Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

Lounging in the hammock during R&R. I love this picture of him. My husband is so handsome. 1 more week down.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

My husband's picture was in the troops prayer bulletin at our church yesterday. They post actively serving soldiers so that people can pray for them. Was so proud to have his picture there! The only thing is that I was just kind of annoyed with myself for not letting them know that he got promoted. So the rank should have said "1LT." Oh well. 

Still so very proud of my soldier! I'm so thankful for all the men and women that have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Happy Memorial Day! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chicagoland Spring Half Marathon Report

Sorry this has taken a full week for me to put up. It's been a bit busy. My race last Sunday was supposed to start at 7:30 but they actually moved the time up a half hour because the heat was predicted to be so bad. It wasn't as hot as it is today.. but the 80s is definitely more heat that I'm used to running in right now. That's something I'm gonna have to work on with another race coming in July..
Me 2 min before the race. Awkward smile cuz I'm nervous. 
So, as a result, I didn't run as fast as I would have liked. I tried to run with the 8:47 pace group but I actually had the opposite problem that I had last time. The pacers took off way too fast. I could see them and they crossed mile 1 at about 8 minutes. I was like.. calm down there, dudes. I think they were a little bit too excited or something.
And you'll notice, my times are pretty much all over the place. No consistency at all. I think it was partly that I went out too fast with the heat and partly because it got a lot hotter as I was running. I also didn't train too well last month when my hubby was here for R&R.. and had a hard time getting back into routine when he left. So as a result, this is actually my slowest half marathon time. My slowest before this was my first half marathon in September of 2010.. I ran a 2:05:05 then.
Thanks Mom for taking this awesome photo. 
However, the good news is that I placed 11th in my age group. Everyone else must have run slower too. In the Chicago Half Marathon series, if you place in the top 15, you get points. You are eligible if you do at least 3 (of 6) of their half marathons and they take your 3 best scoring races and it's a little competition in itself. You still get 1 point if you do the race but don't place. I didn't place in the first race (even though I ran much faster) and so I just got 1 point for that one and 6 for this one. So I now have 7 points! haha. I have no idea how that compares to other people since they haven't posted current standings. But it's kind of fun.
It was a nice race course. I would do it again if I wasn't going to be at Fort Lewis next year. My only complaint is that since it's another one of the half marathon "series" and apparently organized by the same people, the shirts and medals were pretty much identical.
I don't mind about the medals. They are actually different enough. But the shirt is exactly the same (besides the print). I mean.. don't get me wrong. They are nice shirts. I guess it's okay to have two of them. But they couldn't have switched up the color at least? If they are encouraging people to do more than one of their races, did this really not occur to them? Oh well.

Feels good to have another half under my belt! Gotta keep training. Chicago MARATHON training starts next month!! (omygoodness)

<3 Amy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

Another week down! And so another happy picture. Our senior year of high school, we had a "senior spectacular" that was kind of this big overnight party at the end of the year. There was a cartoonist there that drew this for us.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hipster Runner

I went this afternoon to pick up my packet at the sponsoring running store. The race is pretty dang early tomorrow but I thought it would be worth it to get over there and maybe look at some of the gear. Usually running stores offer some kind of deal for racers.. 

But when I got there, I was immediately annoyed. First of all, it was hard to find parking. Then, I could hardly get in the door. Soo many people packed in this little tiny store. I didn't even think this was a very big race. Seriously, when did running become so popular? Why did all these other people have to sign up and make it crowded when I'm just trying to pick up my packet and maybe check out the sale rack? 

Once upon a time, people automatically thought you were awesome if you could run longer than a mile straight. Now it seems like every other person has run at least a 5k. And every third person has run a half marathon. (I'm exaggerating a little bit. Maybe.) But the more runners there are, the less unique it is to run, right? Or the number of runners in the world is inversely proportional to the coolness factor of running (for those math geeks out there). Sometimes, honestly, especially when I'm in a crowded little running store like today, I feel like this: 
I think that it's a similar feeling that people get with teams and "fair-weather" fans. Lots of people are running right now because it's very trendy. I've been running since 2002, so I've always liked to think that I was a runner before it became cool. But I actually found out recently that apparently that's not true

I started the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and this was in the opening chapter: 

"Three times, America has seen distance-running skyrocket, and it's always in the midst of a national crisis. The first boom came during the Great Depression, when more than two hundred runners set the trend by racing forty miles a day across the country in the Great American Footrace. Running then went dormant, only to catch fire again in the early '70s, when we were struggling to recover from Vietnam, the Cold War, race riots, a criminal president, and the murders of three beloved leaders. And the third distance boom? One year after the September 11 attacks, trail-running suddenly became the fastest-growing outdoor sport in the country."

I thought this was super-interesting. I think you could argue that there's another running boom going on now with the recession too. But if you'll notice, one year after the September 11th attacks would be fall of 2002.. which is actually exactly when I first joined my high school freshmen Cross Country team. 
Me with my best friend at the starting line in high school. 
So I guess that makes me, according to the books, a "fair-weather runner" after all. And actually among my other cross country friends, I know some of them that started in middle school (my hubby being one of them actually). So compared to them, I actually started kind of late. And honestly, I do most of the time love it that running is so popular right now. It means that there is a big demand for good running gear, which means that they are putting even more research into it and making everything better. And it's so awesome that people are being healthy and there's more people to talk to about geeky running stuff. More people at races to cheer you on. More running clubs with awesome people to run with. And I'm absolutely thrilled when a friend of mine starts running. I might not be thrilled when he/she then beats me, but that's another issue.. 

