Getting Old(er)

January 31st, 2007

When did I start getting old? Seriously, I don’t “think” I am old. It is my body that is trying to tell me that I am. I used to be able to do so many activities and not be sore and bearly walking (like I am lately). When did that start? This oldness just crept up on me when I wasn’t looking. Kind of like that trick you play as a kid when you tap on someone’s shoulder and when they turn around, you are on the other side. That is old age. It tapped me on the shoulder and I looked only to find that I was already starting to creak and pop.

I suppose I could blame it on marriage, children, and life. That wouldn’t exactly be fair. Honestly, I look in the mirror and I see “smile lines” (no, those aren’t wrinkles) and gray hair and I think: “What the heck happened to me?!” In my mind, I really don’t feel older than 20. Really. Sure, I know more than when I was 20, but I feel life is just as fun/challenging as when I was younger. The only change to me is this ‘ol body. When did I start waking up in the morning a bit slower? When did I start having my knees pop and my back become stiff? When did these darned gray hairs start inviting friends?

I got up this morning at 6am for a 10 mile run. No problem. I’ve done it many times in the past. As I got into about mile 3, I noticed that my ankles were a bit sore and so was my left knee. At mile 5.5, I realized that my hip was hurting like mad and that I pulled a muscle. What is wrong with me?! My brain says: “Come on! We can do this!”, while my body is saying: “Why did we leave our nice, warm bed? You FOOL!”

Although I can’t ever see myself doing the Botox, coloring my hair, or having laser surgery to get rid of “this and that”, I can see why folks do these things. We want our selves like we used to be. We want the bodies that have boundless energy. Not the bodies that have arthritis, bad knees, “love handles”, gray hair, hair coming out our ears & noses, wrinkles, vericose veins, and unwanted sagging here and there.

Our bodies really do abandon us somewhere in our 30’s. It is not something you can put your finger on. You just wake up one day – OLD. So unfair. I am looking at 40 in 2 yr. 3 mo. I’m not scared of 40, really. I was a bit nervous with 30, but I found out that was a piece of cake. No, what I don’t look forward to is this body of mine falling apart.

The day when a scientist comes up with a solution to “body falling apart syndrome” will be a great day indeed. Until that day, I will keep thinking like a 20 yr. old with a body that creaks and pops. Now, where did I put that Bengay?

I

Ran my 13.1 half yesterday!

January 29th, 2007

MeWelp, I finally got to run “an official” half marathon yesterday. I ran the 3M Half in 2:05:03. Not the speed of light or anything, but respectable. Actually, I felt great during the entire race. I had an energy bar & 3 Ibuprofen for breakfast with a Crystal Light chaser. For my mid-run snacks I slurped down 3 Chocolate Hammer Gels and Gatorade (which I carried in my 50oz. Camelback that I LOVE). When I started, it was 34 degrees. Man! Was it ever cold!

When I got around the last bend, a lady in the crowd yelled to me: “Yeah, that’s the end! Go!!!” I sprinted the rest of the way. It was GREAT! I really could not have asked for a better race.

Did you know that many runners during long distance races just throw their clothes off and throw them on the ground? I really never noticed that in my first marathon. However, I noticed that there were jackets, gloves, hats, head bands, and trash bags all over the course. Why trash bags? Many runners wear them before the race to keep cool and then discard them when they warm up. Strange, huh? I can’t imagine throwing perfectly good running clothes away like that.

So, I have signed up for the AT&T Marathon on 2/18. I really didn’t train as well for my last marathon 3 years ago. This time, I think my heart, mind, and body are in a better place. I feel more confident. I also feel like I am addicted to the marathon feeling. Who would have guested that the overweight girl from high school that joined Cross Country to lose weight would be addicted to marathon running? I would have never thought I would be. However, it really is an amazing experience. Once you run that distance and realize that YOU are the ONLY ONE that got you this far, it is really a personal motivation. You feel like you can conquer any obstacle in your life. If you can run 26.2, why worry about other things in life?

