Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Pretty much the only thing that went as planned this weekend was that I got my 14 mile run in. I had no time or pace goal, just that I wanted to run 14 miles—and I did.

Other than that, it was a colossal frustration of things that didn’t happen. For over a month now, we’ve been planning a really fun trip to my sister’s house. There were plans to take the kids to an amusement park. Plans for Shane and my brother-in-law to go to a baseball game Saturday afternoon. I didn’t tell Luke until Friday morning, because otherwise, he can’t handle the anticipation of something fun. When I told him, he was so filled with excitement that I was even more excited (and I was pretty excited).

The bags were packed Thursday night. Friday, I came home from my run. Threw the bags in the car. Waited for Luke to get off the bus, and then waited for Shane to come home. We all hopped in the car and set out. It’s about a 4.5 hour trip. Not too bad, but not one that we could make before bedtime.

I offered to drive the first leg of the trip. My legs were still feeling pretty good, despite running 14 miles right before we left. I had on my compression socks and was ready to go. We swung through the McDonald’s drivethru before we got on the road for an early dinner (hey, we hardly ever do fast food… and I just ran 14 miles! I needed some junky sustenance). Then

And then, we drove into rain. Not just any rain, but a torrential downpour with lightning on every side of us. I could hardly see the tail lights of the cars in front of us. We were going no faster than 50 mph and the radio kept saying, “if you’re between mile markers ___ and ___” please pull off. We were, of course we were.

Shane looked at the radar on my phone and we saw that we’d be out of it in about 45 minutes, so we just kept driving and hoping, but it was stressful. Just when you think things can’t get worse, Tommy was sobbing loudly because the storm was scaring him, and my car started to shake. The RPM surged to 5 and it was making all manner of horrible noises. I pulled off at the nearest exit, where there was nothing but a lot of fields. I couldn’t even find a place to pull off because there were so many people pulled off waiting out the storms, but I finally found a side road and parked. I turned off my car and turned it back on, only to be greeted by the glowing check engine light. I almost immediately started crying because I knew that an hour and a half into our trip, our best bet was to turn around and pray we could make it home.

Shane and I switched drivers. It was not a fun trip home. The boys were upset and antsy. I was definitely upset. My car wouldn’t go over 60 without horribly shaking. The RPM stayed at 3 and would randomly shoot way up. To say we were frustrated was an understatement. It took us around 2 hours to get home. We pulled into the driveway exhausted, but happy to not be broken down on the side of the road somewhere. In the course of the very long drive home, Shane and I realized that we need a new, reliable car. My car is only six years old, but it is not the most reliable of cars. We need something that we can trust will get us on a trip without breaking down when we’re less than halfway there, so we will definitely be spending the next couple of months car shopping.
Fortunately, the issue with my car was not a huge, costly one. It turns out that a wire beneath the battery box was corroded and came loose. In the process, all kinds of false signals went out to the engine causing it to act like the transmission was going out. I’m glad because it was a much cheaper fix than a new transmission, but the timing is SO frustrating. Why couldn’t it have done that on my way to work? Or on a random trip to the grocery store? Or when we were ten minutes from home and could’ve made arrangements to borrow a car from my parents or Shane’s? I can’t control the timing, though! So, where we are with cars is that we’re looking at a crossover. I personally would be okay with a minivan, but Shane is not sold. Right now, we’re considering a Chevy Traverse or a GMC Acadia. We will most likely buy American—and because I’m irrationally angry at my Ford Focus, we’re not really looking at Ford, though you can try to convince me otherwise. I would love to hear from people who have crossovers! Tell me what you love or don’t love. Or tell me why I should get something else, whatever. Keep in mind that we are looking for something with 3rd row seating and something that isn't too costly. Mostly, just help me find a car that won’t ruin our weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Half Marathon Training Week... I have no idea

Remember how I was all, I'm going to blog about my half marathon training week by week, just like I did last time! And I totally did. That one time. Then I went back to work and I injured my back and missed one long run.

I kept thinking, I need to blog, but my time has been so limited. The important thing, though, is that I have been running. I've cut out a few short 3 mile runs here and there because let's be honest... I am swamped at work and sometimes I can only juggle so much. For awhile, I was getting up at 4:30, but that became too overwhelming and exhausting that I had to admit that I couldn't do it all. Funny concept, that.

That said, I've kept up with all of my long runs. In the past three weeks, I've progressively gone 12, 13, and 14 miles. Wow. In my last half marathon training, I topped out at 12 miles. That was the big long run that I worked up to, so it was weird to hit 12 miles so early in this plan and know that it would just go up from there. It was even weirder to run 13 miles, to basically run a half marathon knowing that my actually half marathon is still two months away. This is definitely not an easy training plan!

I've had a few people ask if I have a pace goal. The answer to that is no. I'm being realistic in that it'll be November and I honestly can't predict what the weather will do. It could be freezing rain and a screaming wind and that could hurt my overall performance. I don't want to be disappointed if I can't perform as well as I've trained. I also know that sometimes, things just happen. I would, of course, like to improve my last half time, which is why I'm following this plan (that and I apparently like to punish myself with really long runs).

