in.  She worked her rear off. Since I was running all of my mileage, I decided I would just run the half and then go back and meet her. But the closer it got to race day, the more that plan just didn't feel good. So a few weeks before I decided to go back to the original plan and do the race with my mom. This race was a blast! From the expo
All the way to the finish
I enjoyed it all. Being an all women's race made it a whole different experience. The expo was full of women dying to spend money on stuff they would only use once. Pink and sparkles and crazy costumes were everywhere on the morning of the race. I have to tell you it was so refreshing to approach a race differently. Instead of spending two hours pushing myself and freaking out about my time, I spent 3 hours and 15 minutes encouraging my mom and other ladies who had never done a half before, enjoying all the support and funny signs on the course, thanking the volunteers, laughing and chatting, posting pics of mom on Facebook, and yes, texting Aarik to see if Parker was screaming (he wasn't, in case you care :) It was my favorite half marathon experience. I stayed with her all the way until a quarter mile before the finish and then ran ahead to make sure she had at least one picture of herself crossing the finish line. I am SO proud of my mom. She walked and jogged that race like a champ. She didn't stop once. She was determined, and motivated, and she finished strong and got her blingin' medal. My mom is an inspiration.
I'm so grateful for this experience, and the memories we'll always share from it. Way to go mom!

In 10 days registration for the marathon will open. Every time I think about it my stomach knots up. I'm praying everything goes smoothly, the registration, the training, my foot, the race and most importantly the fundraising. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive so far. I was hoping to be at least half way to the goal by the time I registered for the full. There's still a little time to hope, right? If you haven't yet, please share the fundraising page. If you haven't yet, PLEASE donate or make plans to before the end of October! Every single dollar counts! Every donation will help us reach our fundraising goal and every single dollar will get us closer to a treatment and eventually a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. We can help make sure that this disease doesn't continue to torture children and their families. That it doesn't continue to take children away from their families. With 1 in 40 people being a carrier of the SMA gene, you can't think you'll spend the rest of your life with out being affected by it. I am so proud to be raising money for The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and I know that they will use every dollar to fight this terrible disease. 

If life is too crazy for blogging until then, I will definitely be letting you know once I am officially registered for the big race! Hope everyone has a great week!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Post

Hooray for Mother's Day! I remember growing up my sisters and I would ask my mom what she wanted for Mother's day and every year she would say the same thing- "a clean house and for every body to get along". I always thought that this was because she was a single mom and knew that we kids probably couldn't do much more than that anyway. Now that this has become my request (or very similar to it. mine is actually a clean house, a nap and a day of food that I don't have to cook. Even if it's out of a can/box/drive thru) I understand that as a mom this is actually all you ever really want for yourself (ok, again close to all you ever want. a new pair of jeans or shoes doesn't hurt either). As a stay at home mom, even more so. I find lately I spend my days in a frenzy of cleaning, cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, cleaning, teaching- only to sit down at the end of the day exhausted and surrounded by a cluttered house. Is it all worth it? Absolutely! Do I always remember that? Not quite. But I try. I also have found that the week leading up to Mother's day is often the most chaotic week of the year, many of the days spent in tears, status updates of the insanity, and finally after the hurricane hits it's peak the calm after the storm is usually a beautiful moment, or two, that reminds me why I love what I do. Luckily that part is a day or two before Sunday. This week it was Friday afternoon. After two separate trips to the grocery store, only to come home and find out that there was no solid evidence that anything we bought could be put together to make a meal. While feeling proud of myslef for sending out Mother's Day cards that will be late but were sent before the Monday after Mother's day, and after dropping off dinner to someone else's home, when I put all three of my little monkeys in the bath together. As they sat in the tub splashing the walls, floors, ceiling, and me, I got to have a moment to think about how great they were. How well behaved they had been all day. How awesome it is to finally have all three of them here healthy, and beautiful and funny. Watching them play together and laugh together and love each other. It was a confirmation that everything Aarik and I have done to get these little people here was worth it. The pregnancies and miscarriages, the sacrifices and the struggles, the stretch marks, and most recently giving up ice cream and cheese and sour cream in hopes that it will help Parker to get no more ear infections for my milk to have no cow's milk in it. Putting ourselves and often our marriage, on the back burner. It is an amazing feeling of completion and accomplishment. As much as I fail in life, I did three things perfectly. Raising them is another story, but we do our best, right?! Other things I learned this year for Mother's Day: if you're a "mother runner" you don't get to sleep in Mother's day weekend AND if you leave it up to your husband to come up with Mother's day food, you just  might end up eating a Cliff Bar for breakfast and whatever he's been craving the past few weeks for lunch (like, I dunno, a Burger King chicken sandwich?!)

A week from today is the Diva's half. It will be my third half marathon, and the first one back since having Parker. Of more importance is the fact that my mom is also going to be doing this race. She has trained and worked hard for it and is getting excited. Some time this week I'll find a little time to blog about all of this.

My gift this year is The. Coolest. My hubby bought me my marathon shoes.
Mckenzie wanted me to know that they were HER idea, but daddy was the one who went and bought them. Bless her heart.

