Archive from February, 2014
Feb 26, 2014 - Running    4 Comments

Mission Accomplished!

Sweaty. Spent. Sore.

Accomplished!

I completed the Disney Princess Half Marathon in the wee hours of Sunday.

Here we can journey through the day together:

Prerace runSarah, me and CariAnn bleary-eyed, but excited at 3 a.m. about to board the bus and head toward the starting line. We are dressed as Crush, Marlin and Dory from Finding Nemo and ready to chase Nemo through the race!

magical raceDisney wishing us luck as we trekked to our start corrals.

fog run

Running in 100% humidity with 24, 000 of my closest friends.

fog glassesTrying to see out of my humidified glasses though nothing on my was dry!

Tracy mile 4I spotted our spectators at mile four just before entering the Magic Kingdom and was so excited! I ran off of that energy for several miles (I’m blurry because I’m running so fast!) The notching at the top is the evidence of a sign Tracy made which read, “Ay pompi!”

Sarah Mile 4Sarah was better at posing than I was!

finish line

Posing with my medal at THE FINISH LINE!

medical, nurse

I was even excited to meet the kind medical professional who provided me with some ice! Everything was delightful at the finish line!

Finish LineThe EPCOT ball has never looked so beautiful to me as when I spotted it from the peak of the second overpass and knew I had two miles to go.

The toughest part of the race to me was miles 9-11. It was two hours in, I was depleted and tired and still had miles to run. On top of that we were having to run up hill over two large clover leaf overpasses straining my already tired muscles to their straining points. It was then that I realized how many people were in this mission with me. Sarah and CariAnn were keeping my pace and encouraging throughout the entire race. Tracy, Nathan, Jonelle, Cari and Marla were ready with signs, cowbells and custom-made “Princess Kelly’s Entourage” t-shirts to cheer me on. Not to mention numerous people who texted, Facebooked, and emailed to see how I did this weekend. I was not running this race solo. It was very much a team sport.

One of my coworkers, Jenn, who herself is an avid runner and a source of wisdom for me in my training, told me that I would be great at this race on a particularly difficult day for me. She said, “Kelly, you’re going to kill it. I’m talking cross the finish line and mic drop saying, ‘Kelly, OUT!'” That image made me laugh so much that I found a small microphone charm and pinned it to my bib.

mic drop, bib, Kelly out

When I was running up hill and wasn’t sure if I could go on, I thought of that microphone charm. It represented the voice of so many friends and family members who were cheering me on, amplifying my achievement, and waiting to celebrate with me. I truly was surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who clapped, cheered, jumped, and shouted for me to run with endurance the race set out before me. They made the weekend worth all the sweat, pain and training I had endured for months.

Who is in your entourage? And who do you cheerlead for?

Life is a team sport. It matters who you run with.

Kelly's Entourage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 23, 2014 - Running    No Comments

Disney Princess Half Marathon

Right now, I am in the starting chute.

And I’m trying to focus my mind. Here’s what I have been thinking about…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

It’ll be worth it.

See you at the finish line.

 

Feb 22, 2014 - Running    No Comments

Anticipation

Tomorrow is race day.

I’m willingly waking up early, dressing ridiculous and running an incredibly long way.

I have to get up in a few hours to begin the trek to the starting gate. Dressed as Marlin from Finding Nemo, with giant googley eyes and fins glued to my sweat band.

I’ve been anxious as well and I need to remember my training goal:

Princess Half Marathon Disney

I have CariAnn and Sarah, cheerleaders extraordinaire, by my side, dressed as Dory who will remind me to “Just Keep Swimming! Just Keep Swimming!” and Nemo to inspire me to chase something worth it! Tomorrow morning, I hope to share victory. I won’t be the fastest by any  means and starting from the last corral, but it will be a victory for me.

I hope to demonstrate Olympic Perseverance.

