Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

Hooray! Another Wednesday is here! And the deployment has passed the 75% mark!
So this one time, James and I found a shop called "Amy James" so obviously we had to stop and take a picture. The end.

<3 Amy

Monday, August 27, 2012

Peapod Half Madness

I jumped into a half marathon on Sunday. Kind of literally. My friend Allyse was running her very first half marathon. She tweeted something about it, and I realized less than a week before the race that I had 13-mile long run on my training plan that day.
I asked her what she thought about me jumping in and running with her and maybe helping her pace (not that she really needed me to). She seemed excited to have someone to run with. But I didn't really want to pay $80 to run a race that I wasn't actually going to "race." So I figured I would just be Allyse's pacer.

So.. there's my confession. I bandited a race (for those of you unfamiliar with the term, "bandit racing" means to run a race without registering). I did bring my own water and gel, haha. I also took an old bib number and folded it over so you couldn't tell it was actually from a Turkey Trot several years ago.

It ended up being a disaster though. I started off the race and felt great, besides a little bit of a stuffy nose. Then about 5.5 miles in, I had to let Allyse go ahead of me so I could use the port-a-potty (the first time I have ever needed to during a race). Honestly, I'm not sure what happened.. if it was some kind of bug or I ate something that I shouldn't have, but I actually had to stop at every port-a-potty for the rest of the race (super-embarrassing). And a 7-Eleven employees-only bathroom, after promising the sweet old guy that worked there that I would buy coffee from him after the race. And I actually did go back too and ended up buying a gatorade to say thanks.

But yeah, I did finish. I figured I was supposed to run a long run that day anyway, so I might as well finish. I had to walk for part of it because of my messed-up system, but I paused my Garmin for that. So I only ended up running 11.9 miles. But with all the times that I stopped adding up, my clock finish time was around 2:45. Yikes. There was actually hardly anyone still finishing at that point, since it was a smaller race (less than 2000). When I turned the corner to finish, it would have been more noticeable if I didn't run through the chute so I went ahead and went through it. They had a whole bunch of medals left (with maybe only couple dozen or so runners left to finish) so I went ahead and took the one that they gave me. I felt guilty.
The medal also functions as a beer bottle opener. 
But then my dad pointed out that I never got to run the half marathon that I signed up for in April (because of James's R&R getting switched on me) and surely there was a handful of people that couldn't make it to this race, so maybe it kind of evens out. But it's kind of funny that I got sick (not at all at the time) in retrospect because it's almost like it was racing karma or something since I didn't pay.

In other news, I just registered for a 20-mile organized training run that's in a couple weeks. Yikes, I'm nervous. The marathon is coming!

Have you ever bandited a race before? 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy RANGERversary!!!

James graduated Ranger School exactly one year ago today! Hands-down, one of the best days of my life. Couldn't be more proud to pin that tab on him. 
So proud of my Airborne Ranger!
Ah.. Fort Benning, Georgia. He was down there for about 7 months (IBOLC then Ranger School) and during IBOLC, I visited him about once a month. Every time I got to visit him, it was like a mini vacation and a weekend affair with my hubby. So I can't help but feel a bit of fondness for that base. 

Ranger School was the end of that separation, and I feel a bit jealous of my one-year-ago self. It was kind of a homecoming in itself. It makes me really anxious for this deployment to be over. 

*sigh* Just a few more months to go. We can do it.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Leibster Blog Award

This is my first (and probably last) one of these. It was fun, but probably still just a one-time thing. Dear Bonnie over at Makin' Plans tagged me in this "Liebster Blog Award " (or Lovester in English) so I thought I'd give it a go. 

  1. Post 11 Random Facts About Yourself
  2. Choose 11 deserving bloggers and tag them in the post
  3. Answer 11 questions the tagger has asked you and give 11 questions to the people you've tagged.
  4. No tag-backs. 

