/> SLO in Arkansas: January 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

Off To A Good Start

2011 is off to a great start. I logged 106.5 miles running this month. Definitely my most by far. I am still feeling good too thank goodness. The crazy part is that I am not running nearly as much as most training plans call for. I only run 3 days a week, and most plans are at least 4 days and even 5. It seems to be working for me so far, so I will stick with it:)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Sunny 18

I completed my 18 mile run yesterday morning, and it went flawless. Despite that fact, I am still a nervous wreck about the actual race! Seriously, I am learning that running a marathon is so much more mental than physical. Every week I prove to myself that I can physically do the distance, but every time I finish I think that the next distance will be impossible to accomplish. Me and my crazy head! At least this is normal from what I have read and from talking to some others.
I woke up to a perfectly gorgeous spring like day, even though it is late January. It was about 49 degrees when I left, and around 60 degrees when I finished. Beautiful blue skies and nothing but sun the whole time. I started off in a long sleeve shirt but had to change to short sleeves around mile 10 when I took a quick pit stop to refill my water bottles. I ran the first 10 miles right at 9:59 mile average, and it felt great. Then came the tricky part. I have been running the first 10 miles of my long runs alone, and then meeting up with my running partner to finish out the last 6 with me at the end. She couldn't run with me at all today, so I had to go the entire 18 alone! After my first 10 it became a lot more mental in pushing myself to go 8 more. I got the next 5 done and was getting really tired, even though I was keeping my average pace right where I wanted it (a little over 10 min miles at this point). I think the last lap of 3 miles was pretty tough....lots of hills, getting hot, and being alone. The good thing was that I was excited to be getting close to finishing. I hit mile 16.5 which was the farthest I have ever been to this point, and was still feeling strong for the most part. I did run out of water, but I knew I just needed to make it the 1.5 miles back to the house to get some more. I listened to my ipod most of the time, but took it off the last mile or so to just listen to my feet and breathing and enjoy the day without any noise. I liked it. My last mile was a little uphill, but I was able to finish strong and push harder at the end. I ran my last mile faster than the previous 3, which was nice. Boy was I glad to be done running! It took me 3:03:20. I ran the first 9 miles in an hour and a half, and the second 9 miles in an hour and 33 minutes. Not bad! My overall pace was 10:11 miles (which includes my walking breaks to drink and refuel along the way). The run was perfect and nothing went wrong at all. Nothing hurt or ached. But I am still freaked out about running 26.2 for some reason. I step back this week to a 12 mile run which I am really looking forward to!! It seems so short. Then on to the big 20 miler and back downhill from there on out to race day. I cannot believe I only have one more really long run before the race!! I think that is what scares me the most. I am getting tired of running for 3 hours + though, so I am ready for this thing to get here and be over with already:)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Days

I have to say, this has been one of my best winters ever! Not for anything that has happened, but for what hasn't happened. I almost always get so blah and depressed in the winter, lots of seasonal blues really. I hate the cold, gray, dark days where we are cooped up in the house. Usually winter is to be tolerated at best, just survive til spring. But not this year! I really do attribute my running to so many positive things in my life, and this is a huge one for sure! My mood has been much better than usual, and I have a lot more energy and general ok days than I ever have before. I am so thankful for that, and I know Silas is too:)
The boys and I are having fun during the days by playing in tents, watching Toy Story 3, eating popcorn, having play dates, and sometimes heading to the playground at the mall. We are planning to start trying to attend story time at the local library as well next week. I am hoping the boys like it! The house is usually in a general state of disaster during the day since we are inside a lot, but gets put back together pretty well in the evenings, so it hasn't overwhelmed me too much. Thanks to my more positive attitude as well I am sure!
Running is going well. I hurt my foot about 2 weeks ago. Pretty sure it is plantar something-or-other which pretty much just means a big fat pain. It is gone now but stressed me out a bit while it was hurting! No time to be injured now! I have completed my 10, 12, 14 and 16 mile runs so far too. I was pretty nervous about the 16 miler this past Saturday, but it went awesome! I have a new 5 mile loop Silas mapped out for me which made it seem much shorter since I only had to run 3 of them and then an extra mile. At least it helped mentally not seem as tough. I am pretty sure I am training well and incorporating enough hills into my training to make the actual race seem ok. I guess time will tell! I feel strong at this point, and am hoping to stay that way. I missed my run Monday due to being sick all night which also stressed me out, but not much I can do there. It is snowing again today, so I may not get to make it up either. The beauty of training outdoors during the winter!
Everything else is good. The boys have random sickness which I hate. Jace has an ear infection and we are on his second round of antibiotics trying to knock it out. Please pray it goes away next week. Even though it is his first and only one, if these antibiotics don't take care of it, he will have to have tubes put in. I really don't want that for him. Tyson had a double ear infection too, but his seem to be better now. I will post more about the boys individually soon. They are in MAJOR developmental phases and are changing like crazy! Tyson is blowing me away with his letter recognition/spelling/writing and Jace is talking up a storm and learning new words by the day. Lots of fun things going on around here for sure:)
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Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Goals

Sorry this will be boring without pictures! Anyway, just wanted to quickly get down some specific goals we are working towards this year in the Orbison house. Most of them are for me personally, and some are as a family.

