I’d wave hello but I can’t raise my arms

Confession: I am out of shape. Massively, wildly, annoyingly, ridiculously out of shape. Where working out and fitness was once an integral part of my daily routine, it has become a chore – something I dread and want to get over with…or just not do at all.

When the kids were younger, going to the gym was my escape. It gave me an hour or two a day away from them. I’d drop them off in the play area where they could have fun and I could sweat off a little stress. Or, um, sit in a dark corner and read a book in silence, which I did on more than one occasion.

Physical fitness is mental, too, you know!

Now that they’re older, I can’t really take them to the play area anymore. Which means if I want to work out, I have to squeeze it into the parts of my day that I don’t want to spend in the gym – like early mornings (I would rather sleep) or the evening (I’ve had way too much time to talk myself out of it). I’d like to say that when they go back to school, I’ll get back in the routine, but I’m afraid my brain has shut down the part that used to find working out enjoyable.

I’m trying to revive it.

Last Saturday I accompanied my neighbor to a boot camp with a trainer who came to our neighborhood and tortured pushed us with squats, push ups and running. RUNNING! It’s been long enough that I knew I should take it a little easy, but there is still a competitive side of my brain that’s active and well, and she did NOT like being left behind.

It’s Wednesday, which means that I can finally move without muttering four letter words under my breath. I feel victorious!

Thankfully my upper body remained relatively unscathed from our torture fitness session. But yesterday when a friend and I took our kids to Busch Gardens for what was meant to be an afternoon of fun, that changed entirely. Picture this: two adults, five children, one of which has a sprained (possibly broken) foot, a wheelchair, two strollers and all the bags that go with taking children to a theme park.

Now, add lightening and a torrential downpour. If you see me today and I don’t wave hello, just know it’s because I can’t raise my arms for all the dashing through the rain in flip flops, pushing a 50 pound kid in an umbrella stroller.

I mean…this is getting ridiculous.

PM-Blogger-Badges_FNLI told you a few months ago about how I joined forces with Pretty Muddy as a means to get back into shape and have a little fun doing it. So I haven’t really started training, yet. At all. Seriously not at all. I mean, the race isn’t until December and I only need to run 3.2 miles so I just thought I’d procrastinate a bit because I HATE ALL THE RUNNING!

I excel at procrastinating. It’s a gift.

After this week, though, I think maybe it’s time to put in a tiny bit of effort. So in an effort to stop embracing laziness, I signed up for MyFitU…a week ago. I plan to start using it today. Or tomorrow. Soon. I’m going to start using it soon.

Maybe if you join me, we can do this together? MyFitU has teamed up with Pretty Muddy as their official online personal trainer. As a result, I get to offer my readers a promotion for 50% off ANY MEMBERSHIP YOU CHOOSE. That’s an awesome deal! This offer can be applied to the 1, 3, 6 or 12 month plans, which means the more you commit to the program the more you save.

MyFitU is a great concept in that they take your overall health statistics and put together a personal plan to help you achieve your weight loss goals. The only thing MyFitU cannot do for you is make you get online and log in your daily activity.


MyFitU offers a comprehensive workout plan to help you maximize your workouts. Based on your weight and activity level, you will be given a daily caloric intake to aim for and you have access to hundreds of healthy recipes to help you acheive your goals.

Seriously, it’s the cheapest personal trainer you’ll ever sign up for!

So, does anybody want to join me? If so, visit MyFitU.com and sign up. When you get to the check out enter the promo code PRETTYMUDDY50 for your 50% off discount. Then come back and let me know if you’re going to give it a try. And go ahead and ask me if I entered my activity in for the day. I will happily accept the accountability.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off take a little more Ibuprofen and attempt to stretch out my screaming muscles.

Disclaimer: As part of the Pretty Muddy blogger team, I received a three month membership to MyFitU free of charge. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with both organizations as clearly I need someone to push me out of this lazy funk.

I ran a mile the other day

On Wednesday, after yet another fitful night’s sleep, I forced myself out of bed, threw on my running shoes and pushed myself out the door before I had time to consider the ramifications of my actions. I started running before my not-totally-alert brain could convince me otherwise.

