Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Out Like a Lamb, my booty!!!

March is supposed to come IN like a lion but go out like a lamb, right?

Notsomuch in my little hometown, nosirree. On my better days, I can sit in my tract home, hoping the walls stand up to the gale force winds, thanking God for his might and for my shelter. But most of the time I just grumble.

Tomorrow is April. I can hope for calmer weather. I can also hope to come up with a great April Fool's joke, but nothing is coming to mind.

But since this began as a letter to the complaint department, let's just finish it off:

As much as I love my new oven, I am frankly afraid of all the disasters that await since I today discovered that the timer sounds a gentle "beeeep" only once and then nothing. Just burnt banana bread.

Les Miserables is 1,463 pages??? Criminy! When (if) I get my eyesight back, I'm taking it on, though. Anyone care to join me? P.S. Why did they translate the whole 1,463 pages but not the title? Even I know what the title means in English. Do your job, people!

Our school district is seemingly HORRIFIED that only 25 parents have filled out their online survey. Frankly, you'd think they'd be relieved. With all the budget cuts, I would anticipate some cuss words and slander. Might as well take those 25 respondents and call it good.

Why can't I have a friend in every career field? It would sure come in handy. I especially right now need an appraiser (precious metals and antiques); an eye doc; a literary genius of a broad sort; and maybe a massage therapist. In my personal life, the scales are tipped career-wise in favor of engineers, InterVarsity staff, attorneys, and teachers. Hm.

Monday, March 30, 2009

E Bucket

Cayna was excited to fill the letter bucket from her Kindergarten class, and her presentation went well. It was just so cute I don't want to forget, so here is what she included in the mix:

Eyeball - made from a golfball and a Sharpie
Earrings - a sparkly, blue, hang-down-y, gaudy pair that I detest and she LOVES
Equal sign - I believe this was Joe's idea, and he drew one on a blue piece of paper
Ewok - thanks to Kevin's old Star Wars action figures.
Enchilada Sauce - right out of the pantry
Elephant - a paper-bag-puppet version made by Cayna
Egg Separator - pronounced, in Cayna's Jersey accent: "Egg Sep-uh-way-duh"

She vetoed my idea of including an "e-mail". Sheesh. She goes for the Ewok, but not the e-mail. I don't get it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Cayna brought the "Letter Bucket" home from Kindergarten. We're supposed to go around the house and hunt for things that start with the letter "E" and send them back to school to be investigated by the whole class. Probably thanks to my eye surgery, Cayna had eyeballs on the brain, so we made an eyeball out of a golfball for her to include in the bucket.

Naturally, the golfball eyeball segues right into my surgery.

Tuesday afternoon Kevin drove me across town to the surgery center. I had some more photos taken of my eyes and was given a Valium. Yum. If they weren't addictive, I would for SURE be trying to get a prescription for those nifty little buggers. My husband is funny, but he was even MORE funny while I was on that drug. Life was light and happy and I had no worries.

Finally it was my turn and my buddy Beth from Shepherd Eye Center (which I highly recommend) walked us to the laser room. I reclined on the lounge-like table, was given a stuffed lion to hold onto and the surgery began. Kevin waited outside the door and watched through the window. That is where he took this photo:

See my pretty eyeball on the screen? I'm telling you, regardless of your feelings on elective surgery and this use of money --- it was a miracle. It was absolutely painless, took fifteen seconds per eye, was attended by the best doctor I've ever met (seriously, if OBs used some of the methods this guy and his staff used, there would be better hospital births out there). And I walked out into the Las Vegas sunlit afternoon on Sahara Avenue with my taped-on eyeshields and dorky big sunglasses and I could read a sign across the six-lane street. I haven't seen that far on my own since before fifth grade. I was and still am completely in AWE.

As soon as I realized my eyesight had been restored by God, a doctor, and a VERY extensive lot of technology, I wondered how much longer til they can do that for people with spinal injuries and resultant handicaps.