 

Feb 20, 2014 - Running    1 Comment

Olympic Perseverance

Human interest stories outrank medal counts.

olympic rings

At least in my mind. I want to know the back story. The How and the Why of the athletes much more than I want to know the What. In my mind, the color of the medal pales in comparison to the sacrifices, tears, successes and years of training to get there. I want to see Olympic Perseverance.

But I’m a writer. I love a good story.

This is what I want to see in the Olympics.

That’s Olympic Perseverance.

What about you? Who comes to your rescue when you need it most? Who encourages you to finish, walks alongside you, lets you cry on their shoulder? Who helps you persevere?

Do you have Olympic Perseverance? What’s your story?

Feb 17, 2014 - Humor    No Comments

The Olympics

I love the Olympics. It’s the ultimate human interest story. I watch as much as I can.

It is an odd juxtaposition that the arrival of the Olympics typically finds me on the couch eating Nutella out of the bottle watching feats of athletic prowess — and slowly growing further away from being able to perform them myself!

I also remember some of my favorite past Olympic memories including this little gem from twelve years ago.

It’s truly Hot. Cool. Yours.

Feb 14, 2014 - My Story, Uncategorized    2 Comments

Valentine’s Day

It comes every year. But I’m never quite prepared.

Valentine’s Day is rough for me and I’m not sure why. It’s just one day. I know I’m surrounded by love. But  it is not in the way I most want. I have family and friends who send me cards and gifts and think of me on this day, knowing it is a tough one for me. But I want a husband, a boy to find me delightful and think I’m rad. And I don’t have that.

So I get mopey.

My prescription for myself is to get out of my head, stay busy, have plans, and be thankful for all the love expressed on Valentine’s Day — and so many other days. I have a rad family and amazing friends who send me messages like this:

single ladies, carissa

 

My other prescription is to determine to make someone else’s day. In the past I’ve offered to babysit so that a couple can go out together. I’ve sent oodles of cards to people who likely are in the same boat as me, single, mopey and disgruntled. I even buy the old school Valentine’s that I passed out in Kindergarten and give them to all my coworkers. Nothing helps me get out of my own head better than focusing on another person.

If Valentine’s Day is a tough one for you, know that you’re not alone. Make some plans for yourself,  look for the love that is given, even if from an unlikely source, and determine to make someone else’s day. You’ll have a better day. I promise.

Feb 11, 2014 - Humor, My Story    No Comments

Elephantine Ineptitude

I consider myself a crafty person — in all senses of the word.

But recently I was upstaged. Bamboozled. Perplexed.

By an iron on elephant.

A friend of mine, Sierra, commended offhandedly that she would love to have an elephant. (I believe this was after taking her nephews to the circus as she does not normally state wildlife related desires flippantly.)

I was at Hobby Lobby, where I spotted a cute iron on elephant. I bought it, hoping to make Sierra’s day. I came home and heated up the iron, read the directions and set up the items. I was going to iron the elephant, whom I had lovingly named Ellie, onto a tote bag. Stylish and functional — the best combination!

I ironed for the recommended amount of time. Slowly removed the iron and cloth and found the elephant mobile without any adhesion to the bag. I replaced items and started again, leaving the iron on for double the amount of time.

No stick.

Repeat with five times the recommended ironing time and increased iron temperature.

Nada.

Re-read directions while iron sitting for 15 minutes on bag. Noting the “Skill level one: Beginner” branding in the corner.

iron on elephant

Partial stick.

At least we’re getting somewhere!

I repeated the process for almost an hour until I finally coaxed Ellie from her comfortable place on the plastic sheet to her new home on the canvas bag.

Voila!

elephant, iron on, bag

 

It took an hour (sixty times the time recommended on the packaging mind you!) But I finished it. During that hour I had a lot of time to think about what I was doing. I was spending an excessive amount of time trying to surprise a friend and make her smile. I was doing something unexpected and special that required forethought. I was giving more than a fun little bag, I was showing a friend that she was in my thoughts and that I listened to her random wildlife longings. Although Ellie the Elephant almost defeated me with her non-adhering ways, all was being done in love for a friend.

