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okc half marathon part I

13 May

To start, thanks so much for the well wishes and encouragement after yesterday’s post.  Looking back at it, I realize that it sounded rather negative.  That’s the kind of thing I’m less able to see clearly at three in the morning, ha. I appreciate all your kind words so much and they brightened my day; it never ceases to amaze me the kind of support one gets from the blog community.  I am slowly feeling better today (no more ER trips), and I’m hoping and praying by the end of the weekend, I’ll be ready to jump back into real life.  It never occurred to me that my recovery time would be this long, and I think that’s what has made it more difficult.  But things could be so much worse, and I have so much to be thankful for, part of that being all of you.  So, thank you.

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It completely blows my mind that it has been twelve days since we ran the OKC half marathon.  Carrying on with our training throughout our moving/living with parents and job change process made it seem like it lasted forever, and now suddenly even the race seems like it was forever ago!  I honestly have to say that while we stuck to our training schedule the best that we could during this season in our life, it wasn’t ideal, and it didn’t even come close to preparing us as well as our half three years ago.  But we obviously weren’t running for serious time goals, and training together definitely gave us something to focus on and helped keep us active during these crazy last several weeks.

Not only were we not super well prepared physically, our mental game was also a little off.  I was definitely ready and excited to run the race, but I just wasn’t super focused.  The day before we spent some amazing time with friends from college and ended up getting back to our hotel super late.  We decided at the last minute to stay in a downtown hotel primarily because my mom’s house is about 45 minutes from the race start and because we had enough points for a free night!  We even got to take the baby along:)

So, after a late night and about five hours of sleep, we woke to our alarm and rolled out of bed to get ready.  Thankfully we turned on the TV, and there was coverage of the race already on.  It was at this point that we realized how crazy the weather was: forty degrees, windy and pouring rain.  Further proof that our heads were just not where they should have been was that the weather forecast had predicted rain and colder temperatures all week, but for some reason we just hadn’t really paid attention.  By the grace of God we had both thrown in a long sleeve running shirt just in case or we really would have been in trouble.

Just when we were finishing up getting ready, we heard the news announce that the race start had been delayed due to lightening.  Cue the next sign that we weren’t really ready – I was a little bit relieved.  We had been rushing around so much, and I just felt really scattered (which actually coincides nicely with how I’ve felt the last ten weeks or so) and disorganized…like I was forgetting something important.  I couldn’t decide whether to take my iPod and risk it getting wet.  Whether or not to take a gear bag to check in case I wanted to ditch my long sleeve right before the start (ha!).  Whether or not to wear my headband or a hat.  Etc etc.  Let me break here and say to any of you who have not yet run a race: never wait until the morning of the race to decide these important matters!  I should have made all the decisions at least the night before.  But alas, I had not so I was frantically debating all these issues with the husband, who by the way was lounging in bed with Olive like it was the middle of Sunday afternoon. Clearly, we were on opposite ends of the spectrum, but he was every bit as mentally absent as I was.

After about another twenty minutes of watching the news, it suddenly hit me that if they were not going to delay the start another thirty minutes, then we should really be getting ourselves out the door and down to the start line.  Again..hello?!  So, I grabbed our gear check bag and my water bottle, and off we went.  Once downstairs, the husband realized that he hadn’t brought his headband (his ears hurt if he runs in wind), so he had to go back upstairs and get it.  At this point, I wasn’t super worried yet, but I was beginning to feel some urgency.  The day before when we picked up our race packets from the expo, they had been out of programs (what!?), and because the start had been moved to a different location this year, we didn’t even know exactly where we were supposed to be headed. And it was still pouring rain.

We took off walking in the direction other people were going, and I distinctly remember the point where I started to stress.  Looking at my watch, I realized that we couldn’t be more than about ten minutes from starting time, and with our gear check bag still in hand, we had no idea where we were even headed.  About six blocks later, we found our way to the corral area, but it was all gated off, and I honestly couldn’t even tell which way everyone was headed in the corral.  It was just so confusing!  At this point I began to get a little frantic.  There were people everywhere and it was all we could do to try and squeeze through the crowds.  I kept asking everyone if they knew where the gear check was, and somehow not a single person knew anything.

