the time when Frank ran a marathon

Last Sunday, armed with body glide stuff to prevent chaffing (I didn’t ask… you probably shouldn’t ask, either) and band aids and ibuprofen and bizarre space energy-type food and water, Frank lined up with 45,000 of his besties and ran the Chicago Marathon Bank of America Chicago Marathon (hey, they didn’t pay good money for naming rights to have me mess it up on my blog that three people read…).

Being the loving, caring, amazing wife that I am, I dragged my sorry pa-tootie out of bed at 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday and schlepped myself all around town.

I have the pictures to prove it.

There may or may not have been some adult libations at the half marathon point.  Not for Frank.  For me.

Also, somewhere between mile-marker 13.1 and 26.1, I may have had a delicious egg white & spinach & swiss & mushroom omelet with The Most Heavenly Corn Bread Muffin Ever.

By “may”, I mean that I DID have the aforementioned breakfast before bolting without paying (I’ll catch ya on the flip side, dear brother) because I realized that I might miss Frank crossing the finish line and then I’d have to say, when he asked, that I was stuffing my face while he was running a MARATHON.

Considering that I have acquired quite a rap sheet, I figured that Sunday, October 7, 2012 was not the day to add to it.

All told, I walked about 9 miles on Sunday.  Frank ran 26+.  He got a medal and his name in the paper.  I did not.  Life is not fair, right?

Without further adieu/whining, here is the photographic evidence from this weekend. Future grandchildren, please enjoy this evidence that your grandfather DID run the Chicago Marathon.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start this post with a picture of the site of the McDonald’s where Frank and I enjoyed our first married breakfast. Please note, in 2003, it was the “Rock and Roll McDonald’s”. Now it is just The Giant McDonald’s.

A dude inspiring and motivating the volunteers at 6:30 in the morning. God bless them all!

A helicopter circling overhead to catch a glimpse of Frank!

These are the awesome wheelchair racers! Can you imagine pushing yourself with your arms for 26.2 miles? Picking up a can of soup is a triumph for me! Watching these folks race was so awe-inspiring and amazing, I couldn’t even cheer because I was on the verge of crying giant, meaty tears of amazement.  I had never seen anything so excellent and perfect and inspiring – a raw tribute to beauty formed through challenge – fire refining gold.  But I didn’t sob big snotty sobs. I guess I figure that the only people allowed to cry at the marathon are the people who actually have to haul their tooshies 26.2 miles.  Everyone else can be strong, right?  ::sniff::

The elite runners are SO FAST that I don’t have a clear picture of them. As my sister-in-law Lauren said, “I don’t run across a room that fast for a donut!” These runners ran sub-5 minute miles for 26.2 miles STRAIGHT! Me? I walked really fast to the diner for breakfast.  Did I mention the cornbread muffin was out of this world???

After getting quite worried that I missed Frank, I saw him emerging from the dense fog of runners – along with brother-in-law Dave! (bright orange jerseys) So happy to see them – and they seemed pretty happy to see me, but this was only mile 2. Even I’d be happy at mile 2…

Dave and Frank. Frank and Dave.

Frank, “Wanna sing a running song? You know, get into the spirit of the marathon?” Dave, “Um, do I know you?”

There were quite a few funny/cute/interesting signs along the route, but this one was particularly amusing. I also liked the one that said, “Because 26.3 is just CRAZY.” (Joke Explainer: the marathon is 26.2 miles. That extra .1 would put the whole event over the edge. Is the joke not funny any more? OK. Good. Onward)

While waiting for Frank to run by at the 1/2 marathon point, I wanted to artistically capture the conflict between me and my inner runner. Based on this representative photograph, I think it’s safe to say that I have restrained my inner runner inside a cage and she will NEVER get out to run a marathon. Phew.

While we (Andy (my bro) and Lauren (my sis-in-law-extraodinaire)) were waiting for Frank at 13.1, we were also enthusiastically cheering on other runners. By “we”, I mean “me”. Andy was trying to get some artistic, beautiful shots of the raw athleticism streaming toward him. As he reviewed his pictures, he found that my hand (in the shape of a giant “thumbs up”) was prominently featured in most – if not ALL – of his pictures. Ha ha ha. Ha. I rule.

FRANK! So far, so good. Despite some leg injuries prior to the race, he made it to the 1/2 marathon point without a trip to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Or Rush. Or Cook County. Or wherever they would’ve taken him. Way to go Frank! And, he looked pretty jubilant to boot!

Around mile 8 or so, Frank and Dave were separated. I tried my best, but only got a few shots of Dave heading down the final 200 meters. Hi Dave!