I was about a quarter mile in when my brain issued a “What the BEEP?” signal to the rest of my body, at which point my lungs constricted, my legs turned to lead and I remembered how much I have always hated running.

But still I kept going, because while I may hate running, I hate defeat even more and I simply cannot let my body defeat me this way.

It’s been a long, hard month and a half, which has left me feeling sad, tired, sluggish and trapped under the weight of so much heaviness. Beyond the potentially failed adoption, there have been family issues, hurting friends and looming changes that have so weighed me down that the very act of smiling began to feel tiresome.

So I’m making some changes. Change number one – I’m spending a little less time online. For the most part, the people I interact with online are beautiful, wonderful, encouraging, happy people. But I’m also prone, at this time, to drift toward sites that discuss the current adoption situation, and I dwell on the faces of the children who made it home and it makes my heart ache.

So, I’m stepping back a bit to let my heart heal and to let God realign and reconfigure the dream a bit. He’s doing that, by the way. God is completely and totally shifting things around for both Lee and I. It’s exciting and scary and heartbreaking and relieving and it’s still developing. I don’t totally understand what He is doing or what next step we need to take, but I feel confident that He’s not done with us yet.

I just need some time to let go of the dream the way that I saw it playing out.

Second thing I’m doing is drinking more water and tea, taking vitamins and trying to sleep more. The sleep thing is tricky, though. Darkness and quiet foster too much thinking. I’m working on shutting my brain down at night.

The third thing I’m doing is exercising, because it produces endorphins that help combat sadness, stress and fatigue. Incidentally, I quote Elle Woods from Legally Blonde every time I lace up my shoes to work out:

“Excercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands…they just don’t.” Elle Woods

Ha! That quote makes me happy. It should also make Lee happy, too. And make him feel safer at night…

So back to exercise. Working out has always been a big part of my daily life. I wake up, I eat, I work out, I go about my day. That’s been my routine since college. But lately, particularly the last year, I’ve lost my workout mojo. It’s just been hard to stay motivated.

Add stress and heartache to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Remember, I am the wisp of a girl. Letting myself get lazy is not healthy. There’s also the added stress of this being the year I turn 35, which doesn’t help matters. I’ve officially dubbed the next five months Operation Kick 35’s A$$ Bootay.

In an effort to stay on top of this very important part of my road to emotional recovery, I have joined up with Team Pretty Muddy as one of their Tampa bloggers! I’m so, so excited about this partnership for a few reasons.

One, it just sounds like fun. Running a 5k? BO-RING! Running a 5k that exists entirely in the mud and has slides? SO FUN!

I am already recruiting my local team of runners and if you want to join us, let me know because the more the merrier in my opinion! I plan on running a few times a week so that I can at least survive the run without complete and total embarassment, although I did inform my potentail teammates last night that should the running portion of the race be over my head, I will totally fake a sprained ankle.

I’m not too proud to take myself out of the race if it means saving face…

But really, it’s only 3.2 miles and it’s in the mud! It can’t be that hard, right? Right?!

It’s taken me two days to recover from the one measly mile I ran on Wednesday. I think I have my work cut out for me….

If you want to join me in this year’s Pretty Muddy Race, visit the website and register now, then let me know so we can plan our post race party! *wink, wink*

My People

I was fifteen years old the first time I visited the former Soviet Union.  An entire world opened up before me in brilliant technicolor.  Amidst a backdrop of dark clouds, we stepped off the plane and my soul lit up.

“I’m coming back here,” I whispered.  I knew because it was as if I had stepped into a place already familiar to me; a place that had been carved out for me long ago.  I just needed to find it.

Our trip lasted fourteen days, but I fell in love in less than a second.  It wasn’t just the glamor of the foreign trip, though there was a bit of that.  We were only a handful of years removed from the fall of the Iron Curtain and as Americans we were still treated very much like royalty.  But it was more than that.  I felt like I knew those people.  Their language was like the chords of a melody to me and I soaked it up as though I had been ravenously searching for it my entire life.

It was love at first sight.

And I did go back.  I went back the next year and the one after that.  I minored in the language in college and while others in my class moaned and complained about the work, I asked for more.  I met with my professor in the afternoons and had him explain the grammar to me over and over (I still don’t get it).  I bought book after book and in my spare time practiced translating stories.

