Sunday, October 23, 2011

10 Miles and My Inspiration

Today marks the day I completed my longest run in my half marathon training. 10 miles before 9:00 a.m. CRAZY!! I must be dedicated seeing that I bid my bed farewell at 4:50 this morning and began to prepare myself for a 10 miler in Shelby Forest. iPod...check, energy gels...check, jacket (cause it's very chilly)...check, hydration water...check...forget it, you get the idea. I ate two oat and peanut granola bars on the way and drank a Sunkist, two of my favorite snacks. I turned up the KLOVE on the radio and meditated on the words to each song that played. My God, my inspiration. I was reminded more than once this morning that He should always be my inspiration. I have said before that when I run, I use this time to talk to God. I know I don't have to run to talk to Him, but I have found this to be a good time for me. Whatever brings us closer to Him, right?

As I ran through Shelby Forest and tried NOT to focus on the miles I had to run, I chose to focus more on my surroundings. The sun rose just before we started the 10 miler, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful. Trees changing colors and deep forest all was actually kinda easy to keep my mind off my feet hitting the pavement with the scenery. After 3 miles, I started thinking, "Man, that's a 5K. 2 more 5K's to go.(Plus one mile.) I can do this, I can do this." And then I started praying again. You see, I think running requires almost as much mental preparation as it does physical preparation. Praying helps me with the mental part. Somehow, I don't remember the miles between 3 and 6. Mile 6 is wher they passed out the GU, the energy gels. I had brought some different energy gels, but I took one of the GU's and tore it open. I squeezed out a bit, and let me say, they don't make these things to taste good. I made myself take another shot of it, and then tossed the rest. Mile 7 and then mile 8. I almost choked, not due to the drink of water from my water bottle or energy gel I was eating, but from the tears almost cried as I realized I was almost finished and that I had actually run this far and this long. No crying, I can't spare the energy for it. :)

Mile 9 was a doozy! We had mastered a few hills, but the hill on mile 9 takes the cake! I turned to my friend behind me and shouted, "O, M, G!" (Oh, my goodness!!) That's all I could say at that moment. It was no hill, it was a WALL! I, along with everyone else I saw around me, walked this "WALL". Once I got to the top, I caught my breath and began running again. About 3/4 mile left to go!

 I glanced at the clock, crossed the finish, and turned in my chip. I went straight for the Gatorade and water. I asked my friend, Anna, for the time and she said it was 9:00. I knew that if I hurried, I could make it back to town for worship service at my church. I told Anna good-bye, found my jacket that I had tossed about halfway through the race, and got out of "the woods". I was determined to put as much effort into making it to church that I had out into running those miles. After all, God allowed me to run those miles. I made it to the choir room just before they were ready to go out to the sanctuary. Whew!

So, 10 miler...check.
My time:  1:48:47
I did it!:-)
God is good!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meet Me in St. Louis

We just returned from a very last minute, but AWESOME (according to Jonah), trip to St. Louis! The kids loved it! We surprised them with packed bags after breakfast Tuesday morning. I had packed clothes the night before so that we could try to get away as early as possible Tuesday morning. We had a blast! The zoo, the arch, eating downtown, seeing Busch stadium, and tackling The City Museum were all packed into 2 days of St. Louis FUN! It was a great getaway for Fall Break, especially when I had not planned on us going anywhere at all this time. :) Here's some memories I'll treasure from this trip...

I guess it's hard to NOT act like a monkey when you are at the zoo...right, Jonah?! 

My three "monkeys" posing for a Halloween picture at the zoo

And everybody said,"Awww!" when the baby elephant came out! Mary Claire said it the loudest. hehe

Spotting butterflies with our handy-dandy "Species Identification" guides

Caught a beautiful butterfly hanging out on a leaf

Mary Claire liked the goats.
She called the little white baby goat a lamb, and the zookeeper guy got a kick out of it!

Jonah liked the guinea pigs

Family fun at the zoo

Glorious picture of the Arch

I wonder what the man resting under the arch next to us thought...

Daddy and Mary Claire at the Gateway Arch

Lots of stairs surrounded by ART!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can be like a hamster...
I am seriously considering this type of contraption for my half-marathon training. Hard work!

Mary Claire going down the monster slide!

The biggest underwear I've ever seen! Hmm...modern art?

A Big Boy! (Our kids have never seen one, but Jan and I remember him.)

