Friday, October 30, 2009

We all have skeletons in our closet...


Yes, it's true, we all have skeletons in our closet. Some are minor, some are major, some eat at us til we reach a point of insanity, some stay buried and forgotten for years. But we all have them. Most of us aren't political figures or celebrities who live in fear of our buried skeletons making reappearances in the public on a grand scale. But still, how many of us live in fear of our closest loved ones, friends, or enemies, even, finding those skeletons we've meticulously packed away.

And that brings me to my point. I'm tired of living in the fear that someone may stumble upon my skeleton. I'm tired of worrying what people will think, I'm tired of wondering who may already know, and what they will and/or do think of me once they find out. It's not a pleasant feeling...that feeling of looking over your shoulder, that feeling of hiding something away.


What to do.

I choose to air it all out. I choose to unbury my own skeletons, and let 'em lay smack dab in the middle of my living room. Because I just...can't...hide it...anymore.

The Skeleton in my Closet.

There you have it. I dressed my kid up as a use a my own sick game...of procuring as much candy as possible.... for me... to eat all by myself... without sharing.

And I feel soooooooooooooo dirty. (and stomach-achey)

But so relieved to have it out in the open. I think I just solidified my standing in the UMC.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

For Amanda...

SIL Amanda pointed out to my MIL that I needed to post some more Emma pics ASAP. So, here they are, for your enjoyment:)

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Marathon

Well, some of you have been asking about my race, so here it is!Mike made it to two viewpoints, and the finish line. Here we are feeling good, but still chilly at mile 7.7!
We caught up to and passed most of those people in the pack ahead of us!

Here we are rounding the corner not too far from the 19 mile mark.

Here we are passing some people just beyond that.

Here I am barreling down the hill towards the finish line as fast as my legs could carry me.

Here is my backside.

And here I am crossing the finish line! Woot!

Darin and I sitting on our sweet space blankets.

Here we are enjoying some yummy post-race pierogies.

And here I am in my sweaty, nasty, post-race glory.
So. We did it. In 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 44 seconds. But still.
Our goal going in was 4:30:00. However, there were some things we didn't take into consideration when making that our goal time. So overall I'm KINDA bummed about it, but not really bummed at all.
Things we didn't consider:
a) walking through aid stations. We went to the race expo on Saturday and heard some
professional runners give some "sage" advice. One tidbit was to get liquid at EVERY aid
station, and to walk through them to ensure maximum intake. So, considering that there
were 13 aid stations, that's 13 momentary pauses we hadn't thought about.
b) 7 pee breaks. It's one thing to have to stop and pee. But 7 times?? Referring back to a), we
had a much greater liquid intake than we're used to. And honestly, I think we overdid it
with the intake merely out of fear of dehydration. I think we could have cut back a bit to
save ourselves the pain of running with a full bladder, and the TIME SUCK that was the
potty break! I mean, based on our training runs I think we didn't need to drink quite as
much as we did! The killer about this one was that not only did we have the pause of the
break, but the pause of having to wait in line for a Port-A-John, and then the difficulty of
having to hover over a pee-soaked seat with quads that were aflame, and nostrils that
were trying desperately not to suck in the foul stench. So.
c) The downhills. Yes, we knew this was considered a "downhill marathon". All the advice we
received was to take it easy down the hill, lean back, shuffle, slow down, take your time.
We did that. It saved our quads, I think, since they were doing ok at the end. But following
that advice really did suck up a lot of time, because there were A LOT of downhill sections.
d) The Uphills. For all the pre-race talk of the need to train for downhills, the marathon reps
failed to mention that this course contained some SERIOUS uphills. I mean, SERIOUS
hills. Ridiculous hills. I did quite a fair bit of hills during my training, but hadn't counted on
too many of them when setting my goal time/pace. Mile 23 was the worst. We hit the mile
marker and then looked up and saw this giant pack of "runners"....walking. Darin and I
looked at each other almost simultaneously and announced that we were going to run it.
And we did. Mile 23 also sucked because Michael Scott WAS NOT there handing out jello shots, or free paper.
e) The weather. It was cooooooooooooooold. I mean, we knew it would be chilly, but the chill
lasted much longer than was expected. It was 37 degrees at the start, and by mile 20 or
so it was 44 degrees. It finally warmed up at the end when the sun came out.
So, ya know. It was a wee bit rough. BUT. It was awesome. I loved it. Even the parts I hated.
The best things:
a) Seeing Mike there cheering for me. It felt so great to hear my name and have that
b) Seeing Darin's husband and kids there cheering for her. It was adorable. We didn't really
know where Dave was going to show up. But we were just approaching a turn that led to
the Rails-to-Trails section of the race and we heard them calling out, "Go Mommy!". And
then her youngest, Evanie, started to run out onto the course to see her! So Darin got a
hug and a kiss and a glimpse of her brood before we headed into the woods. It was such
a lift to the spirits!
c) The scenery! We started in Forest City, and the forest it was. The colors are changing in
Scranton and it was just beautiful. As I mentioned, we also ran along part of the Rails-to-
Trails. And while that part was challenging because it was narrow, quiet, and muddy, it
was absolutely gorgeous!
d) The locals who cheered for us. I heard more cowbell yesterday than at any other time in
my life. There were bands, and cheerleaders, and locals blaring music from their porches
or trunks. There were sections of the race where we were greeted like rock stars, and
every time it was such a boost for us. There were many cheers of "hey ladies you're
looking good! No, I mean, you're looking goooooooood!"
We couldn't pass through those sections without
huge smiles on our faces, and without a little extra speed in our step. I can't say enough
about how wonderful it felt, and how grateful I was for those cheers, because it carried
me through many a mile.
e) The Finish Line. With about .9 of a mile left in the race, we were faced with yet
another hill, about .6 of a mile, I'd say, was uphill. So we did all we could to get to the top
of the hill, and there it was, THE FINISH LINE! Between the adrenaline and the fact that
the last .3 of a mile was downhill, I just went. I couldn't hold back on the downhill
anymore, and I just went flying. I was really afraid I was going to fall, but thankfully I
didn't. As we hit the top of the hill, we could see that the finish was PACKED. We
finished almost 5 hours after the start of the race, and awards were given out over 2 hours before we crossed the finish line. But still, the
people were there packed around the chute, cheering our every step. There were people
calling out my bib number and cheering me on! It was such a rush of adrenaline! And I
was just so overwhelmed.