I’m only now realizing how weird that is…

I went to Ukraine my junior year and lived with my adopted people.  It was the hardest and most wonderful four months of my life.

This has always just seemed natural to me.  It’s felt natural to meet Russians everywhere I went and to befriend them…because they’re my people.  I don’t speak as fluently as I’d like to anymore, but the sound of the language still sets my heart aflight.  It is a melody that I can’t describe and that has only been recently revealed to me as…odd.

When we lived in Texas and I coached at WOGA, I often attended the Russians only parties because why wouldn’t I?  I fit there.  My favorite memories of that time are looking out to the back porch and seeing Lee standing in a circle with all the Russian men as their mouths moved in rhythmic fashion.  When they laughed, he laughed.  When they nodded their heads, he nodded his head.  He had no clue, but he didn’t care.

He’s my people, they’re my people. You remember him kissing the cross, right?

My husband is so good to push me and prod me to keep up my skills in Russian.  There are many times when we are in public and we hear Russian and he immediately introduces me and makes me start speaking.  Sometimes this drives me crazy because it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing and because people look at me like I’m a nut job.

But I’m so grateful for his prodding because he knows me so well.  He knows how much I love and need to accompaniment of Russians.  Without it, I feel a bit lost at times…

When we lived in St. Louis, I never really thought it odd that my children were the only children with two American parents in the Russian school.  It just seemed natural to me that my children should be there.

They’re our people.

Moving down here I have already, again, been blessed to meet and make Russian friends.  As we all gathered around the table on Halloween night, they asked me…


“Why what?” I asked.

“Why do you speak Russian?”

No one has ever really asked me that question before and I didn’t have an answer.  Because I love it?  I love everything about the culture and the people, the food and the traditions.

Because you’re my people, I wanted to say.  But that sounds odd, so I just shrugged and smiled.

“You are the first American I ever meet,” said the man next to me, “That want to know Russian.  I don’t understand.”

And I don’t either.  I don’t know why God embedded these people so deeply into my soul.  I don’t know why my heart shakes when I hear the language spoken.  I don’t know why I feel at home in a group of Russians.  I don’t know why I long to go back to the country and take my children there so badly that sometimes I physically ache.  I really don’t know why.

I just know I love it.  They are my people and I love them.

The one where I didn’t die

Four years ago, a runner friend of mine convinced me to join her in a marathon relay downtown.  Fancying myself a runner with untapped potential, I happily agreed and then spent the next four months cursing myself for agreeing to do something so reprehensible.  I finished the race, running the last leg, which was uphill.  Six point three solid miles of incline.

One week later I found out I was pregnant and never ran again.

Until, somehow, I was convinced to do the race again this year.  I think my friend used some kind of voodoo mind trick on me to convince me to do it.  Wait…actually I believe it was MY idea to run the race this year.  Clearly I was possessed or on crack or something because why would I willingly choose to do that?

I must say, the training this time around wasn’t nearly as bad.  Probably mostly because I did a pretty pathetic job of it.  But I didn’t hate it.  I finally figured out my rhythm in running and actually found myself, dare I say, enjoying myself.

The week before the race, I ran my longest run in four years.  I did four miles, on the road, by myself.  Major mental victory given the fact that I much prefer running on the treadmill mostly because it helps you out.  On the road you actually have to do all the work and you have to run up the hills and can’t set a negative incline to recuperate. 

I felt like super woman when I finished.  Take that FloJo!  Until…

The next morning I could barely walk.  Seems my left hamstring was in rebellion and for the next week it begged me to back out.  But I wouldn’t have it.  Being the stellar athlete that I am, I refused to back down.  Ahem.

Race day came and the alarm went off at 4:40 in the am!  Again, I cursed the gods of road races and stumbled out of bed.  I was running the first leg of the marathon so tardiness was not allowed.  As we lined up at the starting point, I began to feel the buzz of excitement in the air.  Running isn’t so bad when you are doing it with 17,000 others who are all excited.  We took off and I quickly fell into a nice pace thanks to a friend who showed up and happened to be standing next to me.  He was running the half marathon just for fun.

