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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

run!

i think at this point it's no secret that i love to run. i ran my first half marathon last fall (on my birthday!), and that only fueled the fire...i wanted more. and so, now i am training for my first full marathon.

running is something i can do that clears my head. this crazy military lifestyle can put a lot of stress and worry on a woman, running helps me cope with that. it is a time for me to pray; a time for me to think; or sometimes a time for me not to think. it is something i can do at my own pace, to fit into my own schedule; i can take the kids with me, or i can leave them at home and take a much needed break from being mom.

when justin is gone, running is a way for me to feel connected to him. i know that he is pushing his body and working hard; it makes me want to run even harder. i feel close to him when i run.

i love running. i love the feeling of my hair blowing behind me; i love the feeling of the wind in my face; i love how strong my legs feel underneath me; i love feeling my heart beat steady in my chest. i love pushing my body until it hurts, of going longer or faster than i think i can go. i love the way my body aches after a long run, because that means i have done the best i could do. that pain is where the changes happen, physically and mentally. and speaking of mentally...

running has made me such a strong person mentally. the more i run, the more i love to run, and i think that is only because i have developed my mind as much as my body. just as your muscles and the fibers in your body must adapt and grow in strength, so must your mind also grow stronger. it's not easy to push through 15 or 17 miles of steady motion. it takes determination, perseverance, grit. it takes practice to be able to do that. running is just as much mental as it is physical, maybe even more mental i would argue.

i have been reading the book born to run (an excellent read!!), and in said book there is a statement about a connection between a love of life and a love of running. are people more likely to love running if they truly love life? perhaps. running has taught me many life lessons, i look forward to the lessons and miles to come. thank you, God, for enabling me to run!!



Friday, April 12, 2013

wonder woman

this is a poem that has been sort of going through my mind for a while now; finally one night words kept filling my head so i had to sit down and WRITE! here it is, dedicated to all of the amazing military wives that i am blessed to know

wonder woman

she may not be wonder woman
but she is a woman of wonder
she lives an impossible life
that would drag a lesser one under

she may not possess superhuman strength
but she has a will of stone
agility or endurance she has
she's a pro at being on her own

she often assumes the challenging role
of playing both mom and dad
her husband often called to duty
she knows what it is to be sad

she also knows what it's like
to feel a love that never ends
a love that circles 'round the globe
and strengthens as it bends

she knows the feeling of exhaustion
that consumes both body and mind
the worry that's etched upon her face
a hint of all she's left behind

she cannot soar through the air
but a letter gives her heart wings
a phone call, an email, a note rediscovered
she treasures the simplest things

no, she may not be wonder woman
but a woman of wonder for sure
she possesses noble character, patriotic pride
a resiliency and a love that's so pure

she is a military wife
a wonder woman in her own right
making sacrifices aplenty
so you can sleep safely at night

Monday, April 8, 2013

emotional train wreck

i have been experiencing SO MANY emotions the last few weeks. i feel like i am in the middle of a tornado, or on a roller coaster that just won't stop. it's as though i'm at war with myself. part of me is SO happy justin is home; i want to soak him in and enjoy every second. the other part isn't letting me do that; this part is making me feel frustrated, irritable, and grumpy almost all of the time. this part of me feels like i am ready for him to just go so we can get this deployment over with. i feel impatient and antsy. and then i feel guilty for feeling that way, and for being mean when i should be enjoying the time we do have, and it's a vicious cycle...

i believe with my whole heart that the work ups and weeks leading up to deployment have been harder by far than the actual deployment itself. i'm not saying deployment will be easy. i know it will be hard, i get tears in my eyes just thinking about it. but the work ups have been hell, and it is all only leading one place: d-day. at least during deployment i will have a light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to; i will be able to press on and count down, knowing that i am getting closer and closer to having my husband home once again. if you're a civilian reading this, you probably won't understand it. if you're a military spouse, however, i'm confident you will.

and that's that. i am a disastrous bundle of emotions. a mess. a wreck. justin and i both are distancing ourselves from one another, getting our heads and hearts where we think they need to be in order to survive all this. putting up walls, getting ready for battle. i can feel it. no matter what i try to do, there's nothing i can do to stop it...


