I've been running 4 times a week, going to track workouts with Coach Bob on Tuesdays, and doing my long runs on Saturdays. As always, Brian has been a huge support, and my friends and family have been cheering me on along the way.
Last weekend, Brian and I drove to Michigan to spend Thanksgiving with his family. We had a great time, playing hilarious games (Tiiiiimmme's Up!), eating delicious food, and seeing cheesy/awesome movies (truth time: I may or may not have paid money to see the last Twilight movie. And I may or may not have loved it.).
I felt so bad because pretty much as soon as we arrived on Thursday, I headed out the door again for a 4 mile run. Brian's parents are lucky to live in a pretty rural area, and it was a beautiful sunny day. I started out doing sprints, but ended up doing a fartlek. Yes, that's really what this type of run is called. Fart-lek. It means "speed play" in Swedish, and you basically vary the speed of your running throughout the entire workout. Since I wasn't running with anyone that I could chase/race with, I decided to choose different landmarks along the way that I would speed up and run towards. Once I got to the landmark, I would slow down and run easy until the next landmark I chose. It was a pretty challenging workout, especially since the landscape was not completely flat and the cows at the nearby farm were out in full force (made for some AWESOME deep breathing).
I got back from my run just in time to eat Thanksgiving dinner (those Chapmans are early eaters on Turkey Day!), and I was more than happy to eat the weight of my head in mashed potatoes. I have a very big head.
Two days and lots of carbs later, I was back on the road. This time, however, it was 30 degrees with a 16 degree wind chill (instead of 60 and sunny), and it was snowing. Ummm, no. I do not do that nonsense. There is a reason we moved south instead of north. There is a reason I was more than happy to spend 5 sweaty months in Central America.
The thing is, I did do it. I did 9 whole freezing cold windy snow/ice pelty muddy dead deer carcassy (it was way gross on the side of the road) miles of it. NOW let me tell you about the weekend before, and you'll understand why I had no problem freezing my cheeks, all four of them, off to do that run.
Two weeks ago, I went to Oklahoma to visit Lizbeth. I was really looking forward to my visit, since I hadn't seen her since the day she left for Oklahoma back in July. I had been following her journey via text messages and her blog, but wanted badly to be there with her and catch up on everything we'd missed chatting about over the past 4 months.
I arrived on Saturday, and Liz's dad Jay picked me up from the airport. When I arrived at Jay and Jo's home, everyone was gathered in the living room to watch the Oklahoma Sooners play West Virginia (they won- Boomer Sooner! See, I learned something :) ). Liz was resting in her mom's room, and I was greeted with "I've been waiting since 8 o'clock for you to get here!" Classic Lizbeth. We sat and talked for a bit, and I caught her up on all of my job and wedding planning news. I showed her a pic of my pretty pretty bridesmaid Emily Herron in the dress I picked out for the ladies, and she gave her stamp of approval. As we talked, Liz began to get tired and eventually had to go to sleep. She'd had a rough few days, and was still not feeling great.
The rest of the weekend was spent sitting with Liz, telling her about all the good gossip from home (Maryland), and just holding her hand. I got a chance to spend time with her mom and dad and Curtis, and I can honestly say I've never seen such an amazing group of people gathered around someone in a show of absolutely unconditional love. I hope that I can inspire that kind of love from the people in my life, and in turn give it back to them.
I watched Lizbeth work so hard to do the most basic things, and it gave me so much strength. I never doubted what an amazing and beautiful person she is, but my visit was a chance to see that side of her from a different angle. She is so so brave. Her spirit is truly special.
Since my visit, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my own life and how I want to spend my moments. Because that's what life is. Just a series of moments that go by and don't come back.
Liz has inspired me to spend my moments in hope, and not in fear. Liz has inspired me to spend my moments getting over it, not fixating on it. Liz has inspired me to spend my moments striving to be better, not worrying about what I cannot do. Liz has inspired me to measure my moments in "I love you"s.
Liz and Curtis wrote Brian and I a card when we got engaged. I'm pretty sure this is the only marriage (and life) advice we'll ever need. Take note:
Congratulations! You are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. It will be awesome...always remember:
1) Tomorrow is a new day
2) Respect is most important
3) Tell the other how much you love them everyday
4) No one is perfect but we are all (double underlined!) unique.
5) Don't forget to have date nights!
Love, Lizbeth and Curtis
This is on our refrigerator, and I'm pretty sure it will be getting its own frame soon.
Not much else to say after that. Some of you are so sweet with your encouragement of my marathon training. Please remember that I am not amazing. I am not awesome. I just put one foot in front of the other. The real hero is in Oklahoma City. I hope she knows it.
Desiderata- Max Ehrmann 1927
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
Peace and love,