The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The One With Some Renewed Inspiration (and quite a few updates on life)

I know I’ve been quite silent on this blog and have been overly sporadic with my postings; most of that is due to my lack of time and some is just due to the fact that I really feel like I have nothing interesting to say. But I found a new blog the other day that really just inspired me to return to blogging - I want to have a place where I can look back and reflect on all that Alex and I have done and have coming up and I also really want a place where we can connect with our families. We are both close to our families but Alex’s family lives up north and although he is great about calling them weekly we don’t get to see them very often and I know they enjoy knowing what all is going on in our lives, and believe me, we have plenty going on….
So here’s a little recap of what’s going on with us/me (this is still MY RUNNING blog after all):

House stuff-
As most of you know Alex and I bought a house back in November; it is an older house on 1 acre and we spent the rest of 2013 doing projects on the house before we moved in officially in January. The list of projects is ever growing and honestly we still have a LOT of settling to do but we are so very blessed to have such a nice house and neighborhood. God led us on a journey to this little piece of North Texas and we could not be more thankful. Sometimes it’s hard to live in a “project” all the time (like we currently have half painted walls, no baseboards and trim in the living room, unorganized closets, a kitchen that needs updating, bathrooms that need some major overhauls, etc.) but I know at the end of the day we have a solid roof over our heads, plumbing that works (thank the good Lord for that one, that has been a pain of homeownership from the get-go!) and a working kitchen and land to call our own.

The projects we have accomplished so far have been:
- remove all the wood paneling
- open up the wall between the entry way and the dining area (also reframe it and drywall it)
- spackle, sand and paint the main living room wall (that was a beast!! and a project I did start to finish all on my own! Just to brag a little)
- build 4 raised beds for the garden and plant those as well as an orchard of fruit trees
- paint & decorate the “cozy room”
- paint the fireplace
-set up the office
- set up the workout room

The ever growing list, but mainly the things to accomplish soon are:
- finish out the entry way
- paint the office
- remove and replace all the drywall in the dining area
- organize both master closets
- redo some furniture

We decided after getting into the late winter/spring months of house projects that while our list seems to continually grow we aren’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon so it’s ok to slow down a bit and take our time. I know personally I like for things to be done and over and for our house to be “party ready” right now! But I have to remind myself to think realistically and with Alex focussing on school right now and with marathon training (I’ll talk about both of those in a minute) we have to take a step back and realize sometimes saying no to a project is the right thing right now. For example, we had every intention of gutting and completely redoing the kitchen this summer but after some thought and prayer and maybe a few tears of exhaustion and frustration on my part we decided that this summer we need to enjoy ourselves and just tackle smaller, more manageable projects. The kitchen isn’t going to change from this summer to next summer and we will probably be in a much better place to tackle that next summer. It’s unfortunate but also a relief all at the same time. Obviously I would love a bright, shiny new kitchen by July but at the same time it’s nice to know we will have a little more freedom this summer to enjoy being married and enjoy crossing other things off of our to-do list as well.

I will occasionally talk about house projects and the likes of what is going on but if you care to know more details as to what the exact house happenings are you can follow Alex’s blog here.

Alex’s school-
Alex is approaching the end of his first year of law school and with much relief, I think. Obviously this year was a learning year for us as far as schedule, time and overall what life as a law student/law student’s wife is like. But let’s be honest, we crammed a few other things into our year so I’m not sure we have a true frame of reference for what it’s really like to have a husband that works full time and then goes to school 12+ hours a week (not including study time). Adding new marriage, new job (for me) and buying a house with lots of projects may have skewed our reality a little bit, maybe. But in general I think we have found a “normal” that is working for us right now and hopefully that will carry over into this fall when he starts his second year. I think we are both thankful he will have this summer off; I know I for one am looking forward to him cooking dinners for me!

Our schedule right now isn’t ideal but we make it work for us and it’s the reality of our lives right now. Just to give you a little preview of our days:
We try to wake up together around 6am; I have to leave by 7am for work so we get ready, have breakfast and do Bible study together. This isn’t always the case because Alex is NOT a morning person and some days he refuses to get up and out of bed. I do appreciate the days that he gets up with me though.
Alex works until 4:30 Monday-Thursday and then he makes the 20 minute drive to the SMU campus for classes from 6:00-8:30 (some nights it’s later).
I work from 7:30-6:30 Monday-Thursday and as soon as I get off I’m either heading to the gym (usually Mondays) or meeting Kristie, my running buddy to run (Tuesdays & Thursdays) and on Wednesdays Kristie and I go to Bible Study.