1) Run a marathon- registered to run the Little Rock Marathon on March 6, 2011
2) Run a half-marathon
3) Run 1,000 miles
4) Complete a sprint triathlon
5) Set a PR in a 5k and half marathon

Non-running related goals:
6) Pay off Lauren's student loan (4 years early)

Ha! I guess most of my goals are related to running (of course!) Anyway, I am hoping to focus on my training this year and accomplish some fun things along the way. I know the running makes me a better mom, wife, therapist, etc as it really helps with my attitude, confidence, patience, and stress level. It is not just a hobby, it really gives me balance in my life and is a great outlet to my work stress.

Silas and I sat down and hammered out some details for getting some financial goals accomplished this year as well. I am very excited about the outcome of accomplishing these goals, but not thrilled at all about the journey to get there! We are trying to commit to a year of simplifying in lots of areas, but especially financially. Our plan is to really evaluate our spending and focus on needs rather than wants. By eliminating lots of random wants, we can instantly have extra money for paying off debt without changing our income any. Sounds simple, but I know it won't be easy. I am looking forward to having a very specific filter to examine our spending through, and have already found it to be very helpful in keeping me from buying random unnecessary things this month! So operation take out the student loan is under way. I am not having any fun at all!! I am hoping it will be similar to my running journey, and will hurt a lot in the beginning but will slowly become enjoyable and then something I really want to do along the way. Mostly I just want to see a big fat $0 at the end of the year when it comes time to pay that payment!

Speaking of simplifying, that is one of my words for this year. I want to simplify across the board as much as I can. I am working on de-cluttering our home, getting rid of un-useful things and keeping what's important. There is such freedom in simplifying things! I want to simplify our schedule (though my own schedule is the one that makes things most hectic it seems). My other words for this year are joy and contentment. I want to be full of joy despite my current circumstances. I want to express true joy and teach my boys how to be thankful, to teach them that joy is a choice, and not dependent on what is going on around us. And I want to learn to be more content with less. Stuff is overwhelming and just gets in the way of the important things. Stuff is distracting. I often think of a phrase my dad always said, which came from his father I believe. "I can be happy on a dollar or happy on a dime." I want that to be true in my life. I don't want to get bogged down in a phase of life that is more difficult. Just be happy with what I have no matter what. One day there won't be diapers to buy or babies at home to care for. And when this phase is over, I know without a doubt that I will miss it! So I am challenging myself this year to be joyful, to be content, and to simplify. And I know a lot of that will be accomplished through continuing my running journey. I am constantly changing and pushing myself to do things I never thought possible. Some days it hurts, some days it's scary, and some days it is just pure bliss:) Whatever may come my way this year, I hope I can look back and see some of these things at work in my life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

SnOw DaYs!!!

So I know it totally looks like there was no snow in some of these pictures, but there was! We bundled up after naps, loaded up in the truck and took the boys sledding on a big hill at the church down from our house this afternoon. People had been sledding all day, which is why it looks like most of the snow is gone. It was not crowded anymore. and the sleds still went plenty fast for the boys.
Jace was lucky enough to get to catch a ride back up the hill every time since he was too little to walk back up by himself!
Brothers playing in the snow. This was Jace's first time to experience snow and he loved it. He just kept grinning at it and bending down to pat it. He definitely loved sledding down the hill too. Silas and I bought two sleds earlier this year in hopes of getting at least one decent snow, and they did not disappoint! We had fun riding down with the boys, and then sending them down the hill together.
Tyson made a little time between sledding and throwing snowballs to make a snow angel. The snow pants and jackets we had for the boys worked out perfectly too. Everyone stayed toasty warm and dry! We made a yummy bowl of snow cream once we came inside which the boys also loved eating. We loved our snow day:)
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Saturday, January 08, 2011

C is for CRAZY

Yes, I have officially lost my mind. I am registered to run the Little Rock Marathon on March 6, 2010. I paid the money, so there is no turning back now! Time to get serious with my training for sure, seeing as there are only 8 weeks left until race day. Yep, that pretty much freaks me out just typing it. I sat there on New Year's Eve staring at the registration on the computer until about 10:30 pm trying to decide what to do. The fees went up on Jan 1st, so I wanted to make a decision. So I rang in the new year with a major challenge for myself and am now working to turn it into a reality.