f) Darin. Darin is the reason I ran. If she hadn't asked me to train with her, I wouldn't have
done this race! She did all the long, hard training runs with me, and gave me the
confidence I needed to do this. With the exception of walking through the aid stations, we
ran every step of this race. It may have been slow, but we were there for each other.
When one of us hit a rocky spot, it seemed like the other instinctively took the lead,
picked up the pace, and carried the other. I could never have done this race by myself.
So, THANK YOU DARIN!! I hope you had as much fun as I did!
We also noticed some...unique...individuals:
a) The Pee-er. He was an old dude who felt it appropriate to walk to the side of the road
and just whip it out and pee. It was not pleasant to see. And it was even more disturbing
given that he was standing about 5 feet away from a heavy forest area that would have
provided adequate coverage.
b) The Spr-alker. I mentioned above that we received advice from professional runners
about taking it slow and easy on the hills, and then maintaining pace on the flat portions.
The Spr-alker (or, Sprint-Walker) did quite the opposite. We were doing a back and
forth thing with her until about mile 6, where she would come zooooooooming out of no
where, sprinting as fast as she could down the hills, and then immediately stop and
walk at the bottom of the hill. And she repeated this over and over again. I don't know
if she finished.
c) Loud Talker Guy. He was just loud. And annoying. And he had equally loud and
annoying companions.
d) The Spitter. He passed us, but wasn't very far ahead. And he felt the need to spit about
every 15 seconds. And I was trying to dodge his loogies.
e) The King. We didn't see him very long, but from what the guys said at the finish line,
he wore his BK crown for the entire race.
So. It was a memorable event. I really had a great time. A hurty time, but a great time:) So good, I'm about 95% sure that I'll be running another one in November:)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cheers and Jeers

Cheers to Emma, for continuing to learn how to walk! I wouldn't call her a "walker" but she'll bust out and walk 5 or 6 feet across the room for a toy, or to Mike or I.

Jeers to the old lady at Giant who felt it acceptable to wipe her nose, cough into her hand, and then come up and without asking, grab Emma's hand and then her toes. Those fingers and toes make frequent sojourns to her mouth. So if you do that again, I will punch you in the throat.

Cheers to Darin and I for our fast approaching Steamtown Marathon. We'll be running 26.2 miles on Sunday in Scranton. For you "The Office" watchers, you may have heard that Michael Scott will be stationed at mile 23 with Jello Shots for us.

Jeers to Target for refusing to take my coupons this week!!

Cheers to the fact that I'm done nursing!

Jeers to the fact that I'm done nursing! (well, that should be a more specific jeers to those 8 sharp, pearly white demon teeth that are the reason why I'm done nursing earlier than I wanted to be)

Cheers to Emma, who sounds oddly like Donald Duck sometimes when she's jibberjabbering to herself.

Jeers to being brought to tears by mean people at church! Shouldn't that be the one place where people are nice?

Cheers to dear friends and all the wonderful birthday wishes that were sent my way, and also for those bday wishes sent to Mike!

Jeers to the 10 pounds I KNOW I put on at our birthday dinner.

Cheers to the wonderous glory that is THE MELTING POT. So. Worth. The. 10. Pounds.

Jeers to the wind lately, that has made it too cold out for our daily walks to the park.

Cheers to the plumber, for fixing our leaking bathtub!

I think that's it for my random list.