I can't get my uncle out of my mind. He was thrown from a car at age nineteen and has been a quadriplegic ever since. He finished college at U of A and went to work, married, and adopted two sons. He still lives in Tucson in a house downtown where my aunt works as a district attorney. He is retired and tries to find time to work on his motorcycle. He wants to adapt it to operate from the sidecar where he sits. He has medical problems, stemming from thirty-eight years of not feeling anything, and I would give any amount of money and time if I could watch him wheel into a surgery center, get zapped with some lasers and walk out.

I have NO idea why this strikes me this way. I can't express how much I appreciate this surgery, even though I didn't even need it - my "handicap" was so minor. But I'm glad I got it. I'm astounded at technology. I'm in love with Dr. Robert B. Taylor, III, M/D. and the staff at Shepherd Eye Center, and I have hope that if Uncle Ed doesn't walk again on earth, he will come to believe in and know Jesus Christ so he can walk in heaven.

Didn't think my post on eye surgery would go this way, but that's what's going on in my head. Praise Jesus for all He is and does.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Adios, Appliances.

It's quite a goodbye theme I've got going here.

The kind and generous parents of some friends of ours offered the brand-new appliances they were replacing to us. With help, Kevin picked them up Saturday and then on his own finished the installation over the weekend. We are now thankful owners of a stove with FOUR working burners, a new microwave, and a dishwasher that makes me realize how sadly the old one worked.

It was gross to clean out under and behind the spaces where the oven and dishwasher go, but Cayna enjoyed finding a few treasures. She discovered such amazing prizes under the dishwasher, that she hovered near the oven while Kevin pulled it out. Here she is after alerting her sister to the possibility of new (though grimy) toys.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Farewell, Facebook. I'll miss ya.

There ARE people in the world who can utilize fun sites like Facebook without wasting enormous amounts of time lurking there waiting for updates on friends' pet hamsters.

These are likely the same people who can keep a whole package of Oreos in their pantry for up to a week...

...who can divide reading time into neat little half-hour segments, rather than devouring an entire novel in seventeen straight hours to the detriment of their marriage, children, and housekeeping...

...who approach exercise, discipleship, career, motherhood, friendship, and hobbies with a "step by step", not overly-analytical, take-it-as-it-comes mentality.

As you may or may not know, I am NOT one of those people. Case in point, I have compulsively checked my facebook page nearly every day since I joined, refreshing the sucker up to a dozen times a day, anxious for news from people who may or may not really be interested in hearing mine.

It has been fun, if tiring. I've learned all sorts of unnecessary tidbits about the lives of friends from California to Kenya. I reunited with one old college friend, and chatted with a long-ago acquaintance from high school.

Overall, though, it is pseudo-community (to use Kevin's word) and mostly it leaves me lonely. A while back, I considered "deactivating" my account when my former mother-in-law put in a friendship request - my resultant heart rate was unhealthy, to say the least. My reason for staying was that I had some wonderful family members in Pennsylvania and Germany and Idaho and Ecuador that it was fun to be "in touch" with. Problem is, I realized that just having their kind faces in the "friend" box didn't really mean we were in touch. This may be the way it is in 2009, but it isn't good enough for me. I suppose I'm putting myself in a rickety rocking chair on an imaginary front porch, complaining about the way the world has turned, but I'd rather have real communication with these people. And facebook can't give it to me (except with a few people that one could argue I'd talk to anyway one way or another). Because of those few people, I'm sad to say goodbye and I hope we find each other in real life somehow.


Goodbye, Glasses.

Photographer Joseph took this shot of me this morning, as well as a close-up self-portrait which I will include for your enjoyment. This is the last photo of me in glasses hopefully for a decade or two. My corrective eye surgery is tomorrow.

No makeup, and no more for over a week. If I look tired, blame it on no mascara.

"Self-Portrait" by Joseph.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

18 Months!

John is a year and a half old today!

Special Skills: Throwing, Catching, Dribbling, Kicking, Starting Food Fights, Flashing his dimples, Eating Popsicles.

Vocab: Mama, Do-Do (Joe-Joe), uh-oh, bye, and a hilarious sound-effect whenever he throws something.