Two minutes and counting.

The excitement in the crowd was overflowing (as was the rain), and we somehow ended up caught in the 5k corral.  People were packed in like sardines, and they were not going anywhere.  I kept trying to worm my way through, but despite the usual friendliness of Oklahomans, no one was even remotely willing to step aside.  The husband and I were caught in a packed sea of people, having no idea where the gear check station or the actual start line even was….

and the gun went off.

I have to say at this point I felt so disappointed.  I was so mad at us for getting ourselves in this position.  If you’ve ever run a race, you know one of the best parts is the start.  Everyone is so high on energy, and there’s a sense of euphoria that goes through you when the gun goes off and you start moving forward as a giant unit of runners, ready to embark on what you hope to be your best race ever.  I just wanted to be there, but there was nothing we could do.

After about another ten minutes of trying to get through the 5K crowd (those 5Kers can be some stubborn folks I tell ya), we finally broke through.  We took off jogging the opposite way of the runners in search of the gear check.  Asking everyone we passed, we finally got some direction and found the station.  I practically threw the bag at the gear check person, and the husband and turned back toward the corral…and then I spotted the bathrooms.  Now typically, there is no way you could have paid me to waste another two minutes going to the bathroom when we were already 15+ minutes late starting.  But really, at this point what did it matter?  I seriously had to go, and I figured it would be better to go before our chip time started, even though the husband was looking at me like I’d lost my mind.  Locking myself in the little porta potty, I quickly took care of business and then began to readjust my clothes when I heard something hit the floor.  uh oh.  My chapstick.  Trying to block out the disgusting nature of the situation, I reached down and snatched it up and then stuffed it into the little zipper pocket in the back of my pants.  Uh oh again.  I immediately knew what had happened.  Turning slowly, I gazed downed into the depths of the black hole, only to see my precious iPod headphones resting gently on top of the pile.  I have to be honest here and say that for a split second I did consider fishing them out.  But I quickly came to my senses, bid them a quick goodbye, and raced toward the start.

Finally at least heading in the right direction, I started feeling a little more positive.  We weaved our way through some more 5K and 10kers and finally crossed the start line at about 17 minutes past start time.

to be continued…

things I've done lately

5 May

I find it so difficult to write a post after being gone for awhile.  There is just so much to catch up on it’s overwhelming!

This couple of weeks or so have been so busy.  Someone please tell me how I went from living in our small town, the husband and I both working 2 minutes from home, spending our evenings working on Outbox, blogging and playing with Olive to living with my mom, commuting an hour each way, job searching, building a house and having visiting hours with Olive…all in a matter of weeks!  It has been an exciting time, but definitely hasn’t been without stress and tiredness.  I had to force myself to let everything go quiet here for a little bit while I tried to keep my head above water.  But I’m back for the time being and ready to catch up!

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been doing (in random order):

  • The husband, Olive and I visited Duncan for Easter.  Of course mom and dad McCoy were there, but my brother-in-law and sister-in-law also came, carrying with them my (unborn:) nephew, baby McCoy.  Have I told you I’m going to be an aunt???
  • Our house got sheet rock!  We were surprised at how soon it went up – one day we drove out to check on things and we had gotten walls!  It was so exciting to finally be able to really see how big the rooms will be and what it really looks like inside.  Since then we’ve been scrambling to try and make final decisions on paint colors. counter-tops, back splash, lights etc.  It’s been super fun, but also stressful.  The hardest part is trying to envision what something will look like based on a tiny sample.  Oh, and trying to decide where to spend money on upgrades and where to save.  All I can say is it’s a good thing the husband and I agree on most things, or we’d really be in trouble.  The other night we went to the house to try and mark on the ceiling where we wanted the dining room light to be moved to.  This was harder than you might think seeing as how it was pitch dark and our ceilings are nine feet high.  One thing I know for absolute certain is that I will never get on the husband’s shoulders in a pitch black room again…scariest thing I’ve ever done.

