Months and months and months of anticipation for the San Antonio’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2009 finally came to pass last Sunday. It was the city’s 2nd time to host this race and also my 2nd time to run it. There was a bit of anxiety stirring in my mind about how the race would turn out. Because of this nasty cold I had been battling the week before, I knew I needed to let go of all hopes that I might improve my 2008 completion time. But at the least, there was the idea that I would be able to run the whole course and finish in a somewhat close proximity (like 10 or 15 minutes) to what I ran last year. Turns out though, that was not the case…
Before the race even started, temperatures were in the 70s and humidity was at 94%; I had a hunch then how grueling of a feat it was going to be to finish in these conditions. Not even 30 minutes after I crossed the start, I felt weak and heavy and knew my motivational reserve was running on empty. At mile 6 I kept thinking how spent my body already was. And at mile 13.1 (the half way point) I was struggling big time. Even with lots of encouragement, like when Rob rode up next to me on his bike and let me listen to the girls cheer me on over the phone, I knew I would not be able to press on much longer at a jogging pace. I dug deep into my heart over and over again, trying to pull out some sort of determination, some bit of perseverance and drive, but nothing was there. Then at mile 18, I hit my wall. I couldn’t keep running. So off and on I would walk a bit and try to jog, walk a bit and try to jog. Somewhere around mile 24, this lingering scrap of energy appeared and I exhausted every last bit of it with a very slow jog for the last 2 miles. And then finally (adding almost an hour to last year’s time!) I crossed the finish line. There was relief that it was over for sure! But I felt so disappointed and defeated that I didn’t finish the way I wanted to. It wasn’t so much the time in and of itself that bummed me out, it was the fact that it was so much longer than what I was able to do the first time I ran.
I know. I know… I have to get over this and not beat myself up about it. I was just really discouraged because I trained hard and felt I didn’t have the results I had counted on. But this is a good lesson for me and I have to come to terms with the fact that it is just one of those things that happens; life has its let-downs and upsets. Reality is clear; some days are good and some are not so good. I was trying to think of what this race can teach me and how I can add one more thing to that running post here. And in doing so, I was reminded of words from Ecclesiastes 3 where it says, “To everything there is a season…” And as trivial and petty as a silly running event really is in the big scheme of things, this verse still has application for me (even in this setting). It is a good reminder that there is ‘a time for every purpose under heaven.’
A time to run,
and a time to walk;
A time for victory and accomplishment,
and a time to face defeat;
A time for health,
and a time to be sick;
A time for November to have cold days,
and a time for November to have crazy hot and humid days;
A time for sun;
and a time for rain (maybe even snow).
And my identity is not in my running, it is in my faith in God who through all seasons of life has a plan and purpose and ‘has made everything beautiful in its time.”
I have to remember that I had perseverance and steadfastness through the past 5 months of training. Even knowing that I am never in control of how the end turns out, I still need to press on in life with diligence. I don’t want my results to make me lose hope in the benefits of training and discipline, or to wonder ‘if only I had done…” It just didn’t work out for me this year (and maybe it won’t next year either). But I still keep running, because I love it and for what it teaches me…
Anyways, here are some pictures to recap the day
The race just started and all these folks at the start (lots of Kenyans) are the ones I’ll be seeing at their 22nd – 24th mile, while I am only between miles 11 and 13
(the course from miles 11 to 13 coincided with the remaining course of miles 22 to 24)
The top finishers completed in little over 2 hours – crazy!
Finally done! Rob was able to ride his bike along the whole course.
I actually sent him away at times when I was feeling low.
I liked him better surprising me up ahead along the course with his presence and encouragement rather than riding next to me as I struggled along (is that weird???)
Dear friends of ours, The Collins’ Family, loaded up their 5 kiddos (baby 6 on the way) and braved the traffic, the parking, the spectator shuttles, the walking, and all the other obstacles an event that has 30,000+ runners brings in to surprise me with their presence! I was truly touched by their willing determination to show their support!
So what are my plans for next year??? I am not running San Antonio again, that is for sure. The chance of heat is just too risky. Next year, it is Houston’s Chevron marathon in January when the forecast for colder weather is a bit more likely.
This past weekend we were supposed to have another family camping trip, but I was sick and needed to stay home. It was good how it turned out though, because this allowed Rob to have his first father/daughter camping opportunity. He took the girls out to Emma Long Park which is along the shores of Lake Austin (only about 30 minutes from home). Deric and his daughter Zoe (some neighbors of ours) were also able to come along.
I had asked for LOTS of pictures since I was not going to be there. I wanted pictures to take me through the course of the evening with shots that captured them setting up camp, eating dinner, playing together, roasting marshmallows, settling down in the tent… But I was not so fortunate.
I only saw one camp site picture (and it was from a far and lacking much detail)
And there was just one evening picture with the girls.
There were, however, many pictures devoted to capturing this 10 point buck that was hanging out in the field nearby (not where my affections would be, but remember this was Rob taking the pictures…)
The next morning, after the friends had to leave to get back to a soccer game, Rob and the girls headed down to check out the lake. I am sure Rob knew how the morning would play out and that is why he chose to leave them in their pjs.