The worlds largest pencil! A real eraser and lead, too!
And that's when my batteries in my camera DIED, and I did not have the spare ones with me...UGH! So, the rest of our pictures from the day at The City Museum are whatever my husband took with his phone. I would highly recommend this museum to any one with children! Just be ready to climb, crawl, slide on your belly (at times), and squeeze through small spaces. My knees hurt after all the crawling I did! And just when I thought my inner child was gone for good :), "she" resurfaced as I slid down slides and slides and more slides. "Come on, Momma!" was the phrase for the day, and we were so happy to run into our friend, Ella, there, too! In addition to all the climbing and sliding, she and John Owen rode the ferris wheel together on the top of the museum, and I rode with Jonah. Now THAT was an experience! Being 10 stories up in the air already and then getting on a ferris wheel. Man! I was overcoming my fear of heights in a big way at that museum! Maybe that's why the "boy" running the ferris wheel gave me a "thumbs up" with a questioning look on his face as my car came around. I am guessing my expression said it all...
Seriously, the boys and Mary Claire LOVED it, and that's all that really matters. It was well worth the soreness. (A little ALEVE can fix that, right?)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

All in a Day's Post...

Let me just say that I have so much I need and want to post right now, but the truth is I am gonna have to pull an "all in one" due to my lack of time for posting. Let me catch us up real quickly...
I have been continuing to work on training for the St. Jude 1/2 marathon. I am up to running 4 or 5 days a week with 3 short runs during the week and working on longer runs on the weekends. I just completed my longest run yet this past weekend...6.6 miles in 67 minutes!! I literally almost cried when I finished. I did it, and 6.6 miles is a lot for this novice runner! Jonah was so funny when I told the kids I was going to run from Daddy's shop to our house. He responded with, "But Mommy, that's running from Brighton!" (Yes, that's right, technically I did run from Brighton...Jan's shop being one of the first Brighton addresses right outside of Covington on Hwy 51.) I felt like Forrest Gump (smile) as I ran past the fields along the backroads. "Run, Forrest, run!!" It wasn't until mile 5.8 that I felt my muscles in my legs beginning to wear down some. Which means I still have a lot of work to do. Someone suggested energy gels at mile 6, so I might experiment with that on my next long run.
LeBonheur Pumpkin Run 5K this Sat., and I am excited about it. I am excited about being a member of Team Lucy! Lucy, and the other children at St. Jude and LeBonheur, are why I'm running. I won't give up even when it hurts and I'm tired. This has almost become my addiction and my therapy, I think. If I could run these miles and remove the fact that any child would ever have to get sick, I would run and run and run and run! I am thankful for hospitals like LeBonheur and St. Jude who work so hard to treat precious children and save lives!
Go Lucy Go!

This past Sunday we celebrated my grandmother's 91st birthday at Uncle Davie's house. I wish I could include all of the family pictures I took, but instead I'll just include these special moments:
Uncle Glenn, Mom, Aunt Dinah, Uncle Don, and Uncle Davie
with Grandmother

Mary Claire, Jenny, and Olivia

All of "us" (grandkids) with Grandmother
Melanie, me, Christopher, Matthew, Geremy, Machelle, Marcy, Alex
(Jim Isaac always with us in spirit...)

ALL of the Caudle great-grandchildren (except Avery who had ball practice and had to leave early).
As far as we know, there are no new ones expected anytime soon...hehe
Think I can name them all in order? Let's see..Mary Shields, Max, Brooks, Isaac, Christopher (yes, we have 2 Christophers), Avery, John Owen, Grant, Jonah, Cooper, Olivia, Mary Claire, Harris, Hardy, Henry...Is that everyone? :-) 

Aren't these 3 year old cousins just SWEET?!
Harris, Mary Claire, Hardy, Olivia

Group hug!

We had such a great time Sunday afternoon and are looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas together.

The boys started flag football this past Saturday, and here are some pictures from their first game!
I think they are liking it so far.
Go Tribe!

My two boys

To end this post, I must introduce you to the "Hula Queen", Miss Mary Claire Hensley!
I don't know exactly where she learned this, but she has not given up on this, and I am amazed at her skills with her "hoop loop"(This is what she calls her hula hoop!) Now, everytime she picks the hula hoop up, she is going longer and longer! I am starting to think maybe we should set this hula hoop act to music and enter her in a talent contest somewhere. :-) America's Got Talent  maybe?! Video is not uploading, so a couple of action shots will have to do for now...