I ran 14 miles this morning with the running group. It was 32 degrees with a nice north wind which made it feel about 26. Pretty cold! But I was dressed well for it and it is a gorgeous sunny day which helped it to feel better for sure. It is much easier to run when the sun is shining:) It was a good run, but those last 3 miles were tough. There was an uphill mile heading into the wind at mile 11 which was not fun at all. I had only planned to run 12 today, so I am super pleased that I stuck it out for 14. That is the farthest I have ever gone in my life!! I only have 3 more longer runs than this before the race! A 16, 18 and 20 miler, and then it will be time to taper already. Exciting and pretty scary at the same time. I am still so new to running and having to learn a lot along the way, but it is fun. I really can't believe I have decided to run a spring marathon, and have to train through the winter. It is so different from what I enjoy doing, but so far this winter has not been bad at all. I am hoping it stays fairly mild! Training for a marathon is pretty time consuming, so I am having to readjust my schedule a little and really prioritize my time better to make sure I get everything done. I couldn't do it without Silas and all his support and help with the kids, that is for sure. I am excited and nervous and loving (almost) every step of this journey so far!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Missing Pictures

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2010 Recap

What an amazing year! 2010 was so good for me in so many ways. It was a year of challenges, growth, struggles and victories. It started off with a huge decision to downsize everything in our lives and move into a smaller, older home. We sold our new house and moved our family of 4 into our current home. One year later and I still love everything about that decision!! It has relieved us of the financial stress we were under, given us a wonderful place to call home, and has met all of our needs better than we could have ever imagined due to location to church, friends, work, etc.
I took a break from counseling in February to focus on settling into the new house and taking care of my little boys. It was a much needed break for sure! It was during this month that I realized I had let a lot of things get out of control in my life, and I was feeling lost. I made the decision on Valentine's Day 2010 to reclaim my sense of self, to have more balance, discipline, etc in my life that I was desperately missing. I cringe just posting these "fat"pictures of myself on here, but I guess it has to be done. The top one is from Christmas 2009 and the second one is from a friend's baby shower in early Feb I believe. I weighed more than I ever had (not pregnant) and was pretty miserable with myself. I made the decision to start walking in late February/early March, and took my first steps running on April 14, 2010.
Six and a half months later and 25 pounds lighter I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon! AMAZING! I wish I could say it was an easy journey to get there, but it was tough. Every step, mile, hour took so much effort. It was worth it! I ran my first race in August, a 4 miler in the heat. After a few more 5k races in the early fall I knew I could push myself to accomplish something bigger, and set my sights on the 13.1 miles. Running has changed my life this year. I have reclaimed my sense of self by remembering who I am and what I am good at. Running makes me a better person, mom, wife, etc. Running challenges me to do things I never thought possible. I no longer run to lose weight or have to force myself to go. Running is just part of my lifestyle now and something I do. I started back to work in July 2010 and have been busy juggling my 3 part-time jobs ever since. I work two afternoons a week counseling at church, and two afternoons a week counseling for an agency in town. I continue to complete adoption home studies on the side as well. Oh yeah, and I am a stay-at-home mom as my first and favorite job!
This is not the best picture in the world but my most recent one. I finished 2010 35 pounds less than I started it, and I feel amazing. I have dropped at least 4 sizes. I have so much more energy and confidence now. It affects everything I do:) I could not have done this journey without the constant support of Silas and never-ending encouragement of my boys. They make me want to be a better person, and encourage me every step of the way. I am so grateful to God for blessing me athletically and giving me this gift of running, and of a supportive family. It has been a tough journey to say the least. Lots of sacrifices have to be made to reach your goals. Priorities have to change. I have been challenged in so many other areas of my life as well this year. I hope that I am learning the needed lessons as they come and can use my successes to face head on whatever else may come my way. I have loved this year of growth, of struggle, of accomplishment. I am ready to face the new year and have some pretty big plans to tackle other areas in my life that need the same overhaul my body did. Thank goodness I feel good and have the energy for all this! I will post my goals for 2011 coming up. Some seem daunting for sure, but I know that with God, all things are possible! This year I am going to focus on praising God from whom all blessings flow. I pray that every one of you be blessed in whatever endeavors you undertake, and that you enjoy your journey along the way:)