Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Last week was so busy. My kids had a snow day on Monday and that threw me for a loop. Monday is one of my super high powered work 'til I drop dont' stop to eat days. But with high high energy boys home, productivity suffers. It was my son's birthday week so the last two days of the week were over loaded with party errands, baking cakes for parties and cupcakes for the class and of course shopping. Birthday shopping and Christmas shopping. I had appointments and after school activities to shuffle them to. We all know the drill.... it's just life.  By Friday,  I was really tired. I even  started to make a cake... threw in the mix, the butter, and 3 eggs. Next... I put the beater in and started it up. HOLD on... the eggs. They were still whole. Whole entire eggs. Slow down Momma...

I shopped for goodies all morning to make a fun albeit crazy party for my now 11 year old that night. I had been in the kitchen for nearly 3 hours putting together silly food challenges/ games/ making another cake when the random TV show in the background cut out to the Breaking news.

I watched the news unfold. Each minute it was worse.

My body grew numb. I was sick to my stomach. My frenetic motions around the kitchen came to a hault. I was paralyzed. Stuck. Life changed for me at that moment.

I have kids. I have elementary school aged kids. I have worked in schools. I have friends who are teachers. This is too close.

I had been a bit 'nervous' to host 15 boys  and 1 little girl ( love her for joining these guys...!) for a birthday party. How chaotic would my home be that night?
As of 1p.m. on Monday... it no longer mattered. Bring them to my house now and let the noise ring through us.  I wanted kids to surround me.

Firday afternoon, it took all I could not to pick those boys up early that day. I wanted them Home with me. I needed them. But, that would be confusing and upsetting to them. So, instead, I busied myself as best I could, washed my face and tried to gather my own emotions.

Once I finally got them back, Nick, my 8 year old said, "Mommy, WHY are you squeezing me SO hard??" He loved it. He said it with a smile and squeezed me back.  Lucky lucky me...

It's the saddest thing I have ever known in my life. There have been other horrific events, of course. But I am a Mom and this is so real to me. The fact that I can picture it all... is what makes the unimaginable, imaginable. My kids practice lock downs. Do they pay attention? Can I ask them? Will it scare them? Do they do any good? Where would they go if this happened? Are their classrooms in a vulnerable spot? I hate that these thoughts are in my brain now...

None of us know the answers. None of us know how to stop this from happening.  In my head, it's multi-faceted but I only know of One thing I can do.

Sure, we have guns that are way too high powered and fast for the every day citizen,  there's mental illness, insanity, psychosis, and evil. There are too many medications, chemicals in our foods and environment. There are absurdly inappropriate video games that are desensitizing people from reality.  We have technology everywhere that allows already introverted people to withdraw into a life behind a screen.

Who knows... that's just a bit of it right?

But what can I do? All I know is I this. I can make sure my kids know they are loved. They are awesome. They are special and they are worth every single bit of my attention. I vow to be more patient, to listen more, to always put Down what I am doing or look away from my 'screen' to hear them and answer them and talk to them. I vow to hear their concerns and to watch their behaviors. I vow to teach and show them how to be kind and thoughtful of others and to do for others as they would have done to them.I vow to give them something good to take away from every single day and Never ever let them go to bed thinking anything other than we, their parents, think they are the most incredibly awesome people on earth. That is my goal.
I vow to slow down and savor all the moments that are easy to let slip by.
You just never know.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jingle Bell 5K Race report

Even though it's still 2012, I started the new season yesterday with what is likely to become an annual family event. 

My gang of 5 ran the race last December and this year we recruited my brother's gang of 5 to join us!  I have a handful of fun pictures but this googlechrome is telling me I've reached my max of photo uploads. (I am bothering to write this in case anyone knows how to help me fix that problem...??? )  I might get one photo in here later.... 

When life is super busy and during the work week we are all up and out of our house by either 4 a.m. or 7 a.m., getting up early on a Sunday isn't always welcome.  And yet... things like this are worth it. We went through the routine Sunday morning, ate our oatmeal or bagels and grabbed coffee and headed on our 60 min ride to Freeport.  

The problem is that it's December and the weather can be uncooperative. My husband and I growled as we drove over icy covered roads and watched 28 degree rain pour down on us. Ooops... sorry guys. Who wants to run in that! We definitely anticipated trying to race on roads that were slick with black ice and unsafe and also very slow.  I felt bad.  But, we drove on and hoped for the best. 