Alright so here I go:

11 Random Facts About Me:
  1. I've been married 32 months, I've lived with my husband for 16 of those months. Yikes, so by the end of the deployment, I will have lived with my husband for less time than I haven't while we've been married. Looking forward to bring that ratio back up. 
  2. When I was 12, I programmed a text-based virtual Hogwarts that you could "move" around in for a 4H computer project. It was pretty cool. 
  3. I like working with high school youth groups. High schoolers are my favorite. 
  4. I wish I was a better photographer. I should probably practice more. 
  5. I'm a daddy's girl through and through. 
  6. I used to work at a rock climbing wall and I was awesome. Now it kind of depresses me to go rock climbing because my grip is not nearly as strong so I'm not as good. 
  7. I'm lactose-intolerant. 
  8. I've seen the band Jars of Clay in concert 5 times. 
  9. I love swing dancing with my husband. 
  10. I sleep with at least 3 blankets. I think I like the pressure/weight of them. 
  11. I've never been drunk. Although I do like a good margarita. 
I tag:
  1. Emily at Red Letters
  2. Amy at Army Amy*
  3. Julie at Journey to 26.2
  4. Molly at Carry Your Heart With Me
  5. Jamie at Handing with Grace
  6. Bekah at Food For Thought
  7. Alli at Ferguson Finds
  8. Sarah at Consuming Fire
  9. Amanda at Combat Boots and Diamond Rings 
  10. Lindsey at Confessions of a 3L
  11. Birdie at Lemons for the Birds
Questions my tagger asked:
1. What is your biggest fear? This is no secret here.. mine is something happening to James while he's overseas. 
2. What is your favorite quote? Oh dear, I have a lot of them. But one of my favorites is:
"Our “behavior” will not be changed long with self-discipline, but fall in love and a human will accomplish what he never thought possible." - Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
3. What is your favorite movie? Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
4. What is your favorite color? At the moment, I think it's green. 
5. What states/countries have you lived in? and which is your favorite? I'm only lived in Illinois with the exception of a summer in Australia and a couple months in Washington before the deployment. I love them all for different reasons.. I love living in Washington, but I think that I'll miss my family a lot in Illinois. 
6. How long have you known your best friend? My best girlfriend, I've known about 10 years. My best guy friend (James), I've known for 7. 
7. What is your favorite meal? Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey, stuffing, pumpkin stuff, all of it. 
8. What is your favorite scent? Um. Cross Country mornings have a certain smell to them. Like misty and muddy at the same time. And also my husband smells pretty good too. 
9. What is your favorite blog to read? I'm really bad about keeping up with very many blogs at one time, but I pretty much always read Army Amy*
10. What is your favorite book? Oh man. I dunno. I really like the Harry Potter books. And Lord of the Rings. And Pride and Prejudice. 
11. What is your favorite season? Hands down, Fall. Cross country, hoodies, football, crunchy leaves, pumpkin stuff, Thanksgiving.. I could go on forever. 

My 11 questions for the people I tagged:
  1. Have you ever read a book more than once?
  2. What were you like in high school?
  3. Describe your perfect date. (and do not answer "April 25th".. I'm not talking about a calendar date)
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? 
  5. Favorite actor/actress?
  6. Favorite TV show (current or past)?
  7. Favorite dessert? 
  8. What the most recent movie you saw in theaters? How was it?
  9. What do you do to relax when you need to de-stress? 
  10. What your favorite specific location in the world (that you've been to)?
  11. If you could go back and tell yourself something 10 years ago, what would it be? 
<3 Amy

Happy Picture Wednesday

I don't have to go back to school. Why? 
Because I'm graduated! This was May 2010, but I've been especially happy about being done with school this week while all the kids are going back.

And I got to walk with my husband at graduation! Because at that point, we were married. So glad I got to walk with my favorite person in the world instead of next to a couple strangers.

<3 Amy

Monday, August 20, 2012

Deployment Anxiety and Running

I relaxed this past weekend. Yep, the whole weekend. I did not run at all.
I lounged in a hammock, hung out with one of my best friends and my family. And I read my Bible and journaled.

