Thankful Five #4

Life has been busy.   I seem to hardly have time to think but in some ways I'm enjoying it.  I will find my balance but for now I'm enjoying having lots of things to do and feeling useful.

Here are my Thankful Five:

  1. A fun job - My new job as "Operation Manager" is truly a blessing.  I have never had so much fun working anywhere.  Not even as a dog washer or a restaurant hostess.  I know both those jobs sound thrilling.
  2. Fun times with each of my girls - I have been able to enjoy playing Elefun with my 5 year old, Rummikub with my 8 year old and coloring with my 10 year old.  How cool is that?  I'm learning to set aside my own frustrations with parenting and discipline and just have fun!
  3. Geocaching - This is a very cool "sport".  People hide caches all over the place.  There are at least 40 in our small town.  We have found 5 and many were in places that we go all the time.  We would have never even know there was a little container there without our compass.
  4. A trip by myself - It's true, I get to go on a trip all by myself for the first time in many years.  I am headed to Arizona to see my brother and his family, many aunts and uncles and my Dad too!  I just can't wait.  I'm sure I'll miss my family terribly, but a little absence is sure to make all our hearts grow fonder.
  5. Peace with the job change - I recently got together with the family that I used to babysit for full time.  I have struggled with knowing if I made the right choice by not choosing to continue watching their little boy (and new little one!).  Their recent life changes involve moving into the city!  This means it wouldn't have worked for me to continue.  I am excited for their new life - they are choosing to be closer to the ministries their heart's are passionate for and I feel peace about my choice.  And we are still great friends.  


Half Marathon Synopsis

Last Sunday I rolled out of bed at 4 am.  I hadn't slept well, I was dreaming of running and getting lost and who knows what else.  I was kindof relieved to be getting up and finally accomplishing my goal of running the Chicago Half Marathon.

It was great weather, a bit overcast, 60ish degrees and well - dark to begin with.  We carpooled to the race to get good parking and arrived around 5:15.  By 6:30 we were ready to go.  We had all used the bathroom several times (you should have seen the number of port-a-johns!), checked our gear and were standing just feet from the start line.  Okay - more like the start block.  I have never seen anything like it.

They set up the start line in lettered segments they call corrals.  You have a letter on your bib that matches where you should start.  The idea is that the slower people start later than the faster people.  So, we gathered into a corral (you can actually start anywhere - they don't check) and readied ourselves. 

I was running with three of my Team Rise training buddies.  This was awesome.  It really helps the nerves you feel standing in the midst of 12K + runners to have three friends to stand there with you.  Two of them had done this before which was even better.
Jenny, Kathy and I
10 minutes later we reached the actual start of the race.  With all the electronics and interference, I quickly realized that my Pandora and Runkeeper apps were useless.  Oh well.  I did have some music on my iPhone but I hadn't really checked to see what.  I ended up listening to Old 97's, Prayer Chain and Norah Jones.  Not exactly running music, but it did keep me calm.

The race went well.  We ran hard, laughed a lot and I stared wide-eyed at the craziness of it all.  We ran shoulder to shoulder, dodging other racers for the first 3 miles.  We all agreed that this was good distraction.  One of the gals kept close track of the time and we found that we were ahead of our pace quite a bit.  A good way to start!

As we headed into mile 5, one of my running buddies decided to actually run now.  That was the last I saw of her until the end.  She is nearly 10 yrs older than me and is an amazing athlete!  Kathy, Christine and I stuck together nearly to the end.  We kept each other going, we talked when we needed distraction, we kept quiet when we were too tired to breathe.  I was amazed at how much their support carried me through.  
I was so happy to see Anna (and family) at mile 10!
The last mile was tough.  Kathy sped up to try to beat her goal.  Christine and I stuck together until she sped ahead.  I just tried to keep upright.  

With a finish time of 2:08, I ended up ahead of my best ever pace and loved every minute of it!  Best of all, I was able to raise well beyond my goal of $2000 and really make a difference for Angola!  

I'm happy to let you know that someone has offered to match every donation from now until the Chicago Marathon up to $50,000!  Please donate now if you haven't yet.  It'll go twice as far!

Go Team Rise!  We still have a large team running the Chicago Marathon on October 7th!  
I made it!  


My Ideal Day!

I am joining into the fun and writing a prompted post for Jason Womack's Ideal Day Contest.

I would love to win my ideal day, wouldn't you?

courtesy of Will Merydith
My ideal day begins with quiet.  It started the night before with a night for 2 (me and the hubby of course) in downtown Chicago.  We awaken to our beautiful lake view and order room service for breakfast.

After our leisurely breakfast and warm showers, we head downstairs to visit several of our favorite museums.  We take our sweet time going through every facet of the Field Museum.  We enjoy reading every plaque and flyer as we enjoy the lack of whining, complaining or anyone having to pee.

We have a lovely lunch in a classic Chicago restaurant (fill in any here) and head home for pizza and movie night with our kids.  They, of course, miss us and are well behaved for the evening.

Ah - when do I get to have my ideal day??