small and cozy.  living in small spaces = less room to accumulate junk and less cleaning

master bathtub and shower

master bedroom

standing in kitchen looking into living room

looking from living room into kitchen

  • I started my new job!  I was offered a job at the ESL Institute I told you about but instead of it being full-time teaching, I’ll also be responsible for other office type duties.  I’ll be taking over communication with agents in the countries they work with – Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam – to be able to recruit students.  I’ll also be in charge of trying to find home-stays for students once they get here and some other random things.  I’m super excited about it.  Next week though, I’ll be subbing full-time for one of the teachers who is going on vacation, so I’m spending part of this week preparing for that.
  • The husband and I celebrated my new job by eating cupcakes at the house!

I wore the husband’s shoes so I wouldn’t get my heels messed up

  • We spent the weekend with some friends who live in town and some from out of town.  We were all good friends in college, but I hadn’t seen a couple of them in ages.  It was such a breath of fresh air to spend time talking about old times and catching up on what’s going on now.  One of my best friends from college, Hannah, has two of the prettiest and sweetest little girls who helped entertain us as well.  We all tried a couple of new restaurants in OKC together, and reviews will be forthcoming!

Elyse and Ryan

Hannah and Todd

we stayed up way too late roasting marshmallows the night before our half marathon

  • The husband and I ran our 2nd half marathon!  With pouring rain and thunderstorms the entire race (and hail right after we finished), it was rather interesting and it definitely didn’t go quite as we expected.  But I still felt so proud and euphoric as we raced across the finish line, soaked to the bone.  I’ll be posting a full race recap later, so stay tuned!

So, those are a few of the highlights of what’s been going on lately.  I’m hoping to be able to pull myself together to start posting more regularly again, but as you all know life has to come first.  We only have seven weeks left until we close on our house…it’s getting closer!

Miss you all so much and hope everything is going well

red dirt love

18 Apr

A weekend recap!

Friday

The husband and I are currently re-watching Lost through Netflix.  We started watching it during our time in Thailand and completely fell in love with the show, especially the characters.  One night we decided that we needed a new show to start watching, so we walked down to Night Bazaar, surveyed the available options and after narrowing it down between Grey’s Anatomy and Lost (neither of which we knew anything about), we decided on Lost.  After which, we proceeded to watch every single season within about a month long period (could be slightly exaggerated).  I think the show was technically in season five or so when we discovered it.   We totally fell in love with it, and of course continued watching it once we moved back to the States.  Anyway, it’s such a complex show that we recently decided to re-watch every episode, which has proven to be almost as exciting as the first round.  We’re noticing and catching things that we never noticed before, and the story has become even more amazing.  If you’re a Lost fan, you know what I mean.

So Friday night we had a Lost marathon and ate some pizza in bed.  Yes, in bed.  Our bed is essentially our new living room because my mom and step-dad don’t watch Lost.  We spend a lot of time on our bed these days, which also really reminds me of Thailand because when we lived there our bedroom was the only room that was air-conditioned.  Tropical country + no a/c = no further explanation needed.

I digress.

Saturday

After relaxing in bed (told you) for awhile Saturday morning, we headed to the city to get some house progress done!  Most recently we got our a/c ducts and furnace installed as well as wiring throughout the whole house. With all the progress that’s happening, we’re realizing more than ever that we need to get on the ball with making decisions about the inside.  We met with our design person in the early afternoon, and finally decided on our flooring – it feels so good to have one decision finally made!  Our entryway, kitchen, living, dining and bathrooms will all be stained concrete, and our bedrooms with be a dark brown wood.  I love the idea of juxtaposing the two materials, and I think it will add to the eclectic feel – which makes me happy!

Anyway, after house errands, we met with our accountant – finally finishing up taxes – and then decided to explore some more OKC restaurants, namely Iguana.