Favorite Fashion: Bright-red Crocs.

Biggest Mischief: Taking off down the street when we play outside; throwing food at his siblings; pinching and punching Bethanie, especially.

Nicknames: John Bon-Jovi; Johnny; John-Tom; Johnny-Johnny Leprechaun-y.

One Year Anniversary

One year ago tonight Kevin and I came into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil. Remember how early Easter was last year?

Special day. Off to get ready for Mass!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Guys' Nite

In (belated) honor of Kevin's birthday, the guys are gathered in the garage across the street playing Texas hold 'em.

Since Kristi had a houseful and Karen currently has a resident mother-in-law, the two of them came over to watch a movie. This will be a digression, but it is difficult to find movies that aren't totally offensive or terrifying-looking just by the cover. Anyway... picked a kooky-sounding title with Ricky Gervais (British guy); Tea Leoni, and Greg Kinnear. It did make us laugh, so what else matters? "Ghost Town" was the selection.

And... now at 11:12 p.m. (just missed my favorite time by ONE minute --- Layla!) I am sitting here blogging, waiting for the emergency load of underwear to dry, and wondering what tomorrow might bring.

30 Rock Quote for the Day

Watched my DVRed episode of "30 Rock". That show makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it, and I didn't discover it until recently. Shoulda believed Dave & Julie when they said it was witty since they're fellow "The Office" fans. Anyway, Tina Fey is my writing hero(ine).

"With Tracy it's not about money anymore. His video game made a fortune and he invested all of it in a company that dismantles bank signs... they're doing very well."

Friday, March 20, 2009

I know it's Spring

That tree that looks so pretty for a couple weeks all covered in pink blossoms but rains disgusting ploppy "fruit" on the driveway the other eleven and a half months of the year is in full bloom.

Everyone we know is sneezing.

We just turned on the upstairs air.

I'm back to Weight Watchers because it's countdown to swimsuit/shorts weather.

No more long sleeves.

I don't know what it's like to welcome this season with snow still on the ground, but it's only a matter of time til I'm burning my butt on the leather van seats.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saints -n- Stuff

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, husband of Mary. I celebrated by having a frosted Brownie (with our Canadian neighbors who inform us it is unheard of to eat unfrosted brownies where they're from). We gathered to celebrate the feast day and we prayed a litany. Here are some of the cool titles for St. Joseph:

Renowned offspring of David
Light of Patriarchs
Spouse of the Mother of God
Chaste guardian of the Virgin
Foster father of the Son of God
Diligent protector of Christ
Head of the Holy Family
Joseph most just
Joseph most chaste
Joseph most prudent
Joseph most strong
Joseph most obedient
Joseph most faithful
Mirror of patience
Lover of poverty
Model of artisans
Glory of home life
Guardian of virgins
Pillar of families
Solace of the wretched
Hope of the sick
Patron of the dying
Terror of demons
Protector of Holy Church

Today also marked the end of the Novena to St. Joseph. My first novena! Just a nine day prayer for a specific request.

And, since this is quite the Catholic post, might as well share a photo of my children decked out in honor of St. Patrick a couple days ago:

Finally, we're so excited for OUR Joseph who will be receiving THREE sacraments at Easter Vigil. A couple weeks ago, we journeyed to the Las Vegas Cathedral for his Rite of Election. Afterward, he got to meet the Bishop (another Joseph) and it was a wonderful time. Also pictured is a Knight of Columbus in full regalia and Joe's Godmother Karen (also our resident Canadian who teaches us the proper way to serve brownies.)

Coffee is NOT overrated.

Yesterday (and the day before, for that matter...) my progesterone levels were VERY low. As a result, you could also call my "mood" VERY low. Sloth-like, even. And I had grocery shopping to do or I'd be serving dip mix and low-fat mayo to the family for dinner. My solution? A ginormous coffee. I've never ordered the LARGE before. That thing was over a half a foot tall. Eight or nine inch-tall compostable cup of sugar and caffeine goodness. And it did the job. I sailed through my bank trip and the grocery trip.

