Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How I Run and have Epiphanies.

This is me, having an epiphany. They happen all the time and each time I make my husband lift me heavenward. He is getting very strong.

I do many things differently from the rest of the world so of course when it comes to running I am also a weirdo.
I live in the great Northwest. It’s cold here. I’m cold on a daily basis. I miss bare feet. I miss working up a sweat. I miss seeing my legs.
Yet day after day I see these runners in shorts, t-shirts, and little else. My sister is one such runner…
“Kacee, it’s FREEZING! Don’t you want a jacket? A sweatshirt? Something?”
“No,” she always replies. “I’m a little cold now but I hate to run in too much. Clothes bother me when I’m running.”
I think she thinks she’s odd, but the more I observe other runners the more I know I’m the odd woman out. I do not like to be cold. Not the least little bit. If my hands feel the least bit breezy it can distract me from a good run.
I know, I picked an odd place to raise a family.
When I set out my door and head down the hill I like coverage. Let me paint a picture of what this means…
This evening I left my house at 7:04pm, it was a balmy 46 degrees, scattered clouds, the world had been freshly sprinkled with spring rain. I wore; my ¾ spandex running pants, my warm up pants over those, socks, shoes, my comfy nylon running t-shirt and my fleece/spandex jacket with my hood on and a pair of gloves.
I didn’t even start to feel warmed up till mile 3, I didn’t take my gloves off till mile 4 and when I returned home by mile 5 my face was just starting to feel a little warm.
Now if it’s raining I add a beany under my hood and possibly a poncho over my jacket.
If it’s below 40 degrees I wear my full length compression pants under my warm up pants. If it’s closer to 35 than 40 I don’t go running.
Also, I run with music. Some runners say they can meditate better without it but I have always been a music lover and music helps me do anything better, including running, cleaning, meditating and writing.
Today while I was running I had a few epiphanies. I was reflecting on the day and feeling guilty about what I hadn’t accomplished. Then I decided it was okay to feel guilty as long as I was moving forward and trying to better myself. But it’s also important not to feel overwhelmed with goals. Start small. So I decided on 2 small habits I wanted to integrate into my life. Just 2, and they are very easy things I can attain and feel better about my days.
It made me feel happy, and hopeful, and then by the end of my run the sun was setting and it was glorious to behold and all felt right in the world. Even if I am a little odd.
Happy springtime everyone! What inspires you?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Everything I need...

I love days like today, when my family and I hide away from the world and take life at our own pace.
We tend to do things slowly around here whenever possible…wake up slowly, mosey on down to breakfast, have a late lunch and a snack for dinner.
I found myself downstairs whilst the rest of my lovelies cuddled on my bed for an afternoon movie. A wave of such gratitude hit me, as it does from time to time.
“Everything I need is right there, upstairs on my bed…” I thought.
I wanted to do something sweet for them, to show them how much I love them. I sliced up some crisp red apples, piled them into a bowl and brought them with me as I headed back to my room.
There they all were, just as I’d left them, looking as beautiful as ever, as they lunged for the bowl of apples.
“Aw…” said my husband, “Mom loves us so much doesn’t she?”
I knew I married him for a reason. He gets me, that one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't you wish...

You could wear tulle everyday?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Homeschooling~How do they do it?

I used to wonder how they did it as well, and now that I’m homeschooling I’m met with a lot of positivity, always followed with a remark like “I just don’t think I could do that.” Or, “I don’t think I was made for that sort of thing.” Or, “My kids would hate to have to deal with me all day.”
I’ve thought the very same things.
When I was a youngster I thought homeschoolers were weird, but as an adult I see that it’s come a long, long way. We have the internet that makes a world of difference, connecting us to each other, to different curriculum and reviewer websites, and even school online.
Still, it can be very overwhelming to take your child’s learning into your own hands.
I was petrified.
It took me months to decide on what curriculum would work with my son who hates to write anything down on paper and has a very short attention span for anything not having to do with dragons.
It didn’t start off well at all. Each day was a battle. He had to get over his hatred for learning and I had to gain patience and better relationship with my son. I had to learn how to balance my younger children’s needs with his. I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old home with me as well.
I had to surrender to the fact that my home would have fewer days of cleanliness. I still work on that. I still wake up some mornings and think of all that I could accomplish and then remember that my son needs my time, some structure, and the discipline it takes for him to memorize his times tables and overcome his spelling difficulties.
But the wonderful and glorious part of homeschooling is that it’s my call! Yesterday we worked really hard. We had our noses in books for four hours. But today? Today started out with piano, and then we decided we needed to bake. I was making a pie for my husband’s fire fighting crew and Coby found a recipe in a book he was reading.
I told him he was entirely in charge of it. I would not be helping unless he asked. He felt pretty cool. “Mom,” he said, “do guys really need to know how to cook?”
“Oh yes,” I replied. “It’s very cool for guys to know how to cook.”
We loaded up the van and headed to the grocery store, with me quizzing him on his bane, multiplication tables. (He WILL have them memorized someday!)
I just watched my son make his first “Quick After-Battle Chocolate Cake.” I’m bursting with love for him…but of course I can’t tell him that because he’ll just roll his eyes and get embarrassed. (He read this over my shoulder and did indeed incorporate an eye roll.)