Just for fun.

Let that simmer for a minute.

It was nice to have a partner and off we went.  A funny thing happens, though, when you’re running with someone who likes to run 13 miles for fun…you get left behind.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

At about the half mile mark we went under a bridge, which was apparently labeled the pee spot as roughly ten men were lined up, peeing against the fence.  “Good to be a guy,” I remarked to my friend, who simply grinned.

At about the two mile mark, we began to head up hill – steeply up hill.  I wanted to keep up with Scott, I really did.  But alas, I needed oxygen.  “Go,” I gasped.  “Save yourself.”  He hesitated, wanting to help me out and encourage me, but it was clear that my lungs were dangerously close to combustion, so on he went, the back of his head bobbing and weaving all perky like.

And I walked up the hill.  No shame.  I walked. 

This turned out to be a terrible idea because once I stopped, my protesting hamstring tied itself in four knots from my butt to the back of my knee.  It was like an indignant toddler, arms crossed, foot stomping, “No I won’t GO!”  But with four miles to go, I needed to keep running so I stretched the bratty hamstring out and off we went, this time with a slight hobble.

I round the three mile marker and thought I was going to hurl – have I mentioned it was close to 90 degrees that day? – when I looked over and saw a woman stop, pull down her pants, and pee on the side of the road.


200 yards later we passed a Port-a-Potty, but whatever, right?

At five miles, both amstrings were screaming at me.  They were in full out tantrum mode but on I foraged, stopping only once more to walk up what seemed to be a mountain, but was actually probably a very slight inline.

I rounded the corner of my six mile run right at the 70 minute mark.  Much slower than I anticipated, but I blame that on my stubborn hamstrings.  As I handed off the belt to my friend Amy, who was way too excited, I might add, I exited the course, high fiving perfect strangers all the way. 

“Great job!” they cheered.  “Awesome – way to go!”  I felt so loved and encouraged and I decided I wanted to run another race…maybe the half marathon?

Someone remind me – what’s the definition of insanity? 

Right.  That what I thought.

Wednesday Whatnots

What Not’s?  What Nots.

Grammer makes me crazy…

So today is a hodge podge of random tidbits for your reading enjoyment.  Or for my writing enjoyment.  Someone will enjoy themselves today!

Speaking of writing enjoyment.  Remember the novel I told you about?  The one I started, then stopped, then started, then stopped, then started again?  I wrote a little more last night!

So at this pace, I should finish the book by the year 2024.  I am on a roll, folks!

Seriously, though.  It’s really difficult to find time to write.  I don’t know how people do it.  Yesterday I got up at 5:30 with the sole intent of working only on my novel.  By 5:40 I felt awake enough to open up the file and at 5:45 Landon stumbled into my room and the morning was shot.  I left my house at 8:00 and only came home for two seperate one hour bursts before 10:30pm.

Then I had to work on the things I’m actually getting paid for.  So, I’m still planning on finishing that book, but I haven’t yet figured out how.

This is where I flawlessly merge from one topic to another.

I officially signed up for a marathon relay yesterday.  Me and three others will split up a marathon.  I ran this race four years ago.  One week after finishing the race (and not dying) I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) with Landon.  Here’s to hoping we don’t have a repeat of that this year, right?

Oh…and here’s to hoping I don’t die.  Considering I can only run 2 miles right now (3 miles on a really good day…which has only happened twice) and I need to be able to run 6.5 in two months, that’s a legitimate prayer worth lifting up.

And again, we transition.

I think you should all  go back to last week’s post titled I laughed until I cried and read E. Lehman’s comment.  I laughed out loud, pretty hard, when I saw it.  Then I pumped my fist in the air and yelled, “I rock,” as the dog looked on in bewilderment.

Speaking of the dog (transition), she’s making me crazy.  I’m pretty sure she’s clinically depressed and I’m wondering if I should get her on Prozac.  She mopes around the house, wimpering, and she stands right underneath my feet every second of every day.  Every second I’m home that is.  Mostly she’s cooped up all day and she’s bored and I feel terrible for her.

Not bad enough to walk her, of course, because it’s only 10 degrees outside.