John's antibiotics have kicked in, so he was in a fine mood. And Bethanie is the cutest thing in the world, so she clung on to the side of the cart and "helped" me up and down the aisles by pushing off with her foot. My mood stayed positive, bordering on "happy-hyper" the entire time we were there. Even reaching the parking lot and realizing I had not one, not two, but THREE strollers in the back of the van didn't turn me into a seething, cussing lunatic. I cheerfully crammed my cart full of food between my van and the annoying blue sports car parked too close on the left before I realized that wouldn't allow me to open the side door. I cheerfully backed out, keeping an eye on my speedy four year-old lest she dart in front of a moving vehicle, opened the door, cheerfully loaded the baby and the four year-old into the van, then cheerfully stacked bags of a week's worth of meals haphazardly all over the front of the van. I cheerfully made it home in time to unload Bethanie's impulse buy of 36 ice cream sandwiches into the freezer before cheerfully storming to the elementary school to gather a couple Kindergarteners.

I don't like coffee enough to make it myself, and I can't withstand the nine-thousand calories one of those "frolattes" must contain - but I think a once-a-month prescription for about three days in row might save me. Without the jolt from my beverage, I would FOR SURE have keyed that sports car, and probably the three strollers as well.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I am going to get SO smart...

... you aren't going to be able to live with me. A few months ago (ish) I got the great idea (maybe on my own, maybe not... can't remember) to read the gospels again, one after the other, chapter by chapter in the light of my new-found Church. Went in hoping for two things, 1) to grow closer Jesus; 2) to see if I noticed any "difference" now that I've been re-learning a few things from a Catholic perspective. Both happened. Good times.

Got to the end of the four books and asked Kevin for input on what I should read next. He said something like: "There's cool stuff to be seen from a Catholic perspective in First and Second Corinthians." Read those and enjoyed hanging out with Paul (sometimes - sometimes, truthfully, the guy can be a wee bit intimidating - or is it just me?). Now (well, two days ago) I decided to read the books that are present in my Catholic Old Testament but were "missing" in my Protestant Bible. Enter Tobit. Started reading yesterday but was missing the cool Catholic commentary I'd had as I hung out reading the letters to the Corinthians. So... here is where it pays to be friends with the Director of Faith Formation at your church - I called up Craig and asked if he had some good commentary on Tobit. OF COURSE he did (does) and he handed it off to me at a meeting at church tonight thoughtfully bookmarked (with an EVOS coupon that expired in 2007, darn it - I like their soy shakes).

I was already excited to go home with this handy-dandy volume (The Navarre Bible, Chronicles-Maccabees, Texts and Commentaries) and start using it in my little daily reading time - but THEN THE CONVERSATION WENT FURTHER!!! I mentioned I was looking for a book I'd heard of that overviewed the whole Bible (ambitious!) and based on who I'd heard it from I think Craig assumed it was more scholarly/less "Bible for Dummies". He presented me with an "extra copy" our parish has - that has obviously never been cracked open - and told me all about its qualifications. I'm gathering that it isn't "over my head" but not exactly a "poolside read" either. A few minutes ago, I took a look at the Table of Contents and I truthfully felt the same feeling of excitement I always felt on the first day of a good class in college (or even high school.) You can tell the good classes - you can tell by the teacher, the syllabus, and the text, right? This is a GOOD TEXT. And I already have a thing for the author, Scott Hahn, who is a fellow convert to Catholicism and a favorite writer. Get this - it's called Understanding The Scriptures - A Complete Course on Bible Study. If I've lost you, or you're yawning, I'm sorry. But I'm telling you, scripture study CAN be invigorating and IS life-changing, so having these books thrills me.

My only problem is that I've been on a bit of a reading jag and just plowed through a book on media and culture; two homeschool books; three issues of "Runner's World" cover to cover; and started reading some articles and speeches by Thomas Howard (yes, another convert, but notably for me - the brother of Elisabeth Elliot, a Protestant hero of mine); so I was KINDA in the market for some shallow, easy-reading, fiction. Perhaps I can use the Tobit commentary during my afternoon quiet time, the huge Bible Study text before bed, and save some fun fiction for the mornings when I sip lattes and lounge on the veranda overlooking the children playing in the gardens.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A photo from race day-

John, Kevin, and me right after the finish.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ran it!