There he is, right behind lime-green dude. Way to go Dave!

And… THERE HE IS!! Frank heading down the final 200 meters! I saw a couple cross the finish line hand-in-hand and I thought, “Wow, that’s amazing!” And for like, a nano-second I thought, “Maybe Frank and I could do that one day…” and THEN I thought, “No, the only way that is happening is if I jump this fence and run with him right now…” and then I thought, “Who are we kidding? I’m never going to jump that fence.” So yeah, maybe we can settle for a DVR marathon of great fall TV… that’s more my speed, anyway…

And of course, none of this was possible without the generous support of folks who donated to Frank’s Team World Vision goal. Frank has a heart for those who live on less than $1/day and the 1 BILLION people around the globe who do not have access to clean drinking water. Kinda hard to be all like, “you’re STILL training for this marathon??” when your spouse is all like, “Yeah, for THE PEOPLE WITHOUT WATER!! Geesh.”

 

So there you go.  Frank’s marathon in pictures.  He made me promise to remind him not to let him run the marathon again.  He made me promise to remind him of his three lost toenails, blood blisters, chaffing and his general inability to use the stairs the next time he says, “Babe, I’m thinking about running a marathon.”

Time will tell.

how’s it goin’?

Welp, I’m holding fast to my New Year’s Resolutions – sticking to the old Weight Watchers routine and working out. I was hoping everyone else at the gym would have less resolve, but apparently they are all just as resolved as I am.  Which means I have to park in overflow.

Which really, is probably for the best, right?  I mean, I’m going to the gym to WORK OUT, right?? It always cracks me up to watch people fight over parking spots to be closest to the gym door. (which I can understand if you have children/babies/etc to carry into the gym…)

So following Weight Watchers and doing the Couch-to-5K program is going alright, but I am finding it somewhat difficult to adhere when trying to juggle working full time, two babies, Frank and sleeping. Eating well requires planning and thought. Mindlessly popping food into my mouth is not going to shed the pounds.  And getting to the gym, even for a simple 30 minute work out, requires a ton of planning, too. Who has the kids? When will I eat? Do I need to go somewhere afterwards that requires me not to be a sweaty mess?? Ugh.

We use Cozi.com for all of our calendaring and tasks and shopping and meal planning needs.  It’s pretty awesome.  And they have an app – because – really – who doesn’t? It has been really helpful in getting us on the same page and it has been helpful in planning out our weekly meals.  But wowzahs. It takes a lot of coordination to keep this ship a-sailin’.

So there’s all of that.

I’ve also (foolishly?) agreed to run a 5K in May with my amazing friend Jamie because if she is going to go run a 5K and she has two kids, then by-golly, I am going to get on that bandwagon.  Plus, she’s responsible for inspiring me to do the Couch-to-5K program.  I blame her for all of this madness.

Smooches to Jamie!

And if that is not enough, Frank is probably going to run it while pushing the babies in the jogging stroller.  He’ll still probably beat me across the finish line because he’s a mad crazy runner, but whatevs.

The point is, I really have to do this Couch-to-5K thing every week because man-alive, I am totally not ready for the run if I have to do the run tomorrow. I could probably sign in for the race, get to the starting line and then dry heave from panic.  Too much info?

Yeah, probably.

Onward!

happy new year!

So, here we are in 2012. Frank is already disappointed because he believes he was promised flying cars by now. He has been drowning his grief in ham, cheese and a variety of pastries we absconded with from his mother’s house.

Since I keep track of pretty much all of the highs and lows on this blog, I don’t feel like it is necessary to rehash the entire year.  I mean, you can probably guess that the beh-behs were the highs... and accounted for a few lows, too. (like, the barfies, the no-sleepies and the poopies)  But hey, I’m gonna go ahead and say that we finished 2011 with way more checks in the “awesome year” column than in the “holy crap, what happened???” column.

Now that 2011 is in the rear view mirror and 2012 is the date I will be reminding myself to write on all of my documents from here on out, I think it’s always positive to kick off the new year looking forward.

In the vein of a fresh start, I am back on the running bandwagon (Couch to 5K, baby!) and am starting the weight loss circuit.  After stalling out just over 12 pounds into it during the middle of last year, I’m ready for a do-over. And of course, proceeds from this round will still go to ending human trafficking.

So, there’s that.

Because I enjoy being cliche and having New Year’s Resolutions and all that, especially resolutions relating to weight loss and working out, I will undoubtedly need to post every stinking day about my resolutions and what I am doing to acheive them.

Until I stop achieving them.