She’s not a dog who enjoys laying around the house.  She’s active and she is bored and I feel bad but I don’t know what to do about it so I keep giving her food, which means now I have a depressed dog who’s getting chubby.

I’m running out of pithy transitions so I’m just going to insert a line from here on out to signify a topic change.

I have a PT appointment today for my shoulder where I may or may not have a torn rotator cuff.  I’m supposed to go see a Sports Medicine guy about it, but I haven’t yet for two reasons:

– I’ve really been quite busy and haven’t found the time to schedule the appointment.

– I’m a scardey cat and I don’t really want to know if it’s torn because then I’ll have to actually do something about it. 

So for now I’m sticking with my PT because I like him a lot and I’m hoping I can nurse it back to health ala natural.


My mom and dad are in England having a grand old time and I’m glad for them, but…

I miss my parents.  I want to go see them but, you know, logistics.  So I just try to live vicariously through my mom’s Facebook pictures and talk to her every few days instead.  I thought about taking the kids with me to see them, but then added up the costs and remembered that I would be trapped in a small space with them for an entire day with the eyes of strangers watching and decided Skype was a lovely invention worth making use of.


I sang at an event at our church a couple of weeks ago where I got to cover several great old standards.  I had way more fun than I even dreamed I would and out of the deal have made contacts with a few people here in town that do these sorts of gigs both professionally and as amateurs.  There’s a good chance I’ll get to do a bit more singing around town and I couldn’t be  more excited. 

Or nervous…

Final transition into the closing paragraph.

I’ve got another video idea rolling through my head and just need to find the time to put it together.  In my mind it’s brilliant, but it’s probably really lame in real life.  Either way, I’m hoping to include more video posts in the near future because I’m ready to spice things up a bit on the old bloggy blog.

And with that, I shall officially conclude this blog entry.

The End.

Random bits of information and a question

* Today is the day.  We’ve waited four months for this.  We’ve cried and labored.  We’ve thrown our hands up in frustration and cheered at small victories.  We’ve begged and pleaded and felt utterly desperate.  And today we will see if our hard work and efforts paid off. 

What, pray tell am I talking about?  Why – I am talking about Landon’s weigh-in!  Yes, we are going to see if he’s gained the 3/4 of a pound that the doctor wanted him to gain.  Given that he still eats only a few bites of food per day, I’m a little nervous.  But I think he’s gotten taller so I’m hoping that compensates for everything.

* Speaking of Landon, I love his hair long.  It’s so very cute the way it hangs in his eyes and bounces when he runs.  But the other day, I must admit I started to feel sorry for the him as he had to tip his head back to an uncomfortable angle just to see anything.  So I trimmed the front of his hair just slightly…

Slightly too much.  I’m going to need to take him in because now he looks like he has a mullet.  Remind me to never, ever, ever try and trim my children’s hair.    I really should know better…

* I’m sitting next to my daughter who is wearing the most adorable little bubble dress with her hair up in frilly bows.  I would take a pictures to show you, but I’m lazy and don’t feel like it – you’ll just have to trust me.  She is sugary sweet and looks like a little doll.  It never gets old dressing little girls.

* I’m still upset about the russian adoption situation and frustrated that no charges have been brought agains the woman who sent her adopted son back to Russian with a note pinned to his chest.  Why on Earth hasn’t she been charged?!  I don’t get it.  The child was legally hers, he was officially an American citizen and by the letter of the law, he was her son.  Does this mean when I’m having a particularly difficult day with my son, I can ship him to Russia without fear of repercussion?  Because, trust me, there are times when that sounds appealing…

The whole situation makes me angry.
* Lee and I took the kids to the local high school last night and ran the track with them.  It was really fun.  We sprinted, raced, jumped and laughed.  Lee strapped a parachute to his back for wind resistance.  He looks ridiculous while running with that thing, but it’s a great workout so he does it anyway. It was fun to watch to watch him use it until he ran past Sloan and the parachute caught the back of his head, yanking his feet out from under him and resulting in a fat lip.  Good times…

* We watched our two favorite shoes last night: Glee and LOST.  LOST did not disappoint.  Seriously, I think I’m going to go through withdrawls when that show ends this year.