I did it, I did it! I was so afraid that with my sore knee, I would have to walk a lot and end up slower than three hours, but I finished in about 2:37. When the chip-time gets posted, I'll put up my official, official time with photos.

Officially, next to childbirth, that was the hardest thing I've done. Also officially, my confidence is boosted and I now feel like I could try anything. (Except a marathon, ladies and gentlemen, HOW IN THE HECK COULD ANYONE RUN THAT FAR? I suppose with the right training... still - I kept breathing out thankfulness that I was done at the end of 13.1 and not just halfway.)

I was under the impression that this was a flat course. It wasn't. One of the hills about mile 8 was the steepest I've ever run (walked) and I have plenty of hills around my house. Not that I was with the elites, but NO ONE was running that hill just before the turn-around.

I was nervous last night. My biggest fear, besides arrival at the race, for some reason, was getting to mile 8 - which sounds PLENTY FAR to me and realizing I still had FIVE TO GO!!! Miraculously, mile 8 was okay.

I'm wiped. It's gorgeous out and I'm getting off the couch to go get some sunshine, but I'll "stream of consciousness" write for a minute. Hope my blabber is somehow interesting.

There were bagpipes at the start line. Fabulous. I love bagpipes. That got me hyped up.

The first two to three miles sucked. I thought of you, Laura, and how you asked me to remember what I was feeling at each mile. My GPS said 2.65 when I first felt knee pain. But I swear I smooth-talked my way through it. "It's okay. No big deal. Run smooth. Fluid. Flow down the hill." (HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!- I did say those things, but I'm laughing that I believed myself.)

I don't like being passed. I don't care if I'm pudgy and a slow beginner, I have my pride and I hate being passed. Someday I will pass people.

Gu sucks. The "magic beans" as Kevin calls them (sport beans) were great. Gatorade (lemon-lime only) is great.

Just like on some of my longer training runs, I said to myself, "Cover the miles. Listen to your music." It worked, I suppose, but the music didn't mean as much to me during the race for some reason. Purple and yellow flowers along the edges of the paved portion meant more to me than the music. That was around mile fourish or fivish and I was running 9:15 at that point and loving every second.

We ran through six tunnels out and back. Those suckers were dark. I could not see the ground in front of me, nor did I have the energy to remove my sunglasses. That was such freaky running, and so surreal that I am quite positive I will have dreams about it tonight.

The guys who run 6-minute miles are really heroes to me. I am amazed, impressed, inspired. The race was two "out and backs" so I had two chances to watch them coming back toward me as I slogged along and they were very very cool. One, a fair-skinned guy was about at mile 12 when I saw him last and he looked a little close to death, with dark-red circles around his eyes, but he still zoomed along. Another speedy guy was in the ambulance on an IV at the time of my finish. Geesh.

Hated the last three miles, but was simultaneously excited to be nearing the end. I had walked a few times, but I refused to walk the last three and a half miles or so. It took a LOT of willpower to keep jogging when I just wanted to stop, curl up in the dirt, and whine.

Seeing Kevin, Joseph, Cayna and Bethanie near the finish line with smiles and flowers was the best sight of my year. I did cry. The announcer was calling out names and when I heard "Teri Love" it was about as sweet as hearing my name at college graduation, no lie.

I crossed the finish, sobbed a time or two, and walked to receive a finishers ribbon and over to a stepstool where a volunteer sat to assist in the removal of the chip. I tell you, I could hardly lift my foot to the first step, never mind the second. Then he told me I was giving him the wrong foot. I laughed and realized I couldn't lift the other foot at all, so he bent to clip it. I noticed other finishers were in the same predicament.