I've felt myself grow stronger over the course of these long runs. What's been amazing to me is how my body holds up through them. I remember being SO sore after my half marathon. I remember going out to eat afterward and walking bow-legged to the bathroom. I didn't feel like this again, which is a blessing. I had some issues with my calves cramping horribly at mile 12 of 13 when I had to stop for a long traffic stop, so I made sure to eat more bananas the week before my 14 miler and I had no issues with cramping (I also had a slower overall pace for this run). I did run the first 6 of the 14 with Barb and I cannot stress how much this helped break up the monotony of a long run for me. Knowing that I only had to face 8 of the 14 miles alone made it that much more bearable. I don't listen to music when I run (long story short, I feel like I'm a more efficient runner without it), so having someone with me definitely helps pass the time.

Mostly, my goal is to run stronger. I felt like the last three miles of my half were such a painful ordeal. Every step killed me. My body shut down and I seriously felt like it was an eternity. Even if I don't end up improving my time, I want to feel like I finished stronger and I'm hoping that this insane plan gets me there!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Can't the weekend last forever

This weekend was one of those glorious, sunny mid-70s weekends that hover on the cusp of summer and fall.

Saturday morning I woke up early to get my long run over and done as quickly as possible. Using the term quickly loosely here, as I had to run 13 miles. The Train Like a Mother plan doesn't mess around when it comes to owning, as I basically just ran a half marathon when my half marathon is still two months away. The weather was perfect for a long run, thankfully! I finished and lazed around the house (read: grocery shopped, went to Walgreen's, and did a load of laundry) in compression socks for most of the day, then went to Dairy Queen to fill some of my calorie deficit. Sunday I woke up surprisingly mostly not sore, aside from a little bit in my legs, so we decided to take advantage of another beautiful day and headed to our favorite local arboretum.

The boys loved the chance to stretch their legs and run in the sunshine.
And splash
Of course, we always have to visit the train garden!

I'm hoping we get a lot more weekends like this before winter settles in and I look back on this post, all gloomy and sad. Sigh.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Is it okay to hope a little?

Friday we saw Tommy's neurologist, for the first time since February. It was our longest stretch seeing her, because it is his longest seizure-free stretch. As the months tick by, I'm afraid to breathe these words in more than a whisper. Afraid to talk about it, much less type it. Even now, I'm so afraid. I am so afraid I'm going to jinx it, that our carefully placed house of cards is going to crumble once I hit submit this post.

I know this is silly, but October scares me. October will be one year since his last seizure. October will mark the two year anniversary of when his seizures first began. I kind of hate October. All the what ifs and the fears and the whys swirl around in my head. What makes him seize in October. What happens? What can I do to make it stop? Is he going to have another seizure? Please, God. No. I can't do this anymore. Sometimes we forget that he has epilepsy. Sometimes we've allowed ourselves to hope that he will never, ever have another seizure again and I just don't know what I will do. I know it's a possibility, but I just don't even like to think about it.

Anyway, we had a good appointment. There's so much that I want to share with you, but I can't just yet because my mama heart can't handle it all at once. It was positive. Hopeful. And I just have to hold on and make it through October, then I can share more about Tommy and what his future holds.

For now, I want to tell you how proud I am of this boy. He doesn't really like doctors and he gets nervous, but he sat so still while they took all of his vitals.

Then we found out he needed a blood draw and he didn't even shed a tear. He whimpered a little when the needle went in, held my hand, then he just sat and watched. Better than most adults!

He earned himself a Spiderman sticker and a cookie from Au Bon Pain for that. I am so proud of him. Next month, he will have to have another EEG. I hope and pray the results will be normal as they have always been. Epilepsy is exhausting, though, because there's no test that can tell us if he'll have another seizure, really. We just wait each day as we have been and pray that this boy goes to bed healthy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

School Days

Luke's been in Kindergarten for seven days now. Seven--and I'm just now getting around to writing his first day of school blog post. I know, I know, but when my first day of school is the same as his, it takes awhile for life to calm down. And did I mention that we've had a birthday party every single weekend since school started and it doesn't look like that's about to slow down any time soon?

Otherwise, life is good. This year's group of students seem a little calmer than last year, which is a blessing. Since Luke is now in public school, we've hired a cleaning lady again and let me tell you, I'm breathing a sigh of relief while standing in the middle of my clean kitchen floor. Luke's teacher emailed me to tell me that he's one of the most well-behaved students in his class. I'm exhausted at the end of the day, yes. I still wish I didn't have to work, of course. I miss my boys like crazy. I don't have the energy to run most days and I'm not sure if I'm going to make it through training for this half marathon, but I can't complain about much.

Mostly, I'm just super proud of this guy right now.


He was a little nervous, can you tell?

Unfortunately, since we both had the same first day of school, I was not able to see him off on the school bus. Luckily, Shane was able to go to school a little late since he started sooner than I did. Whew.


And I was able to speed home and see Luke and his friend Addie, who he's known since he was six months old get off the bus at the sitter's house. Addie hugged me and told me the bus was HOT.


Then they ran across the street to tell the sitter about their day, because she was waiting just as anxiously as I was!


It's hard to believe that it's already Labor Day. We've already done our first homework assignment and made our first Scholastic book order. I'm hoping there will be a field trip soon!