Glee, however, was a little disappointing.  It was Madonna night so I expected big things.  It did make me laugh out loud several times (I love Sue Sylvester), but it also made me uncomfortable.  The whole high schooler’s dealing with sex thing makes me squirm.  Remember how I felt after seeing the movie Valentine’s Day? 

To Glee’s credit, they did handle it as well as I would expect a Hollywood produced show to handle it.  It was all about female empowerment and girls taking control of their bodies and not succombing to pressure.  So, you know, that’s good.

But as I watched all I could think was how in the world do parents with teenagers deal with shows like this?  Because I don’t know that I would want my kids watching that show if they were older.  And yet it’s such a piece of popular culture, I wouldn’t doubt that they would want to watch it.  So what would I do?  Would I let them watch it and then dialogue with them afterwards about what a healthy, godly view of sex is?  Or would I simply not let them watch it?  Parents with older children, give me your thoughts.  I really want to know.

Do shows like Glee that are light hearted and fun and uber-popular make parenting a headache?  Do you let your children watch them?  How do you handle these pieces of culture that bombard our kids with messages that aren’t enitrely healthy?

Do share!

The Minivan Mom Runs – Part 2

It was 1994 and we were in Spanish Wells, Bahamas for a family reunion.  I know, awesome place for a reunion right?  There are some definate perks to having missionary grandparents.

This was the summer that it became apparent I would no longer be able to compete in the high jump at school because of back issues so I was trying my hand at running.  Spanish Wells is 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide so I mentioned that it would be fun to run around the whole island.

“I’ll go with you,” my cousin Sean piped up. 

“Great!” I said, glad for the company.  And especially glad that it was Sean as in my eyes he was the bees knees – he still is. I have a lot of admiration for him.

“I’d like to come too, if that’s alright,” my Uncle Cletis said from across the room.  He’d recently begun running himself (or maybe he’d been running for awhile, I forget).

“Fun!” I exclaimed.  “We’ll go early in the morning before it gets too hot.”

Except, there was just one thing.  It was the hottest summer EVAH down there.  Which meant that by 7:30 am, which is when we rolled out of the house, it was already in the ’90’s.

About a half mile into the run, I realized I’d made a grave, grave error.  Graaaaave error.  My first clue came when I looked down at Sean’s calves as he kept pace in front of me.  They were thin and muscle-ly.

“Do you run a lot?” I heaved, sweat dripping into my mouth.

“I have been,” Sean replied.  “Actually, I’ve been biking a lot.   I’ve been doing 70-80 mile bike rides along with my runs.”

“Oh,” I said, swallowing hard.  I think Uncle Cletis chuckled.

A mile into our trip, I thought I was going to die.  The only saving grace was the fact that the scenery was spectacular.  Then we came to a place in the road that was blocked.

“Let’s just run this stretch on the beach,” Sean said all perky like.  Honest to God, I don’t even think he was breathing hard.  Not one to give up and be left behind I agreed with as much enthusiasm as I could muster and we headed onto the white sandy shore. 

Running in and of itself is hard.  Running when it’s 10,000 degrees out is harder.  Running in 10,000 degrees on sand is torture.  As we jogged next to the crystal blue waters and I stared at Sean’s legs, I realized that I’d bitten off way more than I could chew.  But I would not give up.  I told you – competition killed the cat.

The last half mile did not find me hitting any kind of stride.  While the guys picked up the pace (just slightly…they were being nice to me), I huffed and puffed and no longer tried to pretend I was having fun.  I’ll never forget the sight of that house as it came into view.  I won’t foget it because there were angels flying above singing “Hallelujah” as white doves flitted in and out of the windows.

It was glorious.

And I didn’t run with the guys again that week.

I am two weeks into my new committment of running.  I’m doing ten minutes miles now.  I’m waiting for it to get easier so I can up my time a little.  I didn’t have a lot of time to run last week due to kiddos having colds and being unable to go to the gym, but I’m back in it this week.  I will up my distance to a mile and a half next week. 

I still don’t like running.  But, I have to say, I’d much rather be doing it on a Carribbean island, staring at my cousin’s legs than at the gym staring at the backside of the guy in front of me.