I have a long run planned this Saturday. I am scheduled to run 20 miles. My furthest run this season is 16.1 (when I got shin splints). I am thinking good thoughts and trying some strength training exercises to tighten my shins. Tony wants me to run 18. I will see how I feel. It sure would be great to run 20 on Saturday and feel great afterwards. Then, I know I can do the 26.2 and run it well. Only time will tell. Less than 3 weeks to go. *gulp*

Ah, the joys of life

January 23rd, 2007

Busy week ahead here with Pinewood Derby and the 3M Half Marathon. I got my New Balance 891 shoes and Shoe Pouch (for my Nike iPod Nano) in the mail yesterday. I am hoping that my new shoes will help my underpronation problems. I am one of the only 15% of all runners that have an underpronation (roll feet to the outside) running style. Of course, that makes it easy to get shin splints and knee injuries.

I have been trying to sell books, movies, software, etc. on Ebay and Yahoo groups lately. This time of year is slow for sales. Folks are still paying for Christmas and cringing at the thought of paying taxes in April. Tony isn’t getting the extra hours like he was before. That makes extra funds non-existant.

It looks like I will need to go back to waitressing soon. It isn’t my favorite job, but the pay isn’t bad for a part time job. Most shifts I would make $12/hr. On a good day, I could make as much as $20/hr. Not bad. The thing I don’t like is the childishness of my fellow employees. So many people in the restaurant field don’t have anything else going on in their lives. Many I have worked with are smoking or snorting their paychecks. That is very sad to me. I find myself becoming one of “the responsible ones” and a Mother figure to the other servers. I get invited to parties with them, but I never go. I have more going on with my life than to waste time on drugs, parties, and alcohol.

I really wish that I could find a job to do from home. Selling items on Ebay is great when people are buying. When they aren’t, I am not bringing anything into our family budget. That worries me. It isn’t that Tony and I spend a lot of money. Sure, we go out to dinner or rent DVD movies. We don’t go out regularly or buy lots of toys.

This sounds like I am ungrateful for the path we have chosen. I’m not at all. Living on one income is very tough. There are so many people that just can’t afford to do it. We have been blessed to be able to have me at home for so long. No, I don’t want to go back to work. Working 6 hours or so at a restaurant wears me out. I can been very “short” with family when I waitress. That is an area I will need to work on.

My wonderful husband has been so supportive of our life. I am so fortunate to have such a special man in my life. He works so hard and his job can be so frustrating. I want/need to help him more. He is a great provider, husband, father, friend, and son.

I pray that I can find a way to bring in some extra income without compromising our schedule. As my husband constantly reminds me: “Things always work out.”

Teaching, Running, & a Numb Bottom

January 15th, 2007

I have always loved cold weather. When Tony and I lived on Palomar Mountain, CA, I loved the snow and snuggling. Nothing beats a warm fire, a cup of hot cocoa, and snuggling. Today, it is 27.8 outside. Icy, drizzling, and miserable. One of those days you just want to wear your footie pajamas and walk around with your blankie.

Speaking of pajamas, we had a great time in ours yesterday. The three of us sat on our bottoms for 11.5 hours and watched the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Honestly, these are 3 of my favorite movies. Gotta love Sam Gamgee. He’s my favorite character, by far. It was a very nice day and one I would like to repeat…in about 5 years or so.
I finally got back to running yesterday. I have been on mandatory rest (*grumble grumble*) for a week due to a shin splint in my left shin. I have been feeling like a grounded teenager for the whole past week. Tony wanted me to run on the rubberized track at the local junior high. I didn’t run fast, but I did get in 3 miles. I was scheduled to run 12. *sigh*
My training schedule this week says I am supposed to run 36 miles. *sigh* I know that is impossible when I am nursing my leg back to health. Maybe I can get in 20+ this week? That would be great. My 1/2 marathon is coming up in less than 2 weeks. At this point, I don’t know if I should sign up for the full marathon in Feb. or just try for another 1/2. Stupid, stupid leg. This happened last time, but with my foot. Ahhh!
School is going well..mostly. Our wonderful son can be SO STUBBORN at times. There are days that are “picture perfect” and then there are days where I think someone replaced my great, little guy with a mule in jeans. What a combination to give a kid. My temper and Tony’s stubborn side. I am sure that my mother is laughing at me wherever she is.
We are finishing up with 5th grade pretty soon. There are so many things to learn in the 12 years that we attend school. I wonder so often whether I am doing everything that I can. Am I teaching enough? Will he be ready to go out into the world? Will he know everything he needs to to be a man and make something of himself? It is so easy to doubt my abilities. I know there are holes in his education. I just hope that I fill them better than most educational institutions would.