Have any long-time runners ever felt like this? Any new runners that have run into occasionally stuck-up hipster runners like me? 

<3 Amy 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

We're kind of at the end of Prom season but seeing all the pictures up recently made me want to post one of mine from 2006. 
And yes, that's now my husband. Even though the long curly blonde hair that helped me fall for him is now cut so short. :) I miss it sometimes but the military cut definitely suits him better now. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oh.. Hello Summer

Summer is coming. It's getting warmer and I'm not super happy about it. As much as I try to be, I'm not an early-morning riser. But I think I'm going to have to be if I don't want to run in 80 degree heat now.

My church had their last youth group of the year. I'm kind of sad. We will have a couple bible studies this summer, but I won't get to see my little high school girl's group as often. I made little scrabble tile necklaces for them and my fellow group leader for the last night. I think they turned out pretty well. :) The class I was TAing for in Chicago also just ended. Summer is definitely upon us.
James also was recently promoted to 1LT and he's a platoon leader now. I'm soo so proud of him. He also got an "outstanding" Officer's Evaluation Report. He's also been recommended to lead a specialty platoon after his current one. I was seriously glowing when I found out. The only down side to this is that he's no longer is a mostly-office environment like before with access to a computer. So I can't talk to him nearly as often.

So change is in the air. The half-way mark of the deployment is quickly approaching. Such a relief. It's weird to think about the fact that one whole semester has come and gone since James has left. It's been 17 days since I said goodbye to him. That doesn't seem very long, but I feel like it's gone by pretty fast.

In totally unrelated news, my race got cancelled on Saturday. So maybe Summer isn't totally here if we are still getting so much rain. My brothers also signed up for it last-minute and none of us got to run because of the lightning. We went out to breakfast afterwards though. This is actually the second time this has happened to me. The first time, we still did an unofficial untimed race a couple weeks later and they used the prize money to buy Gatorade again (because it went to waste the first time). Hopefully they'll be able to do something similar with this race too.
Sad that we didn't get to run. 
In all honestly though, it was probably good that I didn't race 10 miles. I have a half marathon on Sunday (so just 8 days later) and that might not have been great planning on my part anyways. I still working back up from kind of taking a lot of time off when James was here for R&R (and not running as much right before he got here because of all my anxiety). My knees have been sore lately while running and I'm hoping that it's just the increase in mileage.

Also, marathon training starts next month (eek!). I'm kind of excited but kind of scared to death.

<3 A

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hello.. I’m Amy.. nice to meet you!

Happy MilSpouse Appreciation Day! If you haven't heard, the lovely ladies of Household6diva and ridingtherollercoaster are the hosts of a virtual meet-and-greet "bloghop" today. Click here to check it out.

My name is Amy and I'm 24 years old. I've been an Army wife for about two and a half years. My husband, James, is a lieutenant and platoon leader in the Army, currently deployed to Afghanistan for a year. We're approaching the half-way mark of the deployment, so we're pretty dang excited about that!

I love running and I love my soldier. They also go hand-in-hand for me. I met James because we were both on the cross country teams in high school senior year (yes, we are high school sweethearts). I'd heard the saying "To decide who you should marry, run after God as hard as you can, and then look beside you." This ended up being more than a metaphor for me.. and we've both been running together ever since! (although in real life, he's actually way faster than me)

I write about my journey as an Army wife, distance runner (half-marathoner and aspiring marathoner), and my dependence on God through the whole thing.

Basically, I live for moments like this:
I'm the one in the hat. :) 
 And this:

Thanks so much for stopping by!
<3 Amy

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

I need to get back in the habit of posting these. This one is from our engagement pics. And it makes me smile. :) One more week down!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back to Reality

Well. R&R is over. The second goodbye was a little easier than the first. I think maybe just because I was a little more prepared than last time and I know what's coming. Although it's not easy knowing that I'm not going to see him for 7 months..

I dropped him off at the airport and they gave me a pass so that I could wait with him at the gate. I did a lot better about crying. Probably because it was a very public goodbye (very busy area of the airport) so I didn't exactly want to lose it in front of a crowd of strangers already staring at me as I kissed my soldier goodbye. 

The two weeks was everything I hoped it would be. We decided to run away for a week of it to a little rental cottage in Wisconsin on a lake. Best. Decision. Ever. It was amazing. We kayaked, went to this little winery for a wine tasting, cuddled in a hammock, relaxed in our own little hot tub at night, watched Doctor Who (yes, I did succeed in getting my husband addicted!), went running on some trails, and got to spend some quiet time together away from everyone else. We called it our second honeymoon. :) 

Then for the second week, it was a little more crazy running around trying to make sure that he spent enough time with family. I think that is always a battle. I suppose most R&Rs are going away with the 9 month deployments, but I can't stress enough how good it is that we got that week away to ourselves. I felt a little guilty to be stealing him away from everyone for a whole week.. but he's home for only 2 weeks out of the entire year. And he's my husband. We really needed that time. 
One of the best parts of the week was something that James got for us: Leia and Han Solo rings! They are right-hand rings.. and he can't wear his while he's over there (I guess they can only wear wedding rings) so I've got his on my charm necklace right now. Aren't they beautiful? Ha.. we are such geeks. 
"I love you" "I know"
So now I'm back from vacation and trying to get back into my running routine. I've got another half in less than 3 weeks and I'm probably not gonna PR based on how much I've run in the last month..

5 months til Chicago Marathon and about 7 months left of this deployment! I'm hoping that the nervousness of the approaching marathon will speed things up and make the time go by fast!

<3 A