Just sayin’…


FYI – I wanted to make you all aware of a couple of things coming up.  This Saturday I will be leading a Lunch and Learn session for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild on publishing for the Popular Market.  The official title of the seminar is “So You Wrote a Novel – Now What?”  It will be from 11:00-12:00 at the Stone Spiral Cafe in Mapelwood, Missouri.

Also, on Friday, Feburary 26, our church is hosting a Ladies Night Out from 6:30-10:00.  There are 13 different breakout sessions to choose from, one of them being blogging, which I am leading.  I will be discussing the ins and outs of blogging, some do’s and don’ts and how to monetize your blog.  Beginners and advanced bloggers are all welcome.  You can find out more information on how to register here.

Happy snow day to you all!

The Minivan Mom Runs

I ran track in high school.  I don’t really know why.  I wasn’t that good at it and running has never been my favorite thing.  I enjoyed the comraderie and I was a sprinter so the running I had to do was in short bursts – much better for a girl who’s brain starts cussing her out once she hits the half mile mark.

I also enjoyed the boys. Mmmm…the boys.   Come to think of it, it may have been the boys that kept me coming back each year for another season.  I enjoyed running as long as I could exercise my flirting skills.


Actually, I started my track career as a high jumper, something that I had at least a little natural talent in, but had to quit when I developed a stress fracture in my back.  But rather than quit altogether, I decided I would just become a runner.  Only I quickly discovered I wasn’t exactly a runner.

I’ve always longed to be able to say I’m a runner, though.  When Lee and I were first married, we met a crazy older couple who told us that running was a great way to strengthen a young marriage.  They were training for their second marathon together and convinced us to train for a half marathon.

So, in our love struck foolishness, we agreed and began running.  And we quickly learned that trying to train for a race together would likely be the demise of our marriage.  We’re both highly competitive, but one of us is naturally a better athlete than the other.

I’ll give you one guess as to which one it is.

My husband is a super freak when it comes to athletics.  He’s all, “I hate to run.  It’s so hard and boring.”  Then he pops out and run 5 miles in 40 minutes while barely breaking a sweat.  And quite frankly, it infuriates me.  The only plus was that since I was stuck running behind him most of the time, I got to stare at his backside while he ran.  Bonus for me…but still annoying.

So Lee dropped out of the training after a couple of weeks and decided he didn’t need or want to run a half marathon.  I, however, stuck with and got up to 8 miles when I hurt my foot, had to take a break and never started up again. 

Fast forward seven years.  I was once again duped by a friend into running a marathon relay.  My friend convinced me that it would be easy.  Four of us would divide a marathon and would accomplish the race that way.  “You can have the last leg,” she said.  “It’s the easiest.”

L to the I to the A to the R!  The final 6.3 miles was all up hill.  I nearly died, folks.  Did you hear me?  I NEARLY DIED!

One week later I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) with Landon.  And when complications with the pregnancy arose, I stopped running…and never started up again.

Fast forward to today.  I have lost all the baby weight from three children.  Go me!  But there’s one problem.  Areas of my body are soft and squishy where once they were much firmer.  Not cool

Combine the squishiness with the fact that my husband has decided he is going to run a half marathon in April and is already up to running 3.5 miles after only a couple weeks of training and I’m chomping at the bit to dive back in.

I may hate running, but I’m not one to sit around and let my husband show me up.  Competition – it’s what killed the cat.  You thought it was curiosity, didn’t you? 

So, I started running again this week.  I did a mile on Monday (I was heaving with embarrassing aplomb) and today the goal is to do a mile again – just a little faster.

And so, here I go.  I will be chronicling my adventures in running here in an attempt to spur myself on and to find comic relief in what I believe to be the very un-funny process of running.  This has the potential to go one of two ways – I fall madly in love with running and experience the “runner’s high,” (not likely) or I fall flat on my face (figuratively…and maybe liturally) and learn once and for all that running is not for me.

Because the temps are significantly below freezing right now and the only thing that sounds worse to me than running is frostbite, I will have to do the dreaded exercise on a treadmill for awhile.  Awesome.  Now I get to have an audience as I galump along. 

When it warms up, I will hit the road.  Now if I could just find some cute boys to surround me while I run, that would help…