I guess my point is, I think the way we manage, the way I manage is to take it one day at a time; to make big plans and schedules but to know when to back off.
To try and be happy that my house is lived in, and remember that my children are becoming more helpful and self-sufficient by the day and I won’t always feel like I’m here in the trenches.
Aren’t they worth it?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Back in the Saddle...or in my case running shoes!

It took my body quite awhile to love running like my mind did.
I know, some people shudder at the very idea of it. To them I will say:
There comes a point after possibly months of frustration where your body can actually handle 30minutes of constant running, and after that maybe 40, then 50, and all of a sudden an hour has gone by and you can’t believe the ease at which your body can perform.
I don’t think I ever realized what a runner’s high was until I ran my first half marathon. I can say I ran myself into the ground that day. I didn’t think I’d make it to the car afterwards and I KNEW I would crash once I got home.
The weird part was when I tried to lay down for a nap that day and I could not sleep. My heart was racing, my blood was pumping. I felt so alive. I got up and cleaned my house, played with my kids. I felt great!
It’s been too long since I’ve gotten serious about running. I consciously took November and December off but started up again in January. It just wasn’t feeling good. Nothing was hurting specifically, just my whole body. I wasn’t getting the energy that I had from running previously. I felt run down and sick, like my body was on the verge of illness.
My throat started hurting, in a weird way. Like a big ball of mucus was pushing on my gag reflex. Some nights I would be in my bathroom gagging into the toilet or sink, unable to control it. We don’t have insurance so it was 10 weeks before I went to a walk-in clinic. When the nice doctor came in I broke down. It was embarrassing but I felt so relieved to be talking to someone. After seeing a few different doctors and getting my blood tested we have collectively diagnosed me with hyperthyroidism.
It’s taken me awhile to feel good. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like not to be tired. But I drive by this trail everyday where I had my first epic run. I can see myself in my trusty blue short and my tank top, knobby knees pounding the ground, arms flapping. That silly grin I can’t help wearing. I remember what it feels like to fly. I miss it. And there are only 15 weeks till my favorite race. I wouldn’t miss this race for all the normally functioning thyroids in the world.
Tomorrow will be my first day back to serious training. I can’t wait.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Reading

I love to read. I would curl up with a good book over any movie, any day...The problem I've had is finding enough books to keep me interested. I am usually in the midst of a few books at a time. Something historic, like George Washington's biography by Washington Irving sits on my shelf, I'm a few chapters in and I like to view books like this as school for myself. They aren't something I'd pick up first, and not a quick read, but I'm fascinated with the way this country runs and it's history. I blame West Wing for this. And I've always wanted to further my education, what better way than a book? I've made a commitment to myself that I would read a book about each American president. My dad is also a history buff and says that even though this biography might be harder and longer to read, it's probably the best choice for really knowing George Washington. King Rat by James Clavell is also on my shelf. I'm re-reading it. It's one of my favorites. I feel the need to re-read the books I already own and love. They look so lonely and unloved on my book shelves downstairs. I have to give them turns in my room on the little bookshelves near my bed, and remind them why I love them so. This book is one that I can read at least once every couple of years and be amazed again as the author takes me behind the scenes of a Word War II prison camp in Japan. Warning:It's not a light read, and there are many "grotesquities," as I like to call them. (I believe Christian Slater coined that phrase in the early nineties.) But this story does take place in a PRISON CAMP. Where men are packed in like sardines, food is scarce, and there is a hierarchy, only the most cunning and clever survive. Then I have my fluff pieces, these are the books that I can get through in 2 days, 3 at the most. Like written movies I feel the need to devour these books in one setting, much to my kitchen's dismay. The subject matter of these books varies, fluff to me doesn't mean poorly written, to me it is an easy read and an uncomplicated subject matter. Good guys, bad guys, conflicted love interest...It could be anything; a great mystery, a romance, historical fiction, science fiction. Okay there is a thread, they are all fictional. Here's what I read last night and this morning and you can read my review here. Let me say something about the Great and Dying book. I'm torn, I know moving to ebooks saves trees and space and printing, but there is something about seeing my books on the shelves, holding them in my hands, smelling the pages. I don't think I'll ever want that to change. All this talk about the death of the printed word saddens me. Lastly my book club book this month is Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass, I love my book club. I joined when I moved to this forsaken place (joking. This is a blessed land, but the weather sucks.) and I've been going every month since. Our core group of women love reading and they all bring something to the table. I love my book club ladies like I love my books. And we aren't exclusive, anyone is invited to join. I'll be posting more often about the books I'm reading. Share with me your favorites!