The husband had heard about this little mexican cafe, and it sounded divine.  Upon pulling up to it, we knew it was going to be right up our alley.  Situated at the edge of Midtown right beside the railroad tracks, it has a lively, modern atmosphere complete with indoor seating as well as a lovely outdoor patio.  So so pretty.  The service was fantastic – from the waiter who, upon bringing our setup, breezily stated “best chips and salsa in OKC” to the fast delivery of our meals.  And the food was honestly the best mexican food I’ve had in Oklahoma, no exaggeration.  There were a TON of veggie options, and everything (especially the salsa) was ultra fresh and delicious.

I ordered the veggie quesadillas, and the husband ordered a veggie burrito so we could split both.  It was definitely way too much food by the end, and next time we’ll try to restrain ourselves by ordering just one dish to split…but we enjoyed every last bite, only leaving a few remnants behind.

Despite being so full, after we finished eating we walked next door to check out yet another cupcake shop – hey, it was too cute to pass up!  SaraSara Cupcakes is a cupcakery we hadn’t heard of yet.  The atmosphere was adorable, located in a two story old fashioned house – it surprises you when you walk in to find super modern decor.

The cupcake selection was pretty extensive, and the husband and I walked out with a red velvet and a mint chocolate in tow.  To be eaten later of course…in bed.  I’d say the atmosphere of this shop ranks just under Cuppies and Joe (for all you Oklahomans), but above Gigi’s and Pinkitzel.  However, as far as taste GiGi’s cupcakes have still yet to be beat (in my opinion).  Overall though, I’d choose Cuppies and Joe any day if I was looking for a great cupcake + great atmosphere.  Love that place.  No doubt we will be back to SaraSara though, and I will say I think you get more cupcake bang for your buck there!

Last stop of the night was a tiny little shop called Shop Good next door that we just barely noticed on our way back to the car.  Intrigued, we ventured inside to discover a novel little place filled with vintagy and unique clothing, accessories and trinkets.  What really makes it special though, is that every item in the store comes with an attached tag that indicates a specific cause to which part of the profit of that particular item goes.  They currently have a partnership with “The Tapestry Project, an OKC-based nonprofit that’s working to address homelessness and poverty among marginalized women in a deteriorating neighborhood on the south side of the city.” [source]  So not only did I come out with an awesome skirt and tee, but 5% of the cost went toward this awesome OKC charity.  Epic.  I love my city.

Sunday

Sunday started out bright and early with an eventful ten mile run.  We had planted frozen water bottles along our route that morning, thinking they would be partially thawed out by the time we got to them.  Unfortunately, it was quite a bit chillier than past weeks, and upon hopefully arriving to each bottle we realized each time that they were still frozen solid.  Finally at about mile eight, we ran up on some sprinklers working hard to quench the thirst of the yard and sneakily took full advantage of them, getting huge mouthfuls of water as it ran down our chins.  I was a new woman.  We rocked the last two miles and came in at about an hour and fifty minutes.  The weather was absolutely perfect for running – high 50’s with a slight breeze – and now I’m keeping my fingers crossed for similar weather at our race – which is in just 2 weeks!  So excited!

Unfortunately, after spending about 15 minutes looking for the long sleeved shirt I’d ditched and hidden a little too well at mile 2, we were still an hour away from church and were already clearly going to be late, so we just hit up Panera looking way too dressed up.  Though completely unplanned, it was a wonderful breakfast and we spent some time dreaming about plans for the future and all the great things that are happening right now.  Love those kind of moments with the husband:)

More family time ensued in the afternoon when we picked up Olive and then followed my mom, step-dad, and grandparents to our new house.  They hadn’t seen it yet, and we were so excited to show them; it meant so much to us that they came up to see everything.  After the house, we caravanned around OKC, cruising by some cute houses in our favorite districts and then finally ending up at Subway for some quick dinner.


