Sunday, April 4, 2010

A New Challenge

So, several of you are aware that Richard and I registered for the Army Ten Miler a couple of days ago.  This is an annual race and apparently a popular one.  It sold out (30,000 participants) in a record 35 hours.  The race is in October in D.C.  And like I said, it's only been a couple of days since we registered, so I am still in that "what have I done?!" mode.

I am not a runner.  Until this summer, my exercise program had been on hold ... on hold for literally 8 years.  It has always been a dream of mine to be a runner ... well, not so much to be a runner, but I have always enjoyed running and I have always thought that it would be a fun and easy way to get some exercise, stay healthy and spend time with Richard.  However, I have spent a lot of the last 8 years being pregnant, starting my homeschool journey and raising my girls solo while Richard has gone to this or that country.  Basically I have just not had the time.  It hasn't been my time.

This summer Momma had some surgery and while there were risks with the surgery, it wasn't supposed to be that big of a deal afterwards.  But as some of you know, everything suddenly changed.  Once in surgery the doctors discovered a huge cancerous tumor that they literally thought would kill her within months.  There is much more to this story, but the short of it is that she is fine now and receiving treatment much less intensive than was originally thought that she'd need and God has blest her with a second chance at life.  My point in all of this is that there was a period there where I couldn't talk to her as I normally do each day, and I couldn't talk to Richard because he was deployed.  We were new to GA and for the first time not living in a military community.  For the first time in my life I was alone and it hit me, "what would I do if I something happened to my life as I know it?"  What would I do if the two who keep me grounded the most were not around?   I learned how I wasn't putting my relationship with God before my relationship with my husband and mother, and I learned how I wasn't taking my own health seriously, but rather for granted.  I knew I needed to have a God centered life ... and not just say that that is what I had.  I knew I needed an outlet for the day to day stresses of life in general.  I also knew that it was time to focus on taking better care of me so that I could be there for the girls physically, mentally and emotionally now and in the future.  So, I started running during nap time several times a week.  It was hot and it was hard.  I was tired, out of shape and there are a lot of hills in our neighborhood.  I had to give up my 30 min of mindlessness and coffee and exchange it for a run.  And my time to quickly pick up from the morning before the second half of my day began was eliminated on run days.  But I did it and it felt good.

I am still not very consistent.  Richard returned from his deployment and then the holidays were among us and then our trip to Pasadena and then it was cold and then it got colder.  Richard needed my tutoring in his graduate Stats course at night ... and on and on.  But the church I take Kate and Olivia to for Mother's Morning Out was having a 5K/10K run and I noticed the signs and mentioned it to Richard.  We couldn't seem to get our schedules together to prepare for the 5K, but I couldn't get it off my mind.  Finally the morning of the race Richard said "Mary Katharine, let's just go.  You can do this."  I didn't think I couldn't, yet I was afraid that I couldn't.  I went anyway.  I ended up coming in second in my age group.  I couldn't believe it.  This wasn't that big of a race, but I was so thankful to God for getting me there and giving me that encouragement.  Who would have thought?  Not me.  Anyway, as a result of that my dream to run the Army Ten Miler came alive again.  Just something I have always wanted to do with Richard before he retires.  He's not retiring anytime soon, but now seems like a great opportunity, so we're going for it.

Honestly, I know I can do this, but I'm not sure how I'm going to.  For now I'm taking one step at a time.  I've finally conquored this hill.  It curves so I had to take two photos from the bottom.   The third is from the top.

Richard and I ran it yesterday.  It was the second time I've made it up without stopping.  The first time I literally burst into tears.  This time my pace was steady and strong and I felt good when I got to the top.  I didn't cry, but praised God for that run.  It was another huge step for me.  I've got a lot more to go.  Y'all pray for me!! (and I promise that hill looks MUCH steeper when you're running up it!!  And if it is not a big hill for you, please just play along with me:)!)

Now for bed.  Tomorrow Richard and I have our "fun" run.  1.5 miles up and then 1.5 miles down.  MUCH better than this run which is almost up and down nonstop with this hill in the middle.
And last but not least, it is SPRING BREAK for the The Davenport School this week.  I don't think we've ever taken the week off.  Richard's always been gone and so we usually take part days here and there when he would "drop in" for a week or two, and so we've never really had the time to take off or he's been gone, so it's just been easier to keep a routine.  I can't tell you how, well, giddy I am!!  We have some fun things planed.  Definitely a busy week, but a fun one.

I hope your week is great, too!

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