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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the one where I cheer for my friends

Moving from New York to Georgia was one of the most stressful and scariest things I have ever done. I left my entire family, my church family, friends, my job - effectively everything that defined me as me.

I don't make friends easily. I worry about how others perceive me and tend to act stuck up or snobby when I'm really just feeling insecure and unsure about myself. Many of the friends I have are ones that I've had for years. 

Rick and Maggie Turner pulled down all my walls, plowed through all my junk, and immediately embraced me as a friend. They have been a huge source of comfort and amusement over the last few years. They are deeply in love with each other and with Christ. They are also a little bit crazy. Maggie pushes me (well, throws me) out of my running comfort zone on a constant basis. I spend most of our weekly lunches giving her dubious looks as she pitches various races she thinks I should run in. She is persuasive though, as evidenced by the addition of a 10k trail race to my schedule. Rick is just a giant teddy bear that gives great hugs and makes me laugh. If I ever needed anything, he would be one of the first people I would call.

They are currently in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia and have been running various races to help raise money to cover costs. Most recently, they both ran the Greenville, SC Half Marathon (where Maggie PR'd!) and I was able to make a complete fool of myself while cheering them on. I've repeatedly tried to upload a video of me screaming and yelling for Rick and Maggie but my computer hates me so you'll have to trust me when I say I completely and shamelessly embarrassed myself. 

Please take a minute to visit Rick and Maggie's blog and prayerfully consider contributing. If you do, let me know and I'll take a minute to completely and shamelessly cheer for you. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

the one where I am an athletic supporter

Today was opposite day. Instead of me getting up early to run a marathon, it was my husband that set his alarm for 4:45am to tackle 26.2 miles. 

I made him pose like this..
We got to the Greenville Marathon start line with no problem. Found a parking spot nestled between the start and finish lines. Got onto the port-a-potty line before the hoards. I took the obligatory pre-race pictures...

I have to stand on my tip toes to take pictures with him

such a good runner... stretching before a race
Words cannot express how immensely proud of my husband I was today. I know how courageous you have to be to even stand at the start line of a marathon. I may or may not have teared up when the gun went off. 

I spent the morning wandering around Greenville and taking pictures of fall leaves. I cheered for friends of ours who were running in the half marathon. Eventually, after buying him a celebratory blueberry scone from the Great Harvest Bread Co., I made my way back to the finish line.  

I grabbed a spot on the curb and started cheering and continued cheering until I saw that maroon shirt and blue hat turn the corner. One look and I knew something was wrong. He was walking. Seth hates to walk while running. I took a deep breath, screamed "I love you!" as loud as I could and watched as he started to run again. 

Turns out my poor husband had vomited at mile 23. Like full on, in the gutter, liquid out the nose, vomit. Immediately, I was concerned. I read Runner's World. I know all about the dangers of dehydration and hyponatremia. Two conditions that can be fatal for endurance athletes. Only two things kept me from marching him to the nearest medic. 1. the color of his lips and face were good and 2. he was coherent.

About 15 minutes into our trip home, he threw up again. As I calmly pulled the car over and got out of the car, all I thought was "Well, I can either call 911 or get him back to the race medics." As I was trying to figure out how I was going to convince him that this was not a good situation, I handed him face wipes, a dish towel, and water to rinse his mouth out. Then I made him strip. All the wet clothes came off and dry clothes went on. Thankfully, as the dry socks went on, he began to feel better.

On the way home, we talked about the race and tried to work out what went wrong. Essentially, we concluded that, originally, he was over hydrated. Fearing that he wasn't drinking enough, he over drank and threw his body all out of whack. The vomiting and the nausea led him to become dehydrated. A double whammy. A super duper scary double whammy.

Thankfully, he seems to have recovered. Two servings of my homemade recovery drink, a blueberry scone, a nap, and a monster Subway buffalo chicken sandwich seemed to do the trick. He's appropriately tired and sore but not nauseous or dead.    

What lessons did we learn today? Trust your training. If you're carrying liquid, do not be swayed or tempted by  water stations. Trust your training. When you're vomiting on a race course and someone asks you if you need a medic, you should probably say yes. Most importantly, trust your training.          
No medal is worth a trip to the E.R.

By the way, even with the vomiting episode he still finished in 4:20. I know. You don't have to tell me. He's amazing. He's mine. Don't even think about it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

the one where I do something I never thought I would do

Meeting a goal and surpassing your expectations only causes trouble. As in, I think I'm so cool that I decided to sign up for a local 10k race. Not your run of the mill road 10k, mind you, rather a trail 10k.

A trail 10k.

In a state park.

In December. Less then a month after the marathon.

Clearly, a year of PR's has gone to my head that I fancy myself capable of navigating mixed terrain.

I've had one experience with running trails and while it went well, I'm not sure that qualifies me to race a 10k. But what the hay. Its's less then 10 minutes from my house, I get a cool shirt, and the opportunity to do something new and exciting.

As Baz Luhrmann so eloquently put it, "Do one thing everyday that scares you." Because, let's be honest, I'm a little scared.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

the one where I surprise myself

I have big news. I have great news. 

I ran a half marathon this morning in 2:05:43. Let that sink in and soak for a minute. 


Not only did I beat my previous PR by 7 minutes but I met a major goal of running a half in under 2:10. 

Me! I did that! 