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Since moving to OKC, our weekends have become so much more full.  We are LOVING all that there is to do here – the neighborhoods to explore, new restaurants to try, streets to walk.  We love to go, do, see – and the city lends itself to that so much more.  We’ll always love our little college town, and every visit back there will be so sweet…but I think I can officially say our hearts now belong in OKC.  I’m so thankful for the opportunity to make our home here, and so excited for the future.  I know OK isn’t a popular city, and many people probably still think it’s red dirt and cowboys, but it truly has so much to offer, and I hope we’ll be able to offer back to it in the years to come.  And besides, a little red dirt never hurt anyone anyway. 🙂

What’s your favorite thing about the city you call home?

another busy weekend

11 Apr

Good morning!

The weekend flew by so fast, as always, and it was as full as ever in the last two months.  Friday evening the husband and I stopped by our house after work to see how it was coming along.  It really is incredible how much has been done this week.  Last Sunday our house looked like this:

And this Sunday it looked like this:

After we signed the papers and everything it literally felt like absolutely nothing happened for weeks, and just when we were starting to become a little bit concerned they really got going on it.  Here’s the progression of the last month in pictures:

We’ve now got about 2 months and 11 days until our anticipated close date…we’re so ready!  And another couple pics just for fun:)

haha – jumping pictures are not my strong suit

looking into our living/dining room from the entryway

After checking out the house Friday evening, we re-visited one of our favorite new restaurants.  The last time we went to Cafe 7 was last Sunday with some friends, and we knew there was so much more that we wanted to try.   This time we both got something different, and it did not disappoint.

I went with the margarita pizza, which had marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, spinach and tomatoes.  Delicious!

I ate about half and took the rest home because the husband and I had grand plans to split a cookie.  Seeing as how Cafe 7 is only about a mile from our new house, I’m sure we’ll be back many more times.

Post dinner we decided to head down to an area of OKC called the Plaza District.  We went there during the day once before, but on the first Friday night of every month all the shops are open, there’s live music, street vendors, food, and all kinds of other fun stuff like the Humane Society pups up for adoption.

As you all know, now would not be the best time for the husband and I to adopt a new dog, but I wanted to take this guy home so badly!  I think I’m having puppy withdrawals:(

Anyway, Saturday we had an appointment to pick out the lighting for our house and then we met up with the husband’s parents for lunch and to go see the house.  Lunch was a cute little restaurant that sits right on the lake, called Louie’s.  We actually had this place in our old town, but we didn’t go there very often…only once I think.  It was excellent though – great atmosphere, great food – actually the best fruit I think I’ve ever had at a restaurant.

black bean burger with avocado = amazing

iPhone pics. eh.

On Sunday the husband and I got up early to do our long run.  Honestly, I was not looking forward to it.  On Friday, I had experienced one of the absolute worst runs of my life.  Every step was brutal – my lower back hurt, my shins hurt, my quads…everything.  In retrospect I really should have just thrown in the towel probably, but I really needed to get in the mileage, so I did my best to push through.  I had kind of an emotional breakdown after it…I think the pain and frustration brought out all these pent up emotions – stress, tiredness, feeling like everything is all out of whack right now – and I just needed to let it all out.  I was really feeling down.  Thankfully the afternoon improved drastically because my interview went really well, and the husband booked me an afternoon massage.  He really is the most thoughtful husband in the world.

But back to the long run.  We were slated to go 9 miles, and the first 4.5 went pretty well; I felt a lot better than I anticipated I would.  We ended up doing sort of an out and back route, and it was only when we turned to head back that we realized how windy it was.  With the wind at our backs we barely felt it, but all of a sudden it felt like we were running into a wall.  Flashbacks to our marathon 2 years ago kept popping into my head as we fought our way back.  Hills, wind, the whole bit was the essence of the last 4.5 miles…and there were definitely some walking breaks.  However, we both somehow got a second wind with about a half mile left and finished at about an 8:30 pace.  No matter what the majority of a run is like, I always feel as if I’ve redeemed myself when we finish strong and happy.

The rest of Sunday included breakfast at Subway, lots of IcyHot, a long nap, and a visit to our baby.  The best way to end a weekend I think.  Now for another busy crazy week!

How was your weekend?

catching up: job news, running, food

31 Mar

How is it already Thursday???