They would not be content to play along the shore for long…
No. They are not doing their morning yoga (as Rob’s sister had commented) but this was an activity equally as soothing to the girls; playing in the mud
now to get cleaned off (remember it is November and that water is COLD!)
I am a little embarrassed that they are all in their panties, but I guess it was ok because there were no onlookers around that morning
and finally showing Rob their best dance poses while drying off and trying to warm up a bit in the sun
And what did I do with the house to myself for the first time ever??? I stayed in bed mostly and watched Jane Eyre and then Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (that part was nice). Then I slept with all the lights on in the den and kitchen. And I woke up a bit sad knowing my girls would not be coming out of their rooms that morning to greet me while I was reading and drinking coffee.
But I am so glad they all had a really great time and had this opportunity together!
I am not sure at what age it is no longer acceptable to suck your fingers or thumb, but I am sure we have passed that long ago. Plus with sickness and germs running rampage all over the place, sticking dirty bacteria-laden objects in your mouth can’t keep down your odds of catching something. Dee and Gracie’s finger sucking must stop!
Taping their fingers together is the first step we are attempting. And as you can see, they are not too thrilled about this. But instead of complaining and whining about it, they just find ways around our little obstacles. Dee simply takes the tape off once we leave the room and Gracie has just decided her thumb is a worthy substitute (hmmm, I wonder if their different responses to our restrictions is any sort of foreshadowing to possible future rebellion methods we will see later in the teenage years…) Anyways, Rob thinks we need to go more drastic and actually tape tongue depressors to their fingers. A neighbor even suggested we tape 12 inch rulers at their elbows to keep their arms straight – then they cannot bend to get to their fingers. I am now tempted to try either of those because the tape alone is not proving itself very effective.
I know all this might seem a cruel and unusual punishment (Dee and Gracie sure do!) But I know from experience that braces, wearing head gear, and other orthodontic type devices are even more so. I would hate for them to have to endure that type of torture like I did because we didn’t stop this behavior early on.
Maybe they will thank me later!
About eight years ago, I adopted a little paperback camouflage NIV Bible as my preferred choice of Scripture for regular use in my quiet times, Bible studies, and at church. And as you can see, it took quite the beating over the years.
The front and back covers kept tearing, pages came out at the seams every now and then, and lots of scribbles appeared on a regular basis from my girls (I think because they saw all my markings, they thought it would be nice to add their own…) With the help of lots and lots of packing tape, I managed to keep the covers bandaged up and some of the pages secure. But over the last year, it was just becoming too much work to keep everything in tact and I would just stuff the pages back inside when they came out. I soon realized when I would rummage through my clumps of chapters and books of the Bible that I was actually missing pages. Precious words from Genesis were no where to be found. Knowing that I could not keep using a Bible were passages were lost and gone forever, I finally allowed myself to justify the purchase of a brand new Bible.
Because I make lots of comments throughout the passages, I wanted a Bible that allowed lots of room for whatever I wanted to write down. And fortunately for me, they exist! I found this ESV journaling Bible here with wide margins which I thought would be perfect for all my note-taking needs. Having a bonded-leather cover, I doubted I would need to use any tape to keep it from tearing and it was small enough that I could still keep it in my purse when I was off to church or a Bible study. So I bought it!
But now that I have it, I am wondering if I should be copying down all the notes I took down in my previous one? There are so many wonderful things that have been recorded in the margins of my old Bible. I just don’t think I can bear to know there might be things I learned and thought important enough to take note of that I will never see again if I don’t re-write them. I know some folks that do this copying when they get a new Bible and I also know some that choose not to. It would be a lot of work, but maybe if I just do a little over time, it will be complete before I know it. I also think it will be refreshing to see some of the things I recorded over the years. I won’t re-underline text as I think that is something one does only when the scripture speaks to their heart at that particular moment. But I do think copying notes is ok. I just don’t know what to do with the words “I love you Jo” that Rob wrote years and years ago??? Sweet, right! Maybe I will just tear out that page and put it in a safe place where I have stored other fond keepsakes.
It was a frightful Halloween with the H1N1 virus making an appearance in a couple different ways. Fortunately there was Dr. Halle and Nurse Dee to the rescue!
Sometime over the summer, Halle mentioned she wanted to be a doctor. When a friend of mine told me she had nurse and doctor dress-up clothes for us to borrow, I thought a medical theme would be fun to play out. Dee was to be the nurse and Gracie would be the patient. It wasn’t until a couple days before Halloween that all the costumes were figured out. My mom had heard about a couple dressing up as the H1N1 virus and I immediately decided to use (um… OK ‘steal’ is the better word, whatever…) that idea for us. And that meant instead of figuring out how we could make Gracie a patient, we could dress her up as a different rendition of the swine flu. We already owned piggie pjs and so adding a cardboard snout and pink construction paper ears helped complete the costume. Between borrowing costumes, home made pig features, and using blue painters tape to announce the H1N1 virus, it was an expense-free Halloween!!