Running the Race

The 5K I chose to run was the first of its kind at the first annual Depot Days in Concordia, so there weren’t many runners. We ran alongside the 10K people, and before the race started, I only knew two ladies who were running the 5K. One of them was definitely a runner, so I thought I could follow her if I got lost. I had glanced at the map and it looked pretty simple. The 10K people were to run past the 5K turnaround and then down a long gravel road before they turned around. My nerves about running a road race kept me from really focusing on the map and making sure I knew where I was going.

So, off we went, and I stayed at the middle of the pack for the first few miles. I had forgotten my stopwatch that morning so I wasn’t sure how fast I was going. By the time we got on a long stretch of highway the people in front of me had pulled ahead significantly. At one point as I looked ahead, I saw a couple trucks parked on the side of the road filled with young baseball players who would get all the funds from this race. They were cheering each person on and I thought they would also be handing out water. I saw “the runner” come back from behind them, so it didn’t look like she had turned around at the trucks. I then assumed I needed to run further to get to the turn around point; therefore, as I ran past the trucks of baseball player, I failed to notice the markings on the pavement–“5K Turn Around.”

I ran on to the end of the pavement and the lady in front of me continued down the 10K route. I turned around and met a few 10Kers coming my way. I asked them if they were in the 5, and they told me I was supposed to turn around “back there”–at the trucks. I yelled, “Oh no!” and we all had a little laugh. I thought to myself, “How much further have I run?” I decided to count telephone poles–10 one way; 20 total. In the country that would be 2000 yards. Yikes! Over a mile? This is going to be horrible!

As I ran back through the course I told the people at the trucks that I should have turned around here, and it looked to me like they had moved the trucks away from the turn around sign on the pavement. Or maybe I didn’t remember what it looked like the first time? Oh well.

I finished the race in 43 minutes and as I crossed the finish line I told them I went too far and they calculated it was about a 1.2 miles further. When they handed out medals I got 2nd in my age group (of 2!) and another medal for being an overachiever! Dad and I drove the course I ran, and sure enough, it totaled 4.2 miles. I had never run that far in my life!

I guess it is safe to say I go the extra mile.

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You Never Regret It

Running has become a sort of hobby for me over the past six years. I say “sort of” because it comes and goes in spurts. The most regular I have been about running was my last summer of grad classes at Hays. I got up every morning before class for three weeks straight (21 days makes a habit, right?), with the simple goal of running a bit further each day. This experience stretched and built my stamina and prepared me to run a 5K (quite the feat for this girl who was told by her high school track coach that she “ran like a girl,” and who has been accused of walking around like an infant giraffe, and who has never been a fast sprinter, runner, or jogger).

However, the week of the first 5K I was going to run happened to fall after a string of exhausting events: I moved to a new town, injured my knee by tripping over the smooth, flat pavement (Hey, I never said I was good at running!) started a new job, and began coaching volleyball. I promptly allowed running regularly to fall by the wayside.

And you all know how easy it is to let a discipline nearly disappear from your life. And it’s hard to get back into it! Since then, I had become a more regular runner (as regular as running four to ten times a month can be), until this year. I believe I allowed four and a half months to roll by without running. I’ve done a lot of walking, but I just had no will to run.

All of that changed last Tuesday when I made myself get out there and see how far I could run in thirty minutes. I ran an average of 11.5 minutes per mile for 30 minutes. WOW, did it feel good! My legs were feeling the burn as I ran, and I’ve been sore every day since then. I did it again today and ran even further!

I now have regained that feeling I used to get as an athlete which I can’t quite put into words. It’s probably just my muscles repairing themselves after I’ve stretched and torn them from their semi-sedentary state, but honestly, it feels GOOD. I want more! I can’t wait to get out there and run again on Monday! One of my friends once said something to the effect of “No matter how little I wanted to get out of bed to go running, I never regret going out for a run.” It’s so true. After runs, I think more clearly, I’m less stressed, I am more positive, I make better food choices, and I get more accomplished. I hope to put all of this work into a road race or two before I turn 30 in September! :)

The Last Class

Today was the last day of classes for my Masters degree in English. The listening, notetaking, and discussing is over, and now I can concentrate on writing papers (five of them) and studying for the comprehensive exam in March. If all goes as planned, I will graduate in May of 2011!

I’m a bit apprehensive about having enough time to get my papers finished before May because Thursday isn’t the new Friday anymore. My new school is not on a 4-day week, so all those weekends I spent last year writing three papers? Non-existent. However, I one less prep at my new school, so there might be more time. But, really, there won’t. With a new school, new texts, new students, and a volleyball season to coach, I will struggle to find time to write.

It’s amazing how much work goes into teaching. Once the first day has passed, it is literally non-stop work until the end of May. At least, it has been for me these first four years. Maybe the fifth is easier? I hope so! That way I can write my papers, take my exam, and then I won’t HAVE to read another book for the rest of my life.

Of course, I will read books. Just not books that come from a list put together by a professor. Rather, I will read the books that have been waiting on my shelves for so many years. Ooo! And books that I buy because they sound interesting! I have a list!! I can’t wait! :)

A random note: if you have an iPod shuffle, use it to go running! It is fabulous.

Random Thoughts

I’ve read a few articles recently that encourage single women to go ahead and buy themselves nice dishes and furniture (instead of waiting for marriage to get those things). I confess I have been waiting for marriage for those things. However, I will never again buy the cheapest silverware at Wal-Mart. It’s terrible! I am saving money for a nice couch, but it will be awhile since I’m also saving for a car and paying off my college debt first. The couch I have is terrible, really. Another reason I haven’t paid much attention to homemaking is because I’m working on my Master’s. That’s a significant amount of money and time right there. See, I’m full of excuses! But, I welcome any great ideas for couches and chairs for my table. I only have two chairs that go with my table. Ah, who cares? It doesn’t matter to me AT ALL that I don’t have matching dishes and matching chairs around my table. Does it really matter?

I’m listening to my iPod Shuffle the Willards bought me for Christmas. It’s stinking amazing!! I can’t wait until the weather gets a bit warmer so I can go running with it! I wonder if I’ll find myself jamming out to it on my runs. That would look silly. Maybe I should practice somewhere privately before I go out where people can see me!

Today at church I found out that a young missionary who visited our church just two weeks ago died of a brain aneurism. Hugo and Sarah Liborio worked for Score International in the Dominican Republic. They came to our church with their two little kids (one just born in October!), and we were all instantly blessed by their enthusiasm for their work and their fire for the Lord. Hugo couldn’t stop smiling as he told us his testimony, and the story of how he and Sarah met, worked together, married, and started their family. The Liborios were set to return to the DR later this month, I think. It’s so sad to have lost a young father and husband. However, knowing the way he lived and the good work he has done, I can’t help but think that he is rejoicing in Heaven! Please remember Sarah and her two children. I’m sure her grief is tremendous. There is a  group open to all on facebook called “Remembering Hugo Liborio” where people tell wonderful stories of Hugo, and Sarah explains what happened with his death.

I helped Jon with the cattle a couple times over break. Christmas Eve was windy and cold, but we got it all done! I don’t know how he gets all that stuff done every day by himself! Amazing. And, I don’t know how Dad was able to do all that when Jon and I were just babies. Farmers rock. Period.

But, the reason I brought that up was that I can’t seem to get the manure smell out of my two pairs of jeans and coat! I’ve washed them twice and now they’re on the third washing! Whew! Any tips?