It seems like we were just chillin’ in Tulsa yesterday, and it’s already been almost a week.  While I kind of feel like my head is spinning, I really wouldn’t mind if all of the next 12 weeks (until our house is done) go just as fast.

This morning I woke up in serious need of a run.  I was just itching to get out there!  It was a welcome change from yesterday’s wake up after which I did not want to go out in the freezing cold and run.   I also was on a deadline with a job application and having some stomach problems, so I didn’t go.  I wonder if maybe the break was just what I needed.  Anyway, I sailed through five miles, happy as a lark (seriously).

Upon arriving back home I did some stretching and downed half a coconut water.  Hydration, hydration.  And a yogurt bowl.

plain greek yogurt, blueberries, 1/2 banana, raw oats and chia seeds

Catching up….our weekend in Tulsa was just as glorious as expected.  Really, one for the books.  While I truly thought there would be a lot of exploring of Tulsa going on…we actually explored very little.  Much of our time was blissfully spent at the house eating, reading by the fire, watching Lost, and sleeping.  We were so happy to have little O by our side – and she was the sweetest little thing all weekend; our family was complete again for 2 whole days.

We weren’t completely lazy the entire time, though.  On Saturday we tried a new restaurant called Cafe Samana that the husband discovered while perfecting his Googling skills.  A little hole in the wall nestled in the center of a plaza on Peoria Street, this restaurant was our match made in Heaven.  We walked in to find that everything in the store was recycled or recyclable – from the papery thin tablecloths to the mismatched vintage glasses.

The vegetarian/vegan options were nearly endless, and everything on the menu sounded delicious.  I ordered the day’s special – the Falafel Sally.

A crisp bed of lettuce served as a base for carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, spicy sprouts, and feta with a cucumber dill dressing, hummus, pita crisps and the star of the show – seasoned chickpea balls.

A last minute mango Kombucha rounded out my meal perfectly.  Meals like this make me happy, from the quaint atmosphere to the eclectic mix of people dining there….it was all good.  And the food was really really delicious.  If we went back I’d actually have a really hard time not getting the same thing again.

Our other non lazy activity was our seven mile run by the river on Sunday morning; I absolutely adored this running path.  We started on a park trail which soon transitioned to the path that runs down Riverside and ends on a two lane road, leading to our weekend home.  Little traffic, nice trail, light breeze, cold temps.  Perfect formula for a successful run.

Lately I’ve been concerned about the husband because his training has been a bit….sketchy.  With his work transition, plus carrying two jobs on the side, he just hasn’t had the time to put in the weekly mileage.  On Sunday, about a mile in, I was trying to think of a way to entertain him, which I’m sure he really appreciated (sarcasm).  So I just started talking.  Telling stories of my youth – from riding my mini bike in the woods beside our old house to how many Accelerated Reader (do you remember this?) points I got in the 5th grade.  What can I say?  I’m an interesting gal.

Anyway, once I started chatting I couldn’t shut up, and I ended up talking his ear off the entire 7 miles.  It was like a dam was broken and I couldn’t hold back the flood of words. heh.  Turns out the husband had an insanely happy run, finishing it out at a sprint (yeah husband!).  I’m pretty sure it was because of my mad entertaining skills.  Either way we finished 7 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes including walk breaks.  Not a time we’d qualify for Boston with by any means, but we were satisfied.

This week has been pretty crazy.  I’ve still been filling out applications like it’s my job, and I got two interviews this week!  Both interviews were for the same position just at different places.  Same job responsibilities, same hours…but a decent amount of difference in pay and 20 minutes apart in location.  For both I would be teaching English classes to international students, which I am so thrilled about; you know how I am about international students.  One of them is a stone’s throw away from the husband’s office, which would be a huge plus (meet for lunch, ride to work together etc), but it’s also the one that pays about $350 a month less.  The other one is about 20 minutes from his office, but only about 10-15 minutes away from our new house.  I’m supposed to go in this afternoon to talk to the latter one a little bit more and meet some of the other instructors.  I’m pretty excited!  I was afraid I’d have to get a random job like Gap or something that I don’t really care about, so I’m just happy to have the chance to do something I love.