Thursday, April 4, 2013

stroller running tips

having run with a jogging stroller myself for the last three years or so, i figure i have a little knowledge to offer on the subject. so if you're curious about stroller running, i'll be happy to post what works for me. if not, this may not be the post for you :)

tip #1) be flexible. this is, in my opinion, the single most important rule of stroller running. any time you bring a baby or young child into the equation, you are bound to have some unexpected situations occur. the baby may take too long of a nap for you to be able to fit in the miles you wanted, or you may have to head back early for a fresh diaper or food, or maybe someone is just feeling grumpy and tired of sitting still. that's why it is important to maintain an attitude of flexibility. this one can be hard, because any time you go out for a run you want to be mentally prepared and dedicated to finishing your run. but when you are bringing your kids with you, it's good to remind yourself that anything can happen and if you don't get to finish your run, it's no big deal. you can try again another day. this attitude takes practice. running is more mental than physical, so as you punch in those miles you are also making yourself more mentally resilient.

tip #2) bring plenty of snacks and entertainment. this is a big one. i rarely leave for a stroller run without snacks or toys for my littles. keeps them entertained and happy, and happy kids make for a pleasant run :)

tip #3) bribery is entirely acceptable. there have definitely been times where i've promised avery a trip to the park if she was patient during our run together. always does the trick ;)

tip #4) be patient with yourself. stroller running is a lot different than non-stroller running. take walk breaks if you need to, intervals are a good way to start out. and it is never a bad idea to split your long run into two shorter runs if you feel your kids won't last through one long one (or maybe you think you won't last). give yourself some grace and remember that if you're pushing a stroller, you're a badass and you're working harder than those who are not.

tip #5) don't focus on how hard stroller running is. sure it sucks sometimes (especially when you're running against a strong headwind; now that is challenging). there are times you will feel frustrated or discouraged. that's ok. just try to focus on the bigger picture: stroller running is hard, but it is making you into a better, stronger runner, and that's a good thing. those strong winds you're fighting against may make you mad, but look at it as an extra challenge; just something else that is working to make you stronger and better!

so there you have it! i hope this helps some you find the joy of running  :)


Monday, April 1, 2013

operation preparedness

i cannot wrap my head around the fact that it is april already. how did that happen?!? i feel like we were just celebrating christmas, and now it's april? sheesh...

i have been feeling really down and frustrated the last few days. i suppose it's because i just feel like our time together as a family is just running out all too quickly. before i turn around justin will be leaving and our family will be catapulted into our first deployment. i feel like life is on fast forward right now and no matter how hard i press pause, nothing is happening...it just keeps going faster.

we still haven't told avery about deployment. i've been praying and waiting, hoping i'll just know when the time is right. i think we are going to tell her soon, i'm getting tired of hiding it from her. i mentioned to justin that i will probably cry when we tell her about it, so he suggested maybe he take ave on a date and talk to her. that way things will be calm. i know he will do great. he's so much less of an emotional wreck than me! thank goodness! we got the girls some daddy dolls (https://www.daddydolls.com), which we haven't given them yet. i also have journals that i keep for the girls, and i've asked justin to be thinking about what he wants to write in them before he leaves. i'd like him to leave a letter for each girl.

eww. all of this feels so heavy and hard to think about.. but this is my life.

we got ave a locket with a picture of her and daddy inside. that way she will always have daddy close to her heart. hopefully it will be a reminder of how much he loves her.

as for me, i've been planning for my sisters to visit sporadically. and i think the girls and i are going to spend a lot of time back east this summer. i just know i'll need a break from being a single parent, a break from being on my own, a break from life. a fun summer visit with our family should do the trick. i'm also trying to take my training seriously and plan races throughout the year to give me goals and distractions.

just as justin is preparing for this deployment, so am i. he is gathering gear and packing; i'm mentally and emotionally trying to get where i need to be. it's always important to remember, the whole family serves.