I won't be running in them for the next couple of weeks but I'm especially excited to have them for the last couple of months of marathon training, and of course the day of the big race. Lucky for me Aarik knows how much I love shoes, and how hard it will be for me not to wear heels this year since training in higher mileage equals foot problems for me. Thanks babe for making sure the shoes I will be wearing the most will be hot!

Today I'm grateful for my mother and all of the sacrifices she made to raise her children as a single mom. I'm amazed at her strength. I'm also especially mindful today of the moms, grandmas, and nanas praying and fighting for a cure for SMA. The challenges I think I have are nothing in comparison to the ones they deal with daily. These women are angels, and rock stars and deserve a huge shout out, and loads of respect. Victoria Strong at Gwendolyn Strong Foundation  is an amazing woman, and mom, and has been so wonderful to support me in trying to raise money and awareness for their foundation. I'm equally amazed by the positive attitude that Callie's mom, Aimee, has. She is a wonderful mom, and friend, and one of the main reasons that this cause is so dear to my heart. Thanks to all of the wonderful mothers in my life! Happy Mother's Day all!

No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother's love.  It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star.  ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

These Days...

Does anyone remember when I used to blog about my two wonderful children and the creative things we were doing? Like, two years ago?! Well, these days motherhood is a bit different. I have three gorgeous, wonderful, time consuming, funny children.

We now spend a majority of our days in pj's. If we aren't in pajamas, you can bet we are in a rush. The only pictures I get are cell phone quality (android, not iphone). Like this one of my new hair cut that Mckenzie took for me.

                                          We still do fun things, just slightly less creative on my part.

                               We do lots of this,

                                         make time for this,
and deal with a lot of this,
If you've been reading you know that I'm trying to make this a priority again
It. Is. Insanity.
But every once in awhile I'll get a glimpse of things that make it all worth while.

I'm hoping since it's mother's day weekend I'll get in a post sometime this weekend. This is also my last longer training run for the Divas half and I'm hoping no ear infections will stop or delay it as it is a much shorter run than I'd hoped to be doing at this point. Also, I'll let you know why an effort to prevent more ear infections for Parker makes looking at this so painful.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quick Post

Aarik and the big kids are gone for a few minutes and Parker is sleeping so I thought I'd do a quick update.

First off, Mckenzie (4) lost her first tooth. It took forever because she literally waited until it fell out on it's own. But she was super proud afterward.

Last week I wasted two hours of my life waiting for a four minute (not joking unfortunately) appointment with foot and ankle surgeon, who did nothing but look at an x-ray that at least five other people had already looked at, and touch my foot in a few places, and send me out the door with inserts for plantar fasciitis (just started bugging me this past week), some stretches I already do, and an order to call him if the pain localizes again. Oh, yeah, and his permission to run. We also bought a membership to Sci Works last week and spent the day there with a good friend (and running buddy) and her cute boys. The place is wonderful! It's like the best of lots of kids worlds all combined in an organized way and only a mile away from home.
 The picture quality is terrible because it's from a cell, and the kids were all over the place, so I only got this picture of them. As a home school family we should have bought this at the beginning of the school year, but it's great we have it now. Maybe next time there will be more pictures to share!

In other running news: I realized this week that two weeks from tomorrow is my half marathon. Lots of things have changed from the original "girls weekend, girls race" that was planned. I'll spare you all of the changes, but as of right now, Aarik and the kids, mom and I are going down to North Myrtle for the weekend. Mom and I are hoping to meet up with the girls we were originally staying with for some Girls weekend fun and it will be nice to have time away from every day life with the family too. I'm accepting the fact that I'm going into this race very under trained. In the past I've gone into my half's over trained. It will we be interesting to see what the outcome of this race will be. I was planning to run 11 this morning but, not surprisingly, I was up all night with Parker last night and (yet another) trip to the pediatrician this morning revealed (yet another) ear infection. This is frustrating and confusing to a mother of going on seven years and three kids, who has previously had no experience with ear infections and antibiotics for kids. This is exactly why I choose to nurse my children. Isn't it supposed to prevent this kind of crud?! Hopefully tonight there will be enough sleep that I can get up and run my eleven before church tomorrow, and it would be great to get in a twelve next weekend. Here's hoping.

Last, I want to take a minute short paragraph, to thank everyone who has donated money, liked and shared our fundraising page, my blog and any other SMA fighting blogs/charities or pages. It's wonderful that awareness of this fairly rare disease is beginning to share. Social media is a wonderful partner in this type of fight. It was a blog and Facebook & Twitter followers that helped get Ellen involved in spreading SMA awareness. Please continue to share with your friends & family & neighbors. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have and I'll do my best to find answers, or find someone who can find your answers. We are getting close to the half way mark for our fundraising goal. I know that by the end of October we will  be able to look at the money we've raised, and the information we've shared, and be proud of all that we've accomplished!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This is SMA

Some of you guys have been following the story of little Avery, who was diagnosed with SMA type 1. My heart was broken today to see this. She was here for such a short time but made such a huge impact by making SO many people aware of this condition. This is what SMA does and this is why it is SO important to beat this disease. Prayers for her family and gratitude for what they've done. Please be a part of helping us raise money to find a cure!