One other time in my life I have felt that faint as I did right after the finish, and it was after childbirth. Now I know it wasn't blood loss that wiped me out, it was exertion. I sat down, ate an Oreo, a bite of muffin, and several orange wedges. My knee killed, but it was overshadowed by the discomfort in my gut. Ugh. It didn't go away til I got home and ate a salmon burger and some mushrooms. I was honored to have Sharon Anne and her children greet me and celebrate at the finish line, too! And I got home to a big banner hung on the garage door that says, "Way to go, Teri! We love you!" If that's not a reason to run a race every now and then, I don't know what is.

Good day. Good, good day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Day Eve

Tomorrow is the race!

Today I am upping my ibuprofen. Bought some super sunblock for my face and some sunglasses that are more aerodynamic/less fashion. Usually I run in my glasses, but I think I'll actually shower and put in my contacts since the sun should be shining. My clothes are set out. My diet today is healthy and I'm doing lots of hydrating and stretching.

Gotta charge up the GPS, iPod, and get out the "Gatorade belt". I'm really no good at the water stations.

Tonight I'm attending a Lenten retreat, which will happily take my mind off 13 miles of running.

I'm mostly scared of knee pain right now. I'm wondering if I can draw on the same strength that got me through labor four times to get me through hours of running with one knee on the fritz. That's my hope. Self-talk will be my savior or my doom.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's an eventful week.

Today is packet day. I hope to pick up my race packet. Ran five miles this morning, and that's it 'til the big day. My knee kills.

Tomorrow is eye day. I have a consultation to discern the possibility of having surgery to fix my eyesight.

Thursday I will attempt to take myself and the kids to daily Mass. I have a lofty goal of making it at least once a month to daily Mass with the kids. One of my brave friends is going to attempt it with me.

Friday is the 13th, so I plan to celebrate. Thirteen is a good number for me. I was born on the 13th, married on the 13th, and hope to run 13 miles like a champ! Or at least like a girl who wants to have fun with this running thing.

Monday, March 9, 2009

One day later...

... Kevin has a birthday. First Bethanie, then Kev.

He's not a cake guy. Last year he had a bowl of M&Ms with some tall sparkler candles sticking out. This year was a pile of vanilla Joe-Joe's. Present at the wish-making was his lovely wife, and (pictured) daughter Cayna and her dog, Lovie; son Joseph who took a couple tries NOT to blow the candle out along with the match; and daughter Bethanie with her beloved sea turtle.

Happy Birthday to the love of my life.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

number three turns four

In honor of Bethanie since she just turned four.

Newborn Bethanie Kerala - one day old baby number three eleven pounds much loved:

Pretty bouquet. I love getting flowers after giving birth. I also love grape juice, bed, someone else's cooking, sleep, flannel receiving blankets, and reruns on late-night television.

March, 2005. The three Love kids. Adorable trio.

Sisters. Cayna is an expert big sister. They love each other like crazy.

A recent photo of the little angel. Now she's a big sister herself. Pictured here with her baby brother, a band-aid on her finger (heavy addiction), and licking the spatula. Of all four kids, Bethanie is the one who most likes to help me in the kitchen. I hope to train her quickly to take over the position.


Months ago, I "found" an old friend from college via her website and via a broken, spewing soda bottle in Whole Foods. She is an artist. Here is her website, if you have a minute to let some pretty stuff into your day.

Yesterday, as I stood decorating Bethanie's Care Bear cake fresh from the store-bought Wilton pan, it occurred to me that I was enjoying myself immensely. A template and a pound of frosting hardly qualifies as "art", but I still think the undertaking was artistic at some level. Plus it made my little girl smile, so that alone makes it worthwhile.

Half purple, half flesh: that's my bedroom right now. It is taking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long to get it painted. I kinda took February off, but picked up the brush and roller again today and finished the first coat of wall number two. So... half the walls are a chalky lilac color which I am in love with, and half the walls are this ugly, menacing peachy-yellow flesh color that nearly makes me ill. Next I have to climb the extension ladder and get up on the stupid, pointless pot shelf to dust it before I paint it. That's wall number three, the most death-defying. Wall number four includes the gigantic window, so not so much painting, just a lot of prep. There you have it - I am a painter. An artist of sorts, especially once I find the perfect curtains or drapes to set the whole room off.