Alex and I both get home around 9:00 pm each night to have dinner. I have worked really hard to make sure that even though we get home so late and are tired we eat dinner at home. That has required a lot of planning and prepping on my part but we have found that freezer meals and crockpot meals are what gets us through the week.
I have started doing a once a month meal prep day in which I make giant batches of food to freeze. Last month my friend Karen joined me and we were able to swap some meals for some variety. Other than produce and a few odds and end to satisfy cravings we have made the freezer meals work for us and even have some left over. The plan is to get a nice big stock on meals in our freezer so that after a few months I can take a month or 2 off from my monthly meal prep day.

Honestly this is the topic I feel I should have a lot to say about, and I guess in some ways I do, but I’m also at a huge loss as to what to say about my running. Basically, I’m just running. Nothing fancy, no big huge goals, no fast pace, I just run, and honestly, right now that’s good enough. I’m glad that despite all that is going on I have a great running buddy to keep me accountable and run with me, she truly has been the reason running has remained such a priority for me. That and I still have a habit of signing up for way too many races….

I know at the beginning of the year I announced I had a lot of BIG goals (like a PR in the Half and sub-5 marathon) but I’ve really had to just let those thoughts go for right now. At this point, I just want to make it successfully to the finish line of the Kentucky marathon on April 19th and that will be good enough for me. Some days I tell myself to just go ahead and drop down to the half but then other days I tell myself to just suck it up and do it, not every race has to be a “great race” and I’ll be glad I followed through with my plans. It’s been a year since I’ve run a marathon and if I’m being completely honest I think I’m just scared. Going into what should have been the Memphis marathon (that got cancelled due to weather) my training was sub-par and I was battling a 4 week injury. I had a terrible time coming back from injury and although I feel strong now I have struggled with my pacing and my over all racing weight. So I’m apprehensive going into Kentucky. I know for a fact I don’t feel as strong as I did last year preparing for Garmin and I know that I was disappointed there coming up just short of sub-5 so I know that going into Kentucky it will not be close to my goal but I think I’ve become ok with that.

This year I’ve been learning a lot about balance, it’s something that God has really put on my heart as far as learning to balance all areas of my life, specifically those that pertain to me being a wife and serving my husband through this time of school and work for him. And in that God has shown me that while running gives me peace and comfort it doesn’t sustain me, the Lord does. It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn; I’m hard headed and I like to always better myself and work harder and push for more. But God has pushed back and told me that He alone is enough and he alone will give me what I need. And lately what I’ve needed is just to enjoy the run, not focus on PR’s and fast paces but just to run; Run just enough to get me through my day and then balance myself with my other responsibilities.

The funny thing (well it’s not really funny if you’ve ever seen God work in your life) is that by learning what this balance is all about I’ve actually seen my time to run increase. I like to compare; I always compare myself to where I was 1 month ago, 3 months ago, 1 year ago, it’s probably and good and bad habit all in one. But as I was comparing my stats from last year’s marathon training to this year’s marathon training there are a few things that really stuck out to me. For starters, my pace is definitely slower, it’s actually fairly significantly slower and while that at times may depress me all I have to do is look at the miles I’ve run. In comparing January and February of last year my miles were a lot lower but for some reason in March this year my running miles just skyrocketed. I have actually already covered more miles in March than in January and February combined! That is an all time personal best for me. And I actually still have a half marathon to run tomorrow! I feel like even though my pace is not at what I would consider my “ideal pace” I am still seeing major improvements in my running. Being able to cover anything more than 5 miles on a weekday used to seem impossible to me but lately my average running distance has been closer to 6-7 miles, even on weekdays. I also thought I’d never see numbers upwards of 110 on my monthly mileage count but this month I’ll be pushing close to 140!! So while I may not feel like I’m prepared going into Kentucky my mileage and overall running, injury free I might add, is telling a different story.

I do actually have more to say in regards to my overall thoughts on marathon training this time around but I’ll save that for another post.

This post is already long enough and I need to get in a few more miles today before Kristie and I head to Oklahoma for the A2A Half marathon tomorrow morning! I’ve been dreaming of this race for a long time now so I’m super excited to finally run it! Both Kristie and I have been running really well lately and while I’m not setting my sights on a PR I would like to see Kristie PR tomorrow and go sub-2:30, which is definitely doable for her!

So here’s to better blogging and a renewed effort to post more often!