And that is always time well spent.

Feb 8, 2014 - Running    1 Comment

The Best Laid Plans…

… often go awry.

Here’s my running update:

Knees in pain: 1

Hips in pain: 1

New shoes purchased: 2 (with orthotics)

Knee braces worn: 3

Running partners: 0

Two weeks out from the Disney Princess Half Marathon and things are not looking great. My scoliosis combined with increasing from 5K distance to half marathon distance and unwillingness to stop has left me with several angry joints needing a little TLC. I’ve sought the experts in the field, been fit tested, filmed running on a treadmill, and changed my gait pattern to alleviate joint strain as much as possible. It’s working slowly, but my milage is rather pitiful, especially for two weeks out.

But I knew it would be okay, my friend and prime cheerleader, Tracy would be by my side through the race to get me through.

Jingle Jungle 5K

Until I got this dreaded phone call. Tracy was the passenger in a car on her way to a Superbowl party when the car was hit simultaneously totaling the car and dislodging the scalding hot crockpot of chili (braced by Tracy’s feet) burning her right leg and foot significantly. Tracy is okay. Nothing is broken. All parties walked (hobbled) away from the crash. Things could have been much worse. But of all the absurd injuries! She literally has blisters on the bottom of her foot from a flying volcano of chili draining like lava down into her shoe, scorching along its entire path. She is on crutches and is unable to run.

Tracy was so encouraging and kind even when she told me what had happened. What an amazing friend that she broke the news to me gently that she could not run with me — while she was in the ER undergoing wound care on her foot! Even while I was thankful that my friend was going to be okay, I was crushed that she could not run. This was supposed to be fun. Supposed to be an exciting thing to do together a time to cheer each other on, but instead, Tracy will be cheering from the sidelines and finish line, and I’ll be running solo.

This may seem like a trivial example when compared to others, but large or small, we are crushed when plans change. How do we deal with it?  What do we do when goals are blocked? When things are out of our control? How do we press on in uncertainty?

Above my bed I have a small wooden plaque which reads, “I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.” I’m going to start there. While allowing myself to be sad that plans have changed, I’m going to believe that God is not out of control. Not a sparrow, or a person, or a pot of steaming chili is outside of His control. I don’t always understand, and when that happens I pray, “I believe. Help my unbelief.”

I’ll run this one solo, for me and for my friend, running buddy,and encourager who has been my cheerleader for the past eight months of training. See you at the finish line, Tracy.

Feb 4, 2014 - Humor, My Story    2 Comments

Tears of Overconfidence

My lunch made me cry.

We’re talking, all out –tears streaming down my face, snot escaping from my nose, unable to see through the haze — cry.

I saw the sign. It had “HOT” stamped across the box, but my eyes were drawn more to the “Clearance” sticker and thought I’d take a stab at it.

indian food, curry, vindaloo

Only my food repaid me by stabbing my insides… repeatedly. It was as if the first few bites were the scouts, sent in to check out the surroundings. Everything seemed fine, so I kept eating. Then the battle started. The spice level reached maximal scorchiness in the furnace of my stomach and began escaping through the chimney of my esophagus, causing me to reach max sweat-pacity at an ever alarming pace!

It was an ugly sight. See?

cryiing, food, tears, spicy

I should have known my limits. But I was foolhardy, ignoring the signs and the ever increasing heat in my gut and, in the end, I paid for my decision with tears of overconfidence. This was an avoidable fate! Never should my food make me cry anything other than tears of joy due to utter deliciousness!

But how often do I do this in other areas of life? How often do I ignore the initial signs of danger, the lure of temptations, the call of sin? How often to I overestimate my ability to handle it or resist it? How often do I cry tears of overconfidence because of my sins or failures?

More often than I’d like to admit. 

But there is good news. I am not alone in my struggles.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are,yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16).

Mercy and Grace. Someone who understands. Draw near with confidence in Him.

And avoid spicy foods.

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