June 18, 2012

it was a good one...

My how the weekends fly by!! Friday after work it was hot and humid. After work I wasted no time in getting home and out to my front patio where I did a little bit of this...

Then, Ryan and I went and had pizza... YUM! (don't worry I ran all the calories off the next morning)

Sunday was Father's Day. Ryan played golf with his dad on Saturday and the had a great time!

Sunday we went to visit with my dad.

And then we headed down to Albany to spend the rest of the day with my cousin, Angie and her family. Just as Ryan and I were getting in the car he grabs his golf clubs and says "just in case". In case what???Turns out he really did need them. A few minutes later I get a text from my cousin that says "Ryan wants to golf". (her husbands name is Ryan too)

The Ryan's - giddy that they get to go golfing..

 So, the Ryan's went golfing and Angie and I spent the next few hours playing with her two kiddos and making dinner for the boys which included homemade salsa!


Reagan loves his little sister, Toni

giving kisses
saying goodbye

As always, it was a great day in Albany with the Atkins!

June 16, 2012

muggy morning run (and some extra pics)

Just do it, right? 

If fact yes, just do it. There is a 'Just Do It' shirt I saw at the Nike employee store I'm contemplating getting. I think I will. I should probably go today before they are all gone. 

I'd say it's summer out, wouldn't you? I woke up this morning knowing I should go for a run, talking myself out of it one minute, then telling myself to just do it the next. Back and forth, back and forth, until I was out the door and down the street with my pup my side. Gosh it was a muggy morning. 

These are the types of decisions not often regretted. 

Oh and because I'm still on cloud nine about the half last weekend, I thought I would post some more pics of the day! 

Ryan & I waiting in the car before the race because we were  cold. We were getting excited!

Me before the race.

Not too long after the start of the race.

Running with hundreds of other people. 

Okay, this one is for my mom. I was trying to get a picture of the cow while trying to avoid looking like I was actually taking pictures while I was running a half marathon.... it didn't turn out too well. 

I felt bad for all the cars that had to wait forever.

With some friends after the race.

It was a great day!
Now I'm off to find that 'Just Do It' shirt!

June 10, 2012


I can see why people ask if you're addicted.

"Smile Laura!", she kept shouting from just behind me as we gave it our all and sprinted towards the finish line. She had told me just what to do. "Now this is what you're going to do" she told me as we ran together in stride, "as soon as your feet hit that field I want you to give it your all and sprint towards the finish line. I know you've got it in you Laura!" she said.  Before I knew it, I was there, doing just what she had told me. It was just as she said it would be. She was still cheering me on as I made that final step across the finish line.  All I could think of was "I actually made it, it's over, I did it!

Mile 1

Miles of red, yellow, blue, white, orange and black dots stretched out before me, each one bobbing to the rhythm of their own pace. From where I was I couldn't even see the front of the line. I knew if I could, one of those dots would be Ryan. With the steady sound of shoes beating on the pavement also came the sound of heavy breathing from the hundreds of people around me. It was as if everyone was breathing in unison. I'm taking it all in. I think something inside of me thought, "this isn't normal, thousands of people running, together, 13.1 miles". But yet, it felt so right. It felt good.

Mile 2

My plan was to take the first two miles slow, really slow. I wanted to save my energy for the hills and for the last few miles knowing this wasn't going to be easy for me. I glanced behind me a few times at the beginning, worried I was last in line! I didn't want to be last.

I expected to run the race with a 10 minute mile. I couldn't be sure if my Run Keeper was completely accurate while I ran, but from what I could tell it was. My pace was around 9:21. I didn't know if I should slow down or just keep going. I keep going.

Mile 3
Mile 4

I pass by cars stuck at crossroads for the foreseeable future. I pass by cows and farms and barns. I pass by people of all ages cheering me on. Kids waving and giving high fives. Grandparents sitting in camping chairs enjoying the view. Signs that read "Run Now Drink Later". I smile at all of this. This does feel right.

Mile 4
Mile 5

The hills are behind me and after my downhill decent I see Jackson Quary Road in the distance. "Wow, I've already made it this far?" I though to myself. I had run 12 miles of the course once while training so I was familiar with the terrain and geography. I was proud of myself so making it this far.

Mile 6

I see a girl just in front of me. She seems to be keeping a steady pace. She looks nice too.  I come up right behind her on the right and keep pace with her stride. There's another thing. This girl just behind me is cheering everyone on. Why is she so happy? Doesn't she know we are running 13.1 grueling miles? Now I feel guilty. I'm reminded of the words my husband prayed over me in the car before the race, asking that the joy of the Lord would shine through me as I ran. Well I don't know if the huffing and puffing sounds I'm making and the somewhat disgruntled look on my face and my wrinkled brow as I run are showing the joy of the Lord, but this girl is on. Before I know it she scoots up to the left side of the girl I'm tailing and starts making friends with her. Holly is her name. I overhear most of what they say and chip in after awhile. I just made two friends.