And then, if my previous behavior is any indication, I will hide out and post cute pictures of my beh-behs. You know, to distract you from burning questions like, “So, Em, how’s the weight loss?” or “Hey, did you run today?”

My beh-behs have a hard time with flashes:

Carrie trying so hard to keep her eyes open...

Ellie. She hates me for taking her picture with the flash on.

Seriously, Mom? TURN OFF THE FLASH!

WHY???

So yeah, weight loss and working out.

But I think if I work on those two things, that will just continue to improve the quality of life for my family and for me.

Aunt S didn’t realize that she was helping us get in the mood for a healthier new year when she sent us coordinated pink Puma track suits.

We're ready to go jogging!!

Now, if only I could find these in adult extra long.

Happy New Year, world.

 

i like to move it, move it…

After having the twins, I was secretly worried that I’d never want to work out again.

I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.  I was worried that I’d lose all motivation.  That I’d become one of those people who are just so overwhelmed by my children that all I can do is sit on the couch and hold them and pray that they wouldn’t cry.

Don’t get me wrong – when they were brand new preemies, there was a lot of sitting on the couch, holding them and praying.  Although I was generally praying they wouldn’t vomit on me.

But now that the girls are three months old, sleeping a little bit more consistently and generally not vomiting as much as they had been (praise God!), I feel like I can indulge in jogging again.

Mentally this is going to take a lot of effort on my part.  Let’s assess the situation.

First, I am carrying a bit more weight than I had been carrying over a year ago when I had been running.  I haven’t weighed myself in a while (ah, the mental anguish of the scale), but I estimate that I am still carrying about 10 lbs from my pregnancy.  I had also gained about 30 lbs during fertility treatments in the two years prior to conceiving the twins.  Oh, joy of joys.  That all being said, jogging will likely require a lot more mental stamina than it had in the past.

Second, because I don’t know how jogging will go, I am a bit afraid to do it.  Even the first few jogging steps that I will take will require a lot of focus and determination.  I have to re-learn my body and I have to re-learn the skill of mentally pushing myself further than I feel like I can go – without injuring myself.  Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am injury-prone.  And no, I am not someone who “pulls a hammy” – I am someone who gets distracted, trips over my own feet and falls super-man style on my hands and knees.  Yeah.

Third, I am going to put myself on a running schedule after today.  It’s going to require a lot of time management coordination since I go back to work full time after Memorial Day.  We are considering buying a jogging stroller, but I don’t think I can even put the girls in the stroller until they are 6 months old.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  I’m looking at you, Runblondie!  If I am going to be committed to running again, I want to make sure that I have the right baby gear so that I can’t use it as an excuse!

I will post an update after my afternoon run…  This will be interesting…

so much to say!

Ok, in no particular order:

1.  I am running again.  Well, jogging.  Very, very, very slowly.  At this point, it’s as much for my physical health as it is for my emotional health.  I find that when I run, I am able to process things better and have more energy.  So I am committed to running/jogging/moving my booty every other day.

2.  For anyone wondering about my sugarless lifestyle, yes, we are still sugarless in the K House.  I have to say, there have been quite a few moments of weakness, but we are proud that we haven’t caved.  The only sweets we had were for FK’s 30th birthday.  Hey, that’s a pretty special occasion, right?  So we busted out some cinnamon bread pudding and homemade whipped cream.  Soooo good.  I was worried that it would become some kind of gateway drug – you know, leading to other sugary delights – but we stayed the course and did not venture any further into Candyland.

3. There have been lots of different themes floating around in my life.  I want to write extensively on every single theme, but right now is not the time.  Here are some highlights:

a. Definitions.  I’ve been wondering a lot about how to take control about how I’m defined, both by others and more importantly by myself.  This concern is on a personal and professional level.  Personally, I’m not afraid of being defined as someone who has had a very difficult time having children, but I AM afraid of being defined as ONLY that.  And maybe “afraid” is the wrong word.  I think if people only saw me for this trial, that would be a very limited way of looking at me and that I, and others, would miss out on the bigger picture of what God is doing in my life.  I also think about this a lot professionally, too – the woman who did my job previously really only focused on one particular area, whereas I’ve branched out and brought an entirely different skill set to the game.  I’m concerned that my success is being defined only based on area, without taking into consideration all of the other things I’m bringing to the table.  I have ideas on how to resolve my professional dilemma, but it’s a little bit more difficult to resolve the personal side of things.