We’re also busy this week trying to get our Mini fixed (from getting rear-ended) and back on the market to sell, which is harder than one might think. Blah.  Crazy times, crazy times.  People keep telling me that one day I’ll look back on this time and miss the craziness.  People love to say things like that when your life is turned upside down.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll have some more good (and more definite) news to report on the job front later today.  I hope you’re all having a fanstastic week!

Do you have spring weather where you are?
Our weather seems to be confused, thinking this is November instead of March – it’s freezing!

nothing sweeter

25 Mar

Happy Friday!

This morning what started out as a bad attitude ended up as an amazing run.  Lately, the husband and I have been trying to do our short runs together before he goes to work in the morning, which works out great because he doesn’t have to do his at lunch, and I can get my workday started extra early.  But this morning, as soon as I opened my eyes I knew it was later than it should be.  We overslept by a good 45 minutes and had to rush just to get ready in time.  I really didn’t feel like driving down to the park to do my run, and I debated between that and just running on the street.  I don’t like to run on the streets by myself out here because there are a lot of loose dogs…but I also really don’t love doing laps where one time around equals less than 1 mile.  But alas I decided to get my butt down to the park and get it done.


I played a little trick by telling myself that I could walk as much as I wanted, but I had to get in the four miles.  Worked like a charm. I ended up not walking at all and finished in record time (for this race training anyway).


I actually started off a bit slow and the first mile was a bit uncomfortable – about 10:30 pace – but I steadily increased my pace throughout and then kicked it into high gear, running the last mile at 8:30.

The whole time I just kept chanting to myself “it’s okay to be uncomfortable!”  One thing I’ve learned about running is that there is a difference between pain and discomfort.  If I’m experiencing pain, I stop.  Because nothing is worth sacrificing my body.  But if I’m just feeling uncomfortable, I take that as a sign to push harder and get through it.  Pushing through discomfort always garners the best results.  Running (at least training for longer distances) isn’t necessarily supposed to easy.  If it was easy, then everyone would do it, right?  If it was easy, then crossing the finish line wouldn’t feel like someone just handed over all you’ve ever wanted wrapped up with a little bow on top.  Hard is worth it.  Uncomfortable is worth it.

I am so excited about this weekend because my BIL and SIL who live in Tulsa are out of town, and they offered to let us (me+husband+Olive) stay at their house.  We miss our furry baby so much it hurts, and nothing could make this weekend better than getting to spend the whole thing with her (and each other). I’m thinking there will be lots of exploring Tulsa, Lost marathons (we’re re-watching all the seasons), naps, photo taking and a long run on Sunday (followed by another nap:).

This past week hasn’t been an easy one.  I’ve been pretty stressed about all the job stuff (read: I don’t have one), and I’ve really been struggling with wishing away time.  I just want to get to June so we can move into our house and feel like we’ve officially transitioned to our new life; this in-between stage doesn’t suit me very well.  I know there is goodness and joy to be found in every stage of life we experience, and I’m trying to step back and focus on all the blessings in my life.  I think the more I try to seek out happiness despite my circumstances, the harder it is to find.  Happiness has to be felt inside, and it stems from contentment and finding joy in the little things – breathing in fresh air, the intense flavor of dark chocolate on the tongue, having the ability to see all the bright colors emerging with the new season. The more I remind myself of how wonderful it is to be able to see, feel, smell and experience every moment of life, the more it becomes ingrained as a natural part of my day.  Moving from the negative to the positive.

And speaking of the positive – this family that I told you about a few months ago is finally getting their sweet little girl this weekend.  I can’t imagine many things that could be sweeter.

Takes a deep breath, wonders at the air rushing out of her lungs and steeps in the peace found in this moment of being alive.

one crazy day

14 Mar

To all my fellow bloggers – do you ever get so much built up that you want to write about that you just don’t know how to fit it all in?

I was overflowing with topics already on Friday, and then we had the most crazy unforgettable day, so now I just don’t even know what to do with myself.