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5

These past couple weeks have been the most stressful weeks of the whole deployment for me. I've had more anxiety issues than I've ever had before. In the beginning of the deployment, I was sad and lonely because of the separation. Now, I can usually cope with the separation issue, but the danger factor is downright terrifying. I can't really tell you exactly why it's been more stressful lately (OPSEC) but my husband is in the infantry.. it goes without saying that it's a very dangerous job.

I think that running has helped with the anxiety, but the anxiety has not helped my running performance. It's definitely not a mutually beneficial relationship. There's been a couple times that I've felt down enough to think "should I just not do this marathon and quit now?" Well, of course I won't. I really need something of my own to keep myself busy and power through this last part of the deployment. We're almost 3/4 of the way there.

I can't tell you how relieving it is to me that it's started to feel cooler, even if it seems a bit early for that. Caribou even has their pumpkin stuff now. I've never been more excited for Fall. One more season to go.

<3 A.

Monday, August 13, 2012

17 miles! and coding on a rainy day

I ran 17 miles yesterday. Took me 3 hours and 18 minutes. Yes.. it was crazy. Besides being super long, my stomach also got pretty screwed up. So I think it's safe to say that it was my most unpleasant run to date. I took an extended release iron supplement the night before and I think that might have had something to do with it.
Also, is it normal to get kind of emotional toward the end of really long runs? Because that kind of happened. I didn't all out cry or anything. But I'm not even sure why. Because it was hard? Because I was happy to be almost done? Because I miss my husband? Probably a combination of all three.

It's rainy today. I love it. But it makes me miss Seattle-area. Which makes me miss James. And I happen to not have work today too. Ahh, beauty of a part-time job. So I put on my New Balance compression sleeves (which are hopefully speeding recovery) and my comfy college track sweatpants and I've been wearing my Army blanket around the house like a cape, cause it's a rainy, blanket kind of a day.
Why yes, that IS an autographed picture of Apollo Ohno in the top right. 
I did do a little programming today though, something I haven't been doing as much of (even though Computer Engineering is my degree). I'm all set up now to do some Android app development. And I actually created my first really simple app today, yay! All it does it open and print out "Hello World" but I'm still pretty proud. I have an idea for an app, I just need to actually design it and write the code now. James is pretty awesome at photoshop so I'm thinking that maybe he can help me with the graphics part, I'll do the coding, and then maybe our app will be a huge hit and we'll start charging and be able to retire on the income. That would be lovely. Hey, a girl can dream.

<3 Amy

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Running for Team Salute

Hi Blogger Friends!

This is a slightly edited version of a letter that I sent out to friends and family. I figured that since this is a military wife/running blog, some of my readers may interested as well. If not, no worries! But I am very excited to run for this cause. 

As most of you know, my husband James is currently serving as a platoon leader in Afghanistan. It's been a challenging year, but we're about 2/3 of the way through and I'm incredibly proud of him. We've been very blessed to have so much prayer and support from family, friends, and our churches (both in Illinois and Washington). One of the things I've been doing to keep myself busy (and sane so I can be a supportive wife!) is to really pour myself into running. I've made some pretty lofty goals, one of which is to run my first full marathon this year – the Chicago Marathon on October 7th. 
Me and James after the Chicago Half Marathon in 2010
Quite randomly, someone left some fliers for "Team Salute" at my workplace. I did some research and learned that they are a team running in the Chicago Marathon.  They are associated with "Salute Inc" which provides financial support for Military Families in need. As I mentioned, James and I have been incredibly blessed during this deployment- we've actually been able to save a lot by my moving back to live with family for the year. However, other military families are not as fortunate, and sometimes a deployment or an injury (physical or mental) can leave military families in great financial distress.   Salute Inc. is an organization that raises money to help these families.

I was really struck by the story of Salute Inc's founders Will and Mary Beth.  After 9/11, Will was called from the Naval Reserves into Active Duty and deployed to Cuba for 13 months.  This was of course a tremendous burden for Mary Beth to be single-handedly caring for their three young sons.  But Will’s Navy salary was considerably lower than his civilian job, and after 13 months they almost lost their house. With support from family and friends in the community, they were able to survive. Because of their personal experience, they started Salute Inc to help provide for other military families in financial hardship.