I don't know why I'm trying to make myself sound like an artist. My favorite "art" is writing, and I haven't been in the mood lately. Time to go curl up in the half-painted room and get some rest so maybe I'll have inspiration for tomorrow.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Talk Worked

That little talk with my knee, along with my nurse-friend-prescribed ibuprofen and my mini-bag of frozen black-eye peas has done the job! I'm up and running! I'll taper my running any second now in preparation for the 13-mile day, but yesterday I ran twice! Let's just say I'm so happy to be functioning I had to celebrate. I also spent a little time on the elliptical and hefted mega-pounds with my quads in an effort to support that silly knee.

In other areas of concern - I still don't know if my hubby will make it with all four kids to the finish line, but I'm holding out hope.

I decided I'm wearing my Penn t-shirt in honor of my brother. Back in my cow-collecting days, he wore a holstein pattern on his college graduation cap for me. I figure the Penn shirt will be a tribute to him. In the beginning, he was my inspiration to run in the first place. And my sister-in-law is my go-to training guru, so I gotta figure out a way to honor her that day, too.

Counting the days!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A little talk with my knee.

"All right. Months of training, and you pick NOW --- right before the race to act up and start hurting?

What do you want from me? I bought you new shoes. I've been stretching like crazy. I rested for weeks, which did NOT do wonders for my training schedule, let me tell you. I'm throwing bags of frozen peas on ya when I get the time. Can you help me out here?

I know, I know... I need to lose a few more pounds. That might be a break for you. But to get rid of that last ten, we're going to have to go without ice cream. It's a tough call. Extra weight and some pain --- or sacrifice the yummy calories and MAYBE find some relief. Is it worth the gamble? What if I give up the Dreyer's and the pain stays? I guess it would be nice to be able to fit everything in the size 8s again. Then I might go and get pregnant anyway and you, your partner, my back, my hips and my feet would ALL be complaining with renewed vigor.

Ya know what? You're not even the worst pain I've got. The WORST pain is my self-doubt. Now THERE'S a monster! Somehow, though, I think I can kick him in the butt and still make it to the finish line. You're a little iffier.

Please hang in there. We only have a few more miles of training left and then it's the big day. I can suffer some... but you better hold up. I don't want some gnarly tweak of yours to get me on mile 11 breaking me down to the dirt on my face! Okay? Can we pull it together for another eleven days? I'm counting on you. Suck it up."

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Aren't I clever with that title?

Kevin ran his first 5K this weekend, and it went well. The whole time he prepared for it, and during the race, while I lazed in bed with the kids, I was mostly just hoping he'd enjoy it enough to keep running and do more races.

He started at 7:00. I looked at the clock at 7:05. He'd been running 25-minute 3 milers around our hilly neighborhood so I wondered what a fairly flat course, lots of spectators and adrenaline would do for his time. At 7:22 I thought he could be done, and at 7:25 I announced to the kids that Daddy had probably crossed the finish line.

The phone rang about 7:35 and he said, "23:45. I think. I gotta check the results." The final time was 23:19 and he was fourth in his age group, missing a prize by one place! (I came in fourth in my age group in Crestline, missing a trophy by one place - ugh.) Forty-fourth overall, and there were 286 runners who finished. And one horse. Couldn't find the horse's time on the website, but I was looking for an obvious horse name, like "Buttercup" or "Sea Biscuit" or "Black Beauty". If the horse's name was, say, Walter Lipscomb, he came in ahead of Kevin.

At home later, discussing the race, he said he started at the front (Rob Dixon advice) but after one minute when he looked at the GPS and realized he was runnning a six-minute pace he had to slow down. His other favorite moment was realizing that traffic on the race route was being stopped for him. He is still annoyed by a long delay once while waiting for triathletes in our neighborhood - so he said it was nice to be on the other side of that.

When I asked if he'd do another one, he said he has to. He has a goal time. I'm glad he liked it enough to go back.