Monday, February 11, 2013

Amazing~ I think not

I have had many people tell me how amazing (or crazy) I am for running a marathon. The truth of the matter is that I am a determined person, but really the training for me was the hardest part of it all. It is a challenge to figure out fuel, hydration, soreness vs. injury, clothing, weather, shoes, blisters and more. The actual marathon race~ that for me is/was fun and what the training payoff is! I am just like you- ordinary yet unique, but not extraordinary. I don't want to minimize the effort or determination necessary to do it. It is not easy. It is an accomplishment that I am proud of. is what I have used for my training programs. It is a great site and I transferred the mileage training/distance to my calendar for free or you can download the apps for a charge.
Medtronics Twin Cities Marathon October 2012
Each of us have a "bucket list". I have not had many serious thoughts about what I want to do or even accomplish before I die. I am not sure that I want to think about my death. Death comes to all that live, so I am not in denial, but it is not something that I dwell on or am planning for. I am someone that generally tries to live in the here and now but also plans for the near future.

Ever since I was a young child I have loved watching the Olympics. Extremely talented, trained athletes come together from all over the world to compete. I would sit in front of the tv and watch for hours. I did not have the natural talent or the drive within to be able to compete at that level. I was given opportunities to discover my talents as a child. I was a natural at swimming and tested for my life guard certification. I was a gymnast, dancer, basketball player and a golfer. As a younger person, I was the first girl on our golf team. I had natural talent and a "feel" for golf. I gave up the game in an act of defiance. I felt pushed by the adults around me to compete on a higher level and the game became high pressured which I was not interested in. I dabbled in creativity too. I took art, music, acting and writing classes. I had talent in lots of areas but nothing that filled me with passion.  
High school ended. College and the decision about what to do with my adult life became a necessity. I liked working with kids. I won't lie. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others and what better way than to become a  teacher? I taught kindergarten. And then, I got married. The "me" in my life became "we". The happiness of our lives became even richer with the birth of our children. I know that I could never have imagined how much my life would change.

Early professional days
"I do." and I would again!
The train station near Peshtigo, WI.
I became a full time mom and if I am honest, a part time wife. We will be celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary this week and it is a tribute to my husband that we are loving each other today. He supported me in all of my insanity and troubling times. I know that there were times that I felt that I had lost "my self". That might not make any sense to you. I took time off to raise our kids. I left my profession and had friends that were moms. My identity revolved around my kids. This is not a bad or good thing. It is a choice that I made.  I am very proud of my kids. They have personal integrity, compassion for others, intelligence, common sense, great work ethics, sarcastic senses of humor, and a balance in their lives that is mature and healthy. They were raised by us but they are their own selves as any loving parent would want them to be. I take only partial credit for this. In my years of teaching, I have learned that much of who we are is just plain luck. We are lucky!
A few years back...
Fast forward to Katy leaving home for college. The 22 years that children were living within our midst, changed in a flash. I have been teaching full time since 2001 and I had gone back to college and earned my masters degree. I had started to get other interests again as time and money allowed. There was a small part of me (nagging me perhaps)  that needed to do something more. Perhaps I could run and finish a marathon? I had not been a runner and a 5K seemed like a far distance when I first started. I don't know if it was really a bucket list item or not. I do know though that I have discovered the joy of running. Training for and completing marathons is not crazy or amazing. It is something I can say I have done. It is a mental and physical challenge. I am glad that I can do it for me.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Running======== treadmills

It is what it is
This is only my second winter running so I am by no means experienced. Last year we joined the fitness center in October because I was training for a spring marathon, My training required specific mileage to run and it was raining out! The weather was not cooperating so inside I went. I did all of my longer runs outdoors on the weekends and could do so because the weather was relatively mild for Wisconsin. It was also light out when I was ready to run. During the week, my job prevents me from running until dark and running on snow or ice in the dusk or dark is too dangerous. This past November we again joined the very small, but fits our needs, fitness center. I say that it fits our needs because
1. We can join for a month at a time.
2. It is close to our home.
3. It is open 24/7.
4. I can get on a treadmill pretty much any time I want to.

During the week, I get to the fitness center 3 or 4 times and on the weekend, once or twice. I like that I can warm up, set the speed that I want to run at, change things on the controls as I feel strong or tired, know the exact mileage that I have run and then walk for a specific time to cool down.

The actual treadmill I use...
I listen to music. I watch tv. I think. I watch the readout screen. I get in the miles, sweat, relieve stress and feel strong. It won't be long until the time for running outside returns for me. Until then, treadmills are my friend.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


So it has been very cold here this last week in central Wisconsin. We had a snow storm that brought us 10 inches and cancelled school. The snow is beautiful on the trees but it is hard to enjoy doing much of anything outside when the daily high temperature is just in the single digits. I could whine about the weather but it does not do much good. It is interesting and ironic that 20 degrees will seem warm.
On the running front...the month of January, I ran a total of 103 miles. Just days after running my second marathon I was back on the treadmill. I am signed up for two races so far this year and I am close to registering to run the Medtronics Twin Cities Marathon set for October 6th.

There are lots of things to look forward to in the next few months. One of our sons proposed to his long time girlfriend and they are now engaged. We hope to hear soon about their wedding plans.

I am very excited to be going to Minneapolis to watch our daughter and her ballroom dance team in a USA Dance competition.

The running will continue with a half marathon that I am going to run with my husband this May! Hopefully it won't rain!
The last thing that I am very much excited for is a vacation to Costa Rica. I have done the Caravan tours before and the trip will hopefully once again, be marvelous!