Even being a military spouse myself, I was not aware that stories like Will's and Mary's could happen. The military community has been a great support for me and James (while we were in Washington and even while I'm all the way over in Illinois for the year) and I can't think of a better way to give back to these brave families. So while my husband is being a hero overseas, I can do a small part here at home. And I get to do it by doing something that I love- running!

So I’m planning to join Team Salute to run the Chicago Marathon and my goal is to raise $520 for Salute Inc. That's just 20 people pledging $26 ($1 per marathon mile). Would you please consider being part of my support team? 

If you are interested in donating please visit my support page here
Thanks so much and God Bless! 

<3 Amy

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Picture Wednesday

I know that last week I was late, but these Happy Picture Wednesdays are starting to come a bit faster. That's good. I know that all the kids in school are dreading summer being over, but I'm totally ready for the fall. Cross country season and hoodie weather. Mmm. I can't wait. I've had enough of this heat. The one thing I do love about summer though is the sailing. I finally got to go sailing last weekend.
This pic is actually a little old, but that is me! My mom sailed on that boat when she was in high school and I started learning when I was about 12. Sadly it got really old and my parents had to replace it recently.. so I didn't sail on the one in the picture this past weekend but it's about the same size. The best sailing is when you try to get it to lean as much as possible without actually capsizing it, which has happened more times than I can count but is still fun!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thoughts During a Long Run

I ran my 15 miles (actually 15.1!) on Sunday. Holy cow, that was hard. I woke up at 5:30am, drove to a 10 mile trail near me, ran 15 miles, and then scrambled to get ready for church. I was only a couple min late. All before noon. Thankfully, I had pretty good weather. It had just stormed like crazy the night before and I chose a trail with shade this time, so it was kind of like running in a green house for the early part of the morning. My average was 11:15 per mile.. I ran for 2 hours and 50 minutes. I'm not sure if it's just the heat and humidity that is getting to me or if I might be getting anemic again (I had lots of trouble with this in college). Or maybe I just have higher expectation for myself than I should. But my half marathon time says that I *should* be able to run faster and that bugs me.

These were all thoughts that I actually had during my run:
  • (I usually wave or nod to fellow runners) I can't believe he didn't just wave back. That's kind of rude. No matter how tired he is, he really can't manage a nod? 
  • I can't believe those soccer moms just passed me. Maybe they are not running as far. 
  • 8 miles down. 7 to go. Crap. 
  • "Hey, I just met you.. and this is CRAZY!" Holy cow this is crazy. Why am I doing this? 
  • I've definitely seen that person before going the opposite direction. Wait, was that over 5 miles ago? Am I going faster or slower? ...I have no idea. 
  • (there were several big downed trees over the trail from the storm) I'm gonna climb through this HUGE tree. This is like exploring. I'm explorer runner Amy. So hardcore. 
  • (toward the end when I was really tired) I think that dude just waved to me and I didn't wave back. I'm a terrible person. 
Two more months until Chicago Marathon. I decided that this next weekend (17 miles!) I am going to church on Saturday night so I don't have to either get up even earlier OR feel bad for totally ditching church. There's part of me that kind of can't wait to be able to leisurely wake up on a Sunday morning and actually have time to curl my hair or something for church. 

It did feel pretty awesome to be done though. I got home after church and took a nap. I slept about an hour before I got a ding from my phone that James was online. He was also really encouraging and proud of me for running it. As hard as it was, I think I can do the 17 miles next weekend. 

And then in 2 months, I'll be able to buy a 26.2 sticker to go on my car next to the 13.1. 
this is my car btw. 
And after the marathon, there'll only be a couple months left of the deployment. And then James will be home and I will be able to truly relax. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Picture Wednes..Thursday!

Dang! I almost forgot for the week! This week actually went by really fast so that's good! :)
Another IBOLC Graduation pic! Happy day.