This year I have set PR's at every distance: 5k, 10k, and now half marathon. On November 10th, I am running my fourth marathon. Will the trend continue?

Stayed tuned.

Monday, October 15, 2012

the one where a lot of stuff happens

I had the kind of run on Saturday that gets me excited about running. The kind of run that makes me jump up and down and clap my hands. The kind of run that makes the early morning wake ups and long miles worth it.

"What exactly happened?" you might ask. Well, a number of things...

1. I ran my fastest 20 miles EVER. Partly because...

2. I was involved in a battle of wills with two dogs. Now, if I could only find  some wild hounds to scare the snot of me during the marathon I might be able to finish well under 5 hours. A safer and less frightening choice would be to use a pace group but that kind of takes the thrill out of it.

3. I tagged along for a few miles with two runners that I have only ever seen but have never spoken to. This was right after the dog incident and I could have wept with relief when I saw them coming up the road. They graciously allowed me to highjack their run and even invited me to run with them during the week. I'm glad my fear of feral animals didn't make a bad first impression.   
4. At about 8 miles into my run, I crashed a 5k and helped a friend set a personal record.

"My running buddy this morning! Made my PR of 29:45 for a 5k! What a blessing that Lauren crashed our race! :)" -Chanice
 Normally, I strictly adhere to running etiquette. Race crashing is a big NO NO. It's not fair to the other participants or to the race directors. In my defense, it was a small race, I didn't use any of their supplies (such as water or bananas), and I didn't cross the finish line. It wasn't my intention to crash but as I was headed against the flow of the race, I saw my friend Chanice (who is one of the many people in my life that inspires me to keep running) and I couldn't help myself. I just had to crash. So, take me to runner's jail because I have no remorse. I am guilty. Guilty, guilty, guilty. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

the one where I am thankful

I run, train, and race alone. It's not as sad and pathetic as it might sound. I enjoy the time alone, the solitude of logging those miles by myself. I use the time to rock out to my music, pray, and breathe.   

I may not share my miles with others but I certainly love to talk about them. I follow countless runners and runner groups on Facebook and Twitter. I have weekly lunches with a dear friend where we mostly talk about running with a few other topics thrown in. Being able to share your triumphs and difficulties with people who understand is priceless.

For about a year and a half, I have been blessed to be a part of an online group called Friends Who Run. There are eight of us, all girls, all runners. One of us is an accomplished runner, regularly logging high mileage even while pregnant with her second child. Another is a newcomer to our group, having recently discovered the joys of running. Virtually watching her discover who she is as a runner has been so much fun. Reading her posts and comments remind me why I fell in love with running in the first place. Some days, my heart explodes with pride. My best friend, who always claimed she was a only a walker, is now excited about buying running shoes and is already planning her first post-baby 5k.

These women are an endless source of inspiration. Over the past year, one of us has run 850 miles, broke her arm and sprained her ankle and just a few days ago ran a 4:22 marathon. How could I not be inspired by that? When I have doubts, they dispel them. When I have questions, they answer them. Knowing I'm not the only one who decided to skip a morning run and sleep in boosts my self esteem.    

I am thankful for these women. These strong, unflinching, determined women. I am so proud of everything they have accomplished. I look forward to sharing the stories of my miles with them for many years to come.    

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the one where I compare myself to my carpet

This past week I've been the VIP at my own personal pity party. Anything and everything I could beat myself up for I have. Including but not limited to: 

Despite training for 2 full marathons and 2 half marathons, I still haven't lost that last ten pounds of baby love.

I have an annoying rash on my chin that the dermatologist has diagnosed as perioral dermatitis. Basically, I have a rash near my mouth. Um, yeah thanks. That's $35 I'll never get back. I could have used WebMD to figure that one out.

Everyone and their mother runs faster then I do.

The fear that I'm a terrible mother that does nothing but snap and scream at her children.

So I did what any self respecting woman with 2 young children does when she's stressed, I cleaned. I didn't just straighten up or do the dishes, I spot cleaned my carpet with my recently acquired Bissell Little Green Clean machine.

As I sprayed, scrubbed, and suctioned every little spot, mark and stain something occurred to me. My spirit, recently, has looked very much like my living room carpet. A few dark spots that are glaringly obvious and ruining the overall look. I need to do something for my attitude akin to busting out my spot cleaner for my carpet.

Otherwise, the words that come out of my mouth, my behavior and the impression I leave with others will look like this... 

end result of my angry spot cleaning carpet session

Dirty, stanky, grimy water. 

I need to let it all go. I need to let go of what type of mother I think I should be, of how fast a runner I should be. I need to let go of my petty jealously and endless need to compare myself to others. 

I need the hugs, kisses, and love from my children to be enough. I need the act of running to be enough. I need to be enough for myself. 

The alternative isn't very pretty.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

the one where I taunt my midsection.

Day 1 of 7 minute abs workout was a breeze. 

Day 2 was a tiny bit painful. Seldom used muscles were a little angry with me for trying to whip them back into shape.

Day 3 was agony. Clearly, my midsection is much happier in its current flabby, post 2 babies state and wishes I would leave it alone. 

I'm onto your little game, abdominal muscles, and I'm refusing to participate. You think that if you twinge and ache with the littlest movement, including when I breathe, that I will stop the nightly torture. Well, I will not! I will make you strong again even if I have to pound you into submission to do it.

Oh by the way, no more bread for you either. Cooperate and then we'll talk.