b. Attitude. I’ve been battling attitude a lot lately.  For a great many reasons, it’s been particularly difficult for me to keep my attitude in check.  The running is helping with cleaning out any emotional overload, allowing me to refocus my energies when I feel myself slipping into a swirling vortex of sadness.  I think it’s a difficult one to balance, though, because I do believe that I need to be where I am, and not rush through it.  Said another way, I’ve spent a lot of my life checking things off of lists.  I like to do that.  But living a life of checking things off of lists sometimes means that I rush through things to just to get through the list.  A conversation I had tonight reminded me that life is really a series of processes and experiences, not a neat and tidy notebook of lists with check marks next to each item. Discontentment is being in one place, but believing that I should be somewhere else.  I kind of wonder if I would be more content if I just said, “Ok, this is where I am today, and that is ok” – with an understanding that I would not be in this same emotional place forever.  What does it look like to live a more contented life?  Hm.

c. Fluidity. In 2004/2005, I was working a lot of hours.  A lot of hours.  Even when I was not at work, I was mentally at work.  My brain was constantly thinking about things going on at the office; looking for solutions to problems I was having.  It doesn’t help that I worked in advertising and our world is inundated with ad messages.  Even if I didn’t want to take work home with me, it was everywhere.  But when I look back at that time and remember trips we took or things we did, I don’t remember the pervasiveness of work.  I just remember the fun things.  It’s amazing how my brain can edit out work and make my memories into a nice, clean 30 minute montage.  So why do I bring that up and what does it have to do with being more fluid?  Well, I realize that I have a selective way of remembering things.  I remember the joys of the simplicity of life being young when I feel overwhelmed.  But when I really remember what it was like to be me in second grade, I also have to remember that I was totally overwhelmed by simple things then (which were not so simple to me at the time).  I remember lying in bed one night, tossing and turning because I forgot to bring a worksheet home from school.  I knew I would get a “zero” for the assignment.  I finally went into my parents room really late at night (probably 10 p.m.) and told my mom what I was thinking about.  She laughed and told me about times when she felt the same way. The adrenaline from worrying about that worksheet left a bitter, metallic taste in my mouth.  The same taste I get even now when I realize I forgot something or am on a tight deadline.  We edit our memories.  Things do seem better in the past and more hopeful in the future.  Life is constant change.  People are born, people die, people move away, people move in… The sooner that I am comfortable with the idea that nothing is permanent in this life, the easier it is to roll with the punches.  I was not born as a person who is comfortable with being fluid, but over time I’ve come to be better with it.  I think being married to a pilot has expedited my personal growth in this area.  Let’s not go crazy though – I have hardly mastered being fluid and I still love a good check list, but in the realm of things I cannot control, learning to be fluid has been an excessively helpful trait.

So yeah.  Just a few thoughts.  No particular order.  More on some of them later.  Or maybe not.  Well, you can be 100% assured that I will likely talk about running and sugar again.  I’m predictable like that.

in case you were wondering…

I did go for my work out this morning.

In the middle of the work out, the fire alarm went off.

Not kidding.

So in my spandexy type capris pants and sweat soaked tee, I paraded myself outside, where I found – much to my horror and amazement – that there are actually quite a few people who work here in the morning.  Nice.

Then I went in to the locker room to take a shower.  I turned the dial all the way over to hot.  After several minutes was there warm steam rising out of my shower stall?  The answer to that question is: no.

Thinking it might warm up, I wet my hair and started to shiver.  I decided that I didn’t have any option except at least washing my hair.  It was horrific. 

I went to the other shower stall to see if there was warm water there – nothing. 

After toweling off and getting dressed, I thought I would enjoy the one warm thing I could enjoy: my hair dryer.

I plugged the hairdryer into the ONE and ONLY outlet in the locker room and… nothing.  Nada. Zip.

It was a GFI outlet, so I hit the “test” and “reset” buttons multiple times.

NOTHING.

So with a wet head, I packed up my belongings and brought my hair dryer to the bathroom near my office where I was at least able to get my head mostly dry.

I am laughing about this because it’s all so ridiculous.  And really, I can’t complain too much about a free gym at work.  Sure, there are a few kinks that need to be straightened out, but if that’s the worst thing that happens today, then that’s not too bad!

healthier, happier, sweatier.

So, today I kept to my points (for Weightwatchers) and went for a very strenuous brisk walk on the treadmill.  Tomorrow I might try to go into work early so that I can go for a walk on the treadmill and maybe do some free weights.  We have two treadmills and a full locker room (with showers) at work, so this might actually work.

And I have to say, I was pretty happy today.

I got a LOT of work done today, just really booked through it.  I have a pretty fun meeting tomorrow after work, so I am looking forward to that.

God is so good.