As I mentioned on Friday, the day started with my mom coming in to tell me about the disaster in Japan. It didn’t seem worthy of mentioning then, but there was also an earthquake here that morning. It was small as always, and I didn’t even feel it…but it did wake my mom up.  That was only the beginning of the craziness here in our new town.

After spending several hours that morning meticulously watching the Japan coverage, I decided to get geared up and head over to my grandparent’s to run on their treadmill.  While the temperature outside could have almost been considered warm, the wind was out of control.  I’ve run on some windy days, but yesterday it was gusting at over 40mph, and with soreness from yoga still lingering I just didn’t have it in me to fight it for 3.5 miles.  I also thought maybe I could feed my addiction to staying current on the Japan situation since my grandma has a tv in front of her treadmill. While I was able to continue watching the coverage, the only “local” channel covering it was in spanish so I relied on the few words I know…and learned a few new as well, ha.

After my run, I gave Olive a quick bath, chatted with my grandma, and then headed back home.  Around 1:30 I walked through the living room, noticing that my step-dad had the news on in the living room.  At first I thought he was watching Japan as well, but quickly realized that it was something local.  I soon learned that some fires had started in town and were burning just about mile from our house.

We had plans to cook dinner with some friends that night, so I started chopping some veggies in the kitchen while keeping one eye on the tv.  The fires were only beginning at that point.  Throughout the rest of the day, they not only kept spreading, but also news ones were popping up all over town.

I had gone to the city to meet the husband at work around 3:30, but at 4 we decided to head back to the house because the news was saying another fire had started about a mile from our house and was moving in our direction.  We raced home, only to find that the main road leading into town was closed down, other cars lining the shoulder waiting to get through and firetrucks in every direction.  A thick cloud of black smoke hung low over the horizon, making it appear as if the entire city was on fire.  And it nearly was.

With my mom’s dog who was locked up in the house heavy on our minds, we turned and raced north of town, making a big circle around and finally getting through to our house.  While helicopters flew low overhead with bags of sand dangling down, we rushed around to set up sprinklers around the house and gather important items in case we had to evacuate.

Thankfully, we never ended up having to evacuate, but much of our little town was burned, and over 30 homes were reduced to nothing but ashes.  Sadly we had to cancel our dinner plans, and the rest of the night was spent with everyone a little on edge as we watched fires continue to smolder on the news.

What a tragic day it was all in all.  As stressful and unnerving as the whole day was, and as much as the loss of our town weighed on my mind, I still couldn’t stop thinking about how much worse the disaster in Japan was and all the homeless and distraught people thousands of miles away as well.

Sunday morning the husband and I left early for our six mile training run.  We ran down toward the area that had been burned the worst, and I could hardly believe it.  There were so many houses burned completely to the ground.  And we only ran by a small area.  Heartbreaking.

On a brighter note, we were able to complete our six miler and we’re on track for our half marathon at the beginning of May.  I’m getting so excited.  I somehow managed to pause my Garmin on accident, so I don’t know exactly how long it took us, but I don’t really care that much either.  Deep down I can’t help but hope for a PR for this race, but I’m going to be happy regardless.  Working a total of three jobs, the husband has had a harder time keeping up with training the last few weeks, so he’s struggling a bit more on our long runs.  We’ll run it side by side no matter what, though.  He pulled me through the last few miles of our marathon two years ago, and if I have to do the same for him this year I will.  We run as a team no matter what!

after our first half marathon

Go team McCoy! ha.

Still to come in the next few days if things settle down around here a little bit: another new restaurant we tried on Saturday that was so cool, recaps of my new yoga classes, a few eats from the last several days and a video update on our house (yay!).  Ever since Friday, this weekend has been great.  I really think my favorite part of it might have been our run this morning – I felt like I could have went on for miles.  Either that or going to visit Olive this afternoon.  I miss my baby:(

Do you prefer running alone or with a buddy?
I admire anyone who can train for a marathon without a running buddy – that takes some serious mojo.