Archive | March 2011

Cap 10K

Yesterday, I participated in the largest 10K race in the state of Texas, The Capitol 10K.  I never would have thought I could even complete 1 mile, much less 6 miles!  But I did, and I did it well.  I was never a runner, or any other type of athlete; I don’t have the body or coordination for it.

In the last year and a half, I have found that I really enjoy running.  I love having a special time that is all for me (which I know that all parents can appreciate).  Most of all, I love how I feel when I finish.  I am still surprised that I actually traveled several miles on foot!  I have a great sense of accomplishment that I hope to never get used to.

The Cap 10K began early Sunday morning and I was so nervous as I waited for the start.  I knew I would finish the race, but I really wanted to do better than I ever had before.  Once we began, I kept my eyes on the road and on the backs of those in front of me.  When I felt tired of running, I challenged myself to try and make it to the next tree or street light or to pass a runner in front of me.  As each mile passed, I could feel the excitement grow.  There were several stations with live music (Austin is the Live Music Capital in the World, you know!) and that gave me more energy to push through the burning in my knees and thighs.

I finished my first Cap 10K race in 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 58 seconds.  I also broke my 4 mile, 5 mile, and 6 mile personal records.  (Check out my “Running Stats” page on the top of this page.)  After the race, I felt great.  There was no soreness, just a little stiffness after sitting in the car for an hour.  Most of all, I was proud to have completed the race.

I’ve heard other runners say that competing in races can be addictive and I know that they are right.  I am definitely participating the the Cap 10K next year, and I have two 5K races in April that I am going to start training for.  I know it sounds silly to train to run 3.1 miles when I’ve already accomplished 6.2 miles, but I want to be able to run a full 5K race without stopping to walk.  Then maybe, just maybe, I can think about running in a half marathon…

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This entry was posted on March 28, 2011. 4 Comments

Blondie’s “Miracle”

When I began teaching, I thought it would be a great idea to get a class pet.  I love animals and wanted to get something unusual that wouldn’t take much care.  A tarantula was the perfect choice!  I first got Theodore, but he only lasted a half of a school year.  Boys typically live up to 5 years, whereas girls can live up to 30 years.  This is when Blondie became part of our family.

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I have now had her for almost 3 years.  Blondie is not the typical cuddly pet, but she has claimed a large portion of my heart.  In my classroom, we have Tarantula Tuesdays in which I share a fact about the spider.  Since I have learned so much about her, I am truly amazed by spiders in every way.

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One of the most important things to remember about tarantulas is to be very careful handling them.  The majority of a tarantula’s vital organs are located in the abdomen and a short fall would cause a great amount of trauma, and most likely, death.  So when I saw something fall from our mantle Thursday night, I was immediately terrified.  When Blondie comes home, we typically keep her on top of the fireplace in order to keep her away from Miranda and the cats.  There is a locking lid for her tank, but when I got to her, I noticed that the lid was not secure.  So, Blondie decided to take advantage of her new-found freedom and fell 5 feet, landing on a tile floor.

I rushed over and tried to pick her up, but she was limp.  That’s when the tears started flowing.  Very gently, I placed Blondie back in her tank and woke John up.  We looked at her abdomen and underneath but didn’t notice any outward evidence of trauma.  We went back to bed knowing that she would be dead by morning.  Several times that night I got up to check on her and each time a new wave of grief washed over me.  I didn’t sleep very much.  I kept hearing the sound of Blondie landing on the hard tile floor.  My stomach was in knots and my eyes were constantly moist.  I prayed all night for God to heal her, to make her whole.  I know that this seems silly for some of you to read, but I didn’t want to lose my tarantula.

At 3:30 am, John woke me up and the first thing I saw was Blondie in his hands.  I asked, “Is she dead?”  I was amazed to see her moving up his arm very much in the same way she had before.  Blondie should not have survived such a long fall, not to mention the tile floor as a landing spot.  I truly believe that this was her “miracle.”  Did God really heal my spider?  I think He did and I am grateful that God protected something that was so dear to me.  I feel blessed to know that if God will safeguard something as small as Blondie, how much more will he love and care for me?

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2011. 4 Comments

Pure Chaos

“How are you?”  A simple question, in which I typically answer, “Good, how are you?”  Today, it was much more difficult to rattle off the automated response, without bursting into tears.  In truth, I’m not okay.  I am in the midst of unbelievable, insurmountable stress.  Well, it seems that way to me!

For the past two weeks, I have been feeling the burden of so many different issues that I am completely overwhelmed.  My husband, my daughter, my mother, my finances, my job, my schedule are all contributing to the chaos that surrounds me.  I am grasping for sanity as I impatiently count the hours until Spring Break, when I can finally relax…or can I?  I am slowly realizing that my problems will not disappear once Spring Break arrives, and then I start the pity party all over again.

Yesterday, I had an epiphany.  The stress that I am feeling is not unique.  It is called…get ready for it…”LIFE.”  While I was feeling sorry for myself, I realized that the chaos of my life is normal.  Everyone has their own version of this stress.  How we deal with it determines our happiness, our peace, our sanity.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,

whenever you face trials of many kinds,

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Let perseverance finish its work

so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God,

who gives generously to all

without  finding fault, and it will be given to you.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,

because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea,

blown and tossed by the wind.

James 1 : 2 – 6

Do I consider my problems pure joy?  No, not really.  But I am going to change the way that I am dealing with the stress.  No more pity parties.  No more feeling sorry for myself.  It’s time to lean on God, pray, meditate on scripture.  Then God can begin to change my situation.  The trials I face will make me a stronger wife, mother, daughter, friend, teacher, woman.  The chaos will never disappear, but I accept the challenge of having peace at the same time.