Of course... I won't leave you hanging .. in the end we were very very happy we did it!!! Here's the short story... after all.. it only takes a few minutes to run a 5K so this race report better not turn into a book! 

We all met at the gym and got all the kids ready with their race numbers. I headed out to warm up. While I was out there I bumped into Jeff ( my younger brother... ) and we shared a moment of, "Yikes, 5Ks hurt! How fast ? Ok..let's help each other along..." I ran off and found a 'secret'  ladies room in a starbucks instead of waiting for 45 people back at the gym. On the way back out, I FLEW into the air and landed on my butt/ hands.. nice. It was ICY!!!  Luckily, the roads were ok. You had to stay where the cars had driven if you could otherwise it was slick but the worst was the sidewalks.  As I found out. 

Time to race... 
I hugged all 6 kids, kissed Mark ( he wanted to run along with Nick to make sure he was ok. Nick's 8 and would have been fine... I kind of think Mark was avoiding the insane sufferfest that 5Ks can become... Don't blame him!! And, I did appreciate that he was with Nick since it was so icy.), and headed to the line with Jeff.  
The started yelled GO with barely any warning ( it was 10:00, so that's really all the warning that's necessary) and we were off.  
I felt good!!! 
Running has Felt very very bad lately. I've been slow. A variety of body parts have hurt me and been sore. When I've tried to pick up the pace and add some speed, I thought I was going to fall down. It has been ALL I could do to run even 60 min at 5K pace lately.... so I wasn't sure what this would bring. 

About 1/4 mile, maybe not that far, probably 1/8 mile down the first road, I peeked at my garmin for kicks. 
5;25 pace. 
Ha! Slooooooooow down nellie. I chuckled out loud. 

I reeled it in. I didn't see Jeff and thought I was ahead of him. The first turn put us on a hill that was pretty slippery. At the end, I nearly ran into a huge puddle but at the last minute managed to jump all the way over it... phew. When I looked up, Jeff was 5 ft in front of me. Oh! There he is.. not sure how he got there. So.. there we stayed... 
mile 1 was 6:08. The guy next to me grumbled out loud, "too fast." 
I knew it was pretty fast but I felt good so I just kept on....
I thought out the kids and wondered how they were.
I waved to Mom and Dad standing on the side of the road. 
And, I kept my eyes on Jeff's back.  
We ran down a hill and around a corner on our way back up that hill and for the last 1.5 mile. Jeff turned and looked behind him, but off to the side. I knew he was looking for me.  Haha... I was there. But too close for him to see me. I wasn't trying to be sneaky ( I admit, I have been sneaky in other race against women, but not yesterday with Jeff) but I was 100% unable to speak since my HR was >190 and it was all I could do to get air. So.. I just ran along and figured I'd either say Hi on my way by :) OR... tell him I was there later.  Time would tell. 
A short bit later... we started passing the runners going in the other direction. I missed my family but we did see Jeff's kids and wife,Leigh. Leigh yelled, "GO Jeff!" and then moments later, "Oh, GO Ange!" I didn't think twice about that but apparently that alerted Jeff to the fact that his big sis was hot on his heels. 

Over the next mile, he put some distance on me... and eventually pulled away with a ~20 sec lead. :) 

The last mile is mostly uphill which is not easy in a 5k! But the last .1 is at least a nice downward slope... 

I ran SO hard, I wondered if I'd throw up. In my book, that's a successful 5K effort. It's an all out 110% go for it race.  But the beauty is that once I crossed the line and walked around for 10-20 sec, I was fine. 
In the end.... 3rd overall woman with  a 20:29 time ( 6:31 pace) I am totally happy with this for this time of year. It's not a 5K PR ( in fact, about 1:15 slower than that!) but it is a 15 sec drop from last year at this race.  I don't expect to be at my fastest right now but I am so happy that my Dec baseline is a bit faster than last year. I can't ask for more than that!!

Of course, I'm a proud Momma to have my kids in there with me too. It's only a matter of time before they all start passing their Mom and Dad.  Cameron was right behind me with a 22:45, Tommy next up 23:46 and Nick and Mark came in at 25 and change. My niece and nephews also ran so so well and strong with their Mom and Jeff crushed it yesterday! 

FUN day!!! 

Now.. back to training for long course...