Friday, May 27, 2016

13.1 miles of horses and bluegrass

I have been thinking, for quite some time, what to say about our last race. And, dear blog readers, I'm going to start with the nagging secret that's been lurking in the back of my mind all week. Not the quick announcements on Facebook, or

The Horse Capital Half Marathon, in Lexington, KY had our slowest time. 3 hours, 12 minutes. A part of me, growing smaller every year, is completely and totally bugged by that.

Here's something you might not know about me. I am competitive as f**k.

Growing up female, I would often try to couch this in non-confrontational terms, but it always laid underneath. Best test scores. Best jeans. Coolest hobbies. Being competitive drives me to do all kinds of things that I love (knitting aran sweaters, running marathons, cooking nearly everything from scratch!) but it can also be paralyzing. Why run, if you can't be the fastest? Why try, if you can't be the best?

That's the dark side of this drive and one that I try, nearly every day, to avoid. So, for the part of me that's a little pissy we finished in almost 3 1/4 hours, I present this:
The 8 year old that sprinted to the finish line with me, despite panicking near mile 9 that we would never finish. 

The 11 year old that chats non-stop while we run, and carried her stuffed horse the whole way, and glows with confidence after every race.

And this, best of all. The five of us, together. And happy. And proud.

We're all running our own race. Some days I lose sight of this fact. It doesn't matter if I'm at the front of the pack or the back of the pack, as long as I'm with this pack. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Garden Pot Painting

I love kids' hand print crafts. The small, personal feature captured forever... It gets me every time. We have framed hand prints, clay impressions of hand prints, even a class plate with a painted hand print. 

So, when these cheap pots went on sale, I ran out and bought my favorite shiny paint colors. A fun out of paint, handprints, and way too much mess followed. I got these at Michael's, bit any craft paint should work. As long as you seal it.  Seriously. 

Don't skip the sealant step. Like, really, really don't skip it. Otherwise the paint flakes off, gets in the potting soil, and you've got a big mess! Believe me, impatient moi tried skipping that step and I had to redo the whole thing. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Half Marathon Family

I run half marathons. With my kids and my husband.

People think we're kind of nuts. I can see it, when they shake their head or shrug their shoulders. They can't imagine why an 8 year old would want to run that long, or why a preteen girl would spend that much effort on something. Or maybe running is their 'alone time' and they can't imagine their kids yakking at them the entire time. I get that.

Here's why I do it:

It started with my first half marathon, a year ago on Mother's Day. It was a special thing, a big thing, a kinda scary thing that I wanted to do for myself and have my family at the finish line to cheer me on.

When I crossed that finish line (a whisker over 2 hours!!!), with tears, and pride, and more than a little disbelief, they were amazed. My daughter said that she thought I was totally hardcore. I hugged her, said that she was, too.

Two months later, she ran her first half. And it's all snowballed from there. Weekends are now sacred for Long Run and Sushi Sundays. We chat about fueling plans while grocery shopping. Pacing and goal setting are normal parts of our conversations.

A year has gone by. I love what running has done for this family. My 8 year old sleeps better than he ever has. He's learning focus and drive and that it's okay to be tired and work hard. My 11 year old has so much pride and confidence as she heads toward her teen years. She wears leggings and race shirts to school and looks forward to gym class just as much as she does math class.

And my husband? Well, he and I now have his and her medal hangers. He'll tell you that I'm dragging him out for his first marathon next fall. But when he says it, he'll have a smile on his face. I think he's secretly coming to like it, too.