Mile 7
Mile 8

Okay it's hot. The sun in beating down on me. Why didn't I wear my shorts? I think my stomach is staring to hurt. Yeah it is. My legs, oh no, my knees, actually no my hips, yes it's the hips. Is it time for the fruit snacks I stuffed in my back pocket this morning? Let's try that.

Mile 9

West Union. Furrow Farms. I start to fall back. My friend I was tailing and the encouraging race coach are now a good 10 - 15 feet in front of me. I could feel my body saying "no more, you're done here". I fall back more. Mentally I was not looking forward to what was next, the gravel road. In my trial run the gravel road was the worst part for me. I was wishing for a way to avoid it but knew I couldn't so I caught up to my friends and rounded the corner on the gravel road. Suddenly I took off. Maybe it was the song that was playing on my playlist, I don't know. I'm hesitant because I really didn't want to leave me friends behind. We had been together for the last 4 miles. I'm faithful like that. But then who am I fooling, it's not like I would really pass them... for good.

Mile 10

The gravel road is behind me and there is no sign of my friends. I glance back a few times to check. I feel a little bad. I press on.

Mile 11

Suddenly Holly the cheer coach is on my right. From here she talks me through the last two miles. I begin to think this girl is an angel or a miracle. Truly. She talks me through the next little hill. She reminds me three times to keep my arms going.

Mile 12

We chat. I ask her if she always does this and she says yes. She tells me running has given her so much so she wants to give back to running. She's giving back to me. I feel so blessed.

The last mile was rough but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Holly never left my side. "See those stadium lights?" she asked me as we rounded the corner on Bennett St "those are your lights" she said! I just smile. She's the best!

As we neared the stadium she gave me her final instructions as to what I would do when I reached the stadium, encouraging me every step of the way. "Why me?" I thought. "How is it that out of thousands of people this girl picks me to cheer on to the end?

Mile 13

"One step up right here Laura" she said as she pointed to the sidewalk that would lead me to the field where the finish line was. We keep running. I feel the excitement building as I see all the people cheering.

"Smile Laura" she shouts out to me as I take lead on the field. "Smile Laura!"

Running my first half marathon was the best experience. If I race again, and I hope that I do, I don't think that any race will compare to this one. I'm so so so very thankful for my godsend Holly who pushed me and coached me through my first race. I finished in 2 hours 3 minutes 54 seconds. My pace was 9:27, much faster then I had trained for.

Ryan came in 43 out of 2400+ people! He's got some talent there. We both had a great time and I'm already on the lookout for my next race!

And yes, I'm addicted.

June 8, 2012

i fight to run

It's Friday. Tomorrow morning I will wake up at the ungodly hour of 5:30am, don my running gear, stuff some fruit snacks in my back pocket and head the Hillsboro Stadium to join thousands of other crazy people on a scenic 13.1 mile run through the rolling hills of Helvetia.

This will by my first half marathon. I don't consider myself a runner but somehow I have survived the last 11 weeks of training for tomorrow's race. A few weeks ago while visiting my local Trader Joe's one of the employees who I often chat with stopped me and said "I saw you running the other day. You must be a runner" Before I knew what I was saying I responded, "Yes, I am a runner". What was I thinking! I'm not a runner! Can I take it back? Did I just tell a lie? Did anyone else hear me say that?

Most of the time I'm in denial about being a runner. I think this is the case because I compare myself to all the other "real" runners out there. My husband, who will also run his first half tomorrow has discovered a somewhat natural talent for the sport and is likely to run the race with a 7:00 minute pace. I on the other hand may cross the finish line walking, perhaps even crawling.

I fight to run.

Why do I run? Lot's of reasons. It sets me free. It releases stress from by body. I run because I have a body. I like the way running makes my body feel. Why may I never run again after I cross the finish line tomorrow? Lot's of reasons.... I'm not gonna lie. Even though I love to run, it has also been really hard on my body, mostly my knees. The one thing that I would do different text time around is more strength training and core training.

But for real, I do like to run and I am just a little excited for the race tomorrow and even got a little giddy when I picked up my running packet yesterday with these sweet Nike running shirts for tomorrows race!

Last night I ran the last run of my training schedule and it felt good, even though my poor knees where actually in a lot of pain when I was done. Training is half the race really. Even though I haven't done the actual race yet, I'm proud of myself that I've come this far.

after my run last night
Pray I'm not nervous and that I can sleep really well tonight, that I have endurance during the race and that my legs will be strong for the long run and hills